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Thursday, March 18, 2010

‘Luo Han’ Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant, Bangalore


For more vegan-friendly restaurants in Bangalore reviewed in this blog, you can click this link.

Have you heard of a Chinese restaurant that is vegetarian? Most of us haven’t. So, it is a pleasant surprise to come across Luo Han, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in the city of Bangalore. And, with Luo Han we lay the foundation for the series of stories for Vegan India!
“A food revolution is sweeping over Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong,” says Mr. William Chang, the proprietor of Luo Han, as he sits down to chat with us in the simple yet tastefully done interiors of his restaurant. “More and more people in these countries are turning vegetarian for ethical, environmental, spiritual, and health reasons,” continues Mr. Chang.

Luo Han interiors

Is he also part of this change, we want to know. Mr. William Chang is a fourth generation Chinese born and settled in India. Several years ago, the search for spirituality led him to join the Hong Ci Ashram in Austin Town, Bangalore. The Hong Ci Ashram inspires people to respect all life forms by infusing their lives with the teachings of 'Dharma' and 'cause and effect'.
"How else can we explain human miseries on Earth? Or, expect anything good to happen to the human race when we don’t show mercy to animal life?” asks Mr. Chang. 
Mr. Chang who turned vegetarian soon after joining the Ashram did not stop there. He took his new ideals further by opening Luo Han in 2006. Luo Han translated 'a disciple of The Buddha' or 'a seeker of enlightenment', is his salvation from his “karmic debts”, says Mr. Chang. Many of his friends and acquaintances, similarly inspired by the Hong Ci Ashram, have returned to China and started Chinese vegetarian restaurants there, he adds.
The Menu

The menu at Lou Han has an amazing mix of not only Chinese but Thai dishes as well. From the soups to the nibbles, from the main course consisting of a variety of rice, noodles, and macaroni, to the side dishesLuo Han seems to have a wide variety. There are more than 350 recipes to select from! The recipes are flavored with ingredients such as basil, lemon grass, coconut, tamarind, sesame, and peanuts to name a few. We decide to try some interesting combinations. The Tofu Wrapped in Bird Nest sounded interesting and turned out even better and so did the Spinach Soup! We tried some Chinese Mei Fun for the main course. While the Mei Fun noodles were nice and fresh with the subtle aroma of rice, the Mei Fun vegetables in Sweet and Sour Dragon Sauce were flavorsome! We rounded off our meal with steaming fragrant Chinese tea.

Vegan notes  

The noodles used at Lou Han are eggless. Also, many dishes at Lou Han are Vegan. The dishes that are not vegan are those made with paneer (cottage cheese) and honey. If you are a vegan with reservations about refined sugar, let the staff know that you do not wish for it in your dish and your request will be complied with. As with all Chinese cooking, ghee (clarified butter) or milk is not used.

Luo Han USP  

A vast variety of delectable vegetable preparations, succulent tofu preparations, and a consistency in taste each time you go there!

Luo Han contact and food order details
 

Telephone: 080-64505304

Address: No. 666, 27th Main Road, 13th Cross, HSR Layout Sector 1, Bangalore – 560034


Timings: 11am-3pm and 7pm-11pm 


Additional information: You can also purchase fresh home-made soy paneer (tofu) from Lou Han by placing an order a day before. You will need to buy a kilogram at a time costing Rs.90/-. 

Cost factor 


A hearty meal for two costs between Rs.250/- to Rs.300/-.

Concluding notes


Does Mr. Chang have expansion plans, is something we want to know. 
“My worst critics who doubted that my idea of serving ‘vegetarian Chinese’ food will ever work have been proved wrong. Today, many people are coming and appreciating the food we serve. There is a demand for our newly designed table mat, even!” quips Mr. Chang as he hands us a copy of a table mat. 
What is special about the Luo Han table mats is the message on vegetarianism and veganism each carries! You can read the text on the table mat by clicking the thumbnail image below.  
“Luo Han does not have any other branch and does not wish for it yet,” continues Mr. Chang and adds, "However, I would be glad to offer consultancy to anyone who wishes to start a Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant. There has been a lot of learning in the last three years.”
Mission accomplished, we take leave. As we turn towards the exit, we can feel the statue of The Buddha placed on the reception table of Luo Han, smiling warmly behind us.
Click the thumbnail image for an enlarged view of the Lou Han table mat.

“If you become 100 per cent harmless you’ll benefit by 100 per cent—spiritually, emotionally, and financially.” ~Akbarally Jetha, Businessman & Philosopher~

9 comments:

  1. Congratulations! A great start!...will definitely dine at this place the next time I'm in HSR :)

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  2. Yes I have dined at this place - it was the first time I was opting for vegetarian chinese food and I must admit it was delicious.:0 Apparently others thought the same as each time i went there i found that most of the tables were occupied.

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  3. A vegeterian chinese restaraunt. Does that sound a little out of place?

    But then Luo Han is different with a lot of 'creative chinese' cuisines on the fare that you won't find elsewhere in Bangalore, with an atmosphere to match. A nice restaraunt with a very courteous and 'enthusiatically helpful' staff. The price is quite modest for exemplary cooking. If you want authenitc chinese, minus the frills, look no furhtur.

    Iam one happy customer.

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  4. Will definitely like to try the restuarant out the next time I'm in Bangalore. Great news for vegetarians :-)

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  5. I will definitely try this restaurant. May be I will convenience them to upgrade to Vegan restaurant.

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  6. Thank you Priya, Anonymous, Vj, Praveena, and Dilip for your comments!

    Dilip, that's a good idea! All the best to you! Even if the menu card can indicate the vegan preparations with a specific symbol and have a legend against the symbol, it could be a good start :)

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  7. I love this place. I visited this place 5 times and had ordered a different starter each time. Still there are some 50 starters I have not tasted. Luo Han Delight Thick Soup is the best I have every time. It never bores me. I counted, roughly they have some 380 different dishes. :-)

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  8. in london we have a vegetarian (eggless and mostly vegan) chinese restaurant known as peking palace/loving hut. they use vegan meats (chicken, fish, etc.) and the food is absolutely delicious!
    http://www.thepekingpalace.com/

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  9. Luo Han is near to my place.
    We've gone there many times even taken parcel (though it's waste of good food to eat it cold).
    Unlike most other hotels each dish tastes quite different. They also don't use Ajinomoto i.e. MSG/mono sodium glutamate which can harm brain development esp. in babies and children.
    Esp. loved the fried tofu sandwich and clear lemon-coriander soup.

    NOTE: From my few experiences don't go here if you're really hungry and can't wait to wolf down your meal. Taking a bite or two before you go to the restaurant is a good idea. Waiting time may vary from 30 minutes to 50 minutes, but it'll be worth it as the food is quite delicious.

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