Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant is one of Edmonton’s most famous and well-known vegetarian restaurants. This restaurant is one of a kind, with its roots going all the way back to Indonesia. Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant opened in 2002 in the downtown area of Edmonton. Kasim originally moved from Jakarta, Indonesia, where the original Padmanadi was founded in the late 70’s. Back in Jakarta Padmanadi was the most popular vegetarian restaurant. It is no surprise that Padmanadi is having the same outcome in Edmonton.
A cool fact about this restaurant is the meaning of it’s unique name. Padmanadi means “Lotus Waterspring”. A Lotus Waterspring is an exotic type of flower that blooms and becomes the star of any water garden. Water lotuses are beautiful, majestic and dramatic. They flourish in the sunlight and fill the water garden with vibrant colors and warm fragrances. The restaurant was dedicated to Kasim’s mother. It is easy to see that Kasim loved his mother and believed that a Lotus Waterspring was a clear representation of her. The vision behind Padmanadi is to promote the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle to all.
We got the chance to sit down with Maya Paramitha, the manager of Padmandi’s and Kassim’s daughter, to chat about the challenges and wonders about owning a vegetarian restaurant.
‘it is definitely challenging in terms of people’s perspective, of what really consists of a vegetarian, don’t even talk about veganism, it’s something about vegetarianism that people are not familiar with. It definitely has prospered within the past ten years. People know a little bit more about it, a lot of people do it for different reasons, ethics, religious people will do it for dietary, people will do it for animal cruelty because everything is more transparent now. You know exactly where your food is from.’
Padmandi’s isn’t just a restaurant, it fosters a community of loyal vegetarians and vegans and even just food lovers who love the dishes created here. Customer’s have been supporting the restaurant since the were a small shop in Chinatown and even more so now.
‘It creates awareness, of what being a vegetarian is all about. It creates that it’s not hard to be a vegetarian, fifteen years ago you might only be able to get veggie pizza but now if you into grocery stores, even chain grocery stores big one like Safeway, Save-on-foods, they would carry vegan cheese, soya milk, people are up into cashew milk, coconut milk, almond milk, there’s awareness of it…we stand out in Alberta, because people are just not used to it’ – Maya Paramitha
To show their appreciation for their most loyal customers, the owner’s have personalized reserved signs made for them. These are the customers that have been with Padmandi’s basically from the very beginning and are always coming back. The signs are hand carved from in a teak wood and brought from Indonesia.
All around the restaurant are pictures of regulars and staff too. The rest of the Padmandi’s family!
Maya stated ‘…we are creating this awareness that hey vegetarianism is not so boring there’s all these thing we can use it’s not just salad and tofu!’
As a diner at Padmandi’s I can attest to that! The veggie wontons are my favourite, and as a person who is not a vegetarian full time who is looking for more vegetarian dishes to eat, there soy replacements are delicious. The Satay is served with a peanut sauce and is cooked to perfection. People think soy can be rubbery or tasteless, but trust. Try these and you won’t think that again.
Ok, so it sounds a little bit like an advertisement for Padmandi, but everything we’ve stated above is true, when we think about a place to eat vegetarian food, this is the restaurant that comes to mind first. For someone walking to this place they don’t have to feel uncomfortable coming to try new foods. There is something for everyone here, if you’re a purist and just want vegetables, go for it! If you’re a new vegan or vegetarian, browse the menu to find a dish to you’re comfortable, maybe something you recognize that is just replaced with soy so you can see it’s not hard at all!
Hope you’ve found a new place to eat!
Talk to you soon, Krishlene
Source: Padmanadi Website- http://www.padmanadi.com/aboutUs.html
Picture source: https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/yearning-for-blooms/pinkwaterlily-blog/