Restaurant Review: Vegetarian Palate

Vegetarian Palate
258 Flatbush Avenue
(between Prospect Place and Saint Mark’s Avenue)
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Vegiboys Rating (2.5/4)

Discretely folded into the many commercial storefronts of Flatbush Avenue, Vegetarian Palate has all the trappings of any typical Chinese food restaurant. The cookie-cutter design and the polite (though sometimes confused) service both fail to create any lasting impression.

The wildly ranging menu brought us some hope that the restaurant could be a hidden gem though. They offer an amazingly diverse laundry list of ethnic cuisines, from Spanish, to French, to a wide variety of Asian styles.

Fascinated by this array, we began with banana chicken rolls (which seemed vaguely Filipino). It was a strange ingredient combination, but they were deep-fried long enough to be good regardless of their content. As a second appetizer, sugarcane drumsticks with a mild, buffalo-wing marinade were also good, though not particularly outstanding.

For our main courses, the seafood section caught both our attentions with many dishes rarely found on a vegetarian menu. I tried the grilled mahi mahi, which proved to be a bed of simple vegetables atop which two seared slices of a fascinating faux-meat were placed. The meat resembled a grilled ham more than any known fish, and the slices were thin and crisp (though not dry).

Brian bravely opted for the paella Valenciana, which was a confused mix of everything in the kitchen’s inventory. Veggie versions of shrimp, scallops, crab, chicken, and beef crowded the bowl, with tofu, mushrooms, and plenty of vegetables thrown in there too. Despite the Spanish name, the flavor was purely Asian;  soy sauce played heavily in its creation. Rather than a paella, the dish was more akin to a meat-laden bibimbap pot.

So, though the eclectic menu impressed us on paper, the plates were far more mundane. We enjoyed the meal, but found the menu descriptions perhaps a bit misleading (and it certainly heightened our expectations above what the kitchen could deliver). At $30 each, it was a good meal, but Vegetarian Palate didn’t really offer anything above the dishes from any other Asian-vegetarian restaurant in the city, nor could it provide anything above and beyond the food found at other Flatbush area vegi-venues.

Food (2.5/4)

Atmosphere & Service

Value (2.5/4)

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