Veganism is becoming increasingly popular as a worldwide trend and Lima is no exception.
People are starting to become more conscious about their impact on themselves, the planet, and other living beings. Although Lima does not abstain itself from this fad, restaurants are having trouble catching up with the times. From the few vegan options available in the city, one of the most recognized is “El Jardin De Jazmin” or “Jazmin’s garden”
Once you enter the establishment you recognize immediately the alternative vibes from the dream catchers on the ceiling to the yoga events plastered on the front door.
There’s even a book swap station. The restaurant holds various events within the establishment and can even hold private events (and it is certainly spacious enough for most anything.) Apart from their own events, they also move a lot of other “alternative lifestyle” events. The aforementioned yoga meets theatre, parties, markets, etc.
While the ambiance definitely has a positive air about it, the food is in a totally different contrast. First off let me say that the food doesn’t taste bad. In fact, their barbecue sauce was pretty impressive. But 80% of the menu is veggie burgers or veggie tacos (which is really a veggie burger in a homemade soft taco shell) and they were spilling everywhere. The pile of napkins was almost as big as the plates. Each comes with a spicy huancaina sauce (which really shouldn’t be spicy) and French fries.
We also tried their “champi-cuchos” a vegan play on anticuchos. They were undercooked and didn’t really have much flavor to them not to mention that by themselves they really wouldn’t fill you up. For drinks, they served us a coconut lemonade and agua de Jamaica (hibiscus water) that I initially thought were sweetened with stevia, I was later informed that they were sweetened with panela (dissolvable molasses) but when I went to try it again, it just tasted like stevia. I have nothing against alternative sweeteners, but if you’re going to use something sugar based, it should taste sugar based.
My final thoughts on El Jardin de Jazmin are these...Although the food and drink are lackluster, the ambient and livelihood of the place make it an interesting hangout spot. But if you’re going to pay around s/.23 for a veggie burger keep in mind that the portion and flavor are on point, but keep an eye out for the napkins.
Main Photo: Veggie Taco (Joseph Diaz Romero/Living in Peru)