On Sat night, Toby, Cindy and Michael and I all dined at the new Taiwanese style vegetarian restaurant 'Veggie Kitchen'. Now first up I should apologise to fellow coelics this does contain what I suspect to be a fair bit of gluten. However, they have announced on their facebook page that they have gluten free options. It's in a premise that used to be a Chinese restaurant which is handy:
We quickly decided to give the banquet a try for $28 since it contained almost all of the items on the menu. First up we were served sprout apple soy milk and 'lettuce delight'. The lettuce delight surpised me because I thought it looked like san choi bao but it tasted quite different. There was no sauce and the filling was dry but I enjoyed it, it contained enoki mushrooms and I forget what else. The soymilk tasted a little bit too much like tofu for my liking, but reminded me of authentic Asian style soymilk that I got in HongKong.
Next up we were served a spring roll, seaweed hand roll and on top of the cucumber was Konjac (Toby had to google the Chinese word to figure out what the English word was). The spring roll pastry was delicate and abolsutely delicious, and I enjoyed the 'ham' style mockmeat in the hand roll.
For mains we were given five elements veggie pot, which tasted like a healthy stew which Toby said had gingko nuts in it. I liked the mysterious mockmeat on top which appeared to be made with tofu sheet, seaweed and tofu.
Also braised tofu, baked pumpkin, Tawainesse stuffed capscium and vegetable cutlet. The baked pumpkin normally has cheese on it but they made it vegan by replacing the cheese with soy sauce. The stuffed capsicum had us perplexed about what was in it, which we all swore was some type of legume but were told it was enoki mushrooms. The vegetable cutlet was the one dish that I didn't enjoy because it was particularly 'fishy' and I don't like mock fish but Toby loved it.And red rice marinated wheat meat on 'forbidden rice'. I really enjoyed this crispy mockmeat. And the red rice brought back memories of all those cheap buddist vegetarian places that Toby used to take me to in HongKong. Most places should have red or brown rice!
And finally dessert, we got the option of tofu pudding with red bean paste or strawberry jelly. Cindy had the genius idea of ordering two of each so that we could taste both. I really enjoyed the tofu pudding which reminded me a lot of red bean soup except it was cold and had silken tofu in it. The strawberry jelly was extremely thick and Toby guessed that it might also be made with Konjac.
I was quite full by the end and handed Toby a small amount of leftovers for him to finish. I thought the banquet was great value for money and it felt a lot healthier compared to the regular Chinese vegetarian places yet still tasty. The service was great, with the staff announcing that everything was made on site including the tofu and even advising us of the supposed health benefits for some of the dishes. Toby and I will definitely be back.
Although, it will be interested to see what I can eat when I go back to being gluten free.
159 St Georges Rd