回留 Hui Liu

Recently, I’ve been trying restaurants in the 永康街 (Yongkang St.) area of Taipei. There are lots of restaurants, and some over priced boutiques and bookstores around there – kind of like a Taiwanese Harvard Square. One of the bookstores has a bunch of old used stuff – it can be quite interesting to see advertisements from 30 years ago and what state of the art used to be.

Along Yongkang St., there is a park, and at its corner, a highly rated vegetarian restaurant called . I decided to try it out, despite it having a very nice decor. As I’ve said before, in Chinese areas, if the decor is good, the food likely is not.

Maybe I didn’t get to try the good food this time around. There are sets available on the menu, split into A, B, and C. The set menu dishes I wanted to try were all in categories B and C, but only category A was being served tonight.

I ended up getting a set with a Panini, since I wanted to test something else – my current level of lactose tolerance. Since I started methyl-Vitamin B12 supplementation three weeks ago, I have noticed a lot of positive changes in my body. Some aren’t obvious and need to be tested. One of the symptoms of B12 deficiency online is lactose intolerance. Though I’ve been intolerant all my life, it could be that I have been B12 deficient all my life as well. So far, I don’t feel nearly as bad as I would have in the past from eating so much cheese. But it still isn’t perfect. As for the taste, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either – and not really worth the cost. It looked pretty nice:

I also followed it up with some natural leaven bread they had on their menu. They talked about it coming with pesto, but I was very underwhelmed by the amount of pesto it came with – good to use on a single bite of bread, and that was it. I also was not impressed that it came with butter and not olive, flaxseed, hempseed, or some other oil with health benefits. The only thing butter could do is help me see if the lactose would bother me or not.

Tea  was in an earthen pot at the end, with some overly sweet congee served on the side. As I finished my meal, I recalled that 心之道, which I went to a few weeks ago, also served foreign-leaning organic vegetarian food. I was fuller when I left that place (though to be fair, my B12 supplementation has increased my appetite considerably), and I very much liked their glass teaware.

The person I was with also did not feel full. That person had a hot pot, which for 320NT brought this:

All I can say is that Qiaoyuan is a better value, and much cheaper at 180NT. The Qiaoyuan hot pot also continues to be heated at the table. Since my original report, I also have these pictures of some other hot pots I got there:

Back to tonight, I was far from full. I had another restaurant in the area to test, 一品山西刀削麵, located at 台北市永康街10-6號. It is not entirely vegetarian, but they did have a dedicated menu for vegetarians, which included both daoxiao noodles and dumplings. Compared to the 謝師傅素食園 place I went to before, these daoxiao noodles were chewier and not as dry. But the Hainan University cafeteria still easily beats the noodle dish in both flavour and volume. The dumplings tasted like all that was stuffed inside were glass noodles.

What can I say? I still was hungry, so I went to a nearby Sababa location and ordered the falafel and soup I love there. I was finally full.

However, I must say the rice from my rice cooker beats all three places. So at least my expensive new rice cooker is doing its intended job – to make me want to eat at home because the food is better than eating out.

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