Po Lin Monastery

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 21 reviews )

Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands, Hong Kong, China

Vegetarian canteen restaurant & take away cafe within Po Lin Monastery. Fixed menu in the canteen. Seats 300+. Meal ticket includes admission to the Tian Tan Buddha museum inside the big Buddha. Access via 25 min cable car trip from Tung Chung or much cheaper bus trip from Mui Wo ferry terminal or Tung Chung station. Warning: some non-vegan desserts may use beef tallow. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-4:30pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buddhist

21 Reviews

First Review by Petesternz

Light and filling - Edit

I had the “deluxe” menu which you can buy just at the bottom of the buddha statue, which allows you to enter the museum as well. The food was good for temple standards where usually no salt or garlic is used. I was eating alone so the portion was huge for myself. Good pumpkin soup, mushrooms with leafy greens, vegetables plate, bean curd rolls and normal fried rolls.

Fair price considering it is HK, the only let down is neither of the three eating areas give you a temple experience or setting if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s pretty much like a normal restaurant (the deluxe option at least, the normal one didn’t look better at all).

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Quick canteen food - Edit

There was a choice of 2 set meals, we went for the cheaper option. The food came quickly and there was so much for the 2 of us! The food was ok, nothing special, but cheap and the meal ticket gave you access to inside the Buddha statue. The meal was vegan, as far as we could tell. We did ask, but due to the language barrier the lady selling the tokens didn't know what we were asking. As we went thinking it was 100% vegan, we decided to go ahead.

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Average food

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Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong - Edit

Their attention to vego detail seems poor. Outside the canteen they have a cafe named Deli Vegetarian Cafe. For an alleged vegetarian place its disappointing they sell ice cream that clearly isn't vegetarian. Namely the ice cream has beef tallow in the ingredients. Can the rest of the food they provide be trusted as vego?

Updated from previous review on Friday April 17, 2015

Updated from previous review on Saturday October 31, 2015

Updated from previous review on 2015-11-02

Cons: Sells non vego ice cream (made with beef tallow)

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Delicious! - Edit

After a stunning cable car ride I headed for the Pol Lin Monastery for the vegan lunch. I wasn’t disappointed, it was huge! Copious amounts of rice, spring rolls, lightly battered tofu, a gelatinous pumpkin soup with glass noodles, very interesting mushrooms on a bed of cabbage, asparagus with cashews, mushrooms and peppers and a huge pot of tea.

Pros: Awesome meal topping off a lovely afternoon

Cons: none

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Dissapointing experience in the Po Lin Monastery - Edit

I went to the Po Lin monastery a couple of weeks ago and I was quite excited about the vegan cantine that there is inside the monastery.

Unfortunately, the experience didn't live up to my expectations. The food wasn't specially good and it had a lot of MSG. The only positive thing about the food is that the portions were quite big, so it is not so overpriced as one might expect in such a touristic location.

I would recommend anyone going to the Po Lin monastery to have lunch somewhere else before or after the visit, as this place is not really worth visiting.

Updated from previous review on 2017-07-18

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Mediocre food

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Fun touristy part of visiting the Big Buddha - Edit

We ordered from the ticket counter in monastery. If you buy a ticket for the Big Buddha museum at the bottom on the steps to the Big Buddha, you can also include your meal on that ticket. You show them your ticket when you enter and they deliver a set meal.

Since the Big Buddha is a tourist attraction, this is kind of a tourist trap I think. The food is so-so. It’s not very flavorful, but I admittedly coat most of my food with hot sauce, so maybe others would disagree. But it’s kind of cool to eat in a monastery, and if you see it as part of your visit to the Big Buddha, it’s a fun time.

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-09

Pros: Touristy (if you like that sort of thing), Accepts credit cards

Cons: Touristy (if you don't like that sort of thing)

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Great chinese food - Edit

We took the more expensive course and had a great experience with traditional chinese dishes. The orange tasting tofu was great and I just loved the mushrooms, great spring rools and a great soup with it.

I was a bit dissapointed on the setting since I was hoping it to be a more of a buddhist themed restaurant and not just the feeling of a cafeteria.

Well worth a day trip with the Ngong Ping 360 and a beautiful temple, dont miss the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas!!

Pros: Great location for tourstis, Great chinese food

Cons: Boring room, the place didnt have a "fresh" feeling

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fat - Edit

Fat dishes
"Cheap" cooking
Poor choosing

But many sweets if you like ☺️

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Great meal in a great locale - Edit

We had the standard set meal for 98 HKD per person. As a group of three, we got tea, rice, soup, and four dishes.

The soup was light and tasty - a nice change from the heavy veggie fare that we've been having in HK the past week. The dishes were crispy fried veggie rolls, veggie chicken and bell peppers, black mushroom and bok choy, and soft tofu and corn. All of the food was delightful.

There was a lot of food, so it was very good value for 98 HKD.

Pros: Good value, Quick service, Tasty dishes

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Healthy, filling vegetarian experience - Edit

Although skeptical, my husband and I bought the general meal ticket before we headed up the steps to visit the Buddha statue. It was nice to be able to walk around inside the temple, which had many paintings. There were not many English translations. It started to rain and we found our way over to the restaurant, which is located on the Monastery grounds. The general meal was more than enough food for the two of us. It came with warm soup, rice, tea, lots of veggies, tofu, and a fried vegetable roll. It was the healthiest meal we had since arriving in Hong Kong, which was a refreshing change from the fried and overly salted food from earlier in the week. The deluxe meal also looked delicious, however we didn't want to try the fake shark fin soup. We prefer vegetarian food that doesn't mimic meat options, especially shark. We ate in a large room with many other tables. The table and layout was very simple, which we liked.

Pros: Healthy, Pre-arranged meal, Plenty to eat

Cons: some fake meat, crowded room, not much service

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good food - Edit

We had set meal in the restaurant and the meal was quite nice. Serve a mock shark fin soup followed by a sweet lemon mock chicken dish, stir fried mixed veggies which was our favorite and mushrooms on greens, spring rolls and rice. Affordable and a good value .

Pros: several pricing options and variety of food

Cons: a bit of a tourist trap

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Unfortunately not good - Edit

I have been in this restaurant with two friends. After three weeks of travelling through Asia we have eaten in many different vegetarian restaurants and I have to say that we had the worst food of those three weeks in this restaurant. We were all very disappointed because the food was nothing special and the tofu was wobbly. You expect more when you pay 80HKD just for one meal. Moreover right next to this restaurant there is another vegetarian fast food counter where the food looked so much better. So better save the money for the meal ticket and eat at the other place!

Cons: expensive

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not worth the hype - Edit

We had high expectations for this one but overall we were disappointed. We chose the "regular meal" rather than the "deluxe". It was quite a bit of food, four dishes plus soup and rice. Three of the dishes were very gelatinous and bland. We didn't notice until after our meal that there were "seasoning stations" where one could get sauces and such -perhaps that would have made a difference but I am not confident. We didn't eat at the little take out cafe but felt it may have been a better option. The staff were lovely and very quick.

Pros: friendly staff, big portions

Cons: not very tasty, bland soup

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Lovely location and good food - Edit

Superb meal - very good food & a lovely location

Pros: good food, inexpensive, relaxing

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Vegan donuts !!! - Edit

If you eat in the monastary, it's free to go up to the giant buddha. You can also eat in their cafe where there are a lot of pastries such as donuts !!!

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Yummy! - Edit

What a really great place! There were two options - regular at 63$ or deluxe at 100$. Well, we went for the deluxe and were really happy with what we were served. The deluxe ticket entitles you to the VIP section (but still very busy!) and the aircon was very refreshing. The food was superb. We had a kind of thick soup to start off followed by 4 plates of food which were 1 - fantastic mushrooms over some fresh green leafy veg 2 - a tofu dish with a lovel;y lemony sauce 3 - a plate of very fresh mixed veg containing asparagus, peppers, ceery, Japanese type mushrooms, cashew nuts and other veg that I don't know the name and 4 - a plate of spring roles. They gave us a huge pot of jasmine tea too. Well worth it and one of the tastiest meals I have ever had.

Pros: great food, aircon , good value

Cons: noisy, but happy noise

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ordinary - Edit

A very ordinary restaurant. We chose the deluxe option but after our meal I thought the cheaper one might have been better. The service was fast enough but not all that efficient. We had to ask someone for some sauce. The food was not very good. It felt like being in a factory. Very unpleasant.

Pros: vegan

Cons: cheap food

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Lovely restaurant on a lovely spot - Edit

When visiting the big Buddha you can combine this with a visit to the Po Lin Monastery restaurant. In fact when you are there you should not miss it. From central Hong Kong its a bit out of the way because you have to take a train and the cable car. When you buy an entry ticket to the monastery grounds you can also buy a restaurant ticket. They have two options, the regular or the delux meal. I would say the regular meal is good enough but if you want to splash out go for it, this is a good place to do that. The food is fresh and crisp and the service is fast and efficient overall in a peacefull athmosphere.

Pros: good athmosphere, good food

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great day out in hong kong - Edit

What a bargain! For $60 HKD per person (approx $10 Aussie) you get a meal that would even fill the Buddha's tummy. As a smallish eater, I always carry a snap lock container with me to save wasteage... let me say that my container didn't go hungry this day.

Anyway, the food was definitely good, and if you keep your meal ticket, and you can also go free into the building with the huge Buddha on top.

Taking the cable car up there is spectacular too!

Note: The restaurant is not well signed to get to, but obvious when you find it... it is in the monastery grounds. You can see it on the large map sign near the Buddha's steps. It is not the one with the garish 'tea house' signs.

Don't expect a quiet meal either...it gets busy...and noisy. But its happy noise!

Pros: generous serves, fun location, great value

Cons: small eater might waste food, more like a 'mess hall' than 'serene'!

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Simple tasty food - fabulous surroundings - Edit

English webpages here - http://www.plm.org.hk/blcs/en/1-2.asp Map & basic directions here - http://www.plm.org.hk/blcs/en/e.asp Getting there - pretty much any Airport Bus will drop you at Nong Ping - double check with the bus route map. In my opinion, for "ambience" this is the best place to visit for light eating & contemplation in Hong Kong. A place of compassion. Take at least half a day for your visit. Great walking - wear strong shoes. It is perfect as a temple where you can eat so I give it 5 Happy Cows.

Pros: Photogenic, Clean air, Great value

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What a gem! Worth the cable car trip! - Edit

We visited this place the other day. There are only two choices of what to eat: the regular or deluxe version, with the latter supposedly better food and with nicer resto. (There is a cafe as well which we did not visit). What a delight! Exactly what veggie food should be. Fresh, great tasting, with subtle and distinct flavours. All four dishes a hit. Here's a hint: go with a group, as they serve in groups, and the more you are, the more variety you get (same price.).

Pros: beautiful, fresh, great surroundings

Cons: remote location

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