I detest finding venues to meet people. Especially after becoming a vegetarian. I don't like coercing people into eating veggie along with me, which makes it even harder to find a place to have meals. Therefore, out of the six meals that came out of this one trip to Taipei, only one of them was set up by me. All the others were set up by my lovely friends. When I heard that we were having hot pot, I thought, Great! This way, he will be able to have as much meat as his tummy desires, and I can happily devour my greens. However, it was not until I got to the restaurant, saw the 'zen' and 'Buddhist' style decor, that I realised the place was a strictly 'veggie' hot pot restaurant.
*To understand the concept of 'hot pot', you can think of it as 'Chinese/Oriental fondu... with clear soup (usually) instead of cheese or chocolate.
There are several types of soup you can choose from. The three types that we chose were namely, hot and spicy, herbal, and kelp. The effect of the hot and spicy soup will not be felt until it's a bit too late. So be careful! The kelp soup is so clear, that it goes hand in hand with the hot and spicy. And as for the herbal soup, oh my, it is absolutely heavenly. But, it is recommended for those who have acquired a taste for Chinese herbs...
If you go to an ordinary hot pot place, usually, there will still be a lot of veggies to chose from. However, the range of veggies here is obviously a lot wider. Just by looking at the variety of mushrooms available here, you will understand that it's basically a vegetarian paradise. The veggies are fresh, but most importantly, they have a special sauce that goes with the veggies. Usually, we dip the food in a special sauce called 'shacha' (first tone, second tone), but the restaurant prepares a special sauce made from ground toon plant leaves. Thanks to this special sauce, I couldn't refrain from getting more helpings of mushrooms than I should have eaten.
Originally, I thought, this was just a very nice restaurant, serving fresh food. It wasn't until the next day that I found out from my other friends that the story behind the opening of the restaurant had been made into a story and aired on TV. But this proves that my friend and I were not there simply because it 'was on TV', and I'm not just writing this to attract more people to come to my blog. The real reason is because it's worth the recommendation!