Thursday, 10 February 2011

cny banquet at veggie kitchen, northcote

Hey it's CNY! 恭禧发财!

ang pau for grownups
ang pau filled with chocolate coated sultanas

The first of my CNY events was going to Veggie Kitchen: Intention of Love with Cindy and Michael, K and Toby, The Veganator, and Bec who has no blog. K took the initiative and organised this CNY dinner, and I'm glad she did because a) CNY events are the greatest events, and b) it was delicious.

During CNY Veggie Kitchen is offering a special CNY banquet for $28 a head. We made the executive decision (before every one had arrived, even!) to go for the banquet, and Toby and I made the decision to also order a side of siu mai, because it's delicious and it was on the menu and how could we resist?

teainnajar sprouted almond soy milk

The banquet included two types of drinks. We were constantly being plied with some Taiwanese blossoming tea, or as I like to call it, monster tea. I love watching it unfurl. It takes quite a while to infuse though, so don't be in a hurry to drink it! We also received these tiny glasses of apple sprout soy milk, which I have to say was the most delicious soy milk I've ever drunk ever. It was amazing. I would drink more of this if I could. It had this very soft sweetness underneath the usual soy milk flavour, really subtle but really delicious.

san choy bao yee sang

Next up was some lettuce delight (looking suspiciously san choy baoish), followed by the yee sang. The lettuce delight was super crisp and really delicious; the lettuce was filled with a mixture of nuts and mock meat floss and the textures were great. The yee sang was okay, it included apple, the flavour of which I found really over powering, and I didn't really enjoy the mock ham. It was also served with carrot, capsicum, cucumber, mushrooms and what Toby thought was konjac. There was no crunchy, which I missed, and I didn't really like the sauce. Sad!

siu mai pearl balls

I didn't take any great pictures of the next course, which was deep fried deliciousness, spring rolls and tofu. The tofu was much coarser and thicker than I expected, kind of like a hard sponge which was surprising but worked really well. The siu mai was freshly steamed and delicious in the way of siu mai.

The pearl balls contained tofu and mushrooms for filling. I've really come to like pearl balls, though I'd never eaten them before last year. Last CNY, Johanna brought pearl balls to my CNY party, and they were new to all of us, and yet here they were at our CNY banquet! I'm deducing that they're a Taiwanese CNY variation.

super delicious winter veggies

Almost to the end, we had this amazing vegetable huo guo thing. It might have been a five elements sort of dish. This was filled with an assortment of vegetables that had taken on an incredibly delicious flavour and had softened so completely. The soup included pumpkin, broccoli, tofu, cashews, mock meat and some mushrooms. The flavours of this dish were just amazing, I don't know why but they were not overpowering and worked really well together.

We rounded the meal out with cha siu on forbidden rice (which was very dry, so I poured some of the soup from the previous course in to it) and then tang yuan and ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was served with this homemade strawberry jam which was pretty amazing, and the tang yuan, soft and chewy as it always is, had a crumbed (but gluten-free) exterior which made it unusual to chew. I really struggled to finish dessert though, as I was just so full.

This meal was amazing. There's still a week of CNY left, I totally recommend dropping in and trying it out.

K has blogged about it already, completely gluten free. And just as varied and delicious!

Veggie Kitchen: Intention of Love
159 St George Rd

GF available


Cindy said...

I love monster tea! Definitely worth the wait.

Johanna GGG said...

all sounds good - I felt I understood CNY a bit better this year after your potluck last year - but no pearl balls for me this year - though am glad to know there are vegan versions out there

Vic Robinson said...

Looks like you are eating well. :)

Simon said...

Nice review, its interesting cause I went recently and had different opinions.. I thought the "yee sang" was one of the highlights and have tried a few times since to match it at home. The deep fried tofu was fantastic as was the apple sprout soy milk, very different. And the deep fried enoki mushrooms in the lettuce delight were a brilliant idea. The rest I found a little disappointing, particularly the forbidden rice which was very bland, but I'll go back for another try cause overall it was enjoyable and the service was fantastic. :)