Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant? Try Flower Drum at Prince Plaza, Egmore
Kalim is the owner of Flower Drum restaurant at Prince Plaza. He says “We are totally vegetarian. We even import special vegetarian sauces.” Kalim is probably this careful because he turned vegetarian himself about three years ago. “At first, I had nothing to eat,” he laughs. And a good thing too. Because it forced him to conquer formidable odds to start Flower Drum, Chennai’s first fine dining vegetarian Chinese restaurant.
The corridor leading toward the restaurant is decorated with six bright red Chinese-lantern styled pillars on the left. This leads you toward a transparent glass door of the restaurant. The interiors of Flowerdrum are interesting – dimly lit and romantic, the lobby area is decorated with a Buddha face statue built into the wall with ancient Chinese embroidered, cushioned seat back chairs meant for waiting customers.
A meal at Flower Drum brings together an astonishing variety of colours, textures, tastes, all presented with the kind of drama indispensable to a restaurant of this calibre: whether it’s the clear soup, twanging with garlic and splashes of bright spinach and potato, or their skilfully created stir fry, crunchy and bursting with natural colours and flavours. Their secret? It’s simple enough. “Don’t treat vegetables like meat.” So while other restaurants might fry the life out of their broccoli or cook brinjal vigorously in a self-defeating attempt to make it tasty, Flower Drum’s Chef Sonam coaxed them to be themselves. “We take care with our food… less oil, less spices… It isn’t just about eliminating chicken and lamb. There’s much more to it,” says Kalim.
People review this restaurant as authentic chinese flavour in the dishes. The ambience is good but a bit dark which many may not prefer. The diners have to wait a minimum of 30 minutes. Food is said to be without much chilli but some people say it is too hot. The bearers are courteous and serve well.
Give a go at the Tom Yum soup, Spicy Basil Noodles and the Ice Kachung. For those interested in knowing about Ice kachung, it is a Malaysian dessert, pleasantly scented with a mild rose essence that makes the perfect combination with the ice cream, shaved ice, bits of pine-apple and strawberry syrups.
1 & 2, Prince Plaza, Pantheon Road, Egmore , Chennai
Near Egmore Museum Chennai