Central Pattana is hosting the "CPN J Food Festival 2012", a grand celebration of the annual vegetarian festival which is marked this month. Beginning today at Central department stores nationwide, and continuing until Oct 24, several well-known restaurants will be preparing a range of meatless dishes for those who observe this ancient Taoist tradition and other health-conscious people who enjoy the once-a-year opportunity to sample unusual vegetarian fare.
The "J" in the festival's title refers to jay, a strict form of vegetarianism which also precludes the consumption of eggs, dairy produce, alcohol and certain strongly flavoured ingredients thought to inflame the passions (garlic, onions, chives, shallots, chillies and celery).
All the participating restaurants are well known for their regular dishes but each has created jay dishes especially for the occasion.
Je Siam Yawaraj has signature offerings such as nine types of mushroom braised with Chinese herbs and mee krob songkrueang (deep-fried rice vermicelli with savoury toppings).
Puykeng restaurant presents gluten-free Thai vegetarian dishes made with vegetables, grains and soya-bean-based imitation meats, including rice spaghetti, vegetarian "fish", deep-fried "pork" in a vegetarian sauce, stuffed noodle rolls, and mushroom stalks prepared various ways including stir-fried with black pepper, sauteed with spice (kua kling) and flash-fried with herbs.
Tee Pochana, famed for its roast duck with super-crispy skin, is offering a range of vegetarian side dishes including pickled Chinese cabbage with sesame oil and pickled cabbage with Chinese olives. For unusual beverages, check out Ooling tea with pomegranate or soya milk flavoured with green tea, cantaloupe or banana (a Korean favourite).
Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted by the dessert offerings which include mai faa nuad mangkorn (heavenly silk and dragon's moustache) by Madam I Ting and Thai-style jellies by Woon Khun Kay. The latter are tinted with the natural dyes obtained from carrots, pumpkins and pandanus leaves and are sweetened with diabetic-friendly fructose.
The "CPN J Food Festival 2012" continues until Oct 24 at CentralWorld, all branches of CentralPlaza as well as Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
For more information, call 02-667-5555 ext 4112.
Mai faa nuad mangkorn.