Zen Oasis – Berrima
A lovely Sunday in Berrima, now who will say no? The temperature for that day was at 0 degrees Celsius, and even under the bright midday sun, the air was still freezing cold and the wind bites into your face hidden beneath scarfs and coats. Yet when the boss says go, we all go. Today we are out here in Zen Oasis for our company EoFY trip, and the place is just absolutely gorgeous. Please note that this is a vegetarian restaurant. It is not vegan and definitely not gluten free. Gluten is what mock meat is made of .
Enter into the little unassuming shack and we are greeted by a lovely fireplace with a real fire. It is comfortable and just lovely and warm. Very inviting too. The bunch of us made up a group of 25 people and took up 2 long tables. As for seats, I picked the one right next to the fire. The Singaporean inside of me just can’t stand the cold.
It is a buffet style meal. $31/adult and $16/child between 4-11 years old. [For groups above 20, it’s $28/adult and $15/child]. Rows and rows of vegetarian and mock meat dishes greet us when we enter the restaurant. At the back of the room, we see a lone man, working hard at the table.
What is he doing? Creating art of course! He is preparing sushi made of all kinds of vegetables as well as vegetarian luncheon meat. The colours that he is working with, is just amazing. He sits there patiently, and with a deft movement, he smooths out cooked rice onto a sheet of seaweed, and puts various ingredients in certain order on the rice before rolling it up.
Completed work. Look at the colours and how tidy the sushi is. All vegetarian of course. The middle yellow portion is vegetarian luncheon meat. It tastes positively delicious! It is just quite like art isn’t it.
This is the most popular booth, also really easy to start getting into vegetarian meals if you are one of those red blood meat eaters out there. Fried food agrees with most people, and it is quite easy to wash down with the chilli provided. Fantastic chilli I would say. The fried dishes include friend banana fritters, potato samosas, oyster mushrooms (tastes just like oysters), fried pieces of radish cakes on skewers (love love love radish), taro puffs and my favourite is the little strips of seaweed and tofu chips topped with sesame seeds. So so so good.
Now it is time for me to take you around this restaurant and show what is available for today! I am guessing, since it is buffet, the dishes do change occasionally. Eat with your eyes for now!
Another of my favourite dishes. Mock grilled eel that tastes just like eel!
At this point of time, I can assume that we all know that all the dishes are vegetarian and there is no meat in any of these food.
Another one of those popular dishes. A double boiled soup with winter melon and other decliousness. Do not attempt to touch the bowls with your hand, it is extremely hot, and there is a guy standing there with thick gloves waiting to put one of these bowls onto your plate for you.
Here is a salad bar, for those of you who think that vegetarian dishes means a simple salad, you are most definitely wrong. And by right about now, you should know that vegetarian dishes can be really creative and interesting too.
No meal is complete without dessert. Here is a good spread with cakes and tarts. The yoghurt is a little more sourish than expected, but the rest of the desserts have been quite popular with all of us. There is a giant platter of cut fruit as well, so enjoy!
Once you are done with your meal, there’s acres and acres of land out there for you to frolic around and walk off all the food you have eaten over the last 2 hours. There’s a giant lake, a few bulls and a lot of space just to walk or lay on the grass after a meal. Look across the lake, and you will see children running around kicking a ball around. It might not be the best to run around after a big meal I suppose, but people do do that anyway.
There’s some renovations going around this area, but the 2 ceramic snails are well and alive. Colourful and facing outwards away from the little pond.
This is the 1st feature you notice after getting out of the car in this lovely zen garden.