Five years ago, I’d never imagined the words ‘cheap’, ‘vegan’ and ‘fast food’ to be in the same sentence. But that is what I’d describe Amazon Vegan Diner in Kuala Lumpur — cheap vegan fast food. By cheap I mean relatively affordable as one burger can cost as low as MYR 12 / USD 3 just like any fast food chain.

As the name suggests, they serve 100% vegan food and beverage products which are all produced in-house. That is why their tagline is “feel good fast food”. Upon hearing about this new diner restaurant at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara, I wanted to try it for myself and see if I would feel good eating this fast food.

Double Smash ZeroLamb

If you’re an Amazon Vegan virgin, it’s recommended that you try The Little Vegans which is a set of three mini burgers, each with the three different flavoured burgers they have i.e. ZeroLamb, ZeroBeef, and ZeroChicken.

While I was one such virgin when I visited on Dec 5, I decided not to go for that because the price was more than double the Single Smash burger even though smaller but with three flavours.

So instead, I went for the Double Smash ZeroLamb. Smash is just a cooler way to say ‘patty’.

Taste: I was completely blown away! The taste was so much like real lamb. I was shocked and amazed. The fact that they could replicate the taste of lamb without using actual lamb is phenomenal!

Portion: Decent. It looks small but it’s actually just nice.

Price: MYR 15 / USD 3.40

Rating: 10/10

Strawberry Milkshake and Fries Set

Taste: The milkshake was really good and it had actual pieces of strawberries! The fries were thick and satisfying.

Portion: Suitable as a snack. It might be a little bit filling if you order the burger as well so bring your container if you can’t finish. Luckily, my friend Suba was with me to lose my Amazon Vegan virginity so we shared this set.

Price: MYR 17 / USD 3.80

I find it funny that this set is more expensive than the Double Smash ZeroLamb burger. It seems like they need to reconsider their pricing including the three mini burgers. And I hope that they will not increase the prices severely.

Amazon Vegan Is Amazing But…

Taste-wise, they really hit the nail on the head. Prices are indeed affordable. Each of the meals I ordered cost under MYR 20 / USD 4!

However, there are a few things that can be improved.

    1. Remove the word ‘vegan’. It might be too late for them to do this but one can always rebrand. Don’t get me wrong, I usually encourage people to not shy away from the V word. But in the case of the F&B industry, if we’re to attract non-vegans, the first impression matters a lot and sadly the term vegan does have a slightly negative connotation. I’d rather they do what Lord of the Fries has done in Australia — not mentioning the word vegan at all unless someone asks so the unsuspecting non-vegans wouldn’t even realise the food is plant based. And when they do, their minds will be blown away thus creating a positive experience.
    2. Add burger + fries + shake combo set. Their current sets don’t include the burgers and it’s a shame. If they can find a way to keep the price affordable while giving the option of this set of three food items, that would be perfect.
    3. Reusable utensils for dine-in. Currently, they serve the food on a tray lined with paper and the milkshake in a disposable paper cup. I understand they may be short-staffed and that they’re trying to emulate fast food. But if they’re still keeping to the diner concept, then at least use reusable glasses for the drinks. They could potentially create a masterpiece of a milkshake with vegan whip cream or ice cream on top.
    4. Be transparent with the ingredients. As far as I’m aware, they haven’t disclosed the ingredients used in their food items. I’ve checked both their social media and website. The only information they give is that it’s 100% vegan, which apparently we should just trust by that statement. I might have asked the server but I have no recollection of it. Regardless, they should disclose the ingredients at least on their website so that people can decide whether the food is suitable for them. Being transparent would only increase trust with customers.
    5. Expand to other parts of Klang Valley. I know that this is only the beginning but it would be nice if they could expand quickly as a fast food chain like Veggie Grill in Los Angeles. Veganism, plant-based eating, and healthy diets are on an upward trend in Malaysia so this is a great time to expand and test the market. While the food is affordable, the location in Mont Kiara mostly attracts the middle to high-income range of people. I’d like to see how it fares in places like Bukit Jalil, Petaling Jaya, Subang, Shah Alam and Klang.

Rooting For Amazon Vegan

Despite the food not being so healthy, I would like to try other items on the menu like the tacos and burritos as well as the other two burger flavours. They also have other milkshake flavours and also soft-serve ice cream which I would like to try next time.

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