Yesterday marked the end of this year’s vegetarian festival. Fear not, many of the jay menus will still be available for a few more weeks! And once jay menus are all sold out, don’t worry, because plant-based food is all around!
Although Yaowarat is a super exciting place to be during Thailand’s Jay festival, our favourite thing about this time of year is the rest of Thailand.
No other country in the world becomes completely vegan friendly in almost every restaurant, supermarket and street food stall for a few weeks of the year.
When you step into a big supermarket chain like Tesco Lotus or an international fast food chain like Dairy Queen and see the plant-based options being celebrated and advertised more than most other food, it feels like stepping into an alternate universe or perhaps stepping into the future…
We didn’t have much time to explore all the jay options this year because we were too busy with all the plant-based food at our festival, but we did have a few favourites that we managed to capture.
Many savoury jay dishes can be found (if you know where to look) all year round, but a lot of sweet desserts are a little trickier to find at an affordable price throughout the year. So here are a few of our favourite sweet treats and cheap eats from this year’s jay festival.
Tesco Lotus had a huge range of vegan pastries available for insanely cheap prices. We tried the classic vegan doughnuts for only 6thb per piece – they were naughty, sweet, greasy and amazing. Amongst many other items, Tesco Lotus also had a big section in the fresh fish and meat area for Jay protein alternatives, laid out on ice for insanely affordable prices. If you didn’t know about the Jay festival you would assume these were all ‘normal’ animal protein foods.
We stumbled upon Siam Paragon’s food hall in the last few days of the festival and found that it was even more exciting than Yaowarat. Along with a humongous jay festival section and dozens of jay menus, we spotted Koh Kae’s Nut Milk Bar and Dairy Queens Jay menu. We tired the Jay Coconut Blizzard cup (50thb) and Chocolate cone (15thb) both of which were thick, creamy and rich. The hard chocolate for the cone was clearly labelled as dairy-free and the ice cream had a sweet coconut taste which is reassuring when ordering amongst so many dairy products!
Finally, and perhaps our favourite thing to come from this year’s vegetarian festival, was Fire Tiger X VitaMilks Taro Milk Bubble Tea with Black Sugar. This definitely does not class as a cheap eat, coming in at 130thb per drink, but it was definitely worth it in our book. The milk was thick, creamy and sweet accompanied by a selection of chewy and bouncy small and normal sized bubbles at the bottom, alongside a generous scoop of sweet mashed taro and topped off with black sugar syrup.