Loving Hut: Huaining Branch – ★★★★ (ZhongZheng District, Taipei)

Assorted Fried Noodle

Assorted Fried Noodle

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★★ – Very Good
  • Location:  near Taipei Main Station (M8 Exit), ZhongZheng District, Taipei
  • Type: All Vegan; Fast food, Asian & European
  • Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00 am – 8:30 pm (closed on first Sunday of the month)
  • Price: $$ – Average (Main dishes about $100-$150 TWD)
  • Website: Restaurant Website (about, menu), HappyCow Page
  • Language Barrier: English menu available, little English spoken

About & Location:

The Huaining Street location of the international vegan food chain Loving Hut.  There are numerous locations in Taipei, each with it’s own speciality.  This locations specializes in fast food (both European and Asian), and serves everything from vegan nuggets to bowls of phó.  It’s just a 10 minute walk from Taipei Main Station, which makes it very conveniently located.

Address & Location:

  • English Address: 44, Huaining Street, ZhongZheng District, Taipei, Taiwan 100
  • Chinese Address: 100 台北市中正區懷寧街44號
  • Transport Access: Taipei Main Station MRT Station (Red Line, Blue Line), M8 Exit
  • Phone Number: (02) 2311-9399

Google Map:

 

P1040799

Restaurant Review:

Loving Hut has numerous locations in Taipei, each specializing in a different style of food.   Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to stop by some of their other enticing-looking locations (such as the Guangfu Branch that specializes in Hot Pot dishes), but because of the Huaining Branch’s central location I was able to stop there several times, and was never disappointed.

Like most Loving Huts, this branch has an enormous selection – you can choose from dozens of main dishes, from Spaghetti to Thai Noodle Soup.  They have a large number of Chinese dishes, but there are also plenty of international (both European/American and Asian) options.  Everything is vegan, and dishes are also marked if they contain any of the “5 pungents” (stinky vegetables that Buddhists sometimes exclude from their diet).

During my first visit, I got the Assorted Fried Noodle & a side of chocolate Ice Cream (they also had Durian flavored ice cream, but I decided to stick to the safe side).  The Stir-fry was just perfect – not too oily, with lots of veggies, and the serving size was so large I had to take it home and finish it for dinner!  The Ice cream was good but a bit too icy for my tastes – it seemed more like an icy chocolate sorbet (come to think of it, maybe it was a sorbet and not an ice cream at all), and I generally prefer things that are a little softer and creamier and with a lower water content.  However, it was still really good!  But I would recommend getting the cake if you’re choosing between desserts.

Assorted Fried Noodle

Assorted Fried Noodle

Assorted Fried Noodle

Assorted Fried Noodle

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

I also got a slice of the Black Forest Cake to-go (for 120 TWD), which I later found out was from Fresh Bakery!  You can get the same cake for about 90 TWD at Fresh Bakery’s headquarters, but if you aren’t likely to be in that area, definitely stop by this Loving Hut and see if they have any Fresh offerings. It’s the best vegan cake I’ve ever had, and the Black Forest was among my favorite flavors.  The staff also threw in a milk tea for free, which I thought was incredibly sweet!

Fresh Bakery Black Forest Cake & Milk Tea

Fresh Bakery Black Forest Cake & Milk Tea

During my next visit I got the Noodles with Wonton in Chili Oil, which was just amazing.  It actually wasn’t that spicy (I was surprised), but still had a very rich and intense flavor.  I’ve had wontons before but never this dish, so it was really fun for me to try out something new.  Again, the serving size was hug and I was unable to finish it all, so I basically got 2 meals for my money!

Noodles with Wonton in Chili Oil

Noodles with Wonton in Chili Oil

I also ordered a glass of black tea and a slice of their Heaven’s Silhouette Cake in Coffee.  I’m used to unsweetened black tea, but this was definitely very very very sweetened, so if you prefer your tea without sugar you definitely need to ask.  This alone could have been dessert.  The cake was really good, although not really comparable to Fresh Bakery’s amazing cakes (which are sometimes for sale at Loving Hut, but weren’t on this day).  It was absolutely worth ordering though, and if you don’t see any of the Fresh cake’s in the dessert display cakes, definitely get one of these.  They’re more like a cream pie or cheese cake in texture, and are very rich and satisfying.

Black Tea & Heaven's Silhouette Cake (Coffee Flavor)

Black Tea & Heaven’s Silhouette Cake (Coffee Flavor)

Heaven's Silhouette Cake (Coffee Flavor)

Heaven’s Silhouette Cake (Coffee Flavor)

Since I was headed out to Taroko Gorge the following day, I also ordered some items to-go. I ended up just pointing at photos on the Chinese-language menu, so I really have no idea what the names of the things I got are.  They were interesting though!  The first thing I got was a dish with mock-meat, some sort of thick sea-vegetable (I think?) and a meaty mushroom.  The flavor was good but, at least for me, it was a lot of unusual texture to handle in one meal – even the mushrooms were unusual!  They were really thick and smooth, and kind of reminded me of bologna.

~Mystery Dish #1~ A dish with seaweed, mock meat and mushrooms.

~Mystery Dish #1~ A dish with seaweed, mock meat and mushrooms.

Next off, I ordered what I thought were “chicken” nuggets but I’m now pretty sure were fried stinky tofu.  They had a really strange flavor and I almost didn’t finish them, because I was expecting something much more conventional (read: American)-tasting.  Later I ate stinky tofu at another restaurant, and the flavor was very similar, so I think that must be what it was!  It was served with ketchup though, which seems like an odd choice.  So maybe it was chicken nuggets after all.  I may never know!

~mystery dish~ #2 (Maybe fried Stinky Tofu?)

~mystery dish~ #2 (Maybe fried Stinky Tofu?)

The atmosphere is quite casual, and there’s lots of seating (both downstairs and upstairs).  Both times I went it wasn’t super crowded and I didn’t have any difficulty finding a spot to sit.  The staff are very sweet and helpful, and although their English (in general) isn’t fluent, most of the staff members seemed to speak a little bit, and there’s an English menu available.  If I’m every in Taipei again I’ll definitely go back, and I highly recommend that you check it out if you’re in the Taipei Main Station area!

Loving Hut - Huaining Branch Interior

Loving Hut – Huaining Branch Interior

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s