Dreaming of plant-based pizza and pasta? Cheat day has never been so conscious.
Vegans and vegetarians who have been hankering for nothing more than an indulgent slice of pizza have had their wish come true this week. PizzaExpress has just become the latest chain in Singapore to cater to the city’s booming plant-based population with the launch of a sustainable menu called Verde. Not only for veggies and vegans, but these dishes have also been designed to be delicious for a variety of palettes. And they are so good, you might not be able to tell the difference (psst check out our video below on exactly this).
Verde, which means green in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, presents a range of vegan and vegetarian dishes topped with plant-based meat alternatives from Beyond Meat and Omnipork as well as dairy-free cheeses from Daiya. Now you can opt for vegan-friendly dishes like Curried Beyond Beef pizza, Omnipork Penne al Aglio Olio and Mushroom, and Black Truffle Risotto, which are offered alongside PizzaExpress’ regular menu full of classic pies.
But what’s a pizza without meat?
Verde isn’t just for vegans – it’s for anyone looking to live more consciously and swapping your pepperoni for a meat alternative is a good place to start. And if you’re dinner date is a hardcore carnivore, you can always “forget” to tell them because Beyond Meat has been known to fool more than a few meat eaters.
The idea behind the new menu isn’t at all about preaching veganism, it’s more about simply leaning into a sustainable diet by lowering the consumption of meat.“With such a clear need to reduce consumption of meat globally, we wanted to introduce a menu with some great-tasting meat-free options, for all diners; not just vegans and vegetarians”, says Nick Freeman, General Manager at PizzaExpress Singapore.
But is it as good?
We hit the streets of Singapore and blindfolded a few people to find out if they could tell the difference. You’re welcome.
When you think of vegan food, you probably think sad and tasteless.But we've got a little secret.. vegan food has changed!From Beyond Meat to Omnipork, we blindfolded some folks to see if they could tell what they were eating and change their perceptions. Why? Cause why not, and also to celebrate that PizzaExpress, Singapore has just launched a full vegetarian and vegan menu. Oh yes. #LittleGreenSteps #LiveMoreConsciously #Verde
Posted by Green Is The New Black on Sunday, 17 February 2019
Is the menu sticking around?
While sampling the new menu at its launch, Nick also confirmed that while the menu may change and evolve, it’s here to stay because so is the sustainable movement. “This is clearly the future,” he told us over several mouthfuls of guilt-free pizza. “And to make it a significant part of the future, you have to normalize dishes. But you can’t just be gimmicky and tell people they need to try Beyond Burger, they have to have genuine flavors that would encourage people to adopt this kind of diet.”
PizzaExpress’ Hong Kong outlets were the first to launch a sustainable menu around half a year ago with Green Monday and they approached Singapore to do the same. They declined at the time because they didn’t want to create just one or two dishes, they wanted to take the time to create a full menu and demonstrate that they are really committed to becoming a greener and more sustainable brand.
This isn’t the brands first venture into sustainability, they’ve long been applying #LittleGreenSteps at their restaurants. Besides providing menu transparency, they only offer straws on request, they have stopped supplying cutlery on deliveries, they have replaced plastic bottles with glass bottles, limited in-store temperatures to 23-25 °C, only use LED lightbulbs that are programmed automatically depending on the time of day, and they track food waste on a weekly basis at each outlet.
You can already dig into the PizzaExpress Verde menu at all outlets throughout Singapore and if you can’t wait for a visit, get it to your door with Deliveroo. Check out this list if you are looking for more vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Singapore.