Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

If you have been following this blog, you will suspect that I am mostly a meat person, since this is the first vegetarian food posts, of the 142 done thus far. Truth of the matter is not that I don’t love my vegetables, but rather I have always maintain that we should get our greens served as what they are, not disguised as some fake chicken, fish, or meat… and then I was somehow convinced by this joker to go to Kuan Yin restaurant.

Kuan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant, PJ Seksyen 17
mat salleh loving the char siu

As the name of the restaurant suggests, this place serves Chinese vegetarian food. Not only all the food are prepared with non meat ingredients, neither garlic nor onion are used, this is to satisfy the “rules” of the “religious” vegetarian practiced in this country.

However, if you look at the menu, you will find many titles of meat dishes. All of these dishes are, of course, made from non meat ingredients. Funny isn’t it? How can anyone claim to be a vegetarian but eats dishes that tastes exactly like meat? (my main reason of not visiting vegetarian restaurants)

Kuan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant, PJ Seksyen 17
there is no meat here

For dinner, the four of us ordered a fried vegetable with clear sauce, “mutton” curry, Thai style “chicken”, “Char Siu” with mantou, and a radish soup (free).

To my surprise, the food were actually good. The chicken was a bit “fake”, but tasted decent nonetheless. The mutton curry tasted like very tender mutton, and the curry sauce was great, I had no idea how they can prepare it without using onion and garlic but still maintain the aroma and taste of curry that we are accustomed to.

Kuan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant, PJ Seksyen 17
ahhh, the imitation char siu… slurps

The best dish of the day though, was the Char Siu with mantao. They were in fact, better than most the REAL char siu I have tasted in my life. I will go back there just to have this particular dish.

The bill came to be slightly less than RM 20 per person. Pretty good value considering how much other places charge for similar dishes.

Kuan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant, PJ Seksyen 17
so now you know how to get to seksyen 17

I would not recommend a religious vegetarian to have fake meat and chicken as I think that is principally wrong, but this is an excellent place to bring your Muslim friends to have a taste of Chinese food.

1084 Jalan 17/29
Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya
46400 Selangor

GPS: 3.129230, 101.635353
Tel: 03-7957 4528

Discuss : KY eats – Vegetarian food at Kuan Yin Restaurant, PJ Seksyen 17

  1. Dabido (Teflon)

    Yay! Vegetarian Cuisine at last! Not that I eat things that even look or taste like meat. I don’t see the point in that either. I know some places that make great Thai omlettes in Sydney though. 🙂

  2. I dont’t like this post 🙁 Not my type of food…. I have lost my appetitite suddenly, Thanks…Good for diet too!

  3. That Char Siu was seriously teh good.

  4. immitation cha siu wif man tao ———> imitation cha siu bao? some time ago there used to be a vegetarian western food in caunaght(konot, dunno hwo to spell), cheras… wif chicken chop, fish n chips, etc~ but now closed down d~ all these vegetarian food really too expensive i think… n some ppl thinking tat doesnt worth it as it is jsut a bunch of funny shape FLOUR wif colouring n flavour…

  5. PreciousPea

    Am not a fan of vegetarian food too as I had bad experience having a set dinner at Nanking Court which costs us RM600++!!!! But now am so tempted to try the imitation char siu…looks so good. Can order 1/2 fat 1/2 lean ar?

  6. food lover

    hahaha i always go to this place for vegetarian on the 1st & 15th of the month!

    damn yummy lor.. next time u try ordering their sweet & sour pork, and also their homemade tau foo! 🙂

  7. Precious Pea,
    There’s no FAT at all in those char siu, hehe.

    Food lover,
    Thanks for the tips 😀

  8. Card-Table Gypsy

    I’m curious why you say religious vegetarians shouldn’t eat fake meat. I’ve always been under the impression that it wasn’t about depriving oneself of the taste of meat, but rather about avoiding the death of another living creature in order to feed oneself. If no animals die to make fake meat, why is it any different from carrots or beans as far as being morally correct? Do they also have to be ascetics in order to be moral?

  9. Ocean of Lotuses » Blog Archive » January 11

    […] KY questions the morality of fake meat at a vegetarian restaurant named for Kuan Yin. « Reading for 2007 […]

  10. Gypsy, very good points raised. The perennial debate on this issue is well described at

    As for me, it is my firm belief that vegetarianism is a choice made by an individual with respect to his/her personal definition of the religion. As this choice does not cause any harm to other members of society, therefore I choose not to judge.

    Instead I choose to marvel at the ingenuity of man to bring wondrous creations of vegetarian cuisine to the table 🙂

  11. […] I have always been running low on ideas when asked to suggest a place to dine with our Muslim comrades, it’s usually either the local mamak joints, or for a wider choice of food, expensive halal restaurants (Italian, Japanese, etc). Things become even more complicated if we were thinking of halal Chinese food on an average budget, I wasn’t able to think of a place other than vegetarian places such as Kuan Yin at Seksyen 17, which is why I was overjoyed when introduced to the strangely named Penang Tropicana Restaurant at SS14. […]

  12. […] After getting to know about this from the ever popular Ho Chak series on 8TV, Kelvin suggested that we give Gopala Indian vegetarian restaurant at Brickfield a try. I didn’t have to drive there, so why not? Although I’m not a huge fan of vegetarian food, I’m always willing to try just about anything. […]

  13. […] about RM 26 per person for a pretty good vegetarian meal. The price is just slightly more than the Restaurant Kuan Yin at Seksyen 17 that I went, but with a nicer ambiance and free and easy to find parking spots at […]

  14. If you like to try reasonable (consider cheap) and delicious vegetarian food, please go to Natural Healthy Food Vegetarian Restaurant located at Damansara Uptown (82 Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya
    Selangor 47400), opposite Medan Selera. I am “addicted” to the nice food there. They use ozone water purification system to cleanse away the impurities on the vegetables before cooking. Also they don’t use MSG but using natural sea salt, wakame etc. you can also ask for eliminating the fake meat in the food that u order (this is what I always do).You can either try the fried rice, mee sua soup, tomyam beehoon, hor fun (from RM5-RM6) or can order dishes. Must try!!

  15. Soo Jou,
    Thanks for the information. 🙂

  16. Hey, let’s not get too chim over whether a vegetarian shud take imitation meat or not ok? Bottom line, the food in this vege restaurant is good. You shud enjoy it. Nanking? Well, no good and expensive.

  17. Is this restaurant still operating? Do you know what time they’ll start their business?

  18. Lindy,
    Yes they are! I think they’re open for both lunch and dinner.

  19. Guru Jaswant Khalsa

    If you are looking for a good vegetarian restaurant in PJ area, try Chayo. We are near the big Giant Mall (opp Old Town white coffee). We have pretty decent prices and have tasty vegetarian food and organic teas.
    We also use mock meat very rarely.

    Hope you can give it a try…:to preview our menu check out:

  20. truth enough as our teacher has also advised us that we should not eat mock meat as by eating the mock meat it is just liked eating the real meat. but i would rather all humans in this world just eat mock meat to satisfy their greedy stomach than to farm n kill all those animals just for their own pleasure.

    it is a good start for meat eaters that want to train their minds to eat vegetarian foods slowly and eating mock meat is a good start for all of us.

    in buddhism, we believe that it is very difficult to reborn as a human form as we need to accumulate merits for about 100 lifes in order to exchange one human form life.

    so, what u are when u are not in human form? if you are greedy, you will born as pig n etc.

    thts why our teacher always said that why you want to eat your parents? as you never know the meat that you eat now is your previous life parents or brothers…

  21. I have heard this argument of how it being pointless to be vegetarian but eating ‘vegetarian meat’. Well some ppl become vegetaria because they do not agree with the killing of the animals. It’s not the taste that they are against, but the killing. So if they can have a tasty dish that tastes like chicken without having an animal die, I don’t see how it’s pointless.

    • moots: For those doing it for sustainability and not killing animals, you have a great point and I do agree with you. The hypocrisy lies with those who does it for religious reasons.

  22. 1. Did you know that lion’s mane mushroom tastes somewhat like chicken? So are you saying vegetarians should NOT EAT it just because it tastes like meat?

    2. Did you know the reasons why people became vegetarian for religious reasons is because religion teaches compassion to all sentient beings?

    3. Are vegetarians who eat mock meat a more hypocritical than those who loves dogs but eat chicken?

    4. Did you know why people eat meat? Is it not for the taste bud too? (Doubt very much people like to kill animals right…)

    Time to ponder before making such discriminating remarks towards others. We should respect everyone’s choices including choice of food and beliefs.

    • Aurore:
      1. I did not say that you shouldn’t taste something just because it may taste like meat.
      2. Yes I do, but I do find that it is a bit disingenuous to be still craving for the taste of meat. It is perhaps too ideal…
      3. I don’t think they’re comparable, but a person who loves dog but eats mock meat that tastes like dog would be a bit .. weird.
      4. People eat meat partly because human are omnivore by nature.

      That being said this article was written exactly 11 years ago, I’ve since changed my view a little and do encourage people to eat less meat, mainly for the environmental benefits. 🙂

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