During my visit to Koh Tao, I had the pleasure of trying some of the most unique plant-based food, but I couldn’t find it just anywhere on the island. I had to head down to Sairee Beach and stop at Delish to get it. I was so happy with everything I tried, that I wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of this new plant-based restaurant.
I met with Stephanie Morris, the owner of Delish, and immediately knew that her bright and confident personality was behind the restaurants crowd pleasing menu. “My personality is written all over the page,” she says. Delish had only been opened for two weeks when I went in early March 2019, but there were already dozens of visitors (plant-eaters and meat-eaters alike) stopping in to see what Delish is all about.
It all started at the age of fifteen when Stephanie began following a vegetarian diet and cooking for friends and family. Although this was her passion, culinary school was never right for her. “No one can teach you how to cook like this…” she says. It’s nearly impossible to find a culinary school that doesn’t focus on animal-based foods. Stephanie used her passion for cooking healthy, plant-based meals to really think outside of the box, and after spending some time around the food and entertainment industry in Shenzhen, China, she made a name for herself and began selling “Nomaste” nice-cream. Using all plant-based ingredients, she sold these delectable treats around the city. Not so long after, she started selling on-the-go quinoa based salads. They were easily customizable and ready to take with you anywhere you needed to go. Pretty soon, she was opening her first plant-based restaurant, dubbed as a “hipsters paradise,” called Green Room, the first Westernized Restaurant in the area. Unfortunately, Green Room closed, which left Stephanie in a rut. But after an inspirational trip to Italy, her love for plant-based cooking resurfaced and she headed back to China to start Delish, a menu planning and food delivery surface that she ran from her home. In 2017, the beginning of Delish was thriving, so Stephanie decided to try once more and uprooted Delish to Thailand where she renovated and old dive bar on Koh Tao. This new, welcoming restaurant is serving her awe-inspiring food and catching the attention of travelers from near and far!
What Delish Is All About
Exotic fruit, bbq tofu, fresh juices… you name it, Delish has got it. But it’s like you’ve never eaten before. Each item on this menu has a little something special to take you by surprise, whether its vibrant + juicy pomegranate seeds added to the Charcoal (yeah, activated charcoal rice paper wraps!!) Rainbow Roll, or cardamom used in the most secretive, yet “Delish” way, you’re meal will leave your mouth watering + wishing you had room for more!
Stephanie says her philosophy behind Delish is to make “damn good food that just happens to be vegan” and show people that vegan food does not need to be boring, and she does exactly that. Stephanie has taken an ‘all are welcome’ approach and been careful to not detour people away by using the “v” word. Instead she opts for “plant-based” and let’s her eccentric menu do the talking.
If you’re anything like me, after taking a look at the menu + trying just one bite of your food, you may find yourself thinking “How is this even possible?!” According to Stephanie, what makes the food (+ drinks) at Delish so…well…DELISH, is not just her passion for plant-based cooking, but the island of Koh Tao itself. Some might think that working to create unique recipes on this small island could be difficult, but Stephanie simply searches markets around the island to see what they have to offer and creates from there. “We have a mulberry bush in the back yard…” Stephanie brought up while discussing where her inspiration comes from. She didn’t just want to throw some mulberries on top of a salad, instead she whipped together a chocolate mulberry cheesecake + a sweet mulberry sauce. I guess its easy to see where the name comes from now, because that is Delish! Stephanie also mentioned that many of her recipes have been inspired by her travels around the world, making some of her dishes a fusion of cultures. Stephanie has a clear plan for Delish and you can see it in every detail.
The Future of Delish
Although Delish is fresh and new Stephanie already has big plans for its future. “Desserts..a bakery…collaborations…the future is plant-based…” Pretty soon we’ll be seeing Delish expand from Koh Tao, to South East Asia, and onto the rest of the world.
Menu items at Delish range from $1 USD to $15 USD.