Restaurant: HypnoTHAIzed

HypnotTHAIzed is a small Thai cuisine restaurant in Henley Beach South. The Adelaide Vegans group chose to dine there for our latest Friday night dinner. Firstly I have to say that some of our group found the restaurant rather hard to find as there are two 43 Henley Beach Roads and the restaurant lists it suburb as Adelaide on their Facebook we had people going to the address near the city rather than the coast.

The restaurant itself is quite small. Squashed rather than cosy. The interior is very high spec with lots of mirrors and lights (yet still quite dark) and its very pretty.

We were approached by the owners daughter who was very enthusiastic about the food and the restaurant. She explained to us that anything on the menu that says vegetarian can be made vegan (except the laksa) as well as a couple of the meat dishes. She also told us about the vegan desserts available; supplied by The Vegan Tart. I ordered a Tom Kha and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart.

20140725-230802-83282030.jpg

Vegan Tom Kha

Tom Kha is a hot and sour soup with coconut milk. I ordered my soup mild so it wasn’t hot but unfortunately it also wasn’t sour. It was sweet, dessert sweet. I tasted some of my fellow dinners dishes and they were also overly sugary. Perhaps the removal of the fish sauce for the vegan versions altered the balance? The vegetables in my soup were cut far too large which made it hard to eat. The soup also had quite a lot of woody, inedible chunks of lemongrass. The menu description for the Tom Kha mentions cherry tomatoes and mushrooms; I had one of each.

20140725-230803-83283533.jpg

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Tart

The tart was excellent. The base tasted like butternut biscuits and the chocolate and peanut butter layers were perfectly balanced. However am number of my dining companions were not as happy with their desserts. At the start of the we were told of a vegan peanut butter cheesecake, which most of the table ordered. As the dessert were coming out we were told that upon cutting into the cake it was discovered that it was in fact a chocolate mudcake with peanut butter icing. (How they didn’t realise the difference before cutting is beyond me as mudcake and cheesecake are a rather different shape.) Anyway the mudcake was tasty but a bit of a let down.

We overheard one of the waitresses and a couple having a conversation making fun of vegans. It appeared to us that the waitress was joining in on the vegan bashing and knew full well that we could hear; however we have since been informed by management that she was telling the couple off but it didn’t appear that way to us.

Food: My main was unbalanced and overly sweet. The dessert was yum, but that wasn’t made by the restaurant. 2/5

Service: The owner and his daughter were great. 2/5

Setting: Very nice to look at but very cramped. Also too dark. 2.5/5

Overall: We felt insulted by what we viewed at the time as anti-vegan sentiments from the waitress and the food wasn’t that great. I personally won’t be coming here again. 2/5

HypnoTHAIzed on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Papa Mia’s Wood Oven Pizza

Papa Mia’s is a small local pizza place in Colonel Light Gardens. It sits just off Goodwood Rd amongst a number of other fast food outlets. The interior is… well… crappy. It’s your regular el cheapo take away. A drinks fridge, some uncomfortable chairs and a counter. What makes this place unique is that a few months ago they started making vegan pizzas. Yay! There’s four pizza options, plus garlic bread and, as of the day after I ordered from them, some dessert options. They alas have gluten free options.

I ordered the Gourmet All Veg Vegan pizza with added mushrooms and the vegan Garlic Bread.

20140704-202824-73704432.jpg

The Gourmet All Veg Vegan Pizza

The base was average; not the worst I’ve ever had but certainly not the best. It was also a little burnt on the edges but that’s what you get with wood fire pizzas. The pizza is topped with Vegusto cheese which has a good flavour and a nice creaminess.

20140704-202822-73702577.jpg

Close Up

The toppings were full of flavour and the tomato sauce had a good amount of herbs but just a little too much pepper. There were not many olives which is a good thing in my mind (mouth). However there were other toppings lacking as well. There were only a few small pieces of the artichoke and even less of the roasted pepper. There was quite a lot of fresh tomato which tasted nice but made the pizza very moist. All of these complaints are trivial as the pizza was fantastic!

20140704-202820-73700914.jpg

Vegan Garlic Bread

The garlic bread was very tasty. Lots of garlic and just a little too much salt. The bread was a tad dry and the crusts weren’t nice at all.

Food: The pizza was amazing; best vegan pizza I’ve ever had. Garlic bread was average. I can’t wait to try some of the desserts. 4/5

Service: Basic. 3/5

Setting: Cheap take away venue that hasn’t been updated in a long while. 2/5

Overall: Great vegan pizza so who cares about the rest. It’s a suburban take away; it’s not meant to be pretty. 3.5/5

Papa Mia's Wood Oven Pizza on Urbanspoon

 

 

Restaurant: Vego and Lovin’ It

Vego and Lovin’ It is a quirky little vegan place hidden behind a bright yellow door fame and then up a steep narrow flight of stairs off Rundle St in the CBD. The place is tiny! Lots of random 70’s op shop furniture crammed in and an even randomer (it’s a word if I say it’s a word) bunch of stuff on the walls. Also on the walls is the menu. A bunch of burgers, soup, a few drinks. Most things can be made gluten free (if they’ve remembered to buy the bread). There are never any specials though the soup will occasionally change if the owner feels like something different. Actually the owners whims seem to run this place; he’s well known for being eccentric. Closing early or not opening at all. Limiting customer numbers for no apparent reason. Whether or not the owner is in an odd mood it’s pretty hard to get a table here during rush hour, it gets packed out with people hanging out in the stairwell waiting for a seat or two to be free. Best to go early or late.

I’ve been here a few times and have tried a number of different things. All quite yummy and massive serves! They offer half serves for a very good reason. Only order a full size burger if you have a massive appetite and some Tupperware in hand for what you were unable to finish.

20140127-210511.jpg

The full Mexican Burger

The Mexican burger is awesome. The “cheesy” sauce is awesome even if it does make the burger rather messy to eat. You can get it with mild, sweet or hot chilli sauce, but beware, if you’re chilli sensitive there is chilli in the patty as well. The bun is a dark rye (my favourite) with a little nuttalex which is yum, the patty is… something? All the patties are an unidentifiable homemade mix of beans and other stuff but they taste frinckin’ amazing.

20140622-155306-57186589.jpg

Half Gourmet Tofu Burger

The Gourmet Tofu Burger was interesting. The patty was the usual unidentifiable yumminess with the added bonus of random chunks of tofu. The salad (lots of salad!) was fresh and the sauces were… interesting. The so called tomato relish was overpowering and tasted like cheap store bought salsa. The olive tapenade was surprisingly delicious. I really not a fan of olive and was dreading the tapenade but it tasted excellent more garlic than olive.

20140617-211551-76551127.jpg

Chocolate, Apricot and Banana Smoothie

Vego has a few drink options. Tea, instant coffee, fresh squeezed juices (yum! Perfectly balanced goodness). Then there’s the smoothies. Soy based with limited options (chocolate, carob, mango, banana, apricot. This time I had Chocolate, Apricot and Banana. It was good, nice and thick, but could have used a little more apricot.

Food: Overall very good. Great serving sizes but sometimes brought down by store bought condiments. 4/5

Service: Friendly, polite but nothing special. 3/5

Setting: A bit mental. Every time you go here you’ll discover something new, just don’t look at it too hard or it’ll warp your brain. Also the steep stairs are a bit awkward for someone with nervousness about stairs. 3.5/5

Overall: I love this place. It’s quirky, reasonably priced and thy have good food. What’s not to love? 4/5

Vego & Love'n It on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Cherry Darlings Bakehouse

Cherry Darlings Bakehouse is a newly opened bakery in Forrestville, right next to the tram stop. Oh yeah and it’s completely vegan! (Though they style themselves as Cruelty Free). Cherry Darlings is the evolution of a home based vegan catering business called Veganised who are well known for their Bakehouse Boxes (full of sweet and/or savoury yumminess) as well as supplying vegan treats to places like Godzilla Pizza and Out Of Step. The bakery opened yesterday (21/06/2014) and has been a big hit.

It’s a smallish shop with some indoor seating and another seating area out the back which includes  well stocked children’s play area. The interior is pastel colours with interesting things on the wall including a classic series Star Trek poster and a small embroidered gun control message. Like many an Adelaide eatery these days they’ve gone with a bit of a retro Americana theme.

The shop sells the usual bakery fare; lots of interesting pies and other savouries, many kinds of cupcakes and so many other yummy (and unhealthy) treats. A number of the treats are gluten free. They also do milkshakes, soda floats, tea and coffee. It’s all very reasonably priced with the cheapest item at $2.50 and nothing above $10. I ordered the BBQ Rib Mac & Cheese Pie and a slice of Banana Caramel Pie.

20140621-215723-79043700.jpg

BBQ Rib Mac & Cheese Pie

The pie was interesting The BBQ marinated gluten strips were well balanced and the capsicum, onion and (oddly) broccoli were a nice flavour combo. The Mac and Cheese didn’t have much flavour but added a nice texture contrast and creaminess to the pie. The pastry was unremarkable; I know I ate it but I can’t remember it

20140621-215725-79045355.jpg

Banana Caramel Pie

The Banana Caramel Pie was pretty awesome. One of the people who was with me (pictured below) said it was one of the best things she’s ever eaten. The caramel sauce was clearly homemade and delicious (and very sweet!) The cream was wonderful and it tasted like the real thing. However I found the base to be a bit to thick and a little lacking in flavour. It could’ve used a little more banana as well.

20140621-215726-79046963.jpg

So many desserts so little time

I also had the chance to sample a few other desserts thanks to a companion who couldn’t decide and ordered more than she could eat. All very yummy though the cup of tea was ludicrously strong due to the fact that they used enough loose leaf tea for a whole pot!

Food: Very yummy and lots of options. 4.5/5

Setting: A nice leafy area not too far from the CBD. The interior is a little cramped but once the opening fervour calms down it should be fine. 4/5

Service: Polite but a little clunky. Should improve with time. 3.5/5

Overall: Very good. I’m a bakery fan from way back and I’ve been missing it so much since going vegan. Now if only they had profiteroles on the menu (hint hint). It’s probably a good thing I don’t live to close to Cherry Darlings because I’d be there at least once a day. 4/5

Cherry Darlings Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Argo on the Square

Argo is a trendy café with 2 locations in the Adelaide area; Victoria Square in the CBD and The Parade in Norwood. The cafe’s are very vegan friendly with a separate vegan breakfast menu. Annoyingly the vegan options on the lunch menu (on the website) are neither separate nor clearly marked.

The interior is lovely with lots of greenery, both real and fake. The plants are even on the walls! It’s a nice atmosphere. I went there with a fellow vegan friend for breakfast after a cycling event. I ordered an It’s Pearific frappe and the Vegan Waffle.

20140617-201454-72894058.jpg

It’s Pearific Frappe

The frappe was quite nice. Well balanced, not too much ice and a nice hint of mint at the end.

20140617-201455-72895483.jpg

The Vegan Waffles

The waffle were interesting. The waffle itself was made from a banana and walnut batter, which tasted lovely but made the waffle quite dense and heavy. The coconut sorbet had nice flavour and wasn’t too sweet but was icy. The chocolate sauce was more like a chocolate mouse. It tasted like a raw desert, had a slightly grainy texture and was in need of a little more sweetness. The grapefruit slices were under ripe and horribly sour. The mango cheeks tasted like they’d been stored incorrectly and had absorbed some random flavours. Strangely they reminded me a little of sushi.

Food: Overall quite tasty but let down by some bad elements. The frappe was good. 2.5/5

Setting: Not bad. Large but still cosy, lots of green. 4/5

Service: Average. Polite but minimal human contact. 3/5

Overall: Nothing special. I’ll go back to try another drink.
 
Argo on the Square on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Cafe Chennai

Café Chennai is a Southern Indian restaurant in Prospect. The restaurant is a small skinny shop squished between a couple of other stores. The walls have a bunch of pictures mostly of British colonized India and in the front of the cafe is a vintage car. The menu consists of equal parts meat and veg dishes; with most of the vegetarian options being vegan. They also have a number of southern Indian dishes which are quite interesting. They also do quite a bit of gluten free. The first time I went here my table mates and I ordered a whole bunch of dishes and shared them.

20140614-230009-82809573.jpg

Chilli Gobi (Cauliflower)

Despite the bright red color and the fact that it was ordered a hot this dish was not hot at all. It was very interesting; quite salty and a very interesting crunch texture. A few of the other people said that the cauliflower looked line strawberries. I’m not sure why the big rings of brown onion were on the plate as they’re not particularly edible.

20140614-230012-82812622.jpg

Eggplant Curry, Mushroom Curry and Rice

Both curries were ordered mild but were still a bit too hot for me. (I’m a bit of a chilli wimp.) the mushroom curry was nice but could have used a few more mushrooms. The eggplant curry was fantastic; definitely my favorite thing on the menu. It was well spiced with nothing overpowering an the coconut cream was just right.

The vegetarian biryani was also very good as were the chapatis (not on the menu). The South Indian dishes were interesting but not my favorite. The pickle was nice but very salty and the coconut chutney was lovely.

Setting: Small but nice, can be a little noisy and the insense was a little overwhelming at first. 2.5/5

Food: Pretty good if a little to much chilli for my tongue. 4/5

Service: Table service is always good, bill splitting is better. 4/5

Overall: Now I’m not a huge fan of Indian food so I was pleasantly surprised by this place. A definite winner. 4/5

Cafe Chennai on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Red Lime Shack

Red Lime Shack is a vegan café in Port Adelaide. Set on a main street the café is large, airy and filled with art. The furniture was the usual assortment of random op shop finds and it looks lovely. Red Lime does breakfast (I’ve heard great things about their waffles) and lunch with an assortment of smoothies, burgers and the usual fare.

I ordered a BerryRipe smoothie and the Walnut, Sage and Carrot burger.

20140518-202832.jpg

BerryRipe smoothie

The smoothie was fabulous. Thick and creamy, it was just plain yummy. It had a perfect balance between the sweetness of the banana and the tartness and flavour of the berries. Too bad that perfect balance didn’t carry over to the burger…

20140518-202839.jpg

Walnut, Sage and Carrot burger

When the burger was delivered to my table I was excited. It looked delicious. I picked it up and felt the soft , warm bun and I took a bite… and was confronted with a sourness that permeated the entire burger. A combination of the mustard and the tahini mayonnaise (WAY too much lemon juice) had completely overwhelmed all the other flavours. The burger patty itself had a nice texture but lacked flavour, the salad was fresh and the bun was lovely. I was hungry so I ate it all but I was definitely not happy with it.

Food: Disappointing. However based on what I’ve heard from others I’m hoping I just got a bad batch of the mayo. Smoothie was awesome. 2.5/5

Setting: Quirky but nice. The size of the main room made the eclectic furniture work well. 4/5

Service: Polite, quiet. Basic but not uncomfortable. I didn’t even mind the loud conversation I overheard about the placement of items in the freezer. 3/5

Overall: Slightly disappointed however I will attempt to return to try the waffles. Good to see a wholly vegan restaurant outside of the CBD. 3/5

Red Lime Shack on Urbanspoon