Since Sam turned vegetarian, it’s been a challenge eating out because we have to choose restaurants that serve both meat and vegetarian dishes. And by vegetarian, I don’t mean just vegetable dishes that are often sautéed with a little meat or seafood.
Earlier today, we met the girls for lunch and we decided to drive to Cash & Carry. We finally decided on Luk Yuen although I wasn’t too happy with the choice. Speedy and I were long-time customers of Luk Yuen in Greenhills. We had been eating there since before the girls were born and we used to bring the girls there when they were young. But the quality of the food suffered tremendously some years back and we stopped going to Luk Yuen.
I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of a Luk Yuen lunch so I let Speedy and the girls choose from the menu. I was so surprised when the food was served.
For Sam, there was an ovo-vegetarian dish with glass noodles, spinach and century eggs.
For Speedy, Alex and myself, there was a platter of Noodle Feast and a plate of spicy dumplings. “Noodle Feast” — flat noodles topped with dumplings, spicy pork, chicken fillets and braised beef, and smothered with sauce — has been a signature dish of Han Pao Tea House and we’ve never found its equivalent in any other local Chinese Restaurant. And now, Luk Yuen serves it too.
Of course, the lawyer in me automatically wondered about trade name infringement issues. Both the name and the dish itself are reproductions of Han Pao’s famous Noodle Feast with two differences. First, the noodles. Han Pao uses flat rice noodles; Luk Yuen’s version has flat egg noodles. Second, instead of strips of chicken fillets, Luk Yuen’s version had shrimp (or, perhaps, crab) balls.
Was Luk Yuen’s Noodle Feast any good? Oh, yes! Not the same as Han Pao’s but equally good.
The serving is smaller though. At Han Pao, when we ordered Noodle Feast, we rarely ordered anything else because the Noodle Feast was more than enough for four people. At Luk Yuen, had Speedy not ordered the dumplings, lunch for us three carnivores would have been a little bitin.
So, it’s worth becoming a Luk Yuen regular again? Looks like it since there’s something for carnivores and vegetarians alike at Luk Yuen now.
And the price? Sam’s glass noodles and spinach dish, the spicy dumplings and the Noodle Feast amounted to a little over PHP700.00. Not bad at all.