Su Lai Xiang Vegetarian House @ Desa Sri Hartamas – Dining With Moola

October 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Vegetarian food, once the butt of American television jokes, is fast becoming hip and respectable. Vegetarian food is now mainstream and acceptable in the West, and god forbid, highly sought after, with a wide range of products catering to various segments of the vegetarian market. While this development might be new to the West, vegetarian food has been an established part of the East for centuries. The Chinese, in particular, have elevated vegetarian food to an art form, serving up dishes and delicacies that hold their own against their meaty counterparts.

The rather unassuming facade of Su Lai Xiang belies the culinary delights the restaurant has within

Recently I was invited to a traditional Chinese banquet dinner that showcased vegetarian dishes at Su Lai Xiang, courtesy of Moola, the first ever homegrown Cash-Back Lifestyle programme by ICT Utopia. Joining me at this healthy and delicious banquet dinner was Miss Pamela Yeoh of Malaysian Foodie, and yes, she did enjoy herself immensely at the dinner. You can read all about how much she liked it at her blog here!

The cosy interior of Su Lai Xiang

Traditional Chinese vegetarian food is truly an art form, where chefs strive to prepare dishes that mimic normal or rather meat dishes. It is a challenge that tests the improvisation skills, as chefs look for ways to recreate the exact taste, look, feel and texture, using only vegetarian ingredients. Through the centuries, many techniques have been developed and with the advent of modern technology, what was considered the food of saints and immortals are now available for mere mortals like us.

Some of the beautiful Chinese themed decorations that adorn Xu Lai Siang

So how did Su Lai Xiang fare? Not only did the restaurant rise up to the challenge, it excelled and shone. Customers are in for a double treat, as not only will you enjoy top notch vegetarian fare, but the dishes are as authentic as they come for Chinese dishes, which I might add is already an accomplishment in itself. The fact that these are vegetarian versions merely highlights the uniqueness of what Su Lai Xiang has to offer.

The 10 vegetarian dish Chinese banquet dinner that was served

Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Butter Cream

We were served a banquet of 10 dishes, ranging from appetizing light dishes like the Fried Oyster Mushrooms and Stir Fried Bean Curd Skin, both prepared with Butter Cream, to vegetables like the Stir Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Fish, Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables, and Fried Vegetable Stems with Seeds. The dishes are simply amazing, and the subtle varied tastes in the vegetables, mushrooms and bean curd stand out without being overpowered by other flavors.

Fried Bean Curd Skin with Butter Cream

Stir Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Fish

Stir Fried Mix Vegetables

The real test for any Chinese vegetarian restaurant, would be the mock meat dishes. This is where Su Lai Xiang really shines. We had four great meat dishes, Char Siew – sliced roasted pork sirloin, Mui Choy Kau Yuk – a traditional Chinese favorite, Asam Prawns – delicious shrimp served in spicy tamarind sauce, and the piece de resistance, the Ginger Fish.

Fried Vegetable Stems with Seeds

The Char Siew - roast pork sirloin - 100 percent pure vegetarian

Each meat dish was prepared to perfection, the different textures achieved through folding techniques and also different ingredients. The mock Char Siew’s consistency and texture was so close to pork that it mimicked even the slight layer of fat that many Chinese insist is an integral part of the roast pork. The prawns were ‘shelled’, leaving the meat, which was firm, a sure sign of freshness for seafood. The Mui Choy Kau Yuk was an especially tough act to replicate, as this dish is steamed, allowing the juices from the meat to stew with the vegetables. The meatless version was simply superb, the taste spot on!

Mui Choy Kau Yuk - a favorite traditional Chinese dish

The highlight of the evening was the Ginger Fish, a whole fish, which is normally steamed – a technique that the Chinese believe brings out the natural flavour of the fresh fish. Su Lai Xiang’s Ginger Fish was truly exquisite, the flavorful tofu serving as the flaky fish meat and wrapped in a bean curd skin, topped with ginger sauce.

The Ginger Fish. The flaky texture of fish meat is replicated flawlessly

While Su Lai Xiang showed us that intricate techniques and complex combinations of ingredients produced marvellous dishes, one of the most memorable dishes was arguably the simplest – Fried Tofu With Salt & Pepper. Tofu cubes fried and seasoned with just salt and pepper, garnished with chilli.

Simplicity at its best! The delicate subtle flavor of the tofu is definitely something everyone should try.

What can I say? Dining at Su Lai Xiang offers not only an authentic Chinese dinner experience but also a delightful discovery of healthy and tasty meat alternatives!

This Dining With Moola experience is courtesy of Moola, the first-ever Cash-Back Lifestyle Programme specially designed for shoppers to enjoy free shopping, great savings and best deals in town. Moola is a mobile application that utilises QR code technology for all interactions; from member registration, Moola accumulation and redemption, to the actual shopping.

Moola Frenz who dine at Su Lai Xiang are entitled to a 10% cash back everytime! What’s more, you can also grab FreeMakan vouchers for even MORE savings here!

Moola is completely hassle-free; no administrative effort; no joining fee; no cards; and comes with even greater flexibility for shoppers to enjoy the variety of rewards for redemption. Visit www.moola.my for more information and download the Moola app today! Apple, Android and Blackberry phones supported.

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