We set off to Cheras to check out a popular vegetarian restaurant, Tian Yian Cafe. With a long list of dishes on offer, we were spoilt for choice. The dishes are so tasty that you don't need to be a vegetarian to appreciate them.
they even use vegetarian belacan...
No. 5, 7 & 9, Jalan 3/93, Taman Miharja,Cheras, 55200 Kuala Lumpur.
A long list of yummy vegetarian dishes
Lunchtimes can be busy and parking is not that great.
Vegetarians get the short end of the stick when it comes to dining out in Malaysia. Things get even more complicated when they're dining with a non-vegetarian friend. With a limited choice of places, vegetarians are usually confined to the salad section of the menu while their fellow diners get to indulge in meatier (and yummier) choices. Fortunately, we found a place in Cheras where vegetarians and non-vegetarians can dine happily together. Tian Yian Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant that has been around for years. Offering more than 100 dishes, you're bound to find something you like here.
We first tried the Hong Siew noodles. The 'meat' is braised in dark soy sauce, pepper, ginger and garlic. This gives it a smoky flavour and adds more depth to the dish. The broth is wholesome and garnished with an array of vegetables like bak choy and carrots. It is a satisfying dish and we were pretty full when we finished the bowl.
But of course, as always, I couldn't resist the nasi lemak. It was actually impressive. It had plenty of 'lemak' and the sambal squid was really tasty. The squid was obviously not the real thing but incredibly I couldn't tell the difference. The texture and taste was spot on. The sambal even had hints of 'belacan'. When I asked them about the vegetarian belacan, they told me that it was made from a mix of soybean and mushrooms. It's amazing how 'shrimpy' it tasted.
Next was the satay. Made from marinated seitan chunks, the satay mimics the texture of a chicken satay - soft and tender. The marinade has the lovely aromatic notes of lemongrass and onions, a perfect pairing with the thick sweet peanut sauce.
For desserts, we ordered the blueberry chocolate cake. This was a dairy- free and vegetarian cake so no butter or eggs were used in the recipe. It didn't seem to affect the cake though. It was fluffy, spongy and delicious. The cake was not too overly sweet which helped to showcase the gorgeous tanginess of the blueberry filling. There are a lot of cakes to choose from at Tian Yian Cafe so order a slice when you have a meal here. They also accept orders for special occasions so remember to order a cake when your vegetarian friend is having a birthday.
Along with the cakes, Tian Yian also offers other baked goods like biscuits, bread and pau. Their most popular pau are the 'char siew' ones. These are yummy in-between-meal snacks. The filling is sweet, sticky and flavourful. 'Tapau' a pack home.
Tian Yian also has a sister branch called Cafe de Sky Garden. This is where they serve European cuisine like vegetarian pizzas and pastas. Most of the ingredients are imported from Germany and they use herbs from Italy so if rice and noodles don't rock your boat try Cafe De Sky Garden instead. Whatever you choose, rest assured that you will get a fulfilling and yummy meal because these people really know how to create scrumptious vegetarian dishes that would satisfy even the fussiest of carnivores.