If you head to the Pulteney street end of Rundle Mall you will find Renaissance Arcade. The arcade houses, among other things, a food court populated by by mostly Asian cuisines. The food is cheap and aimed at the students from the 2 university campuses on North Terrace. In this food court you will find a shop called Vegetarian Garden. It’s not the nicest looking place but it’s my favorite (almost) vegan restaurant in Adelaide.
Almost vegan? All the food is vegan (as well as onion and garlic free) but they sell dairy based iced coffee and chocolate as well as keeping dairy milk on hand for coffee and bubble tea. The food is pretty standard food court fare. You’ve got your basic rice/noodles plus 2 or 3 choices for a reasonable price in the bain marie at the front, plus a few individual items; I recommend the spring rolls.
I prefer to order from the menu. Again pretty standard stuff. Singapore noodles, fried kuey teow etc. All quite tasty the dishes include tofu(not enough in my opinion), a little fake meat and mushrooms as the “protein”.
My favorite items to order are the soups especially the tom yum and the laksa. Both are fortunately quite mild but if you like that chilli kick there’s a chilli mix at the counter that you can add. But be careful as the mix is really concentrated and surprisingly spicy!
The tom yum is light with lots of veges in a huge serve, though I’m still not sure what I think of the cucumber.
The laksa is not to creamy, though the thick noodles can be a bit much (you can just ask for rice noodles if that is a problem,) and if someone could please explain to me the point of the crunchy fried things? I’d be much obliged.
If you are sensitive to msg or just don’t like it you can ask for it to be taken out however in some cases (such as the laksa) it can’t be done due to the pre prepared pastes they use.
Food: Average. Great. Well balanced an very tasty. 4.5/5
Setting: Pretty crap. It’s not the nicest food court. Though the occasional sight of zombies (students from the film make up school) eating their lunch can be amusing. 1/5
Service: Okay. Sometime there is a bit of a language barrier issue with the but it’s not a huge issue. Food generally comes out quite fast. 3.5/5
Overall: I like this place. It’s tasty, it’s filling and it’s cheap (nothing on the menu is over $10!) 3.5/5