Wherever we go, we always check if there is a Chinese restaurant. Not because we have a Chinese stomach, but because they always serve a few stir-fries that can be made vegan, if requested nicely, even in a regular restaurant. This, of course, can be a little tricky if they don’t speak English well, and you don’t speak Chinese well, lol.
In Fira we also found a Chinese restaurant that has a distinctive Chinese style decoration right in the busy tourist district. The theme color is in red and yellow, and it’s decorated with red lanterned and also more elaborated traditional lanterns. The walls have two glass sheltered closets installed to display some Chinese themed objects, such as tea sets or nice bowls. Besides the main hall where you can overlooking the streets downstairs, you can also climb a few stairs to reach a more spacy areas with bigger tables and more chairs, which can cater larger groups. From here you can also get a view of the church bells, as well as part of the town. However it can also get a bit more windy here.
We showed them a Greek translation of what we don’t eat as vegan, just to make sure their “vegetarian dishes” don’t have some tiny ingredients we don’t want. We tried the tofu with vegetables, which is an ordinary stir-fry dish with tofu, cabbages, bamboo shoots, carrots, green peppers and baby corns. It was alright and a bit bland. Another dish we tried is broccoli with shiitake mushrooms with a little onions and carrots. This one has more flavorful sauce but in my opinion could still be done better. Of course, after you’ve eaten many wonderful dishes in China you tend to be very critical when it comes to Chinese dishes. We ate our vegetables with the rice. After that we were offered a dish of red cherries as dessert for free. I appreciated that. In the end we even got two Fortune Cookies (made in USA!), which are common in overseas Chinese restaurants, especially in the States, but not served in China at all.
Although taste wise I wasn’t impressed with this restaurant, they do have advantage of good location, nice view, and vegetable-centered dishes. When you miss vegetables and tofus, here is a good choice.
Momo is located right in the center of Fira, just on the opposite side of the main square. Here you have a collection of restaurants, and at least two of them serve Asian food. Since we know back home in Stockholm, you can find a dish or two that is vegan in Thai or Indian restaurant, when we have no plan and don’t want to repeat our falafel eating again, we decided to give it a try.
The place has an indoor dining area on the second floor, and an outdoor dining area with table and chairs on the ground flour, where the kitchen and counter is located. You can get a peek of chefs preparing your food right over there. The menu serves typical Indian food such as samosas, roti, naan bread, curries, dal, and also Thai curries, fried rice or fried noodles etc. We explained to them that we don’t eat meat, dairy or egg and ask if the ones that seem to be vegetarian can be made that way. One guy told me several options that could be made vegan, and we ordered some.
We tried the curried lentil as well as vegetable curry, together with roti. I didn’t expect too much but to my surprise they tasted really good! The curry has a little sweet and sour taste in it, but balanced in a nice way. It is slightly greasy (as most Indian dishes we’ve tried), but it goes well with our bread. The lentil is creamy and soft, and has a general curry taste that’s not too mild or overwhelming. The roti bread tended to be a little dry, I think it might that they didn’t put the fat which were supposed to be butter, in it. When eating with our dishes, this is no problem. The Pad Thai dish was also good, although I do wish there were more vegetables present.
If you want something different after dishes and dishes of fava bean or cucumber and tomato salads, do give Momo a try. The food is tasty, prepared fast, and staff are friendly and willing to cater to your needs. We were certainly satisfied and kept here as our reserved choice when we have no other options.
Address:Momo, Fira central square, Thira 847 00
Asia Club is just a few stores away from Momo. They have similar catering style as well – open kitchen with counter, outdoor sitting and indoor sitting. The menu serves pan-Asian but very Chinese centered dishes, such as steamed buns with fillings or vegetable stir-fries. We came here several times when we wanted something quick and vegetables-only dishes.
The taste is more or less ok, not too bad but not too good either. But if you want your simple fix for vegetables and tofu, it is not a bad choice considering Santorini isn’t heavy or varied on vegetables. The only discomfort thing we experienced was that our table mates were really, really loud. Maybe we were just unlucky.