Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery & Vegetarian Restaurant - CBD

A recent lunchtime sojourn in the city had M's nemesis and I checking out a place that was recently reviewed by Mellie from Tummy Rumbles (who as far as I'm concerned has the go-to website on where to eat in melbourne), Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery & Vegetarian Restaurant (141 Collins St, Melb CBD). Apart from the fact that this place does a killer lunchtime trade (and at the time of our visit saw us witness at least one poor waiter apologising to us for not getting to our table right away because of the rush), this place truly feels like an oasis for escaping the frenetic world of outside. I'm a little bit embarassed to note that on our visit we ordered near identical meals to what Mellie and Elegant Gourmand had on theirs. In our case, M's nemesis tried the noodle dish, which had vegetarian pork, while I went for the chef's lunchtime box which had vegetarian duck, bean shoots

and tempura-ed potato slices (oh, okay they were potato cakes - but they were nice potato cakes, not of the bain marie sweaty varieties found in dodgy train station kiosks) served up with a bowl of rice. Now about the issue of mock meat, I'm going to go for broke here and state that I actually quite like it, not sure what it is about it, but my tastebuds like. The duck was tasty but if it was a little more crispier as the one I tried when flygirl introduced me to the wonders of Au Lac in Dickson, Canberra, I reckon it would've been so much for the better. Dare I say it, I much prefer the mock duck to the real thing, which to me seems too fatty and gamey. Like Mellie, we too wanted to try the dumplings but due to popular demand they sold out by the time we were ordering, thus warranting a return visit. Further reason to return is the range of teas available. On our visit we tried the High Mountain Oolong, which was a delicately fragranced tea that was noted in the menu to be useful in aiding digestion, and certainly had a gentle, soothing quality to it. The vividly coloured kumquat tea was quite popular with diners given the number of orange teapots that were being brought to tables nearby. Oh well, next time...All up, we concur with Mellie, as well as with Cherrie Pie, who also reviewed the place, that FGY is indeed a must-try place for lunch.


  1. From your very good review, I'm almost tempted to go and eat here. But then I'm reminded how much I don't like vegetarian food, especially mock meat. I just tend to find mock meat extremely funny tasting. I've just tried some very terrible mock meat vegetarian dishes before and am hesistant to try again. The last vegetarian beef char keoy teow (stir fried rice noodle) dish that I had was so bad that just thinking about it makes me lose my appetite.

  2. Hey there serenity later and M's nemesis - thank you for the compliment :-) tummy rumbles is certainly a much loved hobby. The fact that I am also a total and utter glutton helps too.

    Have you been back to FGY yet? I *need* to get back tout suite to sample those dumplings!!

  3. Hey there Serenity later and M's Nemesis, I have been here sooo many times coz I love it so but like Mellie, I have yet to taste the dumplings. Will make it a mission to do so now. :)

  4. thanks for the comments folks! I reckon this food blogging thing is da bomb! Who needs the likes of the lethleans and the downes of the world (preston's alright though) when you can get all the info you need from you bloggers out there! Our motivation for food blogging is to basically relive our eating experiences over and over again...

    thanh7580 - i didn't expect to like mock meat either. in fact i used to think (rather intolerantly, i might add!) that if you want to be vegetarian then you have no business in wanting to have foods that taste like meat - period. I now know the error of my ways ;) As for its palatability, maybe it helps to not expect the mock meat to taste like the real thing?

    mellie - we love your blog and regularly consult it to find great places to eat. though living interstate for me now means that i have to live out my gastronomic appreciation of melbourne vicariously thru blogs such as yours until the next time i get to visit!

    cherrie pie - we haven't yet been back and really really wanted to try out those dumplings. though i did notice as we left that they sell them to take home and prepare too! hmmm, sounds like something that may need to further investigated.

  5. ... did someone say dumplings?? more seriously though, there's a nifty place near vic market that specialises in faux meat - and somehow manages to make it taste delish. i can't for the life of me remember the name of the place, but went there a couple of years ago for a lab lunch. put it this way, it's the only way you'll ever get me to order duck.

  6. hey kaluds are you talking about white lotus? i've wanted to try out that place for ages!

    i totally agree with you on the duck thing, its just too rich and it has that odd fowl(foul?) taste...maybe i just haven't had it the right way?


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