Planet Veg cooks up vegan butter chicken in Vancouver

Soy butter chicken

The soy butter chicken is gluten-free at Planet Veg. (Stephen Hui)

Since I live nearby, I’ve eaten at Planet Veg (1941 Cornwall Avenue) in Vancouver many times. This vegetarian restaurant, in the Kitsilano Point neighbourhood, has served Indian-style fast food for years.

My favourite thing to order is the Kathmandu roll ($8). The savoury vegan wrap features cabbage, tomato, cucumber, crispy noodles, jalapeño cilantro chutney, herbs, and spices inside a 12-inch spinach roti. For $4, you can make it combo (do it), which adds rice or soup, and a potato samosa.

Recently, I decided to try something new, and got the soy butter chicken ($9) to go. The menu describes this gluten-free dish as “Butter chicken for those who can’t do chicken.”

Funnily enough, the staff checked to make sure I knew that I wasn’t going to be getting actual chicken. I asked for the vegan version, and they prepared it with almond milk instead of cow’s milk.

It was disappointing to find out that the “chicken” was just chunks of tofu. What the dish really needed was some seitan or Gardein sitting on that bed of basmati rice. (The tofu would be better used in a vegan version of mutter paneer.) Although the sauce had a nice level of spice, it definitely wasn’t as flavourful as a butter chicken sauce should be.

Planet Veg also serves a variety of “Indo-Western” salads, burgers, pitas, and sweets. The menu board in the restaurant identifies which items are vegan or gluten-free by default, and others that can be made vegan or gluten-free.

Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach is the perfect place to eat takeout from Planet Veg. (Stephen Hui)

I wouldn’t travel across the city—let alone the solar system—for the vegan options at Planet Veg, but it’s worth a stop if you’re headed to Kits Beach. The food is reliably tasty but hardly out of this world.

Planet Veg on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “Planet Veg cooks up vegan butter chicken in Vancouver

  1. i have been disappointed by the “Butter Not Chicken” as well. I think their samosas are pretty good. It’s about time we hold restranteurs accountable for what they serve by telling it like it is where vegan food is concerned. There is NO reason to pay good money for mediocre or bad food :-)

  2. I’ve been disappointed by Planet Veg the last few times I’ve been there. The ‘butter chicken’ is probably their worst menu item but the rotis aren’t bad. I was at the Museum of Vancouver yesterday and instead of eating at Planet Veg, I went up to Sejuiced on 4th. Much better food and vegan options.
    The owner of Planet Veg is also anti-bike lane which leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

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