New Menu Launch: Arbour Kitchen’s Summery Sustenance
A mere five minute walk from the Adelaide Central Market, you’ll find yourself at Whitmore Square/Iparrityi – a green inner-city escape surrounded by cafes, an assortment of small shops and a quaint church overlooking the square. However, we’re here to talk about one cafe in particular, Arbour Kitchen.
Atop the northern side of the square lies Arbour Kitchen, a breakfast and lunch venue that pride themselves on seasonal and locally sourced produce. They’ve been serving up tasty meals since mid-2018, and they’ve just rolled out their new lunch menu which features four vegan items!
We put the brand-spanking new goodies to the test – and alas, the verdict as follows to tantalise your temptations and to satisfy your future cravings.
Vegan Chicken Caesar Salad
Now, it’s not everyday you go out for brunch and say, “yeah, I think I’ll order the salad,” but let me tell you something – that one liner is going to have you sounding like a broken record, ’cause you’ll be craving this vegan chicken Caesar salad on the regular. This Caesar is made up of: crispy soy nuggets, mixed leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, candied walnuts and Caesar dressing, topped with vegan Parmesan.
The soy chicken nuggets are crisped to perfection on the outside, and sort of stringy and soft on the inside, making for a spot on chickeny resemblance, texture-wise.
The freshness of the mixed leaves and cucumber really shines through – heck, they’re probably still photosynthesising on the plate, that’s how fresh. And in true Caesar style, they are evenly smothered with a rich Caesar dressing – no leaf is left unturned.
And now for the elements that really set this Caesar apart – the sun-dried tomatoes and candied walnuts. The to-mates add a certain chew to the dish, you’ve kinda gotta work a bit for your food, instead of just downing it. And the candied walnuts – well, this is the future of Caesar salads right here. As well as adding a sweet element to the savory salad, they add a bacon-like crunch without incorporating another mock meat – think Canadian maple syrup bacon on pancakes vibes. Now that’s a good walnut.
It’s a bit of a silent achiever – it’s delicious, but the salad list is often overlooked. But in the words of a fellow diner – “I’m stoked.”
Eggplant Schnitzel Burger
It’s a wide-spread menu item, there’s no doubt about that, but gee did the flavours of this one come out of no where like John Cena. Inside deez buns you’ll find; a piece of deep-fried eggplant, a layer of caremalised onions, a bunch of baby spinach leaves, and a few tomato slices, topped with vegan Kewpie mayonnaise. Mmmmmm!
Most of those elements are fairly self-imaginatory, however the deep-fried eggplant gave off sorta fishy vibes. “How?” you ask – well the ever-so crispy batter is complimented by the soft interior of the eggplant, just like you’d expect to find from an old fashioned fry-up. It’s something about the natural moistness of the eggplant that gives it that melt in the mouth, fishy feel.
By the burger’s side are a handful of trusty fries, which in themselves are a star too. They’re dusted with a zesty seasoning, making for a punchy ride.
Compared to the other hearty, non-vegan pasta dishes on the menu, this spaghetti is quite light. Arbour have kept this one simple with; asparagus, garlic shoots, spring onion, mint, sumac and vegan Parmesan.
This spagoot is green, but not so mean, as it is quite simplistic indeed. It’s one of those meals that you could make at home, but sometimes you just need a refreshing spaghetti meal STAT. It’s a mood, what can you say.
The mint serves as the main flavour of the dish, followed by the tangy sumac, which is unusual to say the least, but it still pops with vibrant flavours of summer. Now don’t get us wrong, this spaghetti tastes great, it just lacks something to give it more texture. Maybe some fresh green peas could give it a burst of juicy goodness.
A surprising part of this dish however, is how creamy the vegan Parmesan can be, without making the meal heavy.
Alright, alright, alright, now here’s a hearty dish that will be sure to fill you up – the Mexican salad. Coriander haters, look away, this one’s got: coriander (obviously), black beans, brown rice, corn, a wad of avocado, tomatoes and mixed leaves with chipotle dressing and a side of corn chips.
Think of this salad like a big ol’ deconstructed burrito. It’s got all the good flavours of Mexico with the added bonus of a protein punch – what a deal. You won’t find any fried foods or greasy dressings up in here, just a healthy option that does not skimp on flavour. Who ever said salads are boring and tastes like rabbit food are straight up wrong – sorry, not sorry.
What really makes you go “hmm, yum,” about this salad, is the fact that the corn kernels are char-grilled, giving the dish a certain smokiness. By combining each element with the guacamole, it makes for a truly creamy time. Bring it all together atop a corn chip, and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a burrito-nacho.
Here’s the cray-zay thing about these four vegan options – at our table sat three other diners whom were not vegan, and they all agreed that the vegan meals served up were their favourites from the entire menu. They most definitely took a particular liking to the eggplant schnitzel burger and Caesar salad.
Fellow diner, Jack Bird shared his thoughts with us –
“I thought it was a very modern way to do vegan food. I feel like a lot of thought went into every single element of each dish. Everything complimented each other well, in terms of flavour and texture.
“I enjoyed the pasta in the context of our meal, like something zesty and fresh, but a little bit boring for a main.
“The Caesar salad was the hero of the meal for sure. The mock chicken was out of this world, however the salty-sweet character of the dish was enough on its own,” Jack says.
Thank you creating an inclusive and delicious menu, Arbour Kitchen!