Sunday, February 6, 2011

Veggie Kitchen-Chinese New Year Banquet

 We celebrated Chinese New Year by going to Veggie Kitchen with Richmond Bec, Cindy and Michael, Steph and the veganator. Since going gluten free, I had pretty much ruled out eating at Chinese restaurants since most of the vegetarian dishes center around gluten. So I was happy to see on their website that they can make some gluten free dishes if you call ahead in advance and give them notice.

We had the special Chinese new year banquet for $28. It included some Taiwanese blossoming tea which had a mild jasmine flavour.

Then some lettuce delight, I got my own version of this, I think the only difference was that everyone else got some sort of shredded dried mock meat on top. It contained  tiny bits of tofu, ground nuts, and enoki mushrooms. I enjoyed the crunchy texture and flavour.  On the right you can also see the apple sprout soymilk, which had a homemade type texture and taste.

Next up was some lao sheng or yuesheng. The dish is supposed to bring good luck for the next year, it involves pouring sauce and everyone using their chopsticks together to stir it all together.  I wasn't sure about the mockmeat, so I gathered my share of everything else and put it in my bowl before everyone stirred. The other ingredients were: apple, wood ear mushrooms, cucumber, carrot, capsicum, and Toby thinks the stuff in the middle is Konjac. The sauce seemed to contain sesame oil, but I'm not sure what else. When mixed together though, the apple flavour definitely stands out.

Next up everyone got spring rolls and fried tofu. Instead of spring rolls I got my own version with tofu skin roll which had seaweed nicely rolled inside. I'm glad I didn't miss out on the deep fried action. The fried tofu was unlike everything I have eaten before it was super super dry and crunchy but was served with some soy sauce.

Here is a blurry pic of the inside of the tofu skin roll.

 Next we had pearl rice balls. These contained glutinous rice, tofu, celery and mushroom inside. These were a bit tricky to dip into the sauce but were delicious.

I also got my own version of special five element hot pot. Everyone got these unique looking hot pots which apparently tasted like mock meat whereas mine was like a wholesome vegie stew with included mushroom balls and tofu skin wrapped around pieces of vegie, mushroom and tofu. It was delicious and seemed a lot like the dish we had last time.

It was served with 'forbidden rice' which is actually black rice. Mine was the same except I didn't have the mock meat on top. By this stage I was super full, so Toby ended up finishing up my leftovers.

For dessert, we got to chose between the tang yuan or the tofu pudding, so we decided to have one of each and share with each other. I've never had tang yuan before and so was expecting the little balls to be crunchy, but instead they were soft and kind of gooey. They were made out of glutinous rice and sweet potato and covered with soy flour, although I don't think I would have guessed that sweet potato was involved. They were served with home made strawberry sauce and what I suspect to be so good ice cream. This was excellent!

I also loved the tofu pudding. Toby and I used to eat versions of this with red beans in Hong Kong, but I could see if you weren't used to cold tofu desserts it might be a bit weird.  Since it's basically cold silken tofu, with sweet syrup and red beans.

I'm still so surprised that they managed to do it, make Chinese food gluten free for me! I'm guessing since I haven't been sick that they didn't accidentally poison me with gluten either. It did mean that I got different versions of a few of the dishes but I didn't feel left out at all.

Overall we both loved our meal and thought it was good value since even Toby was full. I'm still very grateful that I could eat a Chinese banquet. You can read our last review here.

To read other reviews see-wheres the beef, mister nice guy cupcakes,
never an idol moment  and Vegan-the vegan.

Veggie Kitchen
159 St George Rd
9489 2120

P.S: Gong Hei Fat Choi!


  1. Maybe I will blog this later tonight, I really enjoyed this meal!

  2. happy new year - sounds like a great - meal - I suspect I would have enjoyed your gf version best as it didn't have the mock meat - interesting to see the pearl balls that I made last CNY - couldn't find a recipe and winged it so would be interested to see these

  3. looks so good!! yum yum!!! and the blog is looking great too :D

  4. Steph, looking forward to hear your opinion.

    Johanna, Cindy pointed that out to me too Yours was just as tasty, but slightly different.

    Carla, thanks!

  5. That five element hot pot is really good. The food is amazingly authentic.
    A great review. Our gluten free friend also found plenty to eat.