I have to say, being a vegetarian nowadays is probably much easier than back in the old days (how long ago, can’t say. Just making an assumption). Vegetarian food can be so versatile and it’s no longer just tofu and greens, although a lot of mock meat is still made with tofu or soy protein components. I went on a vegetarian diet for 30 days and it actually went pretty well! I did not stuff myself with carbs this time around but I’ll say this… tofu does not fill you up for long! And I don’t like beans. So I would fail miserably if I were to give up meat for life.
There’s not many vegetarian restaurants in town, but one such one would be Ambrosia Veggie House, who serves Pan Asian Chinese Vegetarian Food. They are both vegan and vegetarian, and has a pretty vast menu! I find their location interesting as it’s located on the side of Avatamsaka Sagely Monastery (華嚴聖寺) – I’m not sure if the monastery opened the restaurant.
My family decided to try out the restaurant with me. Here’s what we ordered:
Spring Rolls – $4.75
I didn’t try these but I imagine they were just simply stuffed with vegetables. Served with plum dipping sauce.
Satay Skewers – $6.75
These were made with very firm soy nuggets and was on the spicy side!
Crunchy Seaweed Sticks – $8.75
These were seaweed wrapped firm soy nuggets, deep fried, and coated in a sweet and sour sticky sauce. I enjoyed the chewiness of this.
Mashed Potato Tofu Pockets – $12.75
Bean curd sheets stuffed with mashed potato and then deep fried – they were nicely flavorful but the bean curd sheets were way too chewy. I think if they can use something else, like a puff pastry to get that nice, melt in your mouth texture, then this would be a lot easier and enjoyable to eat.
Jade Rolls – $12.75
I’m no stranger to this. These are vegetable stuffed bean curd rolls which I used to eat a lot of. I love that savoury gravy that atop it!
Sweet and Sour Bean Curd Rolls – $12.75
This is pretty close to the real thing with all the right flavors and vegetables that normally come in a sweet and sour pork dish!
Lettuce Wrap – $14.75
I thought the faux meat mixture was done really well (tasted really good on rice), but was a bit taken back with the five lettuce leaves they provided. Yes, five. We had eight people – six adults minus my two kids. I’m pretty sure lettuce is cheap…
Stir Fried Mixed Greens – $10.75
A plate of Shanghai bok choy sauteed with a good amount of wok “hei”.
Eight Treasures Tofu Hotpot – $14.75
This was kind of bare. They didn’t substitute anything for the “meat” so it was just tofu and vegetables.
Shanghai Style Chow Mein – $10.75
Your standard Shanghai noodles, minus the meat.
Assorted Fried Rice – $10.75
A simple vegetable fried rice with faux meat bits. This was particularly tasty for some reason, and my brother’s gf mentioned that it was fried with a lot of oil… ah, that’s probably why. And it also had really good wok “hei” too!
This was actually a very tasty meal, but it is on the pricier side as portions were also on the small side. However, it takes a lot more effort to turn something non meat to make it taste somewhat like meat!