Eating out at Tian Ran on the Gold Coast

Vegan Mofo
Week 1: 1st-6th November 2016 Treat Yourself (and others)!
November 4th: Eating out – Where do you eat when you want someone else to cook for you?

Tian Ran means “Nature” in English. We cater Vegetarian and Vegan Asian Cuisine. Our cooking is free from meat, dairy, alcohol, garlic, onions and MSG. We also have a Gluten-free menu. All our vegetable “meats” are protein substitutes made from soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushroom. We strive to serve pure food full of goodness and flavour.

Tian Ran Vegetarian Restaurant was around before I went vegan, and even before I moved out of home to go to university in Queensland… so it’s been around for at least 65 million years. Herbivorous dinosaurs and peace-loving, well-travelled Neanderthals probably dined there. You can read about their long history at their Facebook page. Familar faces at the restaurant – Ruth, her family, and Eric – are well-loved on the Gold Coast. Everything on the menu is vegan and said menu is on the enormous side! This leads to a lot of confusion when one’s motto is EAT ALL THE VEGAN FOODS. My daughter first dined there when she was only 8 months old!

After a quick trip to the beach…

at the beach

… and a game of Bury My Sister…


… it was on to Tian Ran for dinner.

Starters. Pan-fried dumplings. Always exciting.


Curry puffs and spring rolls.

curry puffs

fried spring rolls

On to the main dishes… Salt and pepper tofu! Always a fave.

salt and pepper tofu

Broccoli & cauliflower stir-fry. So crisp, saucy, and delicious.

broccoli and cauliflower

Beef in black bean sauce. Their beef is a mushroom-flavoured seitan and it is A+ delicious. The sauce is just right, not too salty.

Beef in black bean

Eggplant fish hotpot seems to be a fave with all my friends who enjoy Tian Ran… but not with my kids. MORE FOR ME! Mine is an evil laugh.

eggplant fish hotpot

Mee goreng. Because spicy noodles. So peppery the camera couldn’t focus on them properly… Yeah, that’s it.

mee goreng

Sometimes when we’ve ordered spicy dishes and curries at Tian Ran they’ve been quite mild but perhaps today was a good day to die… or at least get a little bit of delightful mouth burn on. Sadly my 5yo was not too thrilled about it.

But he was pretty thrilled with the rest of it.

nom dumpling

Tian Ran has a fun Instagram page featuring yummy games of What Dish Is This? and glorious Gold Coast sunsets.

I’m moving very soon and won’t be so close to Tian Ran anymore. I’m going to miss them.


vegan month of food

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  • Jenny

    Oooh, this looks amazing! The dumplings and salt’n’pepper tofu look particularly great! It’s great that your kids enjoy this kind of food, I was far less adventurous when I was young.

    • Renée

      I wasn’t great with food when I was a kid, either. I think parental vegan-excitement rubs off on them!

  • Jennifer

    This plaeThis place looks super tasty! I wonder though, I’ve seen some other Asian eateries that talk about not cooking with onions, it makes me wonder if it is some sort of Buddhist thing (I vaguely remember hearing something about that) I have no problem skipping the onions for some yummy vegan food though.