7th March 2010

Xiang Yi Vegetarian Heaven

15 Wu Chang St, section1, Taipei, Taiwan

It’s every child’s dream of paradise: you choose what to eat and have as much as you like. When you walk into the Vegetarian Heaven you pick up a tray and pair of tongs, and are confronted by a vast array of dishes. There is tofu prepared in various styles, mushrooms with a flavour so intense they must have been dried and rehydrated (I’d like to know how this works), the greens the Chinese do so well, broccoli, various other vegetables, a dark dish based on sea vegetables, a satisfyingly not-too-sweet black bean desert and (how far can the borders of Chinese cuisine be extended?) potatoes. You pay by weight; rice and soup are complimentary. This restaurant gives a wonderful insight into a traditional and entirely vegetarian way of eating. The only danger is that, as you work your way through the vast amount of food you piled onto your tray, you will hear a distant voice from your childhood: ‘Someone’s eyes were bigger than his stomach.’

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