At the beginning of this year, before leaving for Canberra, I had a farewell dinner with some of my uni friends at the Green Gourmet Restaurant in Newtown, Sydney - a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. The novelty about this restaurant is their mock meat, which is essentially tofu that is shaped and flavoured to look, smell, feel and taste like meat.
There are many people who are sceptical about this innovation - in their arguments, they often compare vegetarian meat to the real thing and place an emphasis on authenticity. However, I feel like this argument focuses too much on the 'conventional' and fails to recognise the benefits of vegetarian meat. Vegetarian meat allows people (not just vegetarians) to enjoy eating meat while being ethically responsible and experiencing the health benefits of vegetables. I think food should be praised if it allows people to respect emerging issues about the environment but still tantalises people's tastebuds.
Some of us in the group bullied the rest of the people to try mock meat. We had BBQ King Roast ‘Pork’, which is a "popular vegetarian take of the old-time favourite. Wheat protein marinated with hoi sin brown sauce and glazed with caramel malt sugar" for 15.80. Our sceptic in the group was thoroughly impressed.
We also shared:
Steamed Pumpkin Cake - Savoury cake made of pumpkin, tofu and whole black bean 4.60
Spicy Green Bean in Chilli Black Bean Sauce - Crispy green beans and firm tofu slices sautéed in a spicy black bean sauce with a hint of chilli 15.80
Steamed Dim Sim - Wheat pastry ball stuffed with soy mince, black mushroom, carrot and water chestnut 4.60
Seasoned Salt & Pepper Spicy Tofu - Deep fried fresh bean curd sautéed chilli 15.80
Green Gourmet Restaurant
115-117 King St, Newtown