Exploring new foods, vegan Chinese

My friend Eve wanted to show me delicious vegan food and she mentioned a Chinese restaurant. I was intrigued and it was an adventure. First of all, the restaurant, Archway Loving Hut is well, in Archway. I don’t know why but it is very rare that I venture so far in to north or east London. (Imagine my surprise when a friend moved to Orpington, I did have to get the map out to get an idea where she had moved to!) šŸ™‚

What I mean is that Ā have never been to Archway before. We arrived a little early and I have to admit I was a little hesitant to go in to the pub next door as it looked slightly rough but it was fine and I had a great G&T. After a drink it was time to go to the restaurant. The menu was quite extensive and it mirrored pretty much any menu in aĀ ChineseĀ but everything is vegan. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

We started with “Crispy duck”, the duck was replaced with some kind of tofu sheets that were deep fried. Everything else was the same.

I have to say it did work really well. I wasn’t too sure at first but it was delicious, like a lighter option to duckĀ and I had two or three pancakes!

After the crispy tofu sheets (I must see if I can get some as would like to see what they look like and what I could do with them!), our main courses arrived. We had one dish with aubergine, Chinese aubergine dishes are usually very good and this did notĀ disappoint, all the dishes were packed with flavour. I prefer a vegan or vegetarian version of aubergine to the ones with aubergine and pork.

Aubergine

Vietnamese pancake – very interesting and it was delicious and served with two different sauces. The pancake had a filling, you took a piece, added this to a lettuce leaf and placed theĀ saucesĀ on top so that each bite had a bit of everything.

We had a Pad Thai, here I think we, for the first time encountered true meat and fish substitutes. The dish was good, the “chicken” pieces were great, I would buy and cook with them. The only thing in the whole meal I didn’t quite get along with was the “prawns”, it was a truly strange experience, not for flavour, for me it was a texture thing. They were easy to avoid and my friends loved them.

My favourite dish that I would come back here for were the chilli “beef” strips, again it was some kind of tofu but they were just so strangely addictive!

I was starting to feel very full but we all went for dessert anyway and it was the best banana fritter I have ever had. It was supremely crispy with a sprinkle of sesame seeds that added flavour and texure. It was served with a Swedish vegan icecream.

I was completely stuffed when I walked out but it was great food. The owner came out to greet us and we had a great meal. Most amazing was that I felt light as a feather in the morning, sometimes when I have a large meal in the evening I am still full until about lunchtime the next day but this felt very light despite some of the food being deep fried. It confirms my belief that I should keep cooking vegan and vegetarian at least once a week, would you do the same?!

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