Vegetarianism and veganism are two rapidly growing lifestyle choices that young Australians are switching to today, either backed up by political statements regarding animal rights, or to explore a new way of living and eating. This means the Adelaide food scene must adapt and provide the options for these two alternative regimens as the population of veges/vegans continues to expand. For those who do not know the difference – which I doubt, considering the amount of controversy for and against these diets – vegetarians only restrict themselves from consuming the meat of an animal, while still eating their products such as dairy. Vegans on the other hand restrict from consuming anything produced by an animal, a.k.a meat and dairy.
These diet choices also follow the controversy regarding green-girl-animal-loving-vegan-youtuber Freelee the Banana Girl vs fitspo-millionaire-low-calorie-crazed Kayla Itsines. Although I have many opinions on the debate, I shall keep my opinions to myself – for now – as I'd prefer not to sued/silenced (soz Kayla's Army). As intrigued as I am about the vegan movement, I chose the opportunity of the upcoming Easter festivities to explore a conversion to veganism and vegetarianism. The first week of the diet change I was badly craving a double cheeseburger, but once the withdrawals weaned off I started to wonder where all the great vegetarian/vegan establishments are in Adelaide. Sick of eating grandma’s lentil soups and mum’s failed attempts at pumpkin ravioli, I took matters into my own hands, and am now searching for the best vegetarian/vegan spots in town.
This week I visited Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha – thanks to a friend's recommendation – right in the heart of Adelaide CBD. Zenhouse is located just off Rundle Street between the Austral and American Apparel, and offers an extensive menu for vegetarians and vegans alike with burgers, curries, noodles, salads, and mock chicken, duck, and pork. They also offer daily specials for $8.80 – cheap as chips right?
On my first visit I went with the classic lentil and chickpea burger – mind you, I despise chickpeas, but I like to keep an open mind. Turns out it cost $11 for a monster of a burger I couldn’t even finish, and on the plus side it went deliciously with their vegan mayo.
On my second visit I was craving a warmer dish, so I opted for the daily special – Wednesday – which was the stir-fry noodles with tofu and seasonable vegetables, and my my, did it satisfy! Accompanied it with their fresh mango green iced tea and it was a killer lunch.
If you thought you couldn’t love this place more as they have the fresh and tasty meals down pat, Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha is also a teahouse. With over 70 different varieties of tea for you to buy, they offer pots of tea, home made iced tea, or just a cup if you’re in a hurry. With teas ranging from herbal to Chinese, from floral to classic black, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, especially this coming season.
if you're looking for a diet change this coming Easter, or just simply want to follow the trend then do yourself a favour and check out Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha at 17-19 Bent Street, Adelaide 5000 (just around the corner from The Austral ), for the ultimate vegetarian experience with a twist on pub food classics and Malaysian style dishes.
Comment with your recent or past experiences!
All images taken by Alexia Frangos.