From Chinese-style dishes and Indian thali sets to 'eat clean' meals, go meat-free at these recommended vegetarian restaurants in town.
The bustling canteen ensconced behind the Dharma Realm Guan Yin Monastery is no secret to the working crowd around Jalan Ampang. Taking centre stage is the chap fan counter, which overflows with at least 50 vegetarian standards such as stuffed tau fu pok, vegetable curry, faux char siew and ‘chicken’ drumsticks fashioned from fried beancurd skin. You don’t have to subsist on just vegetables and mock meat. There are stalls on the side hawking wantan mee, curry mee, doughnuts, barley water, fruits and red bean pancakes that we can’t get enough of.
The vegetarian restaurant’s abbreviated name raised a few eyebrows back when it opened in 2013, but it’s now a solid eatery for good Indian and vegetarian fare. Come for the dahi ke sholay (soft crispy breaded pockets stuffed with hung curd, spices and crunchy vegetables), the satisfying tava masala sizzler (marinated tandoori potatoes, vegetable takatak, jeera rice topped with gravy and a vegetable cutlet), and the tandoori stuffed capsicum cooked in mixed tomato gravy. What tasty food indeed.
The restaurant gives healthy food a good name by catering to different dietary needs but not compromising on taste. Their handmade dumplings (only 50 to 60 pieces are made each week) are delicious, fluffy clouds of finely chopped mushrooms, bean curds, French beans, carrots and turnips encased in a light dumpling wrapping, served with a flavourful soy sauce. Another highlight would be the lentil croquette burger with a beef-like patty consisting of roasted walnuts, mushrooms, quinoa, oregano and Himalayan lentils. Even the carnivores would be impressed.
With outlets scattered across town, Simple Life shuns processed mock meats and focuses on dishes which are high in fibre and low in sodium, sugar and oil – on top of being organic and natural that is. Brown rice is a speciality, and many of the dishes incorporate multigrains, legumes, vegetables and extra virgin coconut oil.
You won’t miss your meat with this place, their ‘mutton’ curry will have you fooled in seconds. ‘Spare ribs’, ‘prawns’, ‘duck’ and ‘fish’ all take a turn as well, in typical Chinese dishes, highly flavoured. If you’re a newly converted vegetarian, or just fancy taking a walk on the healthy side, this is your place.
Come lunchtime, it can be tough finding a seat at this popular Indian vegetarian joint. In the heart of bustling Masjid Jamek, there’s always a lively atmosphere here. There’s a substantial selection of a la carte dishes from Northern and Southern India, but to really appreciate Bakti Woodlands, you have to come for the lunchtime thali sets. The Madras thali will leave you fit to burst, while still attempting to savour all the flavours.