April 06, 2016

The Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen

This small, hole in the wall-ish place in Scarborough serves up some delicious vegetarian/vegan food. Rich and I discovered it one day while doing random Google searches online and upon having dined there twice in a week, we were left wondering how had we never been here before.

Jai (vegetarian dim-sum), a dish consisting of a combination of gluten and bean products marinated in an array of sauces like curry, sweet/sour and other savory flavours. There's mock BBQ pork, goose and duck just to name a few.

Our favourite noodles of all time, Gon Chow Ngau Ho (stir fried beef noodles). I'm obsessed with the beefy kind, but don't miss the beef in this meatless version. It's made with mock beef and the flavours are just as good, with a good amount of "wok hey". I've got Rich hooked on it too. It's available spicy, or non-spicy.

This dish consisted of fried tofu cutlets with mixed vegetables, on a bed of steamed broccoli smothered in a mushroom based sauce. A little bland in flavour and the tofu pieces were a little gummy, presumably from the starch used to hold it together. I took the leftovers home, sliced them in half and panfried them with a little Maggi seasoning and it was delicious. 

Dan Dan Mein. While there are different combination of toppings and soups, these particular noodles were served with preserved vegetables, chili oil, Sichuan pepper in a peanut-ty soup base. The wheat noodles were cooked perfectly- not too chewy, just soft enough. I would have appreciated a little green onion for a bit of a bite, but considering how expensive they are right now, it's understandable. The entire bowl only cost $4.50!

Following our first bowl of noodles, we also ordered a bowl of Beef Noodles. The menu didn't state whether or not they were soup noodles, stir fried or served with sauce, but we were open to surprise. As it arrived, we were happy to see noodles in a wannabe beef broth with slices of soy beef, florets of broccoli and chilies. Unfortunately we found the entire bowl to be bland and the only flavour to be from the soy beef. Womp womp! But, because the Dan Dan Noodles were so good, we just scooped the beef/noodles/veg from the flavourless broth into the spicy peanut bowl. No big deal.

One of the best dishes out of both our visits, Stewed Eggplant in Sauce. Rich and I both love eggplants and having them cooked this way is one of our favourites. Caramelized and soft eggplant pieces served in a savory sauce. Perfect accompaniment with rice or noodles or anything! I'll be honest, the veggies are fried in a lot of oil and it's not a healthy dish, but having been craving it for the last couple of days, I caved and decided to make it at home. Less oil and totally delicious.

I used the salt, dry and starch method and cooked the eggplant in batches to get that yummy brown, also charred flavour.

Veggie Spring rolls, filled with an assortment of mushrooms, carrots, cabbage and other goodies. Huge hit with my little cousin, who savored every little bit of crunchy goodness. 

Satay Beef, with mixed sweet peppers, pineapples and mushrooms. Slightly sweet, a little tangy with a bit of heat. Super saucy and a perfect accompaniment with rice.

Stir fried Pea Shoots, super fresh and tender, served with oyster mushrooms and carrots and smothered in a savory sauce. We really liked these greens. 

Braised Fried Tofu served over steamed rice. It was a little on the bland side, but nothing 
a little soy sauce and chili paste can't fix. 

Overall, two great experiances and we'll be visiting again. The food was fresh, arrived quickly to the table and the portions were quite generous. It smells quite strongly of inscents, so if that sort of thing bothers you, go ahead and order take out. Service was typical for a Chinese restaurant (speed over service), but bonus points for understanding English and my best attempts of speaking Cantonese. We arrived at around 6/6:30pm both times and were seated right away. An hour later though, the restaurant started filling up and was full. If you're looking for a clean and cheap vegetarian/vegan place to eat, go check out: 

The Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen
3290 Midland Ave, Unit 9
Scarborough, Ontario M1V 4W8
(416) 292-7095

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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