Mianto is ideal for those that want to lose weight, eat better, get healthier, and do more to make the world a better place. The good news is that I can accomplish all of these goals by simply switching to a vegan diet.
Living in Taipei, there’s probably no better place in Asia for vegan food. I was not only quick to discover a huge community of vegans in the city, but also the sheer range of options that are quite impressive. Taipei is home cheap Taiwanese style soups to higher end vegetarian dining, and everything else in between.
As a group of us were first timers to veganism, we searched around the web to find popular and foreign friendly vegan restaurants to make good impressions on our first experiences. Located around the corner from the Dongmen MRT Station, we found Mianto, Taipei’s top restaurant for international cuisine.
We visited in February, and instantly felt warmed by the cosy interior and glowing Christmas decorations which most of Taiwan keep up throughout the winter. The restaurant is a little on the small side, but in some ways it adds to the interesting and comfortable atmosphere.
Our immediate impressions were how authentic and friendly the place is. We even met the owner, a friendly South African expat called Michel who came over to take our order. She was enthusiastic enough to have a little chat with us about the place, the food options and her experiences running the vegan restaurant in Taipei.
It’s not hard to see how Mianto has achieved a lot of popularity online. It’s now a go-to spot for expatriates who craved the tastes from home which are often very difficult to find without animal products in Taiwan. They use fresh, healthy ingredients, some of which are organic, making it a great place to go for a delicious, healthy meals for locals and foreigners alike.
So here’s what we ordered:
Mianto’s Soup of the Day – Price: $80NT
The soup of the day is an ideal appetizer as a medium sized cup of corn soup. Since it would probably be a different soup each day of the week, it’s a shame that I can’t recommend this. Nevertheless, it’s best to simply ask the waitress what the soup of the day is.
The corn has a deep creaminess to it that massively builds your appetite for the main course. I honestly felt that I could endlessly eat this soup without ever getting full or bored of it! – Not like I’d try though…
Mushroom Pasta – Price: $270NT
Since it was one of Mianto’s best sellers, we went for the mushroom pasta dish from their Italian style selection. We found this dish to have a deep and fresh mushroom taste and the pasta was bouncy.
The creamy sauce definitely enthused the tastes together to make this an enjoyable and popular dish on their menu. Recommended for those that prefer the safe bet of not being too adventures, or simply miss the typical European foods back home.
Bunny Chow – Price: $320NT
I was recommended the Bunny Chow by Michel as I asked her for something a little more on the exotic side to what most expats would be used to back home. In fact, this is a traditional South African dish, and it’s another one of Mianto’s best sellers, so I thought why not!?
They actually make the bread themselves with whole wheat and flax bread, so it tasted really fresh. The curry is Indian, bursting with taste and full of spices which made for an interesting meal. It wasn’t that hot though, just a tad more than mild which went well with the carrot-shredding side dish. My mouth is pretty sensitive when it comes to spicy food, so it hit the spot without scolding my tonsils.
The dish includes a bowl of water to wash your fingers in after ripping and dipping the bread into the curry. I personally didn’t use it.
Baked Lasagna – Price: $320NT
We ordered the baked Lasagna to see if you can really tell the difference between meat and vegan based foods. It took the longest to arrive as it needs 30 minutes to bake. I found it thoughtful that the staff politely notified us about the wait upon ordering it. It’s made by layers of pasta with a tomato based soy protein and cheese sauce, then they bake it.
The food at Mianto is super impressive, for instance, I’d have to be pointed out that there weren’t any meat products at all thanks to the strong soy protein used to supplement the beef. I was also shocked to discover how filling it was as we almost couldn’t finish it!
Soy-based Vanilla Ice Cream – Price: $120NT & Raspberry Juice $85NT
As for the dessert, we ordered the soy-based ice cream, and yes, there’s a face in it, and believe it or not, none of us actually noticed it at the time! Maybe because I was too quick to enjoy this naughty healthy treat! In fact, I actually preferred this dessert over the typical milk-based vanilla ice-cream we all know and love. What’s more, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything as smooth as this, although it was more of a thick cream than ice, it wasn’t cold either.
I ordered a delicious raspberry juice which came free with my set meal. It was chilled and bursting with flavor, but not too sweet. As the desert was more of soft and subtle taste, the sweet juice really complimented it.
As a really kind gesture from Michel, she offered us a complimentary set of soy-based teddy bear chocolates! So cute, right?
She told us to leave them for a few minutes to thaw by the room temperature to get the best tasting experience.
It was such a kind gesture as it’s not something the restaurant typically sells or makes on a day to day basis.
These cute vegan chocolates were amazing little treats with the same type of deep taste you’d get from dark chocolate. There’s definitely a lot of special effort put into all the food at Mianto, and these chocolates were no exception!
Those raised on a steady diet of skewered pork and chicken curries may think vegan food is bland and forgettable. If that is so, I strongly suggest you pay Mianto a visit and be prepared to have your perceptions fully changed. ~ Ours have!
The bill totalled $1,197NT for the 3 of us as we ordered in sets rather than the individual prices shown.
So, for my share of the bill, I ordered: The Soup ($NT80), lasagna ($NT320), Ice cream ($NT120), juice ($NT85), totalled to $NT605 individually. As we ordered as a set, my bill only came to $NT498 which is very affordable.
Note that there’s a 10% service charge added to the final bill, also a minimum order of $250NT per person.
What’s the vibe?
A very friendly and authentic restaurant with a cosy interior. Mianto is a small restaurant, but that adds to the interesting and comfortable atmosphere. You just don’t get that type of vibe at the bigger and impersonal chain restaurants.
Would I go back?
For sure I will, and most likely with the same group of friends as they also want to revisit. We all thought we gave our vegan experiences the best first impressions. We had missed out Mianto’s other best sellers, but we want to go back to try them. As a matter of fact, we’ve heard nothing but positive things about their mac and smoked cheese dish!
Chinese name: 艾果豐
Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm, closed on Mondays
Phone: 02 2321 9749 (owner speaks English & Chinese)
English Address: Ren Ai Rd, sec 3, Lane 123, Alley 26, nr 6, 1F, Da-An, Taipei, Taiwan
Chinese Address: 台北市大安區仁愛路3段123巷26弄6號, 1F
Closest MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing Station – Exit 2 (blue line)
Updated: September 20, 2017 – Taipei.Expats