It has been ages since I last caught up with vegetarian food blogger extraordinaire, Adaline Lau of Doufu Mafia. So when an opportunity to have a night of vegetarian home cooking courtesy of Something Fresh, I knew it was the perfect time to indulge myself with a night of vegan knowledge, food stories and delicious anecdotes.
The ingredients arrived in large boxes. It was almost like I went berserk on ASOS and bought too many pairs of shoes! After the initial shock we dived in with glee at the colourful packaging for the food within.
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It may come as a surprise to you, but not many Hong Kong-ers fancy vegetarian food. At least, not in my circle of friends. When I floated the idea of having a vegetarian meal, I met with an array of ridicule, from the polite to the downright rude.
“Well, what else do you feel like having?”
“Oh, is that in Causeway Bay? I just know this neat little hot pot place nearby…”
“Why the f*ck do you want to spend your money on rubbery fake meat? Get a life”.
Of course, I am exaggerating. But only just. Vegetarian meat – fake meat, faux meat, whatever you want to call it – is not to everyone’s taste. Though after my experience at Ying Vegetarian, I couldn’t understand why not.
My partner-in-crime for the night was Adaline, whom enlightened me on the story behind vegetarian meat. It was told that in ancient times, Chinese emperors visiting Buddhist temples were welcomed by the monks with such meat, effectively fusing vegetarian practices with the taste of the meat-eating royalty.
Counterfeiting meat? Perhaps. Ying Vegetarian did it with such perfection, it was impossible not to be dazzled by such gastronomical wizardry. Throughout the meal, often I had to take a pause and remind myself that hey, I was NOT eating meat. This piece of delicious looking sashimi in between my chopsticks is not of piece of salmon; it was a piece of non-meat sashimi expertly made from soy, tofu and similar ingredients.
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As an avid fan of Lonely Planet which preached the spirit of spontaneity, I am always about straying into uncharted (or, in this case, unreviewed) territory as I explore new places. Sometimes, the mere act of hunting down a place to have dine out at a particular area is so exhausting, it took more time then the meal itself.
So during my Sunday’s excursion to Shatin and Taipo, imagine my surprise to discover a vegetarian restaurant right at the top of hill, in the midst of the complex of temples.
Then again, why should I be that surprised? With the number of tourists thronging around, someone gotta give them food, especially after the hike up the 400 odd steps. It can be grueling during summer days.
But to my (other) surprise, this place has not been reviewed on OpenRice.com. And not even on vegetarian websites. So here I am to introduce you to the pleasant discovery of Vegetarian Restaurant At The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery at Shatin.
(Yes, I don’t know the name of the restaurant. I suspect they don’t have one)
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