- Quality: ★★★ – Good
- Type: All Vegan (According to HappyCow; Please check!); Taiwanese & Chinese
- Location: Ximending, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan
- Train Access: Ximen MRT Station (Blue Line), Exit 1
- Price: $ – Inexpensive ( $120 TWD/$350 USD for a main dish)
- Hours: Mon-Sun 10:30am-8:30pm
- Website: HappyCow Page
- Language Barrier: English Menu available (with Pictures), Little English spoken
About & Location:
- English: 1F, 84, Nijiang Street, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan 10845
- Phone Number: 02-2389-4037
According to Happy Cow, Mele’s Vegi Hut is all vegan. However, when I visited I couldn’t find any evidence that the menu was all vegan. I didn’t see “vegan” or “純素” written anywhere in the restaurant or on the menu, although “素” (vegetarian) was posted at the front of the shop. So presumably all of the “meat” written on the menu isn’t vegetarian imitation meat, but imitation meat often contains milk or egg products. So if you eat here, I’d recommend either asking whether the food is vegan (if you speak Mandarin) or stick to dishes that are unlikely to have any animal products in them.
When I first came in they handed me a Chinese menu, but when it became clear that I couldn’t read anything, the waiter ran and got me a menu with English translations. I ordered the Hot & Spicy Tofu Pot ($120 TWD) and Hot & Spicy Wantons ($80 TWD), as well as a side of rice (I’m not sure how much that cost). I asked if those items were “全素” (I just pointed to those kanji on my phone, I didn’t realize at the time that “純素” is a better/ more clear way to ask if something is vegan). The waiter seemed confused for a second but ran back to the kitchen to ask, and when he returned he said it was ok. So, I really hope what I got was vegan! Do check just to be sure, ask if what you’re ordering contains 奶 (milk) or 蛋 (egg).
The hot pot was really good, and actually was pretty spicy – I had to run to the bathroom to blow my nose! It was filled with soft tofu, mushrooms, and various boiled veggies, all immersed in a spicy viscous stock. It was so filling that I couldn’t even get through half of it, and had to ask for it to go.
The wantons I wasn’t quite sure about. They contain veggie “pork,” and since I asked about their veganism using the wrong characters, and didn’t ask specifically about milk or egg, I can’t guarantee they’re vegan. At the time I thought I’d ask the right question so I ate them, and I have to say they were really good. They were so realistically pork-y that I panicked for a second and wondered whether or not they were actually vegetarian, which is originally what caused me to ask the waiter if everything was vegetarian. They weren’t quite so spicy as the hotpot soup, but did come immersed in a chili oil sauce that made them really rich.
The interior is very cozy (although a bit cramped), with warm colors and slightly low lighting. All of the other patrons seemed to be Taiwanese, and theres very little English signage, so I felt a little bit out of place (in comparison to some of the other restaurants I visited). But they had an English menu and were really friendly to me, so I encourage you to go – but speaking some Mandarin would probably help!