I previously wrote a blog post about the two questions we inevitably get asked as vegetarians living in Taiwan: Is that not really difficult in Taiwan? Irrevocably followed by: What do you eat?
Well, one of my favourite foods to eat out in Taiwan is curry (gā lǐ)! Yes, curry! When thinking about Taiwan cuisine the picture in everyone’s mind is often beef noodle soup, fried rice, stinky tofu and dumplings. But Taiwan is also a great place for Japanese-style curries.
Japanese curry is an apple-based curry with a sauce that is milder and sweeter than most curries without being creamy. For vegetarians, the basic vegetables are potatoes, carrots and onion, though it often comes with something else as well (mange-tout, baby corn, aubergine, cabbage etc.)
Where can you get yourself a vegetarian curry in LuoDong?
In LuoDong, we are lucky enough to have a Japanese curry restaurant, yes! It sells both meat and vegetable curries – as well as potato smilies.. It’s delicious; white rice and pretty much all the types of veggies. (NT$70)
If you’re uber into your healthy, organic eating, then there is a vegetarian restaurant recommended to us by our veggie friend, Liezl, where everything they cook is grown in their gardens and allotments. The sauce is thinner than the other curries you get out but everything is beautiful tasting and fresh. You can also choose between white rice and wǔ gǔ (five-grain rice). (NT$180) This is probably the best curry in LuoDong!
Round the corner from here there is a vegetarian restaurant, which actually specialises in pasta, but you can order curry with rice, noodles or pasta. One of the only curries to have red and green peppers. (NT$180)
A slightly cheaper option is to go to Loving Hut – all vegan and you can get yourself a super spicy or a mild curry for cheaps. Their curry has a lot more cabbage and less of the other veg though. (NT$60)
Want your curry baked with cheese on top? Then Vegetable Foods is the place for you – all vegetarian. There’s a heap of rice underneath and you need to watch out for the few funky bits of tofu, but the bubbling layer of baked cheese makes it. (NT$75)
Looking for something spicier (hǎo là)? In fact, something so spicy that your eyes are streaming and your nose is running? Get yourself to Pumpkin Curry. Famous in LuoDong for its bright orange outside complete with malicious looking pumpkin and strange pumpkin décor inside, there are a lot of meaty and veggie curry options, including Indian and Pacific curry bases. (Average price NT$160, incl. pumpkin or mushroom soup)
Right up our street – literally – another vegetarian restaurant, Xiang Ti, sells a curried rice dish. It’s not curry as such, but fried rice cooked in a large marble bowl with curry spices. (NT$120)
Just a tip for meat-eaters who want to try something different too, the local dumpling place that everyone in LuoDong loves (on the main intersection) sells curried dumplings, although I don’t know what meat is inside.
Want to ask for a curry in Taiwan?
Wǒ yào chī gālí – I want to eat curry
Hǎo là – spicy is good
Bù là – not spicy
Wǒ shì sùshí – I am vegetarian
Wǒ bù yào ròu – I don’t want meat
For a map of all of these restaurant, please click here.