Tofu has a bad reputation for being high in protein but low on flavor. Sometimes it’s soggy, mushy, and bland. But when prepared correctly, tofu with a soft center and a crisp, seasoned crust can be appreciated by anyone—even the most hardcore meat freaks. With Trinidad and Tobago Restaurant Week just around the corner, the country’s best chefs have gathered to showcase great vegetarian dishes even meat-lovers can get behind. Tofu is deep-fried, grilled, smoked, and baked at restaurants scattered across Port of Spain, Trincity, Couva, and beyond. From high-end presentations to humbler plates, these tofu specials will win your heart over in no time.
The Savoury Menu: Thai Coconut Curried Tofu
This Trincity favorite is known for its burgers, beers and wings, but the Thai coconut curry with silken tofu and Asian mixed vegetables deserves all the glory. Coconut milk lends rich flavor to the dish and enhances the spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander. A mound of saffron-infused basmati rice with chunks of cashews hidden in its grains sits in the bed of curry. Grilled pineapple shadon beni chow tops it all off and takes this restaurant week speciality to another level.
Trincity Industrial Estate, Tacarigua | (868) 221-5873
The Delectable Menu: Orange Glazed Smoked Tofu Cutlet
Vegans and vegetarians just can’t get enough of this cafe’s fresh homemade meat- and dairy-free food. The Youthful Vegan prides itself on a grab-and-go meals, but owner and chef Jeunesse Pouchet has decided to reopen the cafe’s seating area to accommodate fans during restaurant week. Don’t miss your chance to dine in and try the extra-firm tofu cutlet. Two slabs of soy are smoked and glazed in a bright, tangy orange reduction. They rest on a heap of roasted broccoli-cranberry quinoa, and then they’re topped with spiralized pickled cucumbers. Yum!
1 Middle St. and Patna St., St. James, Port of Spain | (868) 636-1912
3. MORE VINO
The Delectable Menu: Flaming Tofu
More Vino is arguably the country’s longest-standing sushi joint, but that’s not all it’s good for. Chef Ju-Jin Shiyo’s Flaming Tofu is not for the faint of heart. It packs serious punch. Soft silken tofu is fried to perfection and then tossed in a black bean garlic sauce and chili garlic paste. with a variety of vegetables such as red onions, peppers and melongene. Red pepper flakes add extra heat that makes your lips tingle in delight.
23 O’Connor Street, Port of Spain | (868) 622-8466
4. J. MALONE’S
The Savoury Menu: Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu
Limers love Trincity’s Irish pub for brews and entertainment but now, they will have another reason to visit: to eat the Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu. Cubes of crispy, golden brown tofu come to life after soaking up teriyaki sauce. When paired with the pineapple, it has an irresistibly tangy bite.
Trincity Mall, Trincity | (868) 640-5080
The Delectable Menu: Agedashi Tofu
If you live in Couva, you won’t have to drive too far to take part in the fun. Touch n’ Taste, the city’s latest fine-dining restaurant, offers Agedashi tofu; a very simple, yet popular, Japanese appetizer. Silken tofu is deep-fried then served in a pool of sweet and spicy dashi-based broth. Bonito flakes add the finishing touches.
8 West Boundary Street, California, Couva | (868) 636-1912