If you're in charge of writing the menu for a seafood restaurant, you might be wondering how you can be inclusive of vegan and vegetarian diets without risking the integrity of your image. Menus that have a running theme are often popular, and are a great way to present a cohesive 'look' for your entire establishment--but what can be done for people who can't order anything including a seafood restaurant's whole raison d'etre? Read on for a few great ideas for tying inclusive, plant-based food into your menu's overall aesthetic.
Embrace the other bounty of the ocean for a little variety.
Fish, crustaceans and other aquatic creatures might be your first port of call when looking for oceanic dining staples--but they're far from being the only options. Aquatic vegetation, for example, is good for a lot more than just sushi! There are actually loads of types of edible seaweed; the most popular kinds are commonly known as agar agar, arame, dulse, kombu, nori, sea palm, spirulina and wakame--some of which you almost certainly know about already. They each have multiple uses, and can be whipped up into all manner of inventive vegan and vegetarian dishes.
It's also worth thinking about the ways you can introduce unexpected and interested salty tastes to new things using only the finest coarse sea salt--particularly, of course, dessert items. Caramel is most famous for this, but salt is also a great accompaniment to chocolate and to all manner of fruit flavours.
Deconstruct the classics and give them your own plant-based twist.
For those dishes on which you wish to go the 'meat substitute' route--which, rest assured, is often a big hit with people who choose not to eat animal flesh and/or other animal products--it's worth putting real thought into how to do that as interestingly as possible. One great way to do this is to start with the classics: how could you vegetarianise fish & chips, for example, or make a vegan version of everyone's favourite surf & turf?
Battered halloumi is so delicious that everyone will want to try a piece, and goes fantastically in the place of cod. For a vegan option, deep-fried battered beancurd is also a great choice--just make sure you season and flavour the dish well to prevent blandness. Surf & turf, on the other hand, can be easily recreated with tofu scallops and seitan steak. Kohlrabi oysters and soy protein burgers can also work well if they're well seasoned and carefully flavoured. Make sure your sides and accompaniments are on point, and you're bound to wind up with a lot of satisfied plant-based customers!