My First Veggie Dim Sum Experience

When you go for dim sum in a typical Chinese restaurant, there’s a limited selection for vegetarians and vegans. In Hong Kong, there’s a few Chinese restaurants specifically catering for the vegetarian/vegan population. I’ve never been to one of these before until 2 days ago. I was quite excited to see how the dim sum would be in comparison to traditional dim sum.

After going to the cinema at Langham Place in Mong Kok, I was ready to eat. Armed with HappyCow, I scoured their pages to see what veggie/vegan places were nearby. As it turned out, M Garden Vegetarian was less than a 10 minute walk away.

Although I can speak and listen to Cantonese, unfortunately I can’t read it. As with every Chinese restaurant, the English menu is limited in options. My Dad wasn’t with us this time so we had to order from this one. We opted for steamed, boiled and pan fried dumplings, turnip cake, sushi rolls and siu mai (traditionally pork and shrimp dumplings).

Turnip cake with XO sauce
Vegetarian sushi rolls

The turnip cake was tasty and was quite similar to its meaty counterpart. I like kick to my food so this dish was served with XO sauce. Likewise with the sushi rolls, these were delicious. I was skeptical at first as I love love love fish sushi! But these veggie rolls fulfilled my sushi fix, 7 months later! I’m a big fan of dumplings, in all the ways that they can be cooked. The pastry of the steamed, boiled and pan fried dumplings were great. However the flavouring was a let down. The vegetable fillings could have been seasoned with more attention as they were bland. Even lashings of dips couldn’t lift any flavours up.

Beijing dumplings, boiled

Finally the siu mai. Before I turned vegan, siu mai were one of my favourite things to order when going yum cha. Of course, I haven’t eaten this dumpling for 7 months but I still know the taste and texture. Ordered for my brother, as the pastry contains egg, he ended up eating one and didn’t want anymore. I ate a veggie siu mai and it was a very weird experience. The texture was mushy and I don’t exactly know what it tasted of.

As a first veggie dim sum experience, I’m undivided as to whether I like it or not. I definitely need to try out at least another veggie Chinese restaurant to get an idea of the veggie concept of dim sum.

Unless you’re hungry in Mong Kok, I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to travel to M Garden Vegetarian. There’s more vegetarian/vegan Chinese eateries out there that I’ve heard great reviews about.

The Nutty Noodle

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