Chi Lin Vegetarian

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 13 reviews )

Long Men Lou, Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China, Diamond Hill

龍門樓 is a Chinese Buddhist eatery beside the waterfall in the Nan Liang Garden. Very busy, pre-booking urged. Nearest MTR Diamond Hill Exit C2, then follow signs. Open Mon-Sun 7:00am-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buddhist

13 Reviews

First Review by JohnnySensible

Good but pricey - Edit

Good food, although some dishes were very Western. A bit pricey too. The location is fantastic.

Pros: Tasty food

Cons: Expensive

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Very pleasant... - Edit

The restaurant itself is situation in the beautiful gardens of Nan Lian, when inside your able to see the waterfall outside, giving the restaurant a very unique and lively experience.

As a vegan there are choices, but felt slightly limited with dishes available. That being said, almost everything is sourced locally and organic.

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too popular! - Edit

we called about a week before for a reservation on Saturday night but they were already booked. we wanted to see the gardens anyway so popped in for afternoon tea, but everything was sold out except the sticky rice cakes! still enjoyed those, the complimentary pu-erh tea, and two juices (minimum $50 per person so we had to get the drinks even though we would have preferred tea and snacks). it was a nice experience and the gardens are beautiful, but I wish it wasn't so popular so we could have tried more of the food!

Cons: sold out of everything

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Fantastic meal in a beautiful setting - Edit

This restaurant offers wonderful food in delightful environs. We ordered the 5 course set meal, which included a soup, fried termite mushrooms, sweet and sour wheat gluten, watercress, and agarics with chestnuts in brown sauce. The meal also included tea, rice, and fruit.

I especially enjoyed the sweet and sour wheat gluten. I was pleasantly surprised - I am usually wary of sweet and sour dishes, as they often come up goopy, cloyingly sweet, or imbalanced in some other way. This dish blew my preconceptions out of the water, offering balanced flavors and crisp yet chewy wheat gluten. I also really liked the termite mushrooms, which were delicately battered and fried to perfection. Those were the highlights, but in truth, the entire meal was superb.

Although the meal was pricier than most meals we've had in Hong Kong, we found this to be some of the cleanest, tastiest, and most wholesome food we've had during our stay.

Note: reservations are highly recommended, as they fill up their dining room quickly. However, it is possible to get a seat as a walk-in, if you're lucky. We happened to be lucky and were able to get seating for two without prior reservation.

Pros: Delicious, Beautiful setting, Wholesome

Cons: Pricey

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Chi Lin Vegetarian, Hong Kong - Edit

I attended today as part of a group of 20 with the Meat Free Hong Kong group. I found it very enjoyable as the others appear to have also.

It's very popular and so they don't take reservations for any old time that you want. Instead they have pre arranged sitting times. They had a set lunch deal for 120 HKD which when we ordered a small extra meant the deal came to 130 each. It seemed pretty reasonable to me. The food was very pleasant, the decor is similarly perfectly pleasant, no issues with service and the surrounding garden is beautiful.

One word of caution is on my previous attempt to visit was for the mid afternoon short menu between lunch & dinner. For that they didn't have anything that was vegan friendly.

Updated from previous review on Sunday October 19, 2014

Pros: Vegan friendly, Tasty food, Beautiful setting

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Zen experience - Edit

The restaurant is at the north end of the famous and beautiful Buddhist garden in Diamond Hill. A walk in the quiet garden before dinner calms the mind. Dishes at the restaurant are thoughtfully designed and prepared in Chinese vegetarian style. Food is tasty and innovative. The service is excellent and helpful. The place is bright (not much atmosphere,) clean, efficient with a large window toward the park under a waterfall. No liquor is served here, as usual, as in all Buddhist restaurants. There's a nice dark "beer" made from malt you could order.

On one occasion I had a banquet of three large tables on the second floor of this restaurant and the chef designed a special menu for the celebration. This was the best vegan banquet feast I had anywhere in Hong Kong. Very well thought thru, elaborate and meticulously prepared. The cost came to about $400 per person.

There's also a fabulous teahouse in the park that is very exclusive but the lowest price for an individual order of tea (the selections of which are superb) is more than HK$100. Yet you are invited to sit in a splendid room, with almost no other guests, surrounded by exquisite ceramic paintings and superb service. A few dim sum choices are available and they are exquisite and delicate and inexpensive. A Zen experience indeed.

Updated June 3, 2014

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Best meal of the holiday - Edit

brilliant setting behind the waterfall, exquisite food, definitely the best meal of the entire holiday!

Pros: stunning setting, exquisite food, great value

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Lovely location, limited flavour - Edit

Loved the setting - the walk through the garden to get here was the perfect antidote to a chaotic business trip in HK.

The other good things about this place were that the food wasn't overly oily and that it is possible to get a meal without MSG... but you may have to ask as we did - hard to say what would have come out otherwise. The food we ended up trying was all pretty much devoid of flavour. We are natural foodists and can handle subtle flavours but this was almost beyond that and in the realm of zero. As I write this I am starting to think that maybe our no MSG request may have had something to do with that. hmm...

The other difficulty we had here was that there weren't many vegetables on offer. Typical in Asia, I know, but still not appreciated. If you're not eating 80% vegetables and you are vegetarian I seriously think you need to rethink things. In this restaurant though, it was the usual carbs and dumplings (all containing the same filling) and not much else.

Service was polite and attentive - but you're paying for it too as the prices are certainly not cheap. Probably would come back just because of the nice location but the food wasn't anything to write home about.

Pros: location / ambience, not too oily, no msg on request

Cons: no flavour, expensive, not enough veges

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Lacto-VG - Edit

Nice place but it's expensive and they don't understand what is the veganism.

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Exquisite - Edit

The view is lovely outside, a really pretty place with lots of dishes to choose from. The food tastes amazingly great, really delicately made. Although initially the restricted minimum amount to spend for each diner kind of shocked me, its the right amount of money for a good lunch I guess with the location in mind. Definitely would come back! The dumplings are awesome too.

Pros: Excellent food, Great scenery

Cons: Possible queue for half an hour

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Amazing dining experience - Edit

Came here as a group of four for dinner. We ordered the appetizer platter and a couple of main dishes. Everything was delicious, portions were generous too. On the health side, they only use grapeseed oil in cooking. Simple but elegant decor, quiet relaxing atmosphere, tasty healthy food, attentive staff, what more could one ask for?

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relaxing and yummy - Edit

went for sunday afternoon dim sum after taking a walk in the wonderful park. we had steamed bun with vegetable filling, vegetable dumpling in soup, glutinous rice balls with cashew nut filling and vegetable fried rice. all was very good and tasted light and healthy. i think they have a proper dinner menu as well which is worth trying.

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A step back in time - - - Edit

Well worth a visit -
Chi Lin Nunnery is a Buddist organization established in 1934. It began at the foot of Diamond Hill. At the time, Diamond Hill was not a place for the well-off people. Most were housed in simple wooden huts. With its limited resources, Chi Lin started to provide food food the needed and shelter for the elderly and the small. Chi Lin's major objective was to tender support to the poor and the helpless. With its primary function as a Buddist monastery, Chi Lin has now developed into a non-profit making charity establsihment.
The food provided by Chi Lin is healthy. Chi Lin is responsible for operating the Long Men Lou and will strive for quality. The equipment and layout of the kitchen, as well as the interior design of the restaurant is all in line with the modern highest requirement. The staff members working in the kitchen are well-trained. The cooking methods they used are practical and innovative. On the basis of its well-established foundation, Chi Lin aims at further improving its service in providing vegetarian food and sharing with people its experience and pleasure. Long Men Lou is situated in the Garden. Customers enjoying food inside the Long Men Lou have the Silver Strand and Moon Wash in their full view through the windows. The Mill, Pavilion Bridge and Song Cha Xie are also in the neighbourhood. Long Men Lou has an environment which is hard to come by.

1 Response
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JohnnySensible 22 Feb 2013 - Thank you whoever added "Long Men Lou" - it was on my "pile" of places to add - I am really happy to see it up on HappyCow.
Long Men Lou / the Tang Gardens are one of the sanest areas of Kowloon.
The above is not a real Review but I wanted to make the info more public.
I look forward to reading other members reviews as they visit & enjoy the wonderful teas / snacks!  

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