I just found the lines from the website to be pretty interesting: "After a visit to the Big Buddha and having climbed up and down the long flight of stone steps, you will be forgiven for feeling a bit weak and sore in the legs. Nothing would beat a lull and a cup of tea in the monastery’s vegetarian kitchen and enjoy the special delicacy of vegetarian dishes of the monastery." :)
It is mentioned that "dishes are varied according to the season so that only the freshest vegetables find their way to the table". Now, what would be the best season to dine there, I wonder? Anyway, I ordered the Set Meal priced at HK$65.00 (~S$10.80) per person.
Today's Soup (Set Menu)
The meal started with a bowl of barley-based soup, but without the grains. Served warm, it was pretty hearty actually, although at first it tasted kinda bland. As I drank more of it, I could appreciate the slightly thick consistency of the soup and the natural sweetness of the barley, no matter how subtle.
Deep-Fried Spring Rolls (Set Menu)
Probably the best item of the day due to deep-frying, the spring rolls were full of juicy julienned turnips, carrots and a bit of mushrooms without being oily. It was interesting to encounter the skin which was made of quite a few delicate layers, not the crispy crackling kind of stuff, but brittle like a thin egg roll.
Steamed Beancurd with Light Chili Sauce (Set Menu)
A dish which made me appreciate the natural flavour of corn kernels turned out to be very mildly spicy, as suggested by the name. My only gripe would be on the beancurd which was completely tasteless, even though it was pretty smooth. In fact, it didn't really have that beancurd taste, I wonder why.
Fresh Mixed Vegetables with Beancurd Sheets (Set Menu)
Hmm, beancurd sheets? The only non-vegetable items I saw the other day was the mock meat. Anyway, I enjoyed the dish since the vegetables were juicy and crunchy, and the mock meat tasted quite nice as well. Overall, it had quite a nice balance of flavour without being downright tasteless.
Black Mushroom with Vegetable (Set Menu)
Hmm, the most subtle dish of the day really just needed a bit more salt. Nevertheless, the shiitake mushrooms were suprisingly juicy to the max, somewhat making up for the deficiency.
Comparing the dishes with those in Chi Lin Vegetarian, I find that the former were way more subtle in taste, but that doesn't mean they weren't nice. Service wise, it was highly efficient, but lacking in warmth. Pika's advice: Fancy more interesting food items? The kitchen offers another set meal which, for obvious reasons, costs slightly higher!
Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Kitchen
Ngong Ping Road
Ngong Ping Monastery
(Mon-Sun: 11.30am - 4.30pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,