It's inevitable. People cross paths all the time and it's seldom that those people cross paths again... AND interact. But I'm fortunate to have met Hnin at Startup Weekend: Food Edition but we didn't connect during the busy weekend. A couple of weeks later, browsing through MeetUp, I saw that she was managing a foodie group. I messaged her and we met up for lunch.
Hnin chose Franchia Vegan Cafe for us to enjoy lunch, in Midtown East. Vegan food can be a hit or miss, but with a vegan making the call, I was in safe hands.
Upon arriving, I expected a chic upscale cafe and as usual, I was wrong. A Korean / Asian fusion eatery serving up some vegan grub, Asians are people of many trades, we could learn a ton from them.
We sat on the upper level and started talking about our full-time gigs, which was interesting for three minutes. Then we moved on to fun topics of discussion such as our involvement in the startup community, our goals, ideas, plans, etc.
With the menu saturated with mouth watering selections, we both inclined to order the Penang Noodles in Spicy Curry in Coconut Broth (foodie minds think alike!), but the KOMEEDA in me suggested we order two different noodle bowls and share. HOLLA!!!
The noodle bowls arrived, we embraced the steam escaping away and the ingredients disappearing into our mouths.
The soy ‘beef’ rendang & spicy coconut sauce bowl was boiling with tomatoes, potatoes in coconut milk and curry sauce. Me being a carnivore, the 'beef' aka soy rendang was one of the best vegan meat alternatives that I have ever had and I have had them all. And if you're asking, rendang is an Indonesian style meat dish filled with spices and catered during festive occasions, aka lunch with Hnin.
As we ate away, our conversation dug deeper into the food industry and the missing essentials for restaurants and their customers. Like dealing with dietary restrictions, figuring out what to order when you do dine out or how to avoid a shitty dining experience.
After spending a lunch hour with Hnin, I learned three things..
1. Hnin is awesome and works with ROC United, an organization striving to raise working standards within the restaurant industry.
2. There's a lot of work to do in the food industry.
3. There's a great vegan spot a couple of blocks from work.