Sunday 7 December 2014

Guangfu Loving Hut (Hotpots)

Five years ago I posted on the Loving Huts and Supreme Master Ching Hai, the inspiration behind the world's largest vegan restaurant chain. However, since the Guangfu Loving Hut is one of only two restaurants I consider "must-visits" in Taipei (the other is Sophie's Garden), I think it's worth its own post, as it was often lost in the length and details in my other post.

Vegetables ready to cook in my favourite Ma La (spicy) broth.

Hotpots are an important feature of Taiwanese cuisine, and are often enjoyed by families and other large groups, especially during winter. The slow, relaxing process of simmering ones own food allows just seems to invite good conversation and makes a pleasant way to enjoy a slow afternoon or evening. Hotpots are also very popular in Japan, China and Korea. It's custom in Asian countries to share hotpots, but there are enough elements for each person to have their own.

A hotpot in action.

Unfortunately, however, at most restaurants the broth usually contains animal products, and while there are a few vegetarian hotpot restaurants around Taiwan, this is, as far as I know, the only vegan one, and it's certainly one of the best. It also offers a range of different vegan broths, including pots with two separate partitions for different broths.

Help yourself to the condiments.
It also serves some of Taipei's best fusion food (menu), including Korean Bibimbap (rice in a hot stone bowl) and some great desserts. The international menu is generally larger in summer, when hotpots are less popular and poeple feel like lighter meals. Prices are a little more expensive than other Loving Huts (mains are around 200-300NT) but excellent value for such good, labour-intensive food.

My favourite 'non-hotpot' dish is the Tomyam (Thai) Tahini Rice.

The Guangfu Loving Hut, like many others, also serves a range of vegan grocery items, including mayonaise and a few frozen products.

Packaged vegan groceries from the GuangFu Loving Hut

Nearby Sights & Restaurant
The Guangfu Loving Hut is conveniently located near Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and a pleasant twenty minute / 1.5km walk (through the memorial hall) from Taipei 101. Also in the area is the simpler but still excellent Veggie Creek. I recommend visiting each one either side of a visit to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and possibly Taipei 101.

 Smoothie and Ice Cream (summer menu)

The cookers work by induction. This is a safe, responsive heating system (similar to gas) in which the pot itself becomes the element, leaving the cooker itself cool. However, any metal object placed beside it will heat up, so it's important to not place any metal or especially electronic devices on or near the cookers, even when they are switched off (in case they are accidentally turned on).

11:30 - 9:30 (LO 9:00) (everyday)
(02) 2777-2711
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station (Blue line) Exit 2
No.30, Lane 280, Guangfu S. Rd., Da-an District

1 comment:

  1. The Laksa is my recommendation for those who prefer strongly flavored dishes. It is a bit hot but extremely fragrant and creamy.
    You can have the option of adding in protein such as organic tofu or vegan mock meat (made in their factory) or handmade fried tofu balls.
    I feel quite safe eating here during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis because it is spacey enough for social distancing.