Shan Yuan Tang

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 2 reviews )

117, Desing East Rd, Tiamu, Taipei, Taiwan, 111

Vegetarian restaurant in Tianmu District serving local style set meals, fried rice, noodles, as well individual hot pot. Open Mon 11:00am-2:00pm, Mon-Sat 5:00pm-8:00pm, Tue-Sat 9:00am-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Take-out, Taiwanese

2 Reviews

First Review by holdwine

Delicious, healthy, great value - Edit

For TWD100, or less than USD3, I had a delicious set lunch of 5 vegetarian servings accompanied by brown rice: the best jicama and mock beef, 2 servings of dark leafy greens, pickled cucumbers, and another mushroomy mock meat; a bowl of very good Malaysian curry with mock chicken, potatoes, carrots, fungus; and a bowl of clear daikon and carrot soup. It hit the spot. The chef-owner's friendly and helpful daughter set the tone for living up to the restaurant's name, which roughly translates into Congregation Place of Kindness. Yesterday she patiently translated the menu into English for me, to accompany the photos already there. When I returned today, she'd already written out an English version of the menu. There are a lot of choices on the menu. By 1:30pm, the hand-made mock fish set had already sold out. I'll just have to go back again. The air-conditioned restaurant is very clean and comfortable in its simplicity, with lots of natural light from the store front windows, and is perfect for a wholesome, delicious, and quick meal.

DIRECTIONS: Nearest MRT Zishan station on the redline, one stop up from Shilin, and five stops before the famous hot springs of Beitou stop. The restaurant is probably a 15 minute walk from the Zishan station: head north od Zuhua Rd, turn right on Dexing W Rd, once you cross Zhongshan N Rd (where SoGo is), Dexing W becomes Dexing E Rd. It's at least a 10 minute walk straight up Dexing E Rd, past Lanes 81 (on L) and Lane 90 (on R). The restaurant is on the left, after a traffic light, after a bakery, and opposite 7/11 and Watsons. After lunch, if you keep heading in the same direction on Dexing E Rd, you'll see a real nice coffee shop 3 short blocks away, on the right, at the junction of Zhongsheng Rd. Called 44 Cafe, I think.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday November 18, 2015
Updated from previous review on Wednesday November 18, 2015

Pros: Many delicious choices, Great prices, pleasant and quick service, Clean, air-conditioned, well-lit

Cons: Closed from 2pm to 5pm, Not open till 11am, Closes at 8pm

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Proper vegetarian cooking - Edit

This used to be my local and go-to place whenever I'm too lazy to cook or think up where to eat. Learning that it was moving all the way across town (40 minutes by public transport!) was probably the blackest day of my life. And when I eventually made the trip and discovered that they had changed their consistently magnificent self-service buffet with all-you-can-eat rice to individual sets where you choose a main served with one bowl of brown or white rice and five side dishes, that day became the blackest day of my life. It soon improved, however, on finding that the cooking hasn't changed - Shan Yuan Tang's chefs (yes chefs) understand the subtle art of bringing out the naturalest flavour of a vegetable by the most considered seasoning, which is what vegetarian cooking should be about. Having said that, their mock meat dishes are also rather appealing for being made in their own kitchen rather than in a factory. I heard tell that the head chef is consultant to many of the luxury hotel restaurants when they need to come up with vegetarian dishes, though it is his daughter who does most of the cooking these days while he spends his time volunteering in northern Thailand. This is probably the connection to their signature Southeast Asian style curry and packets of peanuts roasted with lemongrass and chili. One other signature dish that I can find no better is the braised bitter gourd (cooked for two hours until soft and caramalised), but, alas, it is now only occasionally available as a starter. In any case, this is the one restaurant where I would say everything is worth a try, much as I will continue to lament the changed format each time I ask for another bowl of rice.

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