Review: Green Gourmet, St Leonards

I’ve never really been much of a fan of mock meat products – after all, if you’re not usually vegetarian by choice, why would you choose to have a mock product, when you could have the real thing? The only time I really have it is in cases where I’m complying with other people’s beliefs, for instance having a vegetarian meal in a Buddhist temple. I was ready to put my preferences to the test though, with a visit to Green Gourmet in St Leonards with some colleagues.

Fresh soy milk and green lime twist
Fresh soy milk and green lime twist

We start off with some drinks. I never turn down the chance to try fresh soy milk made by other people, and I found this version really lovely – not too sweet, but sweet enough to still be a treat. My colleague Sarojini asked for a drink recommendation from the owner who suggested the green lime twist as one of their house specialties. It was reportedly fruity and refreshing – a fantastic choice for a summer day.

Chestnut san choy bao, $4.80 each
Chestnut san choy bao, $4.80 each

We started with some san choy bao – presented in beautifully shaped lettuce cups. The flavours of the mix were wonderfully balanced, and the textures were great as well, with a mix of crunchiness in the chestnuts, softness in the capsicum, and bursts of flavours in the baby corn.

Satay Skewer, $5.80 for 4
Satay Skewer, $5.80 for 4

The faux-meat satay skewers came out looking convincingly meat-like. The texture was remarkably convincingly like chicken, and with the sauce slathered over the skewers, it made for a remarkably tasty chicken satay skewer. It was fantastic – one of the top picks of the meal. Unfortunately, straight after we received the skewers, we got four uninspiring dishes in a row.

BBQ Not-Pork Bun, $4 for 2
Steamed vegetable buns
Stir fried seasonal vegetables, $13.80
Stir fried seasonal vegetables, $13.80
Siu Mai
Siu Mai
Braised Green Vegetables & Tofu with Noodle, $14.80
Noodles with stir fried veggies

A very small dish of stir fried seasonal vegetables, somewhat overpriced at $13.80 given that you could get similar at another Chinese restaurant for quite a few dollars less. Steamed vegetable buns that were no different to vegetable buns that you might buy from the freezer section of any Chinese supermarket. Siu mai that were distinctively lacking in taste and flavour. Stir fried noodles devoid of even a good mixture of vegetables, let alone a complex sauce to give it interest.

Black sticky rice and coconut in pandan leaf, $7.80
Black sticky rice and coconut in pandan leaf, $7.80

Luckily Green Gourmet redeemed itself with our choice of dessert – sticky rice with coconut in pandan leaf. We loved their use of coconut two ways (toasted and cream), and even those of us who professed that we wanted “only a bite” of the dessert were soon fighting to have the last bite.

Overall, I rate Green Gourmet a 6.5 out of 10. Most surprising was the fact that their best dishes were when they used mock meat products, and that their plain vegetarian dishes were less than adequate. You would think that a vegetarian restaurant would be able to deliver better dishes using only vegetables. I won’t be back to Green Gourmet any time soon, unless it’s for their sticky rice dessert!

Green Gourmet on Urbanspoon

6 thoughts on “Review: Green Gourmet, St Leonards”

  1. I actually really, really like mock meat – I have no idea why but whenever I see it on a menu, I have to order it!

    That dessert looks amazing – LOVE coconut cream! :)

  2. The pictures are really great. I have never quite understood the concept behind mock up meat. I agree with your line of reasoning. Although, I have come to believe that mock up meat psychologically helps the carnivores undergo transition to being vegetarians. This place does do quite a great effort in presenting its fare.

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