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Mar 30, 2011 10:56 AM

New vegetarian Taiwanese restaurant on Rachel

Decided to have lunch at Su Shian Yuang restaurant today, vegetarian Taiwanese. It's right next to Co'pain d'Abord bakery on Rachel near St-Denis so there are a lot of us with baguettes in our hands stopping to ponder the menu. They have two pages of lunch specials, each with different options. I had Bai Ye tofu that came with stirfried vegetables, rice, a little potato salad (something I didn't expect), a spring roll and a glass of cold white gourd tea that surprised me by being very sweet. It was a nice plate, very fresh, nothing startling, nicely prepared tofu, good rice, straightforward veggies. My husband had the noodles with sesame sauce that came with no tea or spring roll but instead a bowl of hot and sour soup. It was a tasty soup, similar to the one they serve at Chuch. The noodles were alright, topped with various shredded vegetables and something like fake ham and a copious amount of sesame sauce.

The portions are very big while the price is a bit high for a special, $10.75 each or so. I'll definitely go back to try other menu items, in particular the appetizers that sound nice like fried dumplings, deep fried sweet potato with home powder, crunchy tofu. They've also got some hot pots, something I hadn't considered as a vegetarian item before - there's a pumpkin and soya milk hot pot, for example. The drinks are also quite intriguing like the Hakka pestle cereal and smoked plum soup. Maybe someone familiar with Taiwanese cuisine can check it out and report back too.

In any case, it is a welcome addition to this Plateau neighbourhood and I'm definitely alerting my vegetarian friends. The menu has all kinds of thoughtful icons about whether eggs or dairy is included, or peanuts, so that will be helpful to those with allergies too.

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  1. Interesting; I have bad memories surrounding Co'pain d'Abord but I'd be willing to venture back onto the Plateau if there was mock goose to be had.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wattacetti

      No obvious mock meats on the menu but then again, there was the fake ham on the noodles, so you never know. There are, for example, smoky soya bean slices.

    2. Thanks for posting about this! My wife and I went there for dinner tonight. It was really empty which is a shame... the people there are super nice and the food was good. I went to Taiwan a few years ago and fell in love with the vegetarian food there so I was excited about this place.

      In Taiwan I found three main kinds of vegetarian eateries - there are pay-by-weight buffets which are usually full of greasy fake meat, there are sidewalk stands which just serve a few things like noodles and fried rice, and there are sit-down restaurants. This place was quite a lot like the few sit-down vegetarian restaurants I went to.

      In Taiwan all major Chinese cuisines are represented, but the local style of cooking usually involves light and sweet sauces, sesame oil, and fresh vegetables. So be aware that "spicy" doesn't really mean very spicy at all - nothing like Szechuan food! I liked the lack of obvious fake meats on the menu although I wonder if it will be a problem for Montreal people.

      The deep-fried soy milk skin roll is really good - this is often called "mock duck" at other restaurants and you can also buy it pre-packaged, but the menu here says that it's handmade. We also had the fried tofu balls, which were tasty - although the tofu doesn't seem like it's freshly fried.

      The drinks are very tasty, although, yes, very sugary - speaking of which, I'm interested to try their hand-made sun cakes (these are rarely found outside Taiwan).

      This place is really close to our house and I wish them best of luck - I'll definitely be going back to try some other things on their menu...

      1 Reply
      1. re: dhd

        Yes, it was empty when I went too but then it still very new. Thanks for your insight, it's very helpful! Will try the deep-fried soy milk skin roll next time.

      2. Yes this place is great and deserves to blossom and thrive. My wife is both vegetarian and a big fan of all things asian so we ate at Su Shian Yuang for our anniversary meal this weekend. It was very quiet for a cold saturday night (but of course its a new restaurant) but the staff made us feel so very warm and welcome and were extremely kind in making our meal a very special meal indeed - offering a variety of different foods to try.

        As somebody else mentioned the food is simple, fresh and tasty. Some dishes, such as the fruit rolls and asparagus rolls (like sweetened rice-less sushi rolls) are really delightful to discover and i could have happily eaten a table full of them. we both had a nice sour soup (good if you like mushrooms), a platter of different appetizers including the deep fried soyabean milk skin which and also an intriguing mash that looked like mashed potato but turned out to be apple! Also i really reccomend their chinese broccoli plate with sesame and their fried tofu in orange sauce and the white gourd tea with handmade bubbles and and...

        listen, its all good - but mostly they are just very nice people running a friendly bright restaurant - wonderfully smiley and welcoming - a little bit of asian spring and cherry blossom amidst the same old same old of the plateau.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jimsnail

          Based on jimsnail's review I took my family back here for dinner yesterday. We wanted to try a lot of things so we had hot and sour soup (loved it again), vegetarian springs rolls (they were good), a plate of dumplings (they were a bit sweet for me but my kids didn't notice and liked them, nice thick wrapper), then tried the recommended deep fried soyabean milk skin. I did think it was potato inside, nice texture, good filling pleasant dish. Next we had the fried noodles with black pepper and vegetables which was nice and peppery but lacking in salt, which was easily solved with a dash of soya sauce. The veggies were good but my husband didn't like the texture of the noodles, too spaghetti-like for him in this Asian context. I wish we'd tried the chinese broccoli plate and tofu in orange sauce instead. They brought us a complimentary sample of the sweet potato fries with homemade powder and the kids were ecstatic. Very yummy so that's first on our list next time. We also loved the white gourd bubble tea. Next time we'll try the rolls too. It's fun to have such a foreign menu with tasty, fresh food so close by so I hope business picks up and more people start going there.

        2. Went last night and had a great meal! Service very friendly. Had the deep fried soya bean milk skin that to us seemed a little bland, but picked up well with the red pepper paste in the condiments tray on the table. Also had the Chinese broccoli which was a great hit and the pepper noodles which we loved, Sauce was good and I love the baby bok choy with it. Did try the sun cake for dessert, but was not overly impressed with it. All in all, a very good meal and we both will be going back. The family is really great and deserve to do well in my book.

          1. It's very simple, very fresh, and very nostalgic. Being taiwanese, I remember going back to taiwan last summer and finding out how hard it was to find vegetarian options in restaurants compared to here. My grandma would buy me these soy products which I found yummy

            The food here was very authentic and reminded me of home. I will definitely be going back!

            1 Reply
            1. re: cinnahog

              now they are mapped

              Su Shian Yuang Restaurant Végétarien (Taiwanese Chinese Vegeterian)
              420 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC , CA