Monday, 26 December 2011

Restaurant Review: the Minder chain

Many people complain that vegetarian self-serve (buffet-style) restaurants often sell low-quality, oily, cold, unappetizing fare. Minder Vegetarian (明德素食園; “Míng-de”; is here to correct that view at more than a dozen locations in northern Taiwan (here).

Most are in Taipei’s middle-class Da’an, Xinyi and Beitou districts, but there are branches in the high-density commuter suburbs of Xindian and Luzhou of New Taipei City, and a couple in Hsinchu as well. Today’s NOMM review is of the convenient (for travelers and central government workers) Taipei Main Station branch, upstairs at the northeast corner so one doesn’t even need to leave the building when changing between mainline, high-speed or MRT trains.

At NT$25 (ca. US$0.80) per 100g, the food is more expensive than at many similar establishments, but the quality is higher than most too, the taste of each vegetable is clear and different. A plate of vegetables with a side of rice usually costs between NT$75 and NT$150; that in the photograph (left) costs NT$125 (ca. US$4). Soups cost NT$20~60 and canned/bottled drinks NT$20~35.

 Beyond this, different branches of Minder sell different extras. The Taipei Station branch has shuijiao dumplings (NT$60), various dry noodles (NT$60~70) and soupy noodles (NT$80~109), baked noodles or rice (NT$160), and slightly strange pizzas such as Thai style soy-bacon pizza (NT$110~230).

During the peak 12~ lunchtime rush, seats can be hard to get, but things quieten down after that.

Address: 2F,
No. 3 Beiping West Road
(not that this will help much, just go upstairs at the northeast corner of the station)
Tel. 02-2361 3566
Hours: ~
NOMM fake meat index: 2 (low)

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