Lucky is the traveller outside
’s main cities who can find more on offer then rice and noodle dishes, or the ubiquitous buffet. Occasionally one might come across a banquet-style restaurant selling 合菜 (he-cai; “combination dishes”), but these are suited to groups not solo diners. Taipei
The 10-year-old Lianxin Vegetarian Restaurant (蓮心素食餐坊; lit. “Lotus Heart” but no English name) just outside Yilan City’s (宜蘭市) old north gate (北門) has rice and noodle dishes, and offers a variety of classic Chinese-style banquet dishes, according with Buddhist vegetarianism, of course.
But it also offers “individual combination dishes” (個人合菜; NT$150), consisting of one vegetable dish, two portions from the main list of banquet dishes, one soup (rather more fancy than the usual boiled leftovers) and a little fruit.
The dishes include such classics as sweet and sour ribs, three cups chicken; sizzling-plate king oyster mushroom, sweet and sour shrimp balls, lotus leaf steamed tofu, meigan kourou (pork), fish in sauce &c. These are available as full dishes for NT$150-350, meaning four people ordering 4 or 5 dishes plus a soup would spend about NT$1000. The only downside of the “individual combo”, apart from the unavoidable fake meats, is that diners cannot choose their dishes.
For those that want control, there are still a wide range of rice (NT$120) and noodle (NT$70) dishes, plates of vegetables (NT$70) and soups (NT$60). Biandang (NT$60) are available for those without time to sit. Elegant Buddhist art is there for those who do.
price: ca. NT$150
429 Zhongshan Rd. (中山路) Sec.3, , Yilan City
NOMM fake meat index: 6 (high)
No.7 Minquan Rd. Sec.2 (民權路二段); (03)932 8311; `11-14:00 and 17~; 7 days/week
Text and photos copyright Jiyue Publications