Found a restaurant offering a light, clean but seemingly delicious vegetarian menu- Joie Restaurant by DOZO. However, it had earlier given me a bad impression because nobody answered my two emails sent in to make a reservation; when I called, some dude who answered the phone spoke terrible English, no Mandarin and no Japanese (liddat you pick up the phone for whut). As expected, my reservation wasn't noted. Third time's the charm. I called at peak dinner time. Finally someone spoke English, and nicely apologized and sorted out reservations.
Not many restaurants can do vegetarian dishes well, and the irony is that the vegetarian restaurants often suck at it (yeah, those at Fortune Center and along Middle Road). So Joie's menu is quite a feat, although the descriptions of the dishes gave us giggles. Luckily the restaurant redeemed itself with a good quality of food and service when we visited. They'd better. This was Y's birthday lunch.
There was even an amuse-bouche along with the appetizers. Those could be hit and miss, depending on what you choose. Ours were fine- tempura of charcoal-coated yam, eggplant, apple and banana with Japanese orange sesame dressing, and matsutake cake with rosemary gel and pistachio crumbs. Enjoyed the soups! Y picked a clear tomato broth with chickpeas, orzo pasta and spinach dumpling. Rolled eyes at the presentation of my double-boiled snow pear and napa cabbage consommé that held almonds and herbs; it came in a teapot and I had to touch it to pour out the soup into the cup. o.O
At least the restaurant didn't serve Y's main of a 'steak' in the form of a gigantic Bai Ling mushroom from a can. It was properly fresh, lightly grilled, accompanied by mash, and served on hot stones. Delicious! Mine was a platter of a trio of quinoa, asparagus and pumpkin risotto sphere. Grinned at the menu description though- the stalk that sat on my plate was certainly not white asparagus. It was the usual green. Still tasty.
Many blessings to you on this day, Y!