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Published January 2nd 2012
Famous around many Buddhist temples in Asia, mock meat restaurants are now becoming popular in Melbourne.
At mock meat restaurants vegetarians can choose from anything on the menu, whilst their meat eating friends may not even notice. Even the hard core meat eaters seem intrigued and are open to sample these delights.
Made from gluten, soy and tofu ingredients, some mock meat restaurants also use wheat based products and have made this quite an art. However, if the thought of a plate of tofu is less than appealing to you, toss those notions aside.
You will be greeted with sizzling plates of schezuan steaks, aromatic 'meat' satays, delicious lemon chicken, pork spare ribs, sweet and sour meats, birds nest combinations. You can even order a whole fish or some prawns.
If you are the type of vegetarian who doesn't enjoy the thought of food even looking like meat, there's also plenty of standard hot pots, ma po tofu, rice and veggie dishes too.
What is a Vegetarian?
Vegetarians do not eat flesh of animals, including: meat, fish and poultry.
A step further is the vegan diet; vegans are vegetarians who also do not eat any products that have come from animals ,including milk, cheese and dairy items including eggs.
Why?: Most vegetarians choose this way of life for several reasons including health, ecological and religious choices, dislike of meat, compassion for animals, including a lifestyle choice of non violence and economical concerns. Lately many are choosing a vegetarian diet for eco awareness reasons including lowering their carbon footprint.
And yes, a vegetarian diet can meet all known nutrient needs.
Interested, here's our recommendations to begin your taste adventure:
Veggie Kitchen (many vegetarian options, but just a few mock meat choices).
Alternatively if you prefer to dine at home, visit your local supermarket; Sanitarium, Quorm and several other suppliers now stock veggie meat burgers, chicken nuggets, sausage rolls and even a full veggie roast, which you can bake and slice up like the Sunday roast.