I’m just going to start on a cliché note: A vegan dining experience changed my life. Really.
This experience went down at Kensington Market’s newest spot, Cosmic Treats. This restaurant and dessert bar is 100% vegan, with a sweet and savoury fare that is 100% not boring or your average “kale and chia” affair, says owner Elliot. He proudly looks around the place, explaining how he combined his 3 favourite things (“vegan food, the colour orange, and outer space”) to create a spot that is truly is his own. The menu is filled with familiar appetizers, main dishes, ice cream, desserts, and alcoholic drinks (including boozy milkshakes!).
We began with an ice cream float with sprite and birthday cake ice cream. The ice cream is cashew-based and had a nice firm consistency just like the dairy kind.
The appetizer menu featured salads and gazpacho, but we felt sinful and settled on fried cheese sticks and the mixed root-vegetable fries with a spicy aioli. I was initially skeptical of ordering a cheese-based app since vegan cheeses can be hit or miss – thankfully this went beyond a hit and was a full home-run. The panko was crispy, the cheese was gooey, and the jalapeño havarti offered the perfect level of heat. The root vegetable fries had a nice rustic flavor, and we pretty much licked the aioli dish clean.
Next, we tucked into 3 main dishes.
First up, the barbecued tofu encrusted in Sweet Chili Heat Doritos: Yes, you read that correctly. Do yourself a favour and order this dish; you’ll never find tofu with this much personality again.
Second, the sausage and pepper sandwich: This sandwich featured Italian sausage (tofurky) and peppers, smothered in a delicious marinara sauce with sautéed onions. As a big sandwich aficionado, this really hit the spot and I was incredibly impressed with how savoury it was.
Finally, a breakfast platter of blueberry pancakes, scrambled tofu, and hash browns: This platter was absolutely heaped with food, and would be the perfect hangover helper (or meal, in general) for any vegan or non-vegan alike. I’ve had my share of scrambled tofu and it’s not usually the greatest imitation of the real thing, but this was as good as it gets. (Pictured above)
It would be wrong to come here without trying the homemade ice cream and a baked good or two. We chose the Cupcake Sundae: Your choice of ice cream sandwiched between a chocolate cupcake with your choice of sauce, toppings, whipped cream, and maraschino cherry. We chose vanilla, chocolate sauce, sprinkles and marshmallows, and felt like happy little kids again. The pastry and ice cream were so rich, you truly couldn’t tell that you were eating something dairy or butter-free. The stigma of vegan desserts being either impossible or flavourless were completely shattered with our dessert course, and between mouthfuls we were already discussing which flavours we’d eat next.
My taste buds were pampered, my expectations were exceeded, and my stomach was quite possibly stretched. I truly cannot wait to come back to Cosmic Treats and work my way through their impressive menu of comfort foods and sweet treats.
Written by TVJ writer Joanna G.