For my birthday lunch, I caught up with a few friends at a small restaurant that I'd been meaning to try for the better part of four months. The Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery is run by the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order and consequently, only serves vegetarian fare.
Who knew that vegetarian food could be so tasty, and that mock-meat could actually taste like real meat!. I'm not sure how they manage it, but I suppose a hundred years worth of experimenting would get results. In retrospect, the slow and tranquil nature of both the surrounds and the makes it a venue you'd probably want to avoid in your lunch hour. Luckily I could get away with taking a little extra time on my special day!
As has somewhat become a custom when dining out at Chinese restaurants, we ordered tea first up. One of my friends had never tried Oolong tea, so that was the obvious choice. To our delight, it also came with delicious taro cakes! I'm certainly not one to complain about dessert before lunch.
|Oolong Tea with Taro Cakes|
We also ordered steamed filled buns, but for some reason, I didn't end up with a photo of them, or at least, not one without my friend making 'Immagonnaeatyou' faces at it. Probably not appropriate for this blog, but hilarious all the same.
Moving on though, we ordered a few dishes for substance. First up, noodles in soup.
|Noodles in Soup|
To finish off, there was a round of red bean spring rolls for dessert.
|Red Bean Spring Rolls|
The end bill was also a nice surprise, coming in at only $15 per person. If I have more time to spare in future lunch breaks, I'd definitely come here again. Or perhaps just pop in and pick up a serve of Zongzi/Red Bean Spring Rolls. I highly recommend this place, just not if you're in a rush. You won't even miss eating meat, promise!
Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery
141 Queen St, Melbourne