Lacto-vegetarian restaurant adjacent to Chung Tai Museum on the grounds of Chung Tai Chan Monastery. Offers set lunches with rice, vegetables, and faux meat plus sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee. Aug 2015 reported no soymilk. Nice setting. Price: Moderate more-less
Lacto, Chinese, Western, Taiwanese
2, Zhongtai Rd
Puli, Taiwan 545

Mon-Sun 11:00am-5:00pm



First Review by JesseD
  • vegan

Not for Vegans

Posted on 08 / 04 / 2015

While it's great that Buddhism in Taiwan keeps its vegetarian roots (unlike Japan, Tibet or SE Asia) it's disappointing that Buddhists in Taiwan choose to turn a blind eye to the suffering of dairy cows. Like most, this cafe is 100% vegetarian and virtually 100% non-vegan. Even after a nice long talk with the staff I wasn't able to order and get a vegan meal.

Staff understood I didn't want dairy products, and claimed that most of the set meals were vegan, however the pudding still contained cream and the main dish had fake ham, which is virtually never vegan (from Buddhist establishments).

My guess is that by labelling what's vegan they would be acknowledging there's something lacking with consuming dairy, so it's better to just pretend the issue doesn't exist? It's such a pity when Buddhism, as it's taught here, is all about compassion and service, but somehow the cows are left out.

I was assured that the bagels were vegan (they apparently checked the ingredients). They promised me one without cheese, however they still included butter and fake meat. One staff member admitted it was butter, and suggested I give it to someone else?!? The other tried to insist that it was (melted) mayonnaise, turned bright yellow by mustard. I know the fatty taste of butter, and that it was.

The original Happycow listing noted soy cheese for bagels. I think the reason for this confusion is that staff say that vegans can eat their cheese because it comes from a "natural farm" where cows are milked by hand. They do accept that cows are killed when they stop producing milk, but it doesn't seem to bother them, possibly because they believe the bad karma will go to the person who eats them, not the person who uses their milk.They don't even have soy milk for drinks (or Chinese tea) so virtually the only vegan drink available is black coffee.

Two stars because the staff understood veganism but couldn't be bothered making a meal, so I left hungry having wasted money.

There's also a restaurant just outside the temple, but they were even less knowledgeable/helpful. The staff member I talked with just burst out laughing when I asked what was vegan, saying it's all vegan, and then when I explained the dairy she said just two dishes used dairy, but the chances of that are virtually zero. It would be wise to bring food with you to Puli!

Pros: beautiful interior, attached to temple museum
Cons: virtually nothing vegan, staff not interested in helping vegans


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Last updated: 2015/08/03


Added: 2011/12/03


Added by: cvxmelody