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Vege Life Cafe 2,
Jalan SS26/6 Taman Mayang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 016-332 3377/03-7806 2135
Business hours: (Daily) 10.00am-10.00pm.

PERSUADING a meat lover like me to have a vegetarian meal is never easy. I would probably spend more time wondering how the taste of each dish would be or come up with an excuse to take a rain check.

Joann Tang, who turned a vegetarian less than five years ago, agreed that she used to have excuses too but her sister who is a disciplined vegan for more than 20 years inspired Tang to take a bold move towards a healthier lifestyle.

EE4B3618C2BD40148D31A7E2E54DC431Tasty: Deep-Fried Bitter Gourd topped with Marmite Sauce.

Starting was not as easy as she thought. Tang decided to team up with her sister to introduce vegetarian dishes catering to fussy eaters like her.

“Most of the time people do not go to vegetarian shops because they have a bad experience with it or they feel that the food might be lacking in flavours,

“Trust me, they don’t even want to step into the shop and see the menu,” said Tang when met at her cafe in Taman Mayang, Petaling Jaya.

Determined and motivated to change the mindset of such individuals, Tang sat down with her sister and came up with a list of popular local dishes as well as conventional vegetarian dishes.

688799EB69904C45B6A448920D9616F9Thirst quenchers: Staying true to itscafe concept, the outlet offers a widerange of drinks such as the (from left)Ice Blended Red Bean, Yam Milk Shakeand the Ambra juice.

The menu she showed us when we visited her looked extremely appetising even before we could put our orders down.

There were Nasi Lemak, Curry Noodles, Claypot Rice, Fish Head Meehoon, Pan Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Lei Cha, Mamak Mee, Hokkien Udon Mee, Thai Fried Rice, Petai Fried Rice, Spaghetti and Seaweed Fried Rice all priced between RM5.90 and RM9.90.

Those with a bigger group of friends could also order a la carte dishes like Dried Mutton Curry, Ostrich Meat with Golden Mushrooms, Salad Prawns, Mongolian Chicken, Ginger Mushroom with Brocolli, Three Combination Yam Basket, Salty Vegetable Kai Lan, Pizza and Rojak.

For the review, Tang served Thai Styled Stone Fish, Marmite Bittergourd, Cuttlefish cooked in Kong Poh Style, Assam Fish with Okra and Butter Prawns which she assured were mostly prepared using beancurd skin.

C5AA2B0792444A2B9BD7E94C3F617C6EAppetising: Vegetarian Fish in Assam Sauce prepared with tomatoes, chillies and okra.

What is more interesting was each dish tasted similar to the original non-vegetarian version, which Tang said came from the careful selection of sauces and ingredients used.

“My sister is a great cook while I am usually the one trying the final product,” said Tang.

A new addition to her restaurant is her Vegetarian Steamboat special which is a hit for dinner among her guests.

“Customers always want something new and so we thought of steamboat as not many vegetarian restaurants offer this,” she said.

Her selection of dishes for the steamboat goes a few pages long offering vegetables like lotus root, sweet corn, bittergourd, Chinese spinach, bean curd slices, black fungus, bai yuk mushrooms, xin bao mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, baby cabbage, okra, prawns, vegetarian sea cucumber, vegetarian cuttlefish and golden mushrooms.

122FDCF3FC5F4B02AE490D268C7E2884Crunchy: Stir-fried Kai Lan withMushrooms and Mui Choy.

One can also choose to have either the tom yam, herbal or clear soup to go with it. While for noodles there are vermicelli, charcoal soba, meehoon and hand-pulled noodles. Each serving is priced between RM2 and RM15.

Besides that, the restaurant serves a large variety of drinks from Passion Fruit Ice Blend, Ambra Juice, Ice Lemon Tea with Plum to Yam Milk Shake and the popular Three Layer Tea.

Those who are in a hurry during their short lunch break can grab a quick meal from its economy mix rice counter which serves up to 12 different dishes and a vegetable soup from 11.30pm to 1.30pm.

The restaurant also caters for parties and weddings. All its dishes do not contain garlic, onion or egg.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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