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Minder Vegetarian - Taipei Main Station

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 4 reviews )
Contact 02-25595008
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1, Sec. 1, Chengde Rd, Q Square mall food court level B/3, Taipei, Taiwan,

明德素食園 operates many locations in Taipei; this one is at 承德路一段1號京站店B/3, in a food court downstairs from the Taipei Central Station. Buffet by weight, and also offers various made to order soups and noodle dishes. NOTE: Some of the mock meats or other items may not be vegan, please confirm and inform HappyCow.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buffet, Take-out, Taiwanese

Reviews (4)

First Review by eric

huge, delicious array - Edit

In the 3rd level basement food court of a giant department store, called, I believe, Jingshan. The food is very varied and plentiful. If you're like me, your travel companion will be thrilled to be able to get all the meat they want from the other restaurants in the food court.
I got a big plate of food for 138 NTD, or $4.60 US dollars. Couldn't finish! Also, I double checked about the ingredients and was told that no meat, egg or milk was used.

Pros: many choices , food fresh and nicely presented

Cons: I found out that you're not supposed to take pictu


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Minder Vegetarian Taipei Main Station - Edit

Wonderful place for vegetarian food esp when you are near Taipei Main Station, always crowded, price reasonable. Variety of dishes.

Clean.

Pros: Variation of dishes, Location

Cons: Can get a bit crowded


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Minder Vegetarian - Taipei Central Station - Edit

Very good indeed and good value also. My Chinese speaking girlfriend asked what was vegan and was told everything.

3 Responses

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JesseD Staff at vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan will ALWAYS say that, becuase most Taiwanese don't understand the difference between vegetarianism and veganism, especially Buddhists since they don't eat egg and turn a blind eye to the suffering of dairy cows. It's partly because the word for vegan (quan su) is literally "totally vegetarian". Many dishes there, including many on the buffet and most make-to-order ones contain diary products, most likely including all fake meats and salad dressings. It still leaves plenty of options though.

Stevie Hi Jesse,

I am very well thank you, how are you?

To reply to your points if I may please?

1) My girlfriend never used the word 'vegan' in her dialogue with the waitress. She is a Hong Kong girl and is all too aware of the pitfalls of using a word like 'vegan' when such a word does not have even a moderate level of penetration into the the local language and culture. When she spoke with the waitress she asked if any of the dishes had been made with any of milk products, egg products or honey.

2) Using the approach mentioned above seems to generate at least some success in Taiwan. We went to a place here in Jiaosi (Jiaoxi, spell as you prefer between the two) and my girlfriend asked as per above. The waitress immediately pointed to the distinction between the buffet being spread out across 2 different tables. Further it was explained to us that the solid food dishes on one table were without egg etc and the solid food dishes on the other table were to be avoided based on the criteria we had given to the waitress.

3) Based on the description you have given above, this means that all the dishes at Minder vegetarian (and maybe many other Taiwanese vegetarian buffets) are not suitable for vegans? The reason I say this is:-

* your update clearly implies that there are non vegan items laid out in the buffet

* customers then come along and don't serve themselves by strictly using 1 serving utensil per dish. Thus when for example a consumer uses a serving utensil to serve a dish made with dairy in the ingredients, when that same serving utensil is then used for example to serve some green vegetables on another serving plate, that dish of green veg will immediately be cross contaminated with egg cells transferred via the previously mentioned serving utensil.

Your opinion please?

Regards,
Stevie

JesseD Hi Stevie

I'm so sorry I just saw this now while randomly on this page looking for another link! I have no idea if you'll see this, but I'll try to reply now in case. Sorry I missed it last time. I hope you had a great time in Taiwan.

The explanation your girlfriend gave will certainly help to eliminate some dishes. However, I find that most Taiwanese chefs (and many chefs in other countries too) don't consider ingredients which contain dairy products. So labels are given (and wait staff will warn you) about fried eggs, and desserts made with eggs and dairy products, but they virtually always forget mayonnaise and dairy products in fake meat (including most at Minder), or in the fermentation of tofu. I think the reason it's more of an issue here in Taiwan is that the majority of vegetarians are Buddhist, who eat dairy but not egg, or I Kuan Tao, who eat both, so the food is naturally divided up based on egg, but people are unfamiliar and confused by veganism. When you ask about dairy they will honestly try to eliminate food which they've used dairy products to make (pizza is another example) but not dairy in ingredients.

And yes that is a good point about the tongs. Personally cross contamination doesn't worry me much, because if a tiny bit of dairy gets onto my food I'm not supporting the industry. But I prefer vegan restaurants for that reason. That said, I sometimes do avoid the dishes right next to the salads and rolls with mayonnaise, since it tends to come off on the next plate along the line, especially if it's steamed vegetables, where it's sometimes enough to be visible.

Though more upmarket buffets like Minder give everyone a new pair of tongs, I suppose the cheaper places which have one pair of tongs per dish are better for vegans. I had never thought about this.

Thanks again for your reply! I hope you had a great time here in Taiwan. Please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about Taiwan.

Regards
Jesse

Great buffet near the station - Edit

Whenever I pass thru Taipei Station I stop in here. It in the basement food court. The selection is pretty good and mostly vegan. There's also a set menu with a number of good options. Prices are average (buffet by weight), and moderate on the menu section. It's clean and tasty.

Pros: Location, Selection, Mostly vegan


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