Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook

Best Places To Eat in Bali - NOOK

After a lovely time strolling along Petitenget Beach, and soaking all the warmth and benefits of the sun, we were getting hungry. So, we headed off to lunch. And we chose one of the Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook!

When we planned our Bali itinerary, our research found lots of social media posts and articles that mentioned Nook. On Instagram and Pinterest, people were taking photos of dining by rice fields. There was a rustic charm to this, and we were keen to try it.

So, we made sure our private tour guide knew of this place and would organize one of our lunches here. It turned out we did not have any concern. He was familiar with Nook.

It seemed that this restaurant was already quite well known. As he drove us to Nook, I silently hoped that it would not be a place where the hype outshone the dining experience. Would I be disappointed? Read on to find out.


Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Nook
Cuisine: Indonesian, Asian Fusion, Western
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, Drinks and Cakes
Dining Choices: Dine In, Outdoor Seating,Take Away, Takes Reservations
Parking: Lots and valet parking
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$

Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Bali Food List - Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries
Food Standards & Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Dine by the paddy fields. A truly unique once-in-a-lifetime experience offered by Nook, Bali Indonesia. Such rustic charm that offers a quiet and peaceful meal with friends and family.

3.9

Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Video

Imagine enjoying a scrumptious meal and drinks right next to a traditional rice field in Bali. As you enjoy the food, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the wind is gently caressing the growing padi leaves. Watch the video to see why there is all the fuss about Nook, and this unique dining experience.

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What is Nook All About?

As we left Petitenget Beach, I asked our private driver how long would it take to reach Nook? With a confident smile, he answered that it would take about 10 to 15 minutes. This surprised us as in our minds, we had this idea that Nook was far off in some local paddy field.

Well, it was. But it was only just outside the busy streets of Seminyak. When we reached there, we were pleasantly surprised. It was rather quaint. The restaurant was in structures made of wood, much like local houses in Indonesia.

Best Places to Eat in Bali - Entrance to Nook, Bali
Best Places to Eat in Bali – Entrance to Nook, Bali

I wondered how Nook came about? And it was only when I returned home that I found out that a local Indonesian entrepreneur thought of this concept.

In April 16 2013, the restaurateur created this new dining experience where customers can dine next to a rice field (also called a paddy field). It was al fresco dining where guests can enjoy fresh air, a quiet and peaceful space, and of course great food.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Dine Next to Rice Fields at Nook
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Dine Next to Rice Fields at Nook

When we were at Nook, the paddy shoots were just growing. I can only imagine how awesome it would look when the paddy is all full grown, and patrons are treated to panoramic view of lush rice fields.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Nook Bali Rice Field
Best Restaurants in Bali – Nook Bali Rice Field

Travel Tip: Ask for a table just next to the paddy field. It is really an enchanting dining experience.


How is the Food at Nook?

We asked for a table by the paddy fields, and facing it. The staff said they would try their best as it was dependent on availability. We were lucky, and they managed to get us a table just next to the fields.

After we sat down, they showed us the menu. We ordered some food and drinks. Thankfully, the drinks arrived first. We were so thirsty!

Best Restaurants in Bali - Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing - Top View - at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing – Top View – at Nook Bali

Don’t the drinks look so yummilicious!? The mango and pineapple juices were sweet and fresh. I had a drink called the Wild Thing. The name attracted me, and I felt a little wild that day. Just kidding.

The Wild Thing is a mix of apple, pineapple and watermelon. It was refreshing!

Best Restaurants in Bali - Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing - at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Mango Juice, Pineapple Juice and Wild Thing – at Nook Bali

Travel Tip: We heard the coffee is quite good here. We were too full to try it. Maybe you can try it, and let us know?

The food soon arrived. First, the potato fries came. The private tour guide ordered it. It was so little! We kept urging him to order more food. But he politely declined, and said that was all he needed. I believe he may have been a little too shy.

Then the Special Babi Guling, which was Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig, was served. As you can see, there were rice, vegetables, satay, side dishes, and a soup that accompanied the suckling pig.

To be honest, it was mediocre in taste. The suckling pig was a little tough. They could have made it a little more tender. The satay was better than the one we had last night. But still not good enough quality.

Bali Food List - Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries
Bali Food List – Special Babi Guling (Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig) and Potato Fries

Next was the Udang Balado, which is prawn cooked in tomato based garlic sauce, served with rice and vegetables at the side. This dish was better. The sauce was piquant, and complemented the rice. But the prawns were a little small and tough. It would have been better if the prawns were larger, and juicier.

Bali Food List - Udang Balado at Nook Bali - Prawn Cooked in a Tomato Based Garlic Sauce, served with rice
Bali Food List – Udang Balado at Nook Bali – Prawn Cooked in a Tomato Based Garlic Sauce, served with rice

I had read that some people call Nook as a warung that served a good variety of Balinese, Indonesian, and Asian-Western Fusion cuisine. In fact, some went as far as to say that the Nasi Campur is one of the best in Bali. Nasi means ‘rice’, and Campur means ‘mixed’.

I beg to differ. While I agree the food is good. In the next few days, we discovered some cafes and restaurants that served better dishes. In fact, there is a warung that is very popular with the locals. And I will blog about that later.

Bali Food List - Nasi Campur Dishes to Choose From
Bali Food List – Nasi Campur Dishes to Choose From

To be fair, we did not try the Nasi Campur. We ordered the other special dishes. And my impression of their quality of food is based on what we tried. Maybe the Nasi Campur is really good? You try it, and let us know?


How to Order the Food and Drinks?

Ordering food and drinks at Nook is about the same as ordering food and drinks at most restaurants. There is a menu. The drinks and breakfast choices are printed on one side.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Nook Drinks Menu
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Nook Drinks Menu

The new dishes, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, local favorites, pasta, dinner dishes, specialties and desserts are printed on the other side. Take your time to choose.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Nook Food Menu
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Nook Food Menu

When ready, just wave to the nearest server. And he or she will come to you to take your orders. There. Simple, right?


What Does Nook Look Like?

After the meal, I decided to walk around to see what the rest of Nook looked like. I captured it all on video. Watch the video above to see a tour of the place.

What Does Nook Bali Look Like Inside
What Does Nook Bali Look Like Inside

One thing nice about Nook is the table setting. Clean. Simple. No fuss. There is the usual displays on food and drinks they suggest for the day. Other than that, the table is clean. And the utensils arrive with the food.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Table Decor at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Table Decor at Nook Bali

*** Travel Tip: Ask for napkins. Strangely, they do not place them at the table until you ask for them.

As you are aware, at Nook, you are dining amidst nature. So, there would be some little birds and creatures around. There are trees, shrubs, open air, clouds, and flowers. The birds are lovely with their sweet chirping. The insects are subjective.

Best Restaurants in Bali - View of Paddy Field at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – View of Paddy Field at Nook Bali

To me, I am all right with all types of creatures and animals moving about as we enjoy our lunch. Here is a little friendly spider that decided to visit us while we ate.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Dine with Nature's Creatures
Best Restaurants in Bali – Dine with Nature’s Creatures

Travel Tip: If you have an aversion to creatures and animals, then this is not the place for you. Consider other venues for your dining needs.


What Else is at Nook?

Besides food and beverages, Nook has a little retail going on. Check out all the nice stuff you can get here.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - Little Retail Corner at Nook Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – Little Retail Corner at Nook Bali

There are some things you can even get as souvenirs.

Best Places To Eat in Bali - More Retail at Nook Bali
Best Places To Eat in Bali – More Retail at Nook Bali

And of course, there are all the pretty flowers to appreciate as you take your time, and have a good breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Best Restaurants in Bali - Bougainvilleas at Nook Bali
Best Restaurants in Bali – Bougainvilleas at Nook Bali

Nook – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 3.9 out of 5.0

After all that I have seen on articles and social media about the unique dining experience at Nook, I must say they do have that winning factor. It was really charming to sit and enjoy the view of paddy fields.

The sun shining on the plantation, the gentle breeze teasing the leaves of the paddy, the peaceful ambience, all made the time spent here delightful.

But that very unique feature made me think – how many times will a customer have their meals at Nook? What will make a customer come back?

After all, the eating by the paddy field thing needs only be done once, and that’s it.

So, the next level of selling proposition must be the food. And to be honest, the food is not that memorable. What we have tasted have not succeed in alluring us back for another round.

Don’t get me wrong. The food is good. It is worth it to visit Nook, and enjoy a meal. But to go back again? Well, maybe not.

Still, the unique experience has saved this restaurant from a terrible three star rating. But because the food is not good enough, it does not deserve a five star rating. I give this a four star rating. And encourage you to try only to be able to have said you have tried Nook, and ate by a paddy field.


Where is Nook?

One of the saving graces of Nook is that it is not in the busy city areas. But that is also one of the inconveniences because you have to travel there by a vehicle.

Booking.com

Address

Jalan Umalas I No.3, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 8 am to 11 pm

Telephone: +62 361 8475625


How to Get to Nook?

Train

Nope. No train to Nook. In fact, no train in Bali.

Bus

From what I have seen, it is better to take the taxi or get a private driver.

Walk

You are going to Nook to enjoy a meal. Don’t walk. It is too far, and you will end up drinking more than eating. Perhaps be so exhausted that you are unable to enjoy the pretty paddy field view. Take the taxi or get a private driver.

Taxi/Grab

You can take the taxi or Grab to Nook. For more information about getting about an Indonesian city, read my article about Indonesia.

Scooter/Motorcycle

Looks tempting because it is a cheap way to get around. But be careful. Wear a helmet. We did not choose this after reading about the accidents that killed many locals and tourists who rode scooters or motorcycles.

Private Driver and Tour Guide

Our choice of transport in Bali. And we will get our favorite private driver and tour guide again when we visit next time. It is so convenient.

Travel Tip: Get a private driver and tour guide. Contact me, and I will connect to ours. He is awesome!


We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Bali? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome island? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food!

Hong Kong Food - Kam Kee Cafe - Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food

Searching for great tasting local Hong Kong Food? Then look no further. Kindly allow me to introduce to you Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food!

It was just after 1 pm. And I finally arrived at the Butterfly on Morrison Boutique Hotel. But, check in time was at 2 pm. The friendly staff at the front desk gently informed me that my room was not ready yet. She suggested that I go for lunch, and return later.

That was a good idea as I was already feeling hungry. I asked her where would be a good place to enjoy good food nearby? She asked me what type of cuisine I would like to have?

There were Italian, American, and of course, local. I chose local. She recommended Kam Kee Cafe.

The cafe was just a few minutes walk away from the hotel. And she promised me that the food is really good. I smiled, and thanked her as I set off with great anticipation. I was not disappointed. Continue reading to find out how good the food was.


Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food! – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Kam Kee Cafe
Cuisine: Local Hong Kong Food, Cha Chaan Teng, Recipes from the 60s since 1967
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dining Choices: Dine In, Take Away, Delivery
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$

Kam Kee Cafe Review – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Breakfast Set - Toast, Fried Eggs, Deep Fried Fish Fillet and Hong Kong Milk Tea
Food Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary


Searching for great tasting local Hong Kong Food? Then look no further. Let me to introduce to you Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food!

4

Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food! – The Video

With my new Huawei Mate 20 Pro, I took a video of Kam Kee Cafe. You get to see from outside to inside. Plus, menu and few of the dishes I enjoyed. Watch now!

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About Kam Kee Cafe

The story of how Kam Kee Cafe came about is fascinating. The original owner, Chan Gui Chou, arrived in Hong Kong in the 1950s. He started the eating place in 1967.

The recipes have not changed since. Even today, the current owner has maintained the integrity and standards of those same dishes served since 1967.

He did add a dinner menu. Only because of high rent that required this small change, and longer operating hours. Not that anyone is complaining. Especially since we get to enjoy more good food from this cafe.



Entrance to Kam Kee Cafe

If you don’t know Chinese words, the cafe may be a little hard to find. That is why I have the video above to help you locate it. And this little screen shot below, too.

Kam Kee Cafe Entrance
Kam Kee Cafe Entrance

It looks like a little small shop from the outside. And in fact, it is only taking the space of one shop. This is why it looks small, and may be hard to find if you don’t know what to look out for.

Inside, the cafe’s space is long. And that is why they can accommodate quite a lot of people. Check out the video above to see what it looks like on the inside.

Outside the cafe, there are posters and standing displays of their menu and popular meals. You can’t miss seeing them. Shown below is the upper part of the standing display that shows the breakfast sets available.

1967 Breakfast Menu Signage
1967 Breakfast Menu Signage

The photo below is the lower part of the standing display that is promoting their popular morning breakfast. I had the Fish Fillet with Eggs and Toast. I share more about this set meal further down this article.

Kam Kee Morning Breakfast Menu Signage
Kam Kee Morning Breakfast Menu Signage

At the entrance, there are posters to promote more meals. Not sure what to have? Choose any of the Top 10 Signature Dishes. You can’t go wrong.

Kam Kee Top 10 Signature Dishes Signage
Kam Kee Top 10 Signature Dishes Signage. Choose any of these and you can be sure you get the best tasting food here.

Delicious Dishes at Kam Kee Cafe

As mentioned earlier, the menu and recipes of the dishes at Kam Kee Cafe have not changed since 1967 when it first started. And that is a good thing.

This is because the food is really good. The cafe is what is known as a Cha Chaan Teng. And the food served is Cha Chaan Teng style.

How to Order Food and Drinks?

Earlier on, I was introduced to Kam Kee Cafe by the hotel front desk. As I stepped in through the entrance, I was a little shy and unsure of how things work.

In addition, it was lunch time. The cafe’s peak hour. There was already a lunch crowd. Every table was filled or almost filled with customers. It can be quite intimidating.

Fortunately, the wait staff were very friendly. They asked me how many people in my party. I indicated just one – me.

Then they encouraged me to find any empty seat. The pointed to one where a young Caucasian guy sat alone in a table for four. Ahhh. I soon realized. This is how it is in Hong Kong. Just join in at any table. As long as the seat is available.

I asked the guy if it is all right for me to join him at the table. He smiled and nodded, waving his hand to an empty seat, inviting me to join him at that table.

A menu was soon placed in my hand. I started to browse through it

Kam Kee Cafe Menu - It is actually hanging at the wall next to or near a table
Kam Kee Cafe Menu – It is actually hanging at the wall next to or near a table

There is actually a lot of choices. And I soon noticed that there are dishes for breakfast, and some for after 11 am. Below is a list of the Top 10 Signature Dishes they offer.

Top 10 Signature Dishes by Kam Kee Cafe - The Best of The Best!
Top 10 Signature Dishes by Kam Kee Cafe – The Best of The Best!

They have set meals that come complete with eggs and toast. Plus for just a little extra, you can have a drink. The choices are coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc. Most people choose the popular Hong Kong Milk Tea (more about this awesome drink further down).

Kam Kee Cafe Set Menu
Kam Kee Cafe Set Menu

If you arrive after 11am, do note that not all the dishes are available. Look for the menu choices under the list stated as Available after 11 am. See the image below to see what I mean.

This is a list of Kam Kee Cafe Set Menu available After 11AM
This is a list of Kam Kee Cafe Set Menu available After 11AM

Of course, this After 11 am list is not just these two pages that you see in the above image. There are few more pages with lots of choices. For example, the Yong Chow Fried Rice with Hong Kong Milk Tea set that I had.

Yong Chow Fried Rice - This is one of the popular ways to cook fried rice. It is very tasty and the rice is cooked with fresh shrimps, slices of ham, Chinese sausages, slices of lettuce and egg
Yong Chow Fried Rice with Hong Kong Milk Tea

The Yong Chow Fried Rice was one of the best I had in a long while. And that included Singapore and other countries I have visited the past few years. The shrimps were fresh, bouncy and juicy. The ham, Chinese sausage, lettuce and fried egg added a delightful combination that made every bite a gastronomical pleasure.

So, how did I order? It was easy. I can speak Cantonese and Mandarin. But I am not that fluent. So to save any embarrassment, I spoke English. And the wait staff spoke and understood English too. At the same time I pointed at the food and drink I desired so that there can be no mistakes.

More Delicious Food from Kam Kee Cafe

The food was so good that I went back a few times to try more of their delicious food. Here is the breakfast set that comes with toast, fried eggs, deep fried fish fillet and of course the Hong Kong Milk Tea.

Breakfast Set - Toast, Fried Eggs, Deep Fried Fish Fillet and Hong Kong Milk Tea
Breakfast Set – Toast, Fried Eggs, Deep Fried Fish Fillet and Hong Kong Milk Tea

The Fish Fillet is a real treat! The slice of fish is thick and moist, with a nice flavor. The crust is a thin and crispy. Every bite is so enjoyable as I cut through the crust easily with my teeth and then sink into the moist and juicy fish inside.

Tip: While the fried eggs are nice, do ask for scrambled eggs. They do that so much better in Hong Kong.

The macaroni with ham and cheese is also a popular dish. Many locals enjoy this for breakfast or lunch. To be honest, I do not find this anything special. But I do understand the emotions connected with this dish. The simplicity and flavor brings back memories of the 60s, and the feelings of the good old days.

Macaroni, Ham and Cheese Set with Hong Kong Milk Tea
Macaroni, Ham and Cheese Set with Hong Kong Milk Tea

Popular Hong Kong Milk Tea

I miss this lovely concoction. I truly believe there must be a special kind of tea they use, and a specific percentage of evaporated milk to create this unique tea.

Delicious Hong Kong Milk Tea
Delicious Hong Kong Milk Tea

The tea is light yet full. The taste is memorable. Till today, I am trying out milk teas in Singapore in the hope of finding one that is the same quality. I have not found it yet


They Deliver Too!

If you are too busy or simply wish to have some good food in the comforts of your hotel room, you can order from the cafe, and have the food and drinks delivered to your room. Here is the cover of the delivery menu.

Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu - Cover
Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu – Cover

And the inside and back of the cover that contain the list of food and drinks.

Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu - Inside
Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu – Inside
Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu - Back Cover
Kam Kee Cafe Delivery Menu – Back Cover

Personally, I would much prefer to dine in. The atmosphere, the service, the customers. All that add to the dining experience.

At the same time, I do get this delivery option. Most people working in Hong Kong may not wish to go out for lunch. It can get very crowded. So, it is much more relaxing to eat in the office kitchen or pantry.

Also, there are private apartments in this area. Some people may like to have their dinners sent to their homes, and enjoy it comfortably there.


Kam Kee Cafe – Awesome Authentic Cha Chaan Teng Food! – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

The food served here at Kam Kee Cafe is really good. Very delicious! And the Hong Kong Milk Tea is flavorful. Not as great at the one served at Honolulu Cafe. But still just as delectable.

If you yearn for local food, or Cha Chaan Teng food, then you must try Kam Kee Cafe.

I would definitely recommend the same dishes I tried. The Fish Fillet set is really awesome! The Yong Chow Fried Rice is so tasty!

There is one dish that I did not have the time to try but I wish I did. It was one of the Top 10 Signature Dishes, and it was the Baked Tomato Pork Chop with Rice. On my first visit there, the Caucasian guy had this. And it smelled so good! It is definitely on my list of food to eat the next time I am in Hong Kong.


Where is Kam Kee Cafe?

Kam Kee Cafe has many branches. The one that I frequented was along Tin Lok Lane. The reason I came to this branch so often is due to convenience. It was near the hotel where I stayed at. And it was one of the perfect places to go to for breakfast.

Address

Shop D-E, G/F, Diamond Building, 6-18 Tin Lok Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 7 am to 11 pm

Telephone: +852 2202 4168


How to Get There?

MTR

Although, technically the address is in Wan Chai, this food place is actually closer to Causeway Bay MTR Station. Alight at this station, and head for Exit B. Then walk about 7 minutes to this location.

If you are not sure, which direction to head from Exit B, use the Google Map shown above.

Bus

There are many buses to Tin Lok Lane. Check which bus comes from your hotel. Ask your hotel front desk for directions.

Walk

If you stay at a hotel near Tin Lok Lane, then I recommend you walk over. Again, ask your hotel front desk for directions.

The front desk staff at Butterfly On Morrison had a small map that was very handy when guiding guests to places of interest around the hotel. It was how they showed me which direction to go towards the cafe.

Taxi/Grab

Of course, if you stay far away and do not wish to take the MTR, there is the choice of taxi or Grab. For more info about how to take the taxi, grab or other ways to Get Around Hong Kong, go to my page about Hong Kong.



We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Hong Kong? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome city that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Good Hong Kong Food – Kam Kee Cafe, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Hong Kong Food – Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant

Good Food In Hong Kong - Po Lin Monastery Gateway - Header

Hong Kong Food – Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant

After a wonderful morning at Tian Tan Buddha (also lovingly called Big Buddha), we were hungry. The climb up the 268 steps and back down, plus walking around and inside the inner halls surely worked up an appetite. We hunger for Good Hong Kong Food!

Fortunately, the ticket we bought included a full course meal at the Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant.

We had read many good things about the restaurant and the food they served. And looked forward to experiencing it first-hand. We wanted to see if it really was as good as what netizens have claimed.

Below is the brief intro about Po Lin Monastery and the Summary of Ratings, followed by our experience tasting the food at vegetarian restaurant. Continue reading to join us for this gastronomical journey.


About Po Lin Monastery

Po Lin is a Buddhist monastery. It was founded in 1906 by three monks. And is located on Ngong Ping at Lantau Island of Hong Kong. The location is quite remote, in a setting that is amongst lush and serene mountains.

It is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums. After Tian Tan Buddha was added, it became a very popular destination for locals and tourists.

There is a well known vegetarian restaurant that is famous for serving delicious vegetarian dishes. Around the monastery, and everywhere in Ngong Ping, there are beautiful flowers, lush greenery, and even wildlife and livestock.

This tree was at the hill slope, at the side of the 268 steps to Tian Tan Big Buddha.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Lush Greenery along the slope of the hills at Tian Tan Buddha
Lush Greenery along the slope of the hills at Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Tip: When you are at Ngong Ping, do take time to notice the pretty flowers, plants and trees there.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Beautiful Flowers Everywhere at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Beautiful Flowers Everywhere, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

There are ways to get there; such as by MTR to Tung Chung MTR station then by bus or cable car, or by ferry. More info below.


Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant – The Overview & Rankings

Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant - 4 out of 5 Stars Rating

Name: Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese, Vegetarian, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals Served: Lunch, Dinner
Dining Choices: Dine In
Family Friendly: Yes
Food: 4.0 out of 5.0
Service: 3.0 out of 5.0
Value: 4.0 out of 5.0
Atmosphere: 3.0 out of 5.0
Prices: $$$ out of $$$$$
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0  


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click Here!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click Here!

On the Way to Po Lin

After a wondrous time at the top of the hill, and being awestruck by the colossal Tian Tan Buddha, the inner halls of treasure and the breath-taking views of the mountains, we began to feel hungry.

Fortunately, the ticket we purchased earlier included a set meal at the Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant. To get there, we had to walk down the 268 steps. This time, it was not so tiring as going up.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Pavilion and Gateway to Po Lin Monastery can be seen to be just across Tian Tan Buddha
Pavilion and Gateway near Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

As we reached the lower flights of steps, we noticed many people praying at a circular construct. We found out later that this is called the Pavilion.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Pavilion just across Tian Tan Buddha
Pavilion just across Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

It was nothing sensational. But it was nice to see and experience every part of this tourist attraction.


Entrance to Po Lin Monastery

Po Lin Monastery was just across the Tian Tan Buddha. After we reached the bottom of the 268 steps, and crossed the Pavilion, we saw the gateway to the monastery.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Gateway to Po Lin Monastery
Gateway to Po Lin Monastery, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Vegetarian Deluxe Set Meal

Do not expect the usual window display of food or large neon signs to indicate where the restaurant is. This is a simple and unassuming eating place.

Look for the temple, and then walk to the left side of the front of the temple. Look for signs where one of them would indicate the restaurant, and the direction it is located.

Though it took a bit of time to find, it was actually easy to spot the restaurant. Here is where you have to be sure which room to enter. Earlier, we purchased the Deluxe Set Meal. A sign on the door of the restaurant informed us that the meal would be served in the VIP (Very Important Person) room.

Tip: Remember to Buy the Deluxe Set Meal when you purchase the ticket at Big Buddha. It is worth the money. The room is air-conditioned (great for a hot day), and the meals are served by wait staff. ==> Read Big Buddha post for info on How to Buy the Best Deal for visit to Big Buddha Museum & the Deluxe Set Meal <==

One of the wait staff greeted us as we entered the VIP room. She asked for our ticket, and we showed it, and informed her that there were four of us dining. Immediately, she allocated us a table.

After that, everything happened really fast and efficiently. There was nary a smile or pleasant conversation. It was not horrible either. Just very mechanical and quick.

The plates and utensils were placed, followed by bowls for washing hands or tea cups. Then the dishes arrived one after another.

Here is what you get for a Deluxe Meal for four (note: menu may change over time):

The first dish was the Deep Fried Bean Curd Sheets with Lemon Sauce. It was cooked in a sweet and sour style. We must admit that this is a great starter. The sweetness and sourness was not too heavy, and not too light. Just the right amount to make this a mouth watering combination that increased our already worked up appetites.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Deep Fried Bean Curd Sheets with Lemon Sauce
Deep Fried Bean Curd Sheets with Lemon Sauce, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The Bean Curd Sheets were crispy yet full without being flaky. At some places, the bean curd sheets get soggy very quickly because of the sauce. They have managed to keep the sheets crispy even after we started on the other dishes that came soon after.

The next dish was the Black Mushrooms with Vegetables. This turned out to be the highlight of the meal.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Black Mushrooms with Vegetables
Black Mushrooms with Vegetables, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

They mushroom were firm and chewy. Notice some places served mushrooms that just tasted like nothing? Not here. At Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant, there was a light yet distinct mushroom taste on our tongues! It was just the right amount of flavor too!

The green vegetables were no lightweight, too. The ingredients were so fresh and full of taste of each type of vegetable that we suspected they might have been grown in the fertile lands of Ngong Ping. Maybe even organic?

Every Chinese meal should have soup. Or at least that is a Cantonese way of having meals. Sadly, the Mixed Mushroom Soup was disappointing. We did not think much of it.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Mixed Mushroom Soup
Mixed Mushroom Soup, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

It was a thick soup with bean noodles, black fungus, strands of bean curd skin and assorted mushrooms. While nice to have and drink after an exhausting walk up and down the steps to Big Buddha, the taste was bland and nothing special to speak of.

We thought it was going downhill after the soup. Thankfully, things bounced back. The Spring Rolls were served next.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Spring Rolls
Spring Rolls, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

I love Spring Rolls! And the ones from Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant were really good! They were well fried such that the skin was light and crispy. The filling was tasty with light sweet and peppery flavors. Again, we could tell how fresh the ingredients were.

After the Spring Rolls, we were hopeful for the rest of the meal to be even better. We were rght!

Good Food In Hong Kong - Asparagus with Mixed Mushroom and Cashews
Asparagus with Mixed Mushroom and Cashews, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The Asparagus with Mixed Mushrooms and Cashews was a delightful dish. Besides the asparagus, mushrooms and cashews, there were also celery, red & yellow peppers, and snap peas. We could savor each and every individual vegetable’s flavor. Plus, the combination of the vegetables made this a crunchy and scrumptious combo.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Fresh Lotus with Potato Paste
Fresh Lotus with Potato Paste, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The Fresh Lotus with Potato Paste surprised us. At a glance, we thought this was a dish of yams. I do not particularly like yams. But my friends revealed to me that they were actually fresh lotus and very palatable. I gave it a try, and it was really good! We changed our minds. This might be the best dish of the entire meal.

Tip: Save your appetite for delicious desserts from the deli next to the vegetarian kitchen. See the next part to read more about it.


Delicious Desserts

After lunch, we patronized the Deli that was next to the vegetarian kitchen (from the VIP room, turn left). Here, there was an assortment of snacks and desserts such as steamed cakes, noodles, bean curd, glutinous rice dumplings, and more.

The Bean Curd is renowned and highly praised by many. It is fresh because it is home-made by the monastery daily.

Good Food In Hong Kong - Delicious Desserts such as Bean Curd, Mango Pudding and Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Peanut and Green Bean Paste fillings
Delicious Desserts

We tried the Bean Curd, Mango Pudding and Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Peanut and Green Bean Paste fillings. The bean curd was as good as its reputation; fragrant, soft and silky. The dumplings were a surprise. They were so soft and flavorful.

You must try all these when you are here!

Tip: The stock at the Deli is limited. Some favourite items, like the bean curd, are made in small quantities. You should buy them when you see that they are available. A good idea would be visit the Deli first, buy what you wish to try, and bring in to the VIP Room to enjoy with your Deluxe Meal.


Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

From our experience, most of our friends are reluctant to have vegetarian meals. When we have lunches and dinners together, rarely they would agree to it. Unless, of course, they are vegetarians.

Over the years, we do find that more and more of our friends are all right with vegetarian food. It might not be their first choice. But if suggested, they are open to it. Though, sometimes with hesitation.

We dare say that if they tried the food at Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant, they would change their mindset about vegetarian food.

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant - 4 out of 5 Stars Rating

The restaurant did not get full 5.0 rating only because of the ambience, and service. Sure, we understand that they are not really a commercial establishment.

But then again, people paid money for this. So, it would have been nice to sit in a better decorated restaurant. And nicer when the wait staff are a little friendlier. We do not expect too much. Just a smile now and then. And some greeting perhaps?

Aside from the little bit of down side, the food is really worth enjoying. That is why, although service was not good and environment was not ideal, the rating is not low. The food raised it to a 4.0.

Anyway, you will most probably spend the day at Tian Tan Buddha. Why not have good food?


Where is Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant?

Address

Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island

Operating Hours at Po Lin Monastery: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 8am to 6pm

Operating Hours at Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Kitchen:
Monday to Friday (except public holidays), 11.30 am to 4.30 pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 11.30 am to 7.00 pm


How to Get There?

MTR

Go to MTR Tung Chung Station. Take Exit B. Then take the Ngong Ping Cable Car. This will take around 25 minutes. Another 10 minutes’ walk to the monastery.

Bus

Or from the same Tung Chung Station, take New Lantao Bus 23. This will take about 45 minutes, then 8 minutes’ walk to the monastery.

Ferry

Another way to get there is by Ferry, which you have to board at Central Pier 6. Take the ferry to Mui Po, then take New Lantao Bus 2 to Ngong Ping Village. All this may take around 40 minutes, minus wait time.


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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Going to Hong Kong? Or know anyone who may like to visit this awesome city that is one of the Best Places to Visit in Asia? Please share this article.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Good Hong Kong Food – Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this. Next, we visited the Wisdom Path. Don’t miss this interesting place that you must visit when you are at Big Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus