Eat Your Vegetables
Today I went for lunch at one of my new faves. Yuan, located at 400 Sherbrooke East, corner of St-Denis, bills itself as “Cuisine Créative Végétarienne” and it lives up to the description. Run by a Taiwanese couple, this all vegetarian asian resto features some really interesting fare. What I like about the food at Yuan is that even if you’re not normally a vegetarian, everything tastes just as good as “regular” food, so that you really don’t feel like you’re missing out on meat at all. I would be hard pressed to actually identify what some of the mock meats are made of but they are so tasty it’s crazy and to me, they’re the standouts that make me keep going back. What I like is that the mock meats actually have a meaty chewy texture to them which is not the case for most of the simulated meats I’ve tried from your typical supermarket.
Although they have service à la carte, the buffet is a real steal at $6.99 on weekdays and $9.99 on weekends. Unlike some vegetarian dishes which although wholesome, can be somewhat bland and too “granola” at times, many of the offerings at Yuan are intense with flavour as asian food should be. They have a good selection of hot stir frys, soups, salads and assorted other pickings like maki rolls or tempura sweet potato slices but you really can’t go wrong trying a bit of everything. However, the one caveat would be that the variety of dishes seems to fluctuate week to week. Having gone on several different occasions, it seems that some days feature more variety in dishes than others. For instance, the mock General Tao chicken which I loved a few weeks ago was sadly not available today. Nevertheless, I still managed to stuff myself and squeeze in some dessert. Not bad for an all veggie outing!
More about the décor after the jump…
It’s always nice to enjoy your meal in pleasant surroundings and that’s the other thing I like about Yuan. The restaurant is quite spacious, divided into 3 dining areas. The back of the restaurant is really cool because it’s partitioned into little “tea rooms” where diners sit on straw cushions on the floor and eat around a low table. I’m not sure if this is typical of traditional Taiwanese culture but it seems like fun. There’s also a little grocery store section off one of the dining areas where they sell vegetarian food for the home cook. The mock meats can be purchased here as well as sauces and noodles. Personally, I hardly cook at the best of times so I doubt that I will be buying any do-it-yourself ingredients any time soon. I was however, tempted by some of the pretty asian jewellery that they sell right next to the cash.