Meesu Vegetarian Kitchen - With my special mate, Neil.

Meesu Vegetarian Kitchen - 449a Pulteney St, Adelaide

A mate of mine was in town and working on Hutt St, we decided to go out for a quick bite to eat and wanted somewhere local. One block west of Hutt St is Meesu Vegetarian Kitchen - a 99% vegan Chinese/Asian fusion restaurant. It was a one man front of house band on a Wednesday night with one chef in the kitchen. The waiter (and maybe owner?) was friendly and super helpful when I asked about the menu.

Meesu, comes complete with an old Falcon parked out the front.
When a social strategist (Neil) and an ex-social strategist, now marketer (me) go out for dinner, there's always about 20 minutes of checking in, tweeting, replying, liking and RTing each other before the menu is looked at. The result (on this occasion) was a picture I like to call 'Neil, four ways'.

I promised I'd include him in my review.
Inside Meesu is like most Asian restaurants. Nothing to write home about but certainly clean and comfortable. Neil and I decided there is a CD salesman going to each Asian restaurant selling Top 20 Hits of the 80's, Panpipe Edition. On this visit, we heard Chairots of fire (twice), Careless Whisper, Tears in Heaven and Daniel, among others.

Tiled floor, yellow walls, random artwork. It's got to be an Asian restaurant.
Our first three dishes arrived, salt and pepper tofu and dumplings were easily identified but there was an unidentifiable fried oblong which turned out to the radish cake. It was a little oily but the outside was crispy and the inside was tasty.

Radish cake
The salt and pepper tofu was lacking...well, salt and pepper. Perhaps it could simply be called 'fried tofu' because what's on the plate better fits that description.

Salt and pepper tofu
Then we got stuck into the dumplings. After my first dumpling, I was all "Ermahgerd, derplerns!" and they disappeared pretty quickly. If these aren't made in-house, I'll eat my hat (with a side of these dumplings). The vegetable filling has brilliant texture, the veggies are identifiable and still hold their shape. Having been boiled, the dumplings don't stick together like steamed dumplings and they go down a treat with the sweet soy dipping sauce.

Boiled dumplings 
After our entree, we were still peckish so we ordered soup and a few more entrees. First up, the "chicken" nuggets arrived. These clearly aren't real chicken and they don't really taste like chicken but they have a similar texture to chicken and with the battered crust, they kinda taste like nuggets. I've not had fake chicken since being vegan so I'm glad I tried them.

"Chicken" nuggets 
Like the dumplings, the spring rolls were filled with fresh veggies and not the smoosh I've come to expect. They're crispy on the outside, not too oily and six of them in one serve is plenty for two people.

Spring rolls
Neil decided he wanted hot and sour soup and I didn't want to feel left out so I ordered miso.  It wasn't the best miso soup I've eaten, the addition of cucumber was a bit weird and the miso taste wasn't prominent enough for me.

Miso soup 
Neil's only comment on his hot and sour soup was after he took a deep, long sniff of his empty spoon and said "It's weird, hot and sour soup always smells like balls but tastes delicious". Well said, Neil.

Hot and sour soup
After a pot of green tea, we finished out meals and made our way to pay. Inside the glass cabinet at the back of the restaurant there's what, front a distance, appears to be a collection of beads. When you get closer, they're beads threaded with wire and made into animal shapes. As I was taking photos out of amazement, the owner offered to sell me one for $9. NINE DOLLARS! Bargain.

One of these could be yours for just $9.
Overall, I enjoyed the dishes we chose. The food tasted fresh and the menu isn't insanely extensive, like some Asian restaurants. It was undeservedly quiet on a Wednesday night, it you're vegetarian or vegan, give this place a go, it's one of the few vegan places open for dinner during the week.

Ambiance - 3.5/5: It's comfortable and clean with panpipe music.
Service - 3/5: The waiter was there when we needed him but didn't go above and beyond.
Food: 7/10: Fresh and tasty but more thought could go into presentation.

In total, Tom gives Meesu Vegetarian Kitchen 14/20 chops on the Chopping Board.

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