At Burnaby’s Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House (8681 10th Avenue), you’ll find fried fish with ginger sauce on the menu. It looks a lot like a fish and even cuts like a fish, but this savoury dish is made out of bean curd and seaweed.
While the Vietnamese restaurant opened in 2003, co-owner Kim Nguyen told the Georgia Straight that Paradise went fully vegan a couple or so years ago in recognition of the environmental impact of the meat-and-dairy industry.
“I am concerned about global warming and climate change, and the meat industry is the number-one cause of global warming,” Nguyen, who lives in Surrey, said by phone from her restaurant along the New Westminster border. “Now, I also recognize the harm of a milk diet too. So, we changed it to vegan.”
Paradise’s menu features appetizers and salads ($3.50 to $7.95), soups ($5.95 to $8.95), noodles and rice ($7.50 to $8.50), entrees ($8.50 to $8.95), hot pot ($9.50), and specialities ($9.95), such as the aforementioned fried fish (ca chien mam gung). Dishes include veggie beef rice noodle soup (pho bo), vermicelli with fried eggless rolls (bun cha gio), and spicy lemongrass tofu (dau hu xao xa ot).
Asked how she describes Paradise’s food, Nguyen consulted the customers seated in the restaurant. “Healthy, tasty, and delicious,” was the reply.
Like the owners of Vancouver’s Vegan Pizza House (2119 Kingsway) and Loving Hut Express food truck (Pacific Boulevard and Davie Street), which opened in 2011, the proprietors of Paradise are practitioners of the Quan Yin Method. The founder of the meditation method, the Vietnamese-born Supreme Master Ching Hai, promotes veganism, and her followers have established vegan eateries around the world.
Nguyen’s parting words invoked the slogan of the Loving Hut restaurant chain.
“Be veg, go green, save the planet,” she said.