Amici Miei (Versoix, Switzerland)

Outside of Amici Miei
Daily menu outside

Amici Miei, “my friends” is a cute Italian restaurant in Versoix. The restaurant is large, and the style is quite casual with typical bistro-like chequered table cloths and photos of Italian film scenes on the walls. It is very family-style and inviting.

Interior at Amicie Miei

There is a small terrace outside as well. However, since it was pouring rain the evening we visited Amici Miei for dinner, we opted to sit inside. It is very busy, and while I initially assumed it would be more of a place for locals, I think I overheard some tourists as well. Amici Miei also do take-out, at least for the pizza’s.

Table at Amici Miei
Ready for some pasta!

 

From the online menu I had already spotted some potentially vegan dishes (always research before!) Our waiter was also really helpful and accommodating. For example, there are several salads for starters for which they could prepare a vegan dressing instead of the creamy dressing.

We chose an antipasti plate for two, bread and a plate of grilled vegetables: aubergine, tomato, artichokes, mushroom and bell peppers. It was tasty, but a bit too oily for my taste.

Antipasti at Amici Miei
Antipasti of grilled veggies with bread

There are several vegan mains available, such as Penne al Arrabbiata and pizzas which could be made vegan. We had the Spaghetti Napolitaine, spaghetti with a tomato sauce, (which would normally come with Parmesan to the side) and a Pizza San Nicoa, a pizza with grilled eggplant and artichokes without mozzarella. The spaghetti was very nice, but also very hot and the portion was enormous!

Spaghetti Napolitaine at Amici Miei
Enormous bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce !

The pizza has a nice thin crust, and was quite tasty. It was also heart-shaped which was a bit unnecessary in my opinion. The pizza was not as gargantuan as the spaghetti (fortunately).

Pizza at Amici Miei
Still not sure what to think of a heart-shaped pizza…taste was good though

Now to the surprising part. There are vegan desserts! Sorbet ice, in big scoops and a special dessert:  ‘carpaccio ‘ of caramelised pineapple with basil and passion fruit ice. It comes with a small waffle, which is probably vegan but I am not sure.

Vegan dessert at Amici Miei
Pine apple carpaccio with basil-passion fruit sorbet

The staff is very nice, knowledgeable and willing to adapt dishes to make them vegan. The atmosphere is nice and casual. Conclusion: I would love to go again to try some of the other pizzas and the other vegan dishes! I might ask for a normal-shaped pizza though 🙂

 

Type of place: Italian Restaurant, Bistro
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes

Website (French): https://www.amicimiei-versoix.ch/

Supatra (Versoix, Switzerland)

This tiny Thai restaurant near to the Versoix train station is bigger than it seems! I had passed it a few times but it didn’t register fully as a restaurant. Inside there is quite some space, there are in fact two rooms, and I believe there is also a terrace.

Interior at Supatra
A view on the entrance

We visited Supatra on a bank holiday, for dinner, and we were quite early. It was very quiet, which made me realise there was no background music. It was actually quite pleasant, to just be able to hear the sounds from the kitchen and the outside (since the door was open)

Interoir at Supatra

Supatra also do take-away and catering. There were some other people that came in just after us to make a (large) take-away order (yup, spoiler, that is gonna be important later)

Spring rolls at Supatra
Spring rolls!

For drinks they had some interesting choices, like lychee juice. I completely forgot to make a picture of it though! But it was tasty, nice and looked like juice.

For starters there are a few vegan options: spring rolls with dip sauce, and a papaya salad with peanuts and tomatoes. Unfortunately, the papaya salad was not available any more. So we tried the spring rolls. They were nice, the outside was crunchy. The inside (rice vermicelli and vegetables) was piping hot, so don’t eat those too fast! The sauce it was served with was fine, I don’t know if it was home-made.

Red curry with vegetables at Supatra
Red curry with vegetables

I think the person that served us initially was also the cook, she knew everything about each dish and was very helpful. However, the service was not very fast. This is probably because of the large take-away order made just after we came in. While we were waiting for our mains, some other people also entered and it became clear the restaurant was understaffed. Apart from the cook, there was one other person and I understood it was her first day. At this point the background music was switched on, which I found a bit unpleasant actually since it was quite loud. On the other hand, it did dampen the conversations around us a bit.

Rice at Supatra
Bowls with rice, served separately

For mains there are several vegetarian options, of which some have eggs but others are vegan. For some dishes you can choose the spiciness when you order.  We tried 2 different curries, a mixed vegetable red curry with coconut milk, which has courgette, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. It also had tofu. We also tried a green curry with tofu, courgette and bamboo shoots. It was a bit more creamy than the red one. Both curries were very tasty! They were served with rice, we got no other option. The rice-to-curry ratio was a off, we had quite some curry left, which was unfortunate. Also, and this sounds nit-picky, the portion was quite small. Not all restaurants should choose quantity over quality and should stuff you to the brim, but it was really not a lot.

Green curry at Supatra
Green curry with bamboo and tofu

So yeah room for dessert! There were several options that seemed vegan and tasty, but they had only a few ice creams left! Very unfortunate, since often Thai restaurants have great vegan desserts. So I decided to leave it be, and maybe come back one day.

 

Important detail, on the door there is a sign that they don’t accept credit card. Turns out they don’t accept any type of payment card, which is inconvenient (even though there is a bank across the street) Overall, I liked the food, it was quite refined, albeit not a lot. It was unfortunate they were out of several dishes, and that they were understaffed. Both of these are not insurmountable obstacles though. I’d like to go back to at least try the desserts!

Type of place: Thai Restaurant, Take-out
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: maybe?

Website (French, English) : http://thaisupatra.com/

Saigon Pearl (Versoix, Switzerland)

Sometimes one eats somewhere and feels a place has potential, but then somehow it falls flat. That was my experience with the Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Pearl in Versoix. It was not horrible, not at all, but it could have been a lot better. Let’s start at the beginning.

Table at Saigon Pearl
Ready for some Vietnamese food! (Note the absence of chopsticks)

I was interested in visiting because the Saigon Pearl actually boosts a vegan (not even vegetarian!) menu. By eating vegan at a place that has a vegan menu, I have the idea this shows the restaurant that there is an interest in vegan food. Positive reinforcement by money, so to say.

Spring rolls at Saigon Pearl
Spring rolls with soy sauce

So the vegan menu has 1 starter and 5 mains, but it was a bit unclear what was a starter and what was a main.

We went on a Saturday and it was extremely busy! I don’t know if during the week it is also so busy. The interior is casual and relaxed, with fitting Asian accents.

Noodles with tofu and vegetables at Saigon Pearl
Noodles with tofu and vegetables

For drinks I tried a coconut water, since I liked what I got in Aux 3 elephants and Vietnam in Paris . I got packaged coconut water, not the fresh stuff unfortunately.  The vegan starter is a plate of spring rolls. They were very crunchy, and the taste of the fried exterior completely overpowered the veggies and noodles on the inside. This spawned the theory that the spring rolls might have been refried.

Tofu with caramel sauce at Saigon pearl
The tofu with caramel sauce was served in a small pan, with rice separately

After we tried noodles with tofu and veggies, and tofu with caramel sauce. They were pretty similar, except that the caramel sauce tofu was served with rice. There were not many veggies in the noodles, but what was worse was that they were partially cold. So again, was this dish reheated in a microwave?  The warm parts were okay, but the cold bits were quite disappointing.

Tofu with caramel sauce and vegetables at Saigon Pearl
Tofu with caramel sauce and vegetables

There are also a few vegan desserts. We tried two, a “sesame ball”  and banana with tapioca pearls in coconut milk.  The “sesame ball” has a crusty, fried exterior and soft dough inside.  I liked it but it was very hard, and a bit difficult to handle. The banana with tapioca pearls in coconut milk was very sweet, and unfortunately the coconut is barely detectable.

Sesame ball dessert at Saigon Pearl
Sesame ball

Saigon Pearl has the feeling of a family eatery, with a casual atmosphere. The service was friendly, and I really think the food has potential. Unfortunately, the prices didn’t match the experience, in this case. I saw a lot of positive reviews online for Saigon Pearl, so I like to think that this was a fluke. But a good restaurant should serve consistent quality, in my opinion. If I ever go back, and I might, because I want to believe, and my experience changes, I’ll update this post.

Banana dessert at Saigon Pearl
Banana with tapioca pearls in coconut milk
Type of place: Vietnamese restaurant
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes

Website (French, English): http://www.saigonpearl.ch