Respond to Review of Happy Veggies
Review: First things first, kudos to the owners as they hire people with hearing impairment to help them with self-reliance. What's more, they promote fair trade so they also have a small selection of those groceries for sale. The big heart aside, food was delicious and healthy at the same time. I was very pleased with the fact that they only use natural foods to prepare their dishes, no fake meat, none, nada, which is a breath of fresh air compared to most other Chinese vegetarian restaurants in town. As we were here for the first time, we were recommended four of their most popular items on the menu. First was the taro fish: a classic dish made with mashed taro, shaped in a fish mold, pan- or deep fried, and usually served with a sweet and sour sauce. Theirs was pan-fried and was very yummy, slightly crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, went well with their homemade tomato sauce. Second dish we had was steamed dumplings with dry pickled Chinese greens and water chestnuts. The filling combination itself was pretty creative, was mildly sweet and had a little crunch to it because of the water chestnuts. Then we moved on to another classic: braised vegetables in a red fermented bean curd sauce served in a clay pot. For those who are not familiar, it usually contains assorted vegetables (napa cabbage, carrots, celery, just to name a few), tofu products, cellophane noodles, and some kind of mushrooms. I have always loved this sauce and enjoyed this one as well. The last dish was the baked rice with pumpkins and taro, which was also the one that caused some confusion. Obviously eggs were marked on the menu, but not dairy. I told them to leave out the eggs and asked if they also used dairy in the preparation, they said no. When it came it was covered in cheese, so I explained to one of the staff again and he kindly exchanged it for me. Vegans, make sure to inquire about dairy ingredients because they are not indicated on the menu. Back to the dish, it was sooooo good, the hint of ginger really spiced it up, but then again I love everything ginger! Dessert was sweet osmanthus jelly and was freebies. The setting was clean and, like most Chinese restaurants, on the bright side, not much for ambiance. But who goes for Chinese for that anyway? Serving size was generous, which left us stuffed till the next day (I must admit though we might have ordered a tad too much); still we felt great knowing that we helped others and society as a whole.