I’ve never been much of a meat eater, and I’ve always felt a little guilty when I did eat meat. More and more lately, it has bothered me to eat meat because I have read about how animals are raised and poorly treated to feed us, like this article here. It breaks my heart. I am a huge animal lover, and it breaks my heart to think any of them are being abused.
Anyway, I have been making some changes in my life, doing some things I’ve been putting on the back-burner, and I decided to try vegetarianism for 30 days. I wanted to see if I can do it in Taiwan without speaking Mandarin and to see how I feel.
It’s been a week now – and, so far, I feel great. I have been eating fruits and vegetables and bread and potatoes and popcorn. I can get salad at 7-11 for lunch or eat at the vegetarian buffet near my school. The good thing is that there are a lot of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Taipei, and I am planning to try them all. Ha, ha!
Last night I went with Blair to a vegan Thai place called The Green Room.
Blair had been hearing great things about the food which we found to be justified. The food was fantastic and filling, but the service was so slow.
But – first things first – it was super easy to make a reservation. You can either make one through Messenger on Facebook or call. I called. They spoke English and easily made a reservation for us for that evening.
We arrived a little early, and they sat us immediately. Here’s where things started to break down. It took about 20 minutes before anyone came over to get our order. We ordered appetizers and the main courses at the same time. Throughout the evening, our food came out sporadically and slowly.
First, we got one appetizer, the Vietnamese crispy spring roll – DELICIOUS! It was a fried spring roll with a vegetable bean concoction wrapped in fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. The dip tasted like melted orange marmalade mixed with red chili peppers. The fresh vegetables with the fried spring roll was a unique combination. Loved it!
Next, one of our main dishes came out with a side of rice – the Thai stir-fried veggies. It had green beans, tofu, edamame, tomatoes, carrots, white potatoes, mushrooms, and basil all chopped into small chunks. The texture was nice, the vegetables still crisp, and the flavor spicy and creamy. It was good and very filling.
By now, though, I’m full and we have been here for over an hour. We are still waiting for another appetizer and another main dish.
They finally brought out the next main dish – spicy red curry. This was also delicious and, as advertised, spicy. It had white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, and oyster mushrooms in big chunks. I ate a little bit of this then waited for our final appetizer which was what I really wanted to try!
The Thai style avocado seaweed roll appetizer comes out last and is not what I expected to see. I squash down my disappointment and gamely put the roll together. It is ugly and messy-looking, but I bite in. Holy cow. I would go back just for this. It’s raw carrots, celery, and cucumber layered with noodles and spicy, lemony guacamole wrapped in seaweed. So, so good. I can only eat two of these because I am so full, but I would get this as my meal.
We’ve now been at The Green Room for almost two hours. The waiter brings us a free dessert and apologizes multiple times for how slowly our food came out. *sigh* I will give this place a second chance because the food really was that good, and I’m hoping the slow service was an anomaly. It wasn’t that crowded so I don’t know where the problem was.
Maybe next time I’ll go with zero expectations as to how long I’ll be there and order a little less food.
This was a positive experience for a vegan meal as far as the food goes, and I look forward to checking out other places throughout the month.
What is your favorite vegetarian or vegan place to eat in Taipei?
*First note: I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I used my phone, and it doesn’t take great pictures.
*Second note: I am not a food expert so take my opinions as just that – personal opinion.