• Jīng Yuán SùShí Guǎn 京園素食館

  • (1)
  • White Vegetarian

Extensive menu of Chinese and Taiwanese vegetarian dishes including different varieties of noodles, vegetables, and mock meats. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Venue map for Jīng Yuán SùShí Guǎn 京園素食館
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1 Review

First Review by iokan


Points +1663

22 Oct 2019

The adventure continues

A few months ago I attended a presentation by Ken Spector, the face and spokes person of Happy Cow. In his presentation he listed the best places in the world to go for vegans. After visiting the numbers one and two (London and Berlin) it was time to explore number three: Taipei (rankings change, by now it's not anymore).

The purpose of my visit to Taipei was to sample the food and do some sight seeing to kill the time in between the meals. As usual, I started out with the fancy places as listed on Happy Cow ("Plants", "Vege Creek"). Soon I learned: they serve the food I already know. To sample the local cuisine, eat where the locals eat! What I also found out: if you don't speak Chinese, this is quite a challenge in Taiwan. During my stay in Taipei some locals wrote little signs for me saying "no meat, no fish, no eggs, no milk". I could show those in restaurants to be absolutely sure I would get vegan food.

The waitress in one vegan restaurant went one step further and actually advised me some of her favourites (except for her own restaurant, which I obviously visited at that moment). Her recommendation for local food was "Jīng Yuán SùShí Guǎn". She looked up the menu online and wrote down a selection for me, which I could then show to the staff (photo of that note included in this review).

Jīng Yuán SùShí Guǎn is easy to find, when starting Google Maps from the Happy Cow app you'll be dropped right in front. For extra peace of mind I did take a picture
of the outside of the restaurant.

Jīng Yuán SùShí Guǎn is a family restaurant: it's run by a Taiwanese family and its aimed at families. Most tables have 12 chairs and a big rotating plate so guests can easily share food. All relatives of the owners seem to work the restaurant, including grandpa who is watching TV on an iPad in a corner of the dining room. If you're looking for local, this is as local as it gets. And when I entered it could have been a scene from a film: all guests looked up in surprise and if a band was playing they would have stopped abruptly. I wouldn't say I was the first foreigner they ever saw, but the number surely seems limited.

I showed the note with Chinese writing on it and all was good. Also, it turned out the youngest waitress slash dish washer speaks some basic English. I was appointed a table which also seems to be used to store plates on, but that's okay. It's unusual here to have a solo guest here and I understand that they don't sacrifice a 12 person table for 1 lonely foreigner.

The first item on my list was fried dumplings. While this isn't unique, it is special to find a vegan version. The taste was decent, but do keep in mind that fried means fried: it's greasy!

My second item was a plate of fried (or baked?) tofu with some vegetables. This had a more distinct taste, although it did remind me of Chinese food as served in Europe by Chinese restaurants. Again, very oily but that's the recipe. Works great with a bowl of steamed white rice.

These two plates were very filling and I left the restaurant more than satisfied. Also, the adventure was set to continue!

Pros: authentic Taiwanese cuisine, family friendly, cheap

Cons: no English menu, not really suitable for solo travellers

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