Located along Gawler Place in Adelaide CBD, Thea Vegetarian Tea Garden offers vegetarian food, some of them being vegetarian takes of Singaporean street food such as Laksa and Hainan Chicken Rice. Placing of your order is done by marking your choices on a paper menu provided at each table.
A new addition to their menu, the Hokkien Noodles had already proved to be popular with their customers. The dish had a good amount of Wok Hei ("breath of the wok") to make eating the dish a pleasurable experience. The vegetarian stand-in for chicken had the texture we expected and the sauce gave the dish its distinctive rich savoury flavour. Crunch was provided by carrots, bean sprouts and cabbage that still had a bite to them.
Hokkien Noodles (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We liked that the vegetarian version of fried chicken in their Crispy Hainan Style Rice had a lovely crisp crumb that contrasted well with the meat. Complementing the vegetarian fried chicken was potato croquette and a salad of mushroom and corn to provide freshness. The rice was covered in a sauce which the chef told us was similar to the one used in the Thea's Marinated Rice.
Crispy Hainan Style Rice (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Great as a snack or to sate your appetite while waiting for your main dishes, the seasoning used in the Salt N Pepper Ring was not too salty and the batter coating was nice and crisp. The vegetarian substitute for the squid also had the texture of a perfectly cooked fried squid ring. Served with the dish was aioli that the vegetarian squid can be dipped in for extra flavour.
Salt N Pepper Ring (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Coming in a serve of six, the yam filling of the Vegetarian Yam Samosa was not too sweet and set off perfectly by the wonton skin exterior that was fried to golden brown. Its sweet taste makes the dish ideal to be enjoyed as a dessert.
Vegetarian Yam Samosa (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Aside from their main menu, Thea also has a selection of dishes that are only available on certain days. Its close location to Rundle Mall makes it convenient for shoppers looking for vegetarian food or something different from that normally seen in most food courts.