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From top, left to right: Teppan rice, fried noodles with vegetables and seafood, noodle soup with vegetables and intestines.
Photo by: Tivea Koam

A short-lived health trip at Evergreen restaruant

If you put a bowl of noodle soup in front of me I won’t take a bite until every mint leaf has been carefully removed. With that in mind you should understand that I am not a health freak when I tell you that vegetarian restaurants are worth checking out.

I just like good food at cheap prices and after hearing my friends singing the praises of vegetarian food for the past few months, I couldn’t hold out any longer, so last week I gave “green food” a try at Evergreen restaurant ,the newest vegetarian spot in town.

This tidy eatery near New Market doesn’t quite meet What’s New standards of newness, having opened their doors over four months ago, but in the name of healthy eating we let it pass.

After a long day at school, my friends and I headed over to get some meatless grub around six o’clock. With a tall sign that reads “Evergreen restaurant”, it’s a difficult spot to miss, even though the actual restaurant is the size of a typical flat. Although vegetarian food seems to be more popular among young folks these days, it seems that, at least on this particular evening, Evergreen was not a beneficiary of this trend, since the only other guests were a family with small children.

The smell of mushrooms filled the small, well-decorated and sparkling clean dining room and it wasn’t long before we were perusing the menu and planning our dinner.

As I started looking at the options, I was taken aback by their carnivorous appeal; seafood, chicken, meatballs and even intestines didn’t fit in what I expected to be a strictly vegetarian selection. My friends were equally confused until a waitress came over and explained that all of these dishes were made of flour and various other plant-based ingredients in order to replicate the taste and texture of meat dishes. I chose Teppan rice while my friends ordered fried noodles with vegetables and seafood and noodle soup with vegetables and intestines.

The food started arriving and we were amazed at how much it looked like the real thing. “Same look but different taste,” was the way that one of my friends put it as he bit into the fake intestines.

When my rice came, the plate was still steaming and the variety of vegetables and egg on top looked delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I was unable to resist the temptation to dig in despite the obvious signs that it was still too hot to eat. Ouch!

I let my food cool and my friend gave me one of her vegetable-based prawns. It tasted nothing like the real thing, but the texture was similarly soft and chewy and quite enjoyable. Once I was finally able to eat my own dish I found the taste to be rather unspectacular. The atmosphere was still subdued and once we dug in to our meal the only sound that could be heard was the clanking of spoons.

We were so curious about the food that we forgot to order drinks, but we quickly corrected the situation. There was a long list of tea and soft drinks and I ordered a sesame tea and drank every drop.

Ultimately, the food didn’t impress me. Yet, I was glad I made the trip so I can say with confidence that vegetarian food just isn’t for me. Maybe I will come back once in a while when I am on a health kick or looking for a quiet place to relax, but it won’t be often. Or, at least I’ll bring along some real fried chicken to go with the delicious drink. We’ll just have to see.

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