Zenhouse Vegetarian Fusion restaurant along Port Road in Hindmarsh is the sister restaurant to Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha in the Adelaide CBD. This restaurant offers vegetarian dishes in a setting more along of the line of a Chinese restaurant. We found the portion sizes to be a bit bigger than the city branch and our dishes did not take long to be served after we ordered them.
The "VSFC" part of their Sweet & Sour VSFC is short for "Vegetarian Soy Fried Chicken", an accurate description of the ingredient standing in for the usual chicken. The soy nuggets had a lovely crispy exterior with the texture similar to the chicken it is supposed to imitate. They also had a bit of salt to bring out the flavour. The vegetables still had a bite to them and the sweet and sour sauce was well balanced - just the right degree of sweetness with a hint of tanginess.
Sweet & Sour VSFC (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
There was a generous portion of soy slices in their Mongolian Not-Beef On Hotplate. The "beef" slices had a delectable chewy texture and the beansprouts added a bit of crunch. The soybean sauce gave the dish the flavour you would expect from Mongolian Beef. Take some care when consuming this dish as it is served to you piping hot.
Mongolian Not-Beef On Hotplate (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Zenhouse's Salt and Pepper Tofu was of excellent quality, with the wonderful soft texture of the tofu set off beautifully by the crisp crust. This was our favourite dish of the night. The salt and pepper seasoning really contributed to the enjoyment of this dish. It was not too salty and had a bit of pepperiness from what tasted like five spice powder. The bed of salad the tofu was served on helped to balance out its peppery flavour but we thought the salad was a bit too dry.
Salt & Pepper Tofu (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
After enjoying the Chinese meal of three dishes with rice, we decided to return to Zenhouse to try some of their standalone dishes. One of the dishes suited for a single diner, their Zenhouse Dry-Stir Noodles makes use of the unusual sounding Toon sauce, an Asian sauce made from the leaves of the Chinese mahogany tree, which gave the dish its distinctive sweet-savoury flavour. The textured vegetable protein (tvp) had a lovely crisp texture and the tofu helped to carry the flavour of the sauce. It normally comes with beansprouts but we were able to leave it out as my sister does not like their taste.
Zenhouse Dry-stir Noodles (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For something a bit more "normal", Satay Noodle is a good choice. The vegetarian satay pieces were cooked just right and the green vegetables and beansprouts had the right amount of bite to them. The sauce really contributed to the enjoyment of the dish, imparting the same smoky flavour you would expect from its namesake.
Satay Noodle (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Chickpea Burger is one of the Western-style dishes that can be ordered. All their burgers can be ordered with white or brown bread. Both breads were just as tasty. The patty notably had some whole chickpeas to provide extra texture. It had a delectable spiced flavour and we chose vegan mayonnaise for the sauce, which ensured that the burger was not too dry. Other choices for the sauce include sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce and satay sauce.
Chickpea Burger (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
As its name suggests, Tempeh Schnitzel Burger features a schnitzel made from tempeh, an Indonesian soy product consisting of fermented soybeans pressed into a cake-like form. We were delighted by the crisp exterior of the tempeh schnitzel, which contrasted well with the soft and earthy interior. There was an ample amount of salad to provide a delightful refreshing element and the barbeque sauce I chose had the degree of smoky taste I desired. For an extra cost, you can include additional fillings such as beetroot as well as a serving of chips to accompany the burger.
Tempeh Schnitzel Burger (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
During one of our visits, we also purchased a Lotus Mooncake and a Red Bean Pastry - two of the vegetarian mooncakes sold at the counter. The filling of the pastries had the right level of sweetness, with our preference being the Red Bean Pastry since the pastry was moister. Zenhouse has a quiet and peaceful ambience and off-street parking are available behind the restaurant.
Zenhouse Pastries (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)