The Nine Emperor Gods Festival 九皇爷诞 occurs on the first 9 days of the ninth month on each lunar year. This festival is a uber big deal for the Hokkien people (descendants of people from the Fujian 福建 province in China), some say even bigger than Chinese New Year itself.
One of the things people do throughout this festival is going vegetarian for the 9 days. If you come to Penang, you will be able to find many places offering vegetarian meal promotions.
I was dragged to one such place for lunch today.
I find not many people know where Than Hsiang Temple 檀香寺 is. You might know the Snake Temple 蛇庙 better. Well, they are just next to each other.
RM 12 per pax for a vegetarian buffet lunch. Well, I was skeptical at first. I mean, yeah it is a buffet, but then, it is vegetarian, and it is in a temple. How lavish can it be? I guess it is partly because of going in with low hopes, I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
Here’s what they have to offer…
I did not manage to take photos of the Soup Line (2 types of herbal soup) and Rojak Line. And boy was it crowded. I think the hall could accommodate at least 300 people at any one time, and it was fully packed with hungry diners. We arrived early at 11.30 AM so we managed to get a table. By the time we left at 12.30 PM, there were a few bunch of people carrying plates of food, waiting for vacant tables. And there was a long queue outside the hall waiting to be allowed to enter.
Here’s what I had…
I have this strange habit of feeling guilty when I eat deep fried and unhealthy food. To atone for my guilt, I try to eat a bigger quantity of vegetables or fruits, hoping to cover the unhealthy food with healthy food. I guess this overeating is a flawed idea that might have been a reason why I am fat. 🙁
Fourth serving… no, there’s no fourth serving. No no no, I swear it! I swear I did not have seconds on the sweet barley soup! I swear I did not have 2 bowls of bubur chacha! I swear I did not have another plate of vegetarian lamb curry!
Anyway, after the meal, I do think RM 12 is a good deal. I might come again.