Vegan Cuisine Fit for a Carnivore
Dining can be a lonely experience for a vegetarian who finds herself surrounded by meatetarians. So many times I find myself in a restaurant with the only vegetarian option being a lacklustre pasta or salad.
I have always wanted to try Padmanadi, which serves a strictly vegan menu. Sadly my husband is committed to eating food with a face, so date night at Padmanadi is out of the question. Thankfully my cousin Brenda is always up for a culinary adventure.
We set out on a sunny Thursday for my long anticipated visit to Padmanadi. I have enjoyed their offerings at Taste of Edmonton and was eager to try more of their menu.
When we entered we were immediately greeted and shown to our table by. I was struck by how bright and beautiful the dining room was. Photos of people who we later learned were regular customers adorned the walls. The room was spacious and comfortable, a perfect place to linger over a relaxing lunch.
We were offered a complimentary cup of chrysanthemum tea, which was perfect to sip while Brenda and I perused the menu. In addition to the vegetable and noodle dishes there were a plethora of "faux meat" options. These options are made of soy and are made to have the texture and flavour of meat.
In addition to the regular menu there was a lunch menu that included an individual sized portion that included soup, rice and 2 spring rolls for only $12.00. Brenda opted for the ginger "beef" while I settled on the curry "chicken". Our server paid special attention to any food allergies that we may have and was very knowledgeable about the menu. I passed on the soup as I typically end up wearing it. Brenda who is much more graceful enjoyed the hot and sour soup that was full of veggies and tofu. It was seasoned to perfection and hit the mark with the complex flavours.
Not long after our lunch entrees were delivered to our table. Our meals were presented beautifully and were fresh and colourful. In addition to the standard lunchtime offerings of rice, my curry "chicken" had potatoes that were ensconced in the same velvety coconut curry as the chicken. The curry was lightly spiced and had the perfect finish on my tongue. The soy protein that made the chicken was a perfect texture. The spring rolls were crisp and not the slightest bit oily. The portion was very satisfying and was generously sized.
Brenda enjoyed her meal as well. On our ride there, she shared that she was a bit nervous going to a vegan restaurant. As a meat eater, she was unsure of what to expect. She found that her ginger "beef" truly had the taste and texture of beef. In addition to enjoying the flavours, she enthused about the wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen and the beautiful room.
Although we were both satisfied, we couldn't resist trying the molten chocolate cake. For anyone who thinks that a vegan dessert can't be decadent, you must try Padmanadi's molten chocolate cake. It was beautifully presented with a sprinkling of fresh berries and a scoop of ice cream. The only way to describe it is ooey gooey chocolatey deliciousness. It was the perfect way to end a perfect meal.
With people embracing more of a flexitarian diet or a meatless Monday, Padmanadi is an excellent member of Edmonton's dining scene. Brenda and I will be back to this local gem.
Written by Laurie Young
Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant
10740 101 St NW