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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Le Veggie, Jalan Radin Bagus

Whether it's just my ignorance, or there's just not as many vegetarian/vegan restaurants around, I don't know. But I have noticed a couple of such restaurants near my place, and I finally got off my butt to try one of them.


Le Veggie is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant situated on Jalan Radin Bagus, next to Tutti Frutti. What sets this restaurant apart to the other Buddhist veggie restaurants I've been to (one in SS15, the other one opposite the One Academy) is that it looks more like a cafe/boutique hotel lobby than anything.


However, once you get past that facade, you're face to face with a large-group-friendly restaurants - a row of 4-seater tables on the right, and all the others are large tables. Did I mention that the place has WiFi and is air-conditioned?


Anyways, the menu houses a fair variety of dishes, from regular veggies, to vegetarian meat (a.k.a "fake meat of self-deception" to some people), to desserts. Le Veggie has their own homemade herbal drink, that we had to accompany our meal.



We ordered three dishes to go with rice (available in white or brown) - claypot tofu with assorted mushrooms and vegetables; sweet potato leaves stir-fried with ginger and fermented bean sauce; and vegetarian mutton dry curry.


The claypot tofu was not bad, but nothing much to shout about. I do like the fact that the snow peas weren't cooked through completely. I never would have thought that I would prefer certain veggies crispy/crunchy now.


Fermented bean paste is a popular seasoning for vegetarian dishes, since using garlic would be too strong. In Chinese, it's called "fu ru", meaning fermented milk, or in this case, tofu. I guess it would be considered an acquired taste, but I love the fact that you can actually taste the paste in this dish, as opposed to just tasting the vegetables as I've tried somewhere else.


I have a bone to pick with people with opinions about vegetarian meat. This "meat" is made out of soy and/or flour to resemble the texture of meat (i.e. chicken, mutton, fish, etc), and cooked in many different ways. While mushrooms are already an excellent meat substitute because of its texture, but some individuals opt for the "fake" meat for reasons of their own.


Personally, I find "fake" meat pretty much a wonder, but in moderate amounts. Being a meat lover, I love the chewy texture of any meat, and "fake" meat gives me the texture without the meat itself. The whole point I became vegetarian is because I wanna go meatless, and here I'm getting my "fix" without having to kill a lamb. So please, if you have an opinion on "fake" meat and why vegetarians seem to be "betraying themselves" when they eat "fake" meat, just keep that thought mental.


Back to the dish itself. I like that the curry wasn't too spicy, but had a kick, and it had a good assortment of veggies in it (as opposed to a lot of other curries with just a mush of blended seasonings). Dimensions of flavor were a little lacking, though.


Overall, it was a pretty good meal. The bill came to MYR53, including a homemade red bean paste that my sister ordered. Pretty typical for vegetarian food, but reasonable enough.


Food - 8 / 10
Environment & ambiance - 7.5 / 10
Location - 9 / 10
Price - 7.5 / 10
Service - 8 / 10

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