And it’s healthy!
I simply love burrito and taco, but a vegan version? That got me thinking: how is it possible to leave out meat— the most essential part of any typical Tex-Mex dishes? A burrito without meat is just a wrap with plain vegetable fillings, isn’t it?
These were the thought I had when I first discovered about Sala Kuala Lumpur—a Tex-Mex influenced vegan restaurant located at Galeria Hartamas in Desa Sri Hartamas. And as soon as I got the taste of it myself, Sala proved me wrong. Despite lacking any form of meat in its dishes, Sala manages to infuse its fare with full-bodied flavours just as Malaysian and Mexican should have.
It All Started with Cravings
Living in the U.S. for 14 years, Fauzi Hussein, the owner of the restaurant, claimed that he had always been craving for Mexican food, even more after he turned vegan 5 years ago. While studying there, he admitted that he always went to the Mexican restaurants with his Hispanic and Mexican friends. However, after coming back to Malaysia, he noticed that most of the Mexican restaurants here were on the higher end and—according to him—a little pricey.
With the limited vegan Mexican food available here in Malaysia, Fauzi decided to start a business and have his own vegan Tex-Mex restaurant here in Kuala Lumpur.
The restaurant has an open kitchen, with a Subway-style ‘build your own’ burrito, salad or taco set up. Located on the ground floor of Galeria Hartamas, the restaurant is a cosy spot with the subtle addition of little cacti on the tables to enhance the Mexican theme. The staff are all friendly and helpful—and most importantly—always excited about their creations and constantly experimenting.
We were served with Sala’s top 3 most favoured dishes—Burrito Mushroom Asada, Spicy Asian Tofu Taco, and Nasi Lemak Sambal Tempe followed by the famous Mangonana Smoothies, Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel Brownies, and Matcha Kelava ice cream. The burrito was my reason for getting excited about this restaurant, and I had good reason to be excited.
1. The Mains
The Burrito (RM22) menu is customisable. For the start, choose the base (lime rice, lime brown rice, or for an extra RM4, quinoa). Then, the main (mushroom asada, spicy tempe and peanuts, marinated seared tofu, BBQ jackfruit, or grilled veggies). Next, the extras (beans, cabbage, purple cabbage, or carrots). Finally, the toppings (vegan sour cream, vegan nacho cheese, pico de gallo, or salsa). For an additional RM 4, you can also add guacamole, avocado, mango salsa, or tomatillos.
To my surprise, just the half of the burrito alone could make me full. I found out that was because of the mushroom which gave it the meaty taste and texture without my stomach realising it. The fillings were perfected with the creamy vegan sour cream (tofu-based) without being overly-thick, wrapped in a vegan tortilla that managed to have the same texture and stretchiness as the often lard-based tortillas found in Mexican restaurants. The burrito was definitely my favourite and yes, I would go back to the restaurant for it.
2. The Thirst Quencher
The Mangonana Smoothies is a must-try! Rich in texture with a fruity taste, the naturally sweet blend was made from mango, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, chia seeds, and soymilk. Now, you can lessen your caffeine intake every morning and kickstart the day healthy.
3. The Dessert
The brownie was an indulgence so may be slightly less healthy but still 100% vegan. The texture was moist and chewy that I had the thought it had the huge quantities of butter like the non-vegan versions have. We also sampled matcha flavoured vegan ice cream from Kelava.
After all of that food, I was comfortably full after this meal without feeling heavy or tired. As a non-vegan trying the vegan food for the first time, it’s safe to say that the food here is good enough to make omnivores like me gladly forgo the familiarity of flesh for an afternoon—or two.
Sala Kuala Lumpur
A-G-03A Galeria Hartamas,
No 21, Jalan 26a/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 – 6206 1131
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