A smiling, friendly host beckoned us to sit at one of the circular tables near a wall of mirrors. A tea set was promptly brought out, along with a menu filled with an insanely large variety of dishes for a vegetarian joint. I toyed with the idea of sampling some "shark fin" soup since I’m not keen on seafood, but just couldn’t make myself do it. After taking what seemed like an hour to decide, we finally made our oh-so-important choices. For an appetizer, we went with the mushroom and eggplant in spicy sauce (HK$48), and for entrees chose bean curd with vermicelli in curry (HK$50) and braised bean curd with gyrophora and sloke mushrooms (HK$60).
The pastels that colored the interiors really jived with the cheerful, entirely helpful service we received throughout our meal. Our waiter spoke excellent English and made some informed recommendations after we let him know what kind of food we normally enjoy.
Our appetizer was amazing—perfectly cooked with a kicking level of spice. I doubt that even Elzar could cook this dish so well, even with four arms and a rack of spice weasels at his disposal. My girl’s curry arrived in a huge, steaming pot, while my dish was drizzled in a delicate sauce that matched the mushrooms and bean curd rather well. I relished the opportunity to try these new types of fungi, as both are pretty expensive back in NYC.
Lunch at Joyful Vegetarian was just what we needed. There’s also a bakery in the front offering a decent selection of pastries, rolls, and cookies, but we were way too full to think about sweets. Refreshed, we focused on getting to the markets in Mong Kok.
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
February 26, 2004
From journal Hong Kong Rocks!