Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Vegetarian Delight, Adelaide

I had one place on my absolutely must have gotta visit list for Adelaide: Vegetarian Delight. They're scheduled to close at the end of July so I figured it was a now-or-never chance to see how Adelaide does mock-meaty Chinese.

The restaurant is nostalgically similar to the neighbourhood Chinese joints of my childhood. Inside was cosy and warm (the centre table has a giant Lazy Susan set up - so awesome) and we were assured that anything without "creamy" or "honey" in the name was vegan. Awesome! I had to try the prawn toast, $8 for 3 pieces:

This was tasty, although a little soft-textured for my liking. The filling was prawny (as pronounced so by my meat-eater father) and had a purple tinge that makes me think it was taro based.

My dad decided to grab the deep-fried sesame shiitake mushrooms, $16?

I have to confess on a whole I'm not a mushroom fan. I want to be. My father is a country boy and knows his 'shrooms, so I've eaten them straight out of the ground, as tasty as you can get.. but they're not my thing. Apparently that has changed.
This dish was incredible. Meaty long strips of fresh shiitake in a crunchy crunchy batter with a sweet-and-sour-esque sauce and sesame seeds. It blew my mind and I want to try and make it at home because the texture was utterly fantastic. If you're going to eat one thing at this place, make it these mushrooms.

Also make time for some fried rice (small serve below, $7):


Upon getting this, we were reassured that the yellow stuff was tofu, not egg - I love when places make an effort to do that. The tofu 'egg' was salty and filled the profile of egg in a good fried rice perfectly, so it was up there with the best vegan fried rices I've had. Yum.

And the not so good: this sizzling Mongolian Beef, $16ish:

I wanted to like this, but the beef was just.. nope. Father delightfully described it as a flavourless mix between rubber and cardboard, and he was right (and not just being a picky omni either). I have no idea how that happened, but we barely touched this and just stuffed our faces with the mushrooms. Not appealing in the slightest.

That said, I'm sad this place is closing and I won't get to go back - they have great customer service and the mushrooms are worth a second (or third, or fourth) visit alone. They have a great social media presence and seem to have enough fans to keep them going, so maybe they'll pull through? Here's hoping! 

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