What started with a failed shoe shopping trip at IBN Battuta Mall ended with a great vegan lunch in the hidden Chinese garden. After my vacation, in which I broke my loved Nike Free Trainers I decided I had to use my first day off to shop for new ones. Neither Dubai Mall nor Mall of the Emirates sounded attractive to me (I really don’t like shopping at crowded malls) so I decided it was time to visit the IBN Battuta Mall again. End of the story: I couldn’t find any new trainers I liked as much as my old ones, got grumpy, tired and hungry. Just before the start of the Chinese Court there was a sign to the “Chinese Garden Restaurants”, which I followed and stumbled across “Soy” – a Chinese, Thai and Asian restaurant.
The outdoor seating are was still closed when I went, but for sure will be open soon – inside there was only one open room, which felt a little awkward since you were able to see everyone from every corner of the room. The level of privacy was really low, but totally okay for a restaurant at the mall. The Menu was rather focused on the Chinese cuisine than the Thai and didn’t offer as many vegan choices as I’ve seen in other Asian Restaurants, but almost all their curries, rice- and noodle bowls and all wok dishes had the options of being prepared with either tofu or vegetables instead of meat. I actually picked quite a lot (again), as I couldn’t decide: the three starters I tried were the Vegetables Spring Rolls, the Papaya Salad and the Baby Corn with Chilli & Spring Onion. Followed by two tofu based mains: the Kung Pao Tofu and the Lemon & Garlic Wok with Tofu.
Everything was brought to my table at once (which is totally fine for me) but it just took me ages to take pictures before I could start trying the food, which all looked super delicious! The Young Papaya Salad with Thai Dressing was a little spicy, but super fresh, which was exactly what I needed before trying my other two fried starters: the Vegetables Spring Rolls were a little bigger and a little bit more doughy and especially filled with more fresh veggies than the ones I’ve had recently. I liked them, but I guess it just depends on how you like yours. The Baby Corn with Chilli & Spring Onion was actually fried as well and saltier than the other dishes (reminded me a little bit on fried seafood), which doesn’t mean bad at all. It was something I haven’t tried in this form and I’d definitely have again.
The difference between the two tofu dishes was basically just the sauce. Both tofu cubes were crispy outside and had taken the flavors of the sauce well. While the Lemon & Garlic sauce was rather plain, it was more natural in flavor and I liked it better. The Kung Pao Tofu was topped with cashew nuts and dried fruits and both the flavors as well as the consistency were a little bit unnatural (similar to a sweet & sour sauce).
While the menu barely offered any vegan dumplings, the choice of tofu and vegetable dishes was great! The waiters were friendly and helpful and the location was okay, based on the fact that it’s inside a mall. Soy has another outlet at the Dubai Mall, offers 20% discount when ordering on zomato (you can order on talabat as well) and is a good choice for vegans who like to customize their tofu dishes (you are able to choose between several different sauces). Check out their menu and comment below for more vegan tips at IBN Battuta Mall!
Soy at IBN Battuta Mall
Opening hours: 12PM to 11:30 PM
Soy at the Dubai Mall
Food Court Level 2
Opening hours: Sun-Wed 11AM to 12 midnight, Thu-Sat 11AM to 1AM