A Glimpse of Old Delhi

IMG_3316

We had a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama in person and we jumped at it. A day before our trip to Dharamasala, we visited Old Delhi and was charmed by how organized and yet messy the city was.

IMG_3365

We witnessed pigeon fighting and jumped across the rooftops of Old Delhi.

IMG_3296

We took a rickshaw and saw gorgeous saris along the way and waited for the jam to go off after a very very very long time.

IMG_3158

This short trip reminded us of Vidhya’s vegan bhel puri recipe we had a few days before we left for the trip!

IMG_3364

We were served yummy vegan south indian buffet at our host home.

IMG_3368

And before bidding farewell to India, we chanced upon the coolest Indian barbie dolls I have ever seen.

Face to face with The Dalai Lama- Dharamsala, India

IMG_3637

For those who follow our instagram @mrandmrsvegan, you guys would have known that we were in Dharamsala and that we met up with The Dalai Lama. Returning from the trip, we thought it would be good to pen down our thoughts and our experiences.

IMG_3583

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”

IMG_3564 IMG_3562

“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”

IMG_3538 IMG_3528

IMG_3522 IMG_3490

Some places and people and animals we met during the trip.

IMG_3481 IMG_3480

IMG_3478  IMG_3474

It was a dream come true as we got to see authentic Tibetan mandalas in person and they were magnificent!

IMG_3464 IMG_3462

IMG_3451 IMG_3425

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much. As a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.”

IMG_3422

These are simple universal truths by the Dalai Lama. I think this is what I have always liked about him: The freedom from dogma, his passionate compassion, and most of all his utter willingness to undermine his own position and authority to state what really matters. Thus, when this lifetime opportunity arose (our eternal gratitude to Tara, whom we met at the Chicks Eat Vegan event, and who helps organise the Southeast Asian teachings for His Holiness), we dropped all our plans to sign up for the teaching sessions – barely a week before the registration closed!

I must state for the record that my wife and I are not proponents of any particular religion (although perhaps I gravitate more towards the philosophy of Buddhism and have always been inspired by the possibility of understanding actual interdependent reality beyond our perception of forms). But at this point I am compelled to highlight the response of a young couple (who were our group leaders) we met at the teachings when Priscilla asked them if they were Buddhist.

With no hesitation at all they said – “We’re still trying to be.”

I think they’re definitely on the right path, wouldn’t you agree? I wish we get these kinds of replies more often.

IMG_3571

As for the Dalai Lama’s teachings, they range from the esoteric to the personal. But I’ll share a couple of awesome quotes from His Holiness:

(On being asked on what has been the greatest test to his faith throughout all his years)

“I think… Nothing!” (It was not just the response but the conviction in his voice when he said that)

(On the issue of the need for a wider study into secular ethics amongst the youth of today to stem the growing tide of inequality and corruption within governments)

“There is corruption in many countries, some more, some less. Like Singapore… Very low corruption I think.” (at which point someone mumbled about Singapore having no corruption).

“NO corruption??? I don’t believe!! Hahaha! Okok maybe Singapore, no corruption. But I know some Tibetan friends. So corrupt. Now? They are Singapore citizen!”

I think I’m a fan.

IMG_3400

Fried Sesame Bun- Di Shui Fang Vegetarian Restaurant, Georgetown, Penang

IMG_2401 IMG_2403

Another vegetarian restaurant we chanced upon along Lebuh Penang (there are at least 5 vegetarian places around the same area) was Di Shui Fang.  The ambience of the restaurant had many buddhist relics and quotes. We went there during lunch time and the place was packed. The first dish we tried was fried sesame bun, their signature dish Rm2.50/pc. It came hot and cut into 4 equal portions. It reminded us of Char Siew Pau from HK dim sum places and was not too bad. The flavours were quite genuine but we found it a tad too oily.

IMG_2404 IMG_2406 IMG_2408

We ordered the specials of the day RM8.00 and all of them tasted really normal. It was neither satisfying or extremely yummy. The portions were quite small as well. We left wishing we had indian food instead.  The only awesome part was the free wifi!

Address: 16 Penang Street, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Phone Number: (04) 263 6300

Opening Hours: Tues-Fri 9.00am-6.00pm, Weekend 9.00am-8.00pm. Closed on Mondays

Roti Chanai Feast- Sri Anada Bahwan, Georgetown, Penang

IMG_2412  IMG_2425

Another place we frequent was Sri Ananda Bahwan Pure Vegetarian Restaurant (They do not serve eggs). They are everywhere in Penang but most of them are non-vegetarian and the only one was at Lebuh Penang.

IMG_2488

My favourite drink in Penang was Lime Teh-O with less sugar! This drink is such a bomb and I might sound really silly but I have never tasted this in Singapore.

IMG_2490 IMG_2491

Hubby loves Roti Prata so we went back there so many times just to eat the freshly smacked and fried Roti Chanai. We ordered the plain and onion versions and both were equally crispy . Somehow, I wished they were more doughy though.

IMG_2492

We also ordered a masala thosai to share and we informed the kitchen not to cook with ghee if you are wondering if they veganized it for us.

IMG_2110 IMG_2111 IMG_2108

The best part of the meal was during lunch time when we chose from a buffet spread of yummy indian dishes (I noticed they had many mock meat curries options which we both dislike). The other thing we did was to check if which dish contained dairy or yogurt and avoided those.

Address: 66 Penang Street, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Phone: (04) 263-3841

Hours: 7am-11pm (they serve roti chanai from 7am-11am and 4pm till late)

Hunting down the best Assam Laksa-Luk Yea Yan at Georgetown,Penang

IMG_1933

Located in the heart of Georgetown, Luk Yea Yan was a convenient place to visit while we were in Penang. Some say they have the best vegetarian assam laksa in Penang and we were determined to find out. Funnily along the way, we realized we were not assam laksa fans so we ended up trying many other dishes from them instead. Each time we were there, the restaurant was PACKED with people. Thankfully, we always managed to get a seat just as some diners leave.

IMG_1931 IMG_1923 IMG_1925 IMG_1927 IMG_1929 IMG_1920 IMG_2383 IMG_2385 IMG_2386 IMG_2387 IMG_2388

From the food galore above, the only dishes that really stood out was the lotus wrapped rice and fried tofu cubes. Both of these dishes were really yummy and filled with flavours. The rest of the dishes tasted pretty normal and was nothing to shout about. The assam laksa came looking pretty authentic but tasted just like the ones we had at Beyond Veggie. If you are in for comforting vegetarian food with strong chinese wok-style flavours, this will be the place to visit. At all times, the food was served really quickly and the food was really affordable! Most items from the ala carte menu range from RM5-15 depending on portion size. Most of the dishes portion in our pictures are size medium and large.

148, Jalan Macalister, Georgetown, Penang Malaysia 10400

Phone Number: (04) 228-1148

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 7.30am-3pm, 5.00pm-10.00pm. Closed on Wednesdays

Best Japanese Food in Malaysia: Sushi Kitchen-Georgetown, Penang

IMG_1876 IMG_1877

Ok..maybe we are over exaggerating but Sushi Kitchen was one of the best Japanese restaurant we have ever been to. Even when we were in Japan nothing came close to the two key dishes that blew our minds away. This restaurant is 100% vegan and looks closed from the outside (we almost missed it or thought it was closed). The menu is extensive although we found the place slightly dim (bad for photos) and a little too stuffy!

IMG_1896

The first thing you have to order there is the Red Sea Udon RM11.90. It is slightly spicy and taste like tom yam but not exactly it. I asked the owner and she mentioned that the paste is made out of different herbs and spices. We loved this dish so much we came back again and again for it. I ate it twice in a day once as it was such an appetizing dish and the udon was of good texture and portion. Almost each time I was there, I finished every drop of the soup. This was how awesome the dish was.

IMG_2642

The next dish we went gaga over was Black Cod Brown Rice Vermicelli Soup RM15.90. This dish was so soothing and not as creamy as it looked, we wished we could get a refill each time we ordered it. When I checked, the owner mentioned the soup base is made of oatmeal!

IMG_1885

They are famous for their Golden Age RM12.90 (for 5 pcs) fresh mango sushi roll with vegan mayo dressing. This dish is seasonal and really depends if the owner is able to find ripe and good mangoes for the day.

IMG_1887

The only dish we found quite disappointing was the seaweed fried rice RM10.90. Although the presentation was great with the fried rice wrapped around the seaweed, it tasted pretty bland and soggy.

IMG_1882

We also tried their signature fried sushi roll (known as global warming). The unique part of this sushi is the crispy outer layer and the rice and fresh ingredients oozes out when you bite into the sushi. The only thing I wished they could do was to serve the sushi dressing cold instead of warm so that the flavours had a stronger contrast.

No.12 Gat Lebuh Acheh 10300 Georgetown, Penang

Opening Hours: Wednesday-Friday 11.30am-9.30pm. Saturday and Sunday 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm

Closed on Monday and Tuesday

They have another outlet near the airport too and they have started offering vegan cakes!

 

 

Nasi Ulam at The Leaf Healthy House- Georgetown, Penang

IMG_1861 IMG_1846

Really proud to be representing Singapore during the recent Georgetown Festival 2014 organized by Tan Kheng Hua under Sin-Pen colony and during my 2 weeks stay in Penang, I went back to The Leaf Healthy House more than 6 times in a roll! If I ever return to Georgetown, this will be the first place I will visit as well:)

IMG_2053 IMG_2055

We love how creative they named their soy milk shakes! We kept drinking the Hulk RM7.90 (soy milk, kiwi and apple) and the Minion RM6.90 (soy milk, mango and banana). It was not too sweet and was really filling. It worked great as a breakfast smoothie!

IMG_2058

Tomato Spaghetti RM8.90 with fresh tomato sauce

This dish tasted pretty normal and was nothing to shout about. The great thing about The Leaf was how each pasta dish came with side vegetables instead of a fully carb-loaded meal.

IMG_2062

The Leaf Spaghetti RM8.90 with basil and pine nuts sauce

This was my all time favourite. The pine nut sauce was so tasty and really well blended. I was surprised no cheese was used in this dish and the pesto sauce tasted really refreshing. The portions were decent but if you are very hungry you could eat 2 plates easily.

IMG_2245

Soy milk Jelly RM3.90

Another reason for me to return was this really yummy and super soft soy milk jelly which was so unique. I have never tasted anything as similar and the sliced almond slices really added an extra crunch to this semi-sweet dessert with gula melaka.

IMG_2631

Nasi Ulam Rm5.90

This dish sounded strange and did not look that great but IT WAS BEYOND AWESOME! The flavours, the herbs, the vegetables, the chilli and the fresh pineapple wedges together was just the coolest and best combination of flavours ever. I really want to eat this dish again or try to re-make this. I highly recommend this dish and you have to try it to get why I am so excited:) It tasted like a version between fried rice, to lei cha to briyani to a warm salad.

IMG_2633

Thai Herbs Spaghetti RM8.90

This tasted really bland and did not have as much thai spicy flavours as I expected.

IMG_2635

Potato patty burger as it was stated was just aloo masala potatoes in a bun. Nothing to shout about as the spices were neither spicy or flavourful.

IMG_2729

Jawa Spaghetti RM6.90 with fresh tomato and sweet potato sauce

This dish had interesting layers of taste but I was not a big fan as it tasted too sweet for a savoury dish.

IMG_2728

Popiah (Fresh spring roll) RM 3.50 for a roll with turnip, lettuce, tofu, seaweed and burdock

Not the best popiah in town as the skin was too thick and was too mushy.

This cafe is in the Little India district and is easy to spot with green plants and a cool looking bicycle right outside.

 

Address: No.5 Lebuh Penang, 10200 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-9pm

Saturday 11.30am-9pm, closed on Sunday

Yin’s Vegan sourdough bakery – Georgetown, Penang

IMG_2567

I was in Penang for work at the recent Georgetown Festival 2014 and Hubby joined me for a few days where we strolled along the streets and chanced upon a few really unique and good vegan/vegetarian food places! The first I highly recommend is Yin’s Sourdough Bakery. This bakery was a surprise find and ever since we found it, we went back there a few times! Although the rest of the menu was not vegan, all the sourdough breads are vegan. Our favourite was cranberries and walnut whole wheat sourdough RM9.30 with homemade pineapple jam.

IMG_2569 IMG_2665

Yin’s sourdough breads are freshly baked daily and taste really chewy and have the right amount of softness too. Topped with nuts and raisins, we were sold! All the breads and buns sold at the bakery goes through natural long fermentations. She does not use any commercial yeast in any of their breads and buns. On her website, she added that she does not add any additives, improver, softener, preservatives or chemical in the process of making their brand. Only unbleached flour, filtered water, pinch of salt and a few drips of sunflower oil are used in their breads.

To find out more benefits and how a natural sourdough starter works, check out Yin’s website! Another thing we found really charming about this bakery is how sincere and passionate the whole team is with their bread. They are also the only cafe/bakery which we have ever been into that serves random walk-in customers or strangers with a glass of water. Talk about good service:)

Address: 11 Pesara Claimant, 10100, Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

Phone: +60 11 24195118

Open from Monday- Friday 7am-6pm, Saturday 7am-1pm. Closed on Sunday

Chinese Food at Vista Cay’s Resort- Orlando

IMG_8347

We arrived in Orlando late at night and by the time we were ready for dinner, most places have closed. In our apartment, we saw a flyer selling chinese takeaway food in our apartment vicinity. We decided to head there to check it out and was relieved they were still open.

IMG_8348

We cannot remember what the name of our dishes were called but from the look of it, it was easy to guess what we ordered. Prices ranged from USD 5- 18 for different portions and ingredients. It was not a vegetarian chinese restaurant but they do have a page filled with vegetarian options. The tofu vegetables soup came in a huge portions but sadly it was way too salty. We had to inform the waiter to add more water to dilute the overall taste.

IMG_8349

Fried rice with broccoli was quite oily but overall satisfying as we have not had rice since our vegan sushi meal in NYC.

IMG_8350

We also got fried noodles with assorted vegetables and found that the sauce was too salty.

IMG_8352

The only dish we felt was the best was Mapo spicy tofu which was not spicy for Asian standards.

IMG_8353

IMG_8354

Like any chinese restaurant in USA, they gave us each a fortune cookie as a goodbye gift and we all had a good laugh over our fortunes! To find this restaurant, check with Vista Cay resort reception counter. It is the only one in Vista Cay resort and is very near the supermarket we visited (as shared in my previous mail) and right opposite a pizza joint.

Fresh Kale, Hummus and just some supermarket shopping- Orlando

IMG_8784 IMG_8786

Beside NYC, we went to Orlando for a few days and stayed at Vista Cay Resort. It was near a huge supermarket hence we decided to whip up some meals of our own together in our apartment.

IMG_8498 IMG_8512 IMG_8508

The supermarket was filled with so many awesome goodies such as hummus in so many flavours. We tried it and they taste as good as restaurant standards! We also got Silk coconut milk but found it a tad strange when mixed with our cereals.

IMG_8506 IMG_8505 IMG_8513 IMG_8514 IMG_8517 IMG_8534 IMG_8521 IMG_8535

Tofurky tempeh was surprisingly really good! It was tender, well flavoured and was really cheap!

IMG_9272 IMG_9278

We highly recommend anything from Earth balance! Their peanut butter chocolate is the best and we got tubs home. Another new brand I am a fan of is KIND organic cereals. The one I got had dark chocolate chunks in them and sadly they cost a bomb just shipping them into Singapore. I ordered 10 packets online and realized it was really high maintenance if I kept on re-ordering through this way. Hopefully iherb brings in their products soon!

IMG_0109

If you are in the states, we strongly encourage you guys to get an accommodation with kitchenette facilities so that you can taste all the yummy organic and tasty kale, fresh veggies and special non dairy milk which we are not able to get in Singapore (if they are in Singapore, they are usually 3 to 4 times the price!) Take our pre-washed cut kale for example, it cost only USD 2.99 for a jumbo pack which lasted us for a few days just making kale chips every single morning!

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: