Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe: Worth The Visit!

When we first came to Malaysia, I visited Secret Recipe often. After a while, I found the quality so-so, or perhaps because I was more familiar with Malaysia and its food paradise I quickly forgot about it with the myriad of choices!

Soon, years went by without one visit to Secret Recipe. It is simply... forgetful, in my opinion. However, all that has changed. My view of its latest restaurant creation called Beyond Veggie ... simply divine and worth visiting again and again. And I literally mean "again" because after our meal there last Sunday lunch, we went back again for Monday dinner.

I know that vegetarian restaurants are not too many -- or at least I still need to discover them as I go on this vegetarian journey of mine. Meanwhile, I am sticking to a safe choice which is just around the neighborhood -- Publika to be exact.

We drove by Beyond Veggie couple of times months ago, and I also saw their branch at Tropicana. That sparked my interest but it was not enough to make me go in yet. The mix of my turning vegetarian plus the good reviews that I have seen online -- has prompted me to go visit. Twice.

To summarize in short terms why I would visit again and again:

- wide range of interesting tofu and mushroom dishes... and I will highlight below what I especially liked
- very clean and refreshing ambience -- white with some green, welcoming and brightly-lit
- service is much better than my last experience with Botanical -- at least the waiters are smiling and willing to help
- plenty of room and seats, unlike Botanical where it was cramped. Imagine I have 2 kids and I had 2 strollers (baby pram) and it was so tight at Botanical
- The portions are for sharing
- they have interesting drinks ! I especially like the 3 types of Fruit Tea they offered

Let me share more photos below and reasons why I would go back...

Ambience -- as you can see below the place is well-lighted and very refreshing to the eyes. I like the interior design. The fake grass gives a certain "eco-friendly" feeling as we enjoy vegetarian food... especially as one of the reasons why I turned vegetarian is due to trying to be more earth-friendly (and stopping animal cruelty).

Interior of Beyond Veggie

Interior of Beyond Veggie, nice green and white combination

I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit tea -- which can be nicely shared by 3 people. They are generous with the cups and they also give ice if you request for some. That way you get some "Fruit Shots" while you have your meal. I tried both the Original flavor and the Passion Fruit. Highly recommended.

Fruit Tea

This appetizer is okay. I wouldn't highly recommend... unless you are darn hungry and would like to eat some food quickly. It is okay in taste... nothing special.

Appetizer Pie Tee - top hat 

This is a winner! The red yeast fried rice that is served with some "satay stick" which is actually made of mushrooms -- oh so yummy! Definitely a must order when in Beyond Veggie.

Red Yeast Fried Rice

The next dish is a tofu dish with a different kind of sauce. Tasty and not bad. Will probably try this again next time.
 Mahogany Tofu dish 

My super favorite -- the Sweet and Sour mushroom dish which has a texture like meat. It is my first time to try this Lion's Mane Mushroom which I understand is hard to find / buy in Kuala Lumpur. Worth ordering again, and again... and again.

My favorite : Sweet and Sour Mushrooms ... really tasty and love the texture

We loved the Margherita Pizza. My daughter and my mom liked it... that is enough for me to garner plus points for this winning pizza.

Pizza Margherita worth ordering! My daughter loved it!

The Pistachio cake was okay -- nothing to shout about. 

Pistachio Cake slice

VM07 is the superb dish I liked so much I took a photo of the menu...
Especially loed the VM07 - Sweet and Sour Lion's Mane Mushroom

About RM145 for 3 adults and 1 toddler. It was a great experience... to the point we went back for another meal the next day. Glad Secret Recipe launched a Veggie option!

Bill for 4 adults and 1 toddler

Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe
Ground Floor Solaris Dutamas (Publika)
Tel 03-62053048

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Botanical at Bangsar: Nice Food and Ambience for Vegetarians, Though Can Improve Service

Fast forward to end of September -- I finally delivered my baby and on my way to recovering from my c-section. Though I was still in my confinement period (technically), we decided to go out for some vegetarian celebration at Bangsar. As you probably saw in my previous entries, I am starting to move towards vegetarianism, due to several films I have watched. If you are curious how a meat-eating lover like me can turn vegetarian, check out this POST.


We braved the Saturday traffic of Bangsar and went there with the whole entourage -- hubby, daughter, my mom, my maid and my little one in tow.

I read positive reviews about Botanical, hence the visit. The good news is that the reviews were consistent: they all said that the food was great and that the service sucks.

All of what they said were true. Both accounts.

We thoroughly enjoyed the food and presentation. Price-wise it wasn't too high up there despite the nice ambience they provide. However the big thing that would probably dissuade me from going too often would be the kind of service they provide. The waiters seems to be not to knowledgable and also not service-centric. From the way they talk and move, you can tell they need more training... even their manager.

Let me summarize it with photos...

They are having some lunch set specials because of the Halloween period. It seems to be a good deal, so we took one of it. The downside was the pace of service -- because it was so slow, my husband's Very Full Tart came super late -- and in the end we had to do a take-away because he was full from the rest of the stuff he partook from us.

Halloween promotion set menu 

This is the nice entrance of the Botanical area which is nestled in the middle of the walk-way on the 1st floor of Bangsar Village.

Botanical at Bangsar Village

They have an impressive window display which highlights their irresistible array of desserts which will tickle your fancy...Colorful and beautiful desserts!

Dessert Window

I ordered the Pasta Fagioli, which was recommended in some of the blogs I saw. It resembled the mac-and-cheese kind of baked pasta... albeit with a twist because they used some beans inside. The sauce also tasted light. My daughter liked the macaroni inside (she didn't eat the beans). I loved the bread that came with it, which had a hint of truffle taste.

Pasta e Faglioli

I ordered Mushroom Carbonara for the maid (and she gave some to my daughter). It looked presentable and tasted good (I tasted some of it, hee hee!).

A good choice for people who want comfort food.

Mushroom Carbonara

Complimentary bread-- which had olives in it. Nice touch with the brown bag container.

Complimentary Bread that had olives inside

I ordered a 4-cheese toastie for my daughter and for us to share. It was yummy and a good choice for cheese lovers. This came with some fries -- which little ones will surely appreciate!

Four Cheese Toastie

This is the Gado-Gado salad we ordered. The disappointing part is that it is spicy ... and when I asked the waiter if it was spicy or not, he assured me it wasn't. I guess it is partially my fault -- by now I should have learned my lesson that when Malaysian waiters say "not really spicy or not spicy", it means it is spicy to me in our definition... We didn't finish this dish and I wouldn't recommend this to people who are like me -- who don't take spicy stuff. Though I must say the presentation was nice.


Hubby's salad was superb. This is part of the menu set. It had pumpkin, beetroot and avocado inside (under all that greens). It was tasty and different. Highly recommended!

Pumpkin-Beetroot salad

This is what you can find under all that greens... nicely cubed pumpkin and beetroot. Tasty combination!

This is the ultra-late Very Full Tart for hubby. As you can see in the background, some almost empty and empty plates surround it. We were finished with our meal when it came... sigh!

Very Full Tart

We got the macadamia cheesecake for dessert as part of the menu set. It was tasty and not disappointing. Not too sweet either.

Macadamia Cheesecake

Bill for our lunch meal that day... 4 adults and 1 toddler. We didn't order drinks and just had some plain water which they served.

RM140 for 4 adults and 1 toddler

Conclusion: the place is 8/10.
Ambience and Concept is 9/10.
Food is 9/10.
Price is 8/10.
Service: 5/10 - so that you can set your expectations when you go there

Would I go back? Maybe.

1st floor, Bangsar Village 2,
Jalan Telawi, Bangsar

Opens daily 11am-10pm
Telephone: 03-22876566

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