I was in Melaka for a durian trip with Lindsay over the weekend. She’s a vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no animal byproducts) so we went to Chin Hua Vegetarian Food for dinner. I think this is only the second or third time in my entire life that I’ve gone into a vegetarian restaurant. It’s not high on my list of preferences since I eat just about anything, including exotic animals like dog, snake and rat. I have no religious or social taboos against any type of meat. I just don’t discriminate like that.
The woman manning the place looks Thai but she speaks fluent Mandarin. They have a rather popular chap fan service. I saw quite a few people eating here, including a large family. Lindsay chose six items for RM 6 from the warmers and I tried some of them. I thought the fungus was quite decent. It doesn’t taste bad at all but I feel like they use a lot of seasoning, oil and salt to boost the taste profiles.
This is the Vegetarian Water Chestnut Ball (RM 5). It’s made to order and you can either choose to have it fried or boiled. This is the latter – it’s actually meant to be an analog of the ubiquitous fishball soup. The water chestnut balls have a springy and yielding texture like a fish ball and the soup is flavored the same way. I would never have guessed that this was made with water chestnuts. It’s remarkable! It really eats like fishballs.
I had the Sizzling Mee (RM 5) which came with generous portions of vegetables. The meat is replaced with mock meat (either gluten/seitan or soy) in a variety of textures. It was alright. The noodles are perfectly edible, just not downright delicious. I feel like this is one of the problems with vegetarian food, together with over-seasoning to replicate meat or enhance neutral flavor profiles.
It was a great experience though. The meal just cost RM 16 for two and I wouldn’t have stepped foot into a vegetarian or vegan place otherwise. My parents don’t do the vegetarian cuisine during CNY thing coz they’re Christians so I have limited exposure to such food. I would eat it again but not by myself. I’ll be perfectly happy to go with a vegetarian or vegan though. That’s about the best thing I can say about vegetarian food. Haha.