These seven vegetable-forward restaurants in Taipei will show you how delicious produce can be when you treat them right.
Open 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (closed on Sundays)
Fish sauce is key to the deliciousness of Thai cuisine. With “innovative plant-based Thai restaurant” as it's theme, The Green Room cleverly replaces the fish sauce with tomatoes, fermented for three days at room temperature to create a seasoning almost identical to the original. The tomato seasoning helps to retain the freshness of the plant-based Thai dishes, and other ingredients including a huge amount of chile, lemons and lemongrass, help maintain the sour and spicy Thai flavor, ensuring the enjoyment and satisfaction of every patron.
The most recommended item on the menu is the yellow coconut curry (pictured above). Using fresh coconut shells as containers, this dish looks rich with Southeast Asian flavor, and the coconut milk and flesh within the fruit further adds to the taste. The restaurant has a glass house, and sitting in it on a sunny day to enjoy one’s meal is certainly very poetic.
12:00 noon to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays to Thursdays; 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays (closed on Mondays)
élément has a rich French flavor, and utilizes details such as a red outdoor dining area, crystal lamp ornaments purchased from France, as well as hand-carved murals done up over a half-year period to create a deluxe version of a French bistro. However, as soon as one flips open the menu, all that can be seen will be healthy plant-based dish choices. Amongst these, one of the most acclaimed is the bleu cheese fig crackers with Italian vinegar. (The recipe for this dish was created at home long before the boss even opened the restaurant.) The crackers are crispy, delicious, and immensely popular.
11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays; 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 pm Fridays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)
Chamkar is located near the Shidong Market in Taipei's Tianmu area, and as many expats who are more conscious about their quality of life and financially well-to-do ethnic groups are gathered around here, the ingredients sold in the market are known to be the best in Taipei, thus the natural option for purchasing ingredients amongst head chefs.
The distinguishing feature of Cambodian cuisine lies within the large amounts of fresh spices and fresh vegetables used. The restaurant bases its foundation on this, adding ingredients rich in Taiwanese flavor and produce from small farmers in Yangmingshan, creating fusion dishes filled with both Taiwanese and Cambodian flavors. For example, for the dish “Wedding in Cambodia," the restaurant uses springy Hakka silver needle noodles, curry, coconut milk, as well as other ingredients to present a remarkable taste, making it a signature dish since the restaurant’s opening, and a hit among foreign customers.
11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays to Mondays; 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays
About Animals, hidden within a quiet residential neighborhood, holds strongly the beliefs of caring for animal rights and loving our planet Earth, and is firmly against the use of ingredients like dairy, eggs and meat. The restaurant is committed to developing exclusive and creative plant-based dishes, like the Katz, a handmade “burger patty” of vegetables such as the pleurotus eryngii mushroom, mini corn, cauliflower, potatoes and tofu. The patty is then deep-fried until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, a unique creation used for kimchi and wasabi burgers, with many layers of rich flavors. As they care a great deal for animals, About Animals also takes on the responsibility of caring for stray cats within the vicinity. As seats are limited, the restaurant suggests customers make a reservation.
12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays; 12:00 noon to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays; 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays; 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays
Located in Taipei's bustling East District, Herban Kitchen & Bar isn’t easy to find, even if one has the correct address—the bar is hidden deep in the alleys. Despite it's relatively hidden location, many plant-based diet lovers still frequent the outlet to taste the light snacks and spaghetti, all carefully prepared with fresh ingredients. The bar’s "fool’s sandwich" uses mushrooms to create a flavor resembling the taste of tuna, and a soy milk base to create delicious mayonnaise, amazing patrons, hence earning the name "fool’s.” As its pronunciation is very similar to the Chinese pronunciation for tuna, it's a fun similarity. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of craft beer, many from the west coast of United States as well as Austria, and are exclusive only for the outlet, providing diners with the opportunity to indulge in a little light drinking while enjoying the plant-based dishes.
11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays; 11:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
Yang Shin Restaurant uses a great deal of fresh fruits and vegetables, and offers up to 40 Hong Kong-style dim sum. Not only does the restaurant provide a wide selection, but it also causes one to exclaim: "I didn’t realize Hong Kong dim sum can be presented like this!” Apart from Hong Kong dim sum, the restaurant also utilizes different countries’ culinary methods, creating as many as 80 dishes to choose from, like a vegetarian version of curry skewers and pineapple shrimp balls. The special thing about these dishes is in the restaurant’s ability to use fungi, vegetables and fruits to recreate the texture of meat, leaving a deep impression for diners.
11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The outward appearance of Hoshina is filled with a rich Japanese atmosphere. Looking through the glass windows into the restaurant, one can also steal a glimpse of the space for making the handmade noodles, which enables diners to witness the noodle making process. With skills inherited from Japan’s noodle making guru 糠信和广, Hoshina emphasizes on the use of springy handmade oolong noodles, as well as a plant-and-fruit-based soup stock cooked over long hours. For plant-based diet lovers who’re constantly rushing for time, a bowl of Japanese-style Oolong Noodles is the best choice.
This article was written by Huang Wan Xuan and translated by Foo Chay Yeow. Click here to read the original version of this story.