# Sunday, January 31, 2010

Although the first vegetarian recommendation I have for foreign visitors would be Long Men Lou in Nan Lian Garden for the 2 in 1 value (scenery + meal), the spending there is quite high, for mid range budget vegetarian meal, if you happen to be in North Point and looking for vegetarian restaurants, there is one that you can visit.

The restaurant - Three Virtue vegetarian  - can hardly be noticed on the street but it has a actually big space on the second floor of a old fashion department store - Wah Fung Chinese Department Store - (華豐國貨) that sells a lot of budget Chinese theme antique and souvenirs (so you may hit two birds in one stone too).

While they offer vegetarian Dim Sum, you can order regular dishes, such as pineapple-coo lao meat (菠蘿咕嚕素球), fried taro fish (芋頭魚) etc, which I would suggest instead of an all dim sum meal there, my favorite is actually their vegetarian soup, like this Vegetarian shark's fin soup with elm fungus and tri-shreds (榆耳三絲素羹):

It is good that you can order for 1 person

The dim sum quality varies, and on gourmet perspective, it would not be able to be compared to regular dim sum definitely, but I think many people who eat here are doing so for religious reason, many Chinese style vegetarian cooking may not be good for health in a way, as some cooks may tend to add oil, salt or even MSG heavily to spice up the dish, which ironically, makes the dish not as healthy as it is supposed to be. I would not tend to believe that this restaurant would carefully try to avoid that.

The one on the left is no good - Chicken sheet roll (雞扎), the one at the right is good, but still too oily - Steamed beancurd sheet roll (鮮竹卷)

The service quality is getting better as they have improved a bit in recent years (it had been bad and I would not rule out chances of having bad experiences in the future), the environment is also somewhat less comfortable due to the noise, and I experienced bad 3G and phone reception at my table.

They also have a take-out counter on the ground floor, they offer assorted vegetarian food for HKD 20 (8 kinds) and HKD 25 (10 kinds) respectively, many senior people would queue up to order during lunch hours, these are good for take out for simple in-room dining at Hotel, as these vegetarian gluten (齋滷味), especially toyo gluten (豉油齋) is quite good for me.

This is a vegetarian option in area around North Point that I would accept for occasional dining, but if you are willing to travel farther, there are actually better options.

As I mentioned, many people would go to vegetarian restaurants for religious reason, there are days where such restaurants may be full and crowded, such as Buddha's birthday (8th day of 4th month in Chinese calendar and May 21 in 2010), or 1st and 15th day of the month (well, it is again, Chinese calendar), for conversion of Gregorian-Lunar Calendar, Hong Kong Observatory has kindly provided tables for you (http://www.hko.gov.hk/gts/time/conversion.htm)

Address in Chinese: 北角 英皇道 395號 僑冠大廈 1樓
Address in English: 1/F, 395 King's Road, North Point
Tel: 2856 1333

Sunday, January 31, 2010 4:10:07 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, July 16, 2009

I talked about the positive environment impact of taking vegetarian food, I guess even not considering environmental protection, a lot of people are already doing so for health reason. In the west, salad probably is the most common vegetarian option, personally I find it too plain, and in Hong Kong, vegetarian food can be extremely attractive!

There are many good vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, but there is one that I would recommend everyone to try at least once, Long Men Lou (龍門樓) combines a scenic Chinese style garden with great vegetarian food, the restaurant is located at Nan Lian Garden (南蓮園池), a nice place that you can spend a whole morning, and have a great lunch before leaving, but I would suggest that guests arrive early or have a booking to be sure, coz the place is not big and spaces are limited.

The restaurant may not be easily found within the garden, but actually it is located just behind the waterfall, be patient and you can get there without hassle. The garden itself is only a few minutes walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station.

Address in Chinese: 鑽石山鳳德道60號南蓮園池龍門樓
Address in English: Long Men Lou, Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill
Tel: 3658 9388

* The garden is also commonly called "Chi Lin Jen Yuen" (志蓮淨苑) by local folks, but in case you really can't find the place and need to ask a local folk who does not speak English well, mentioning "Chi Lin Jen Yuen" will probably help.

Officially no photography is allowed within the restaurants, so I can't take pictures for all the dishes ordered, but generally most of them are good, though the price may be a little above average, but considering the environment, it is expected that the cost may be higher than those outside of the garden.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:07:58 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)