Tian Ci Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 14 reviews )

1006 Victoria Rd, West Ryde, New South Wales, 2114

Tian Ci (Heavenly Compassion) offers Chinese and some Malaysian vegetarian dishes, daily yum cha. Food is vegan, but desserts are not. Feb 2016 reported still operating. Open Mon 11:00am-3:00pm, Mon 5:00pm-9:00pm, Wed 11:00am-3:00pm, Wed 5:00pm-9:00pm, Thu 11:00am-3:00pm, Thu 5:00pm-9:00pm, Fri 11:00am-3:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 11:00am-3:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-9:00pm. Closed Tue.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Take-out, Asian, Catering, Malaysian

Reviews (14)

First Review by Lea

Good variety and friendly service - Edit

I love the complementary oranges & biscuits at the end of the meal.

Favourite dishes:
Tom Yum Noodle
Pineapple Fried Rice
Mongolian Kebab

Pros: Complementary Oranges, Complementary biscuits

Cons: Expensive

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Best vegan restaurant - Edit

Always friendly service and all (but 3 items on the dessert menu which have dairy listed) are delicious and vegan! The Mongolian kebabs, satay chicken skewers and 2 course duck are the best!

Pros: Friendly staff , Amazing food , Reasonable prices

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reasonable price with 5* service - Edit

Very friendly service, as soon as the waitress heard the clinging sound of our tea pot, she immediately came and refill with hot water!
The food was alright, have had better vegan dim sum elsewhere, but very reasonable price for what it is. Spent $30 for two person.

Pros: service

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one of my favs - Edit

This is our favourite vegan Chinese restaurant in Sydney. Make a booking as it can get packed. All of the dishes are good. I've put up heaps of photos for you to check out. Restaurant has a small family business kind of feel. Highly recommended.

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taro fish - Edit

taro fish isnt good. i like taro but this tastes like glue. but havent tried anything else so will come back again.

Pros: almost all vegan, nice staff

Cons: taro fish is gross, some dairy products in desserts

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hidden gem! - Edit

It would be easy to miss this place on an otherwise urban street. Inside the staff are welcoming and lunchtime is popular. As another reviewer mentioned, the steamed pork buns are very tasty. There is a large menu, varied dim sum, and a bargain specials board.
The food is very tasty. It's Chinese style with lots of mock meats. The portion sizes are good. Would definitely come here again.

Pros: tasty food, cheap specials

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Great Food! - Edit

Love this restaurant for its food, we stop by for lunch every time we are in Sydney. Reasonably priced, and meals are a good size.
The only massive downside is the way the staff 'hover' over you while you are eating. I find it really off-putting. It's like being an exhibit on display for them. They watch ever so closely, waiting for that last piece of food to leave the plate, and they swoop on in, take it away and the process starts over. I guess if you live locally takeaway is always an option.

Pros: Delicious food, Reasonably priced, Good sized meals

Cons: staff behaviour somewhat off-putting

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Tasty food and lovely staff - Edit

All savoury dishes are vegan and there are plenty of mock meats. I took my omini hubby and he loved it. If you're gluten free like me, thhere are tofu options as well.

The decor is low-key, no effort really but the prices reflect that. They also do takeaway.

Pros: yummy food, lovely staff, affordable

Cons: Cash only

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Indifferent about this place - Edit

I've been here once. There was nothing bad about the place but nothing that would bring me back. It's standard Chinese fare and heavy on mock meats. Nothing stood out as exceedingly good. But there were plenty of vegan options.

The thing that bothered me most is that it felt very tacky inside. If they upped the decor a bit it might make it a better experience.

Pros: Plenty of vegan options

Cons: Inexpensive

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huge selection - Edit

One of the better Chinese vego restaurants in Sydney. Big menu selection of fake meats, prepared and served in the method of the corresponding traditional meat dish.
A rare gem in Sydney, definitely worth visiting.
Friendly helpful staff can help with menu selections. Menus in Chinese and English.
This place does not serve meat.

(Don't know why the title says "maybe closed" - the place fed me in November 2012)

Updated from previous review on Thursday December 06, 2012

Pros: good food, interesting food, good value

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NOT YUMMY Yum Cha - Edit

I went to Tian Ci on a strong recommendations of a friend who said they have the best vegetarian yum cha in Sydney. So off I went with a great expectation, but the yum cha dishes fell awfully short. Firstly, you have to wait more than 30 mins to get the dishes out. When the dishes finally arrived, they don't look as good. The har gau (vegetarian prawn dumplings) looked frail and the pastry looking not fresh and broken, then the taste was just absolutely bland and not fresh. The same thing happenned with their sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, vegetable dumplings, and the vegetable BBQ pork buns. Really disappointing. Later I had a strong feeling that those yum cha dishes were probably already frozen and heated as ordered. But why took so long to serve? I have tasted much better - the best yum cha is still Green Gourmet at Newtown!

Another day I came at around 2:30pm and the waiter told me that the kitchen already closed (well they wrote their closing time is supposedly 3pm) and the chef could not make anything for me. After I begged (since I had to travel 1 hour to get there), the waiter finally agreed to cook one dish for me but not to dine in, but only to take away. I chose the lunch special, crispy soy chicken with rice. It looked good and tastes good too. But I felt disappointed by the service and the yum cha.

This is a thought:
Opening a vegetarian restaurant is supposedly not for profit, but more to promote vegetarianism/veganism by giving convenience to fellow vegetarians/vegans and people who started to learn to be a vegetarian. We are doing our bits to contribute to this earth, and since we know being vegetarian is still quite difficult for most people, vegetarian restaurants are there to provide convenience so more and more people will be willing to be vegetarians, right? But why, most vegetarian and vegan restaurants have to open late at 11am and then to closed between 3pm-5pm? This is not a total convenience for some who did not have time to lunch by midday. Maybe because there is only one chef in the kitchen? But it does not make sense...... Think about this, restaurant owners! You carries a noble task to propagate vegetarianism to everyone! So do it with all your heart! If your motivation to open a vegetarian restaurant is profit, then you are absolutely lost!

Pros: Good lunch specials

Cons: Terrible Yum Cha, Half hearted service

3 Responses
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Lanky 22 Oct 2010 - I have a couple of points:
try adding some salt. Food at many vegetarian reataurants taste bland because they go way too low on salt, thinking that that is healtheier.
I have a question, if they dont make profit, how do they pay the rent? how do they pay their staff? how do they pay themselves?
Also, it should be noted that the second half of your review is completely nonsensical... if profit were their only motivation, then they would serve you without hesitation at 2.30pm. The fact that they close for a couple of hours shows that rest is more important to them than making a couple extra bucks.

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TheVeganOfAus 23 Sep 2013 - Wow MaitreyaBelmore. That's quite a call to expect others to operate non-profit. If they all did that I suspect there'd be many less listings on Happy Cow.

Each to their own. If *you* want to "contribute to the earth" then please consider living and promoting vegan.  

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VeggieLover911 09 Nov 2013 - We go to this restaurant at least once a week for yum cha and LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! There have been times when the service has been slow due to volume, but about 95% of the time it's great! I would definitely recommend it for yum cha! The prices are great too! In our opinion, and contrary to MaitreyaBelmore, we feel the yum cha at Green Gourmet, Newtown is greasy, heavy and so-so...so, I think that it's really a matter of taste and just depends what you personally like! Also...completely agree TheVeganOfAus on the non-profit issue!!! Think that the generalisation that, "Opening a vegetarian restaurant is supposedly not for profit" is just that...a generalisation and quite off-base!  

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Nice Place - Edit

All the dishes I have had there have been good. The steamed 'pork' buns are my favourite. Good yum cha selection. Really good service.

Pros: yum cha, service

Cons: only cash

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Good for yum cha - Edit

This is where we go for yum cha since the tragic closure of Pitt Street Vegetarian. You order what you want from the yum cha menu and then the dishes come out one or two at a time at regular intervals. You need to be judicious in ordering - some dishes are a bit greasy and there is a predominance of fried foods and not many vegies available. Haven't got around to trying the non yum cha dishes yet.

Pros: Yum cha

Cons: Lots of fried food, Not enough vegies

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  Contributions +176

Great Place - Edit

I ate here even before I went vegan! They have yummy food, great prices and if you hang about, out comes fresh cut orange and orange biscuits for dessert for free. They don't have a dessert menu that I can recall. They have mock roast pork which i enjoyed when missing meat. Some of the fried things are a bit heavy. They have vegan moon cakes around the chinese moon festival time which I think is sometime around March-May each year.

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