I'm visiting Brisbane for work. Priorities in order I headed straight from the airport, suitcase and all, to Kuan Yin for lunch. Thankfully I had a few hours to digest my 3 combo veggie bento and rose milk tea before meeting up with James and Matt for dinner. These generous souls drove me out to the 'burbs for my first taste of Su Life.
Su Life isn't one for ambiance - it's bare walls, bare tables, flourescent lighting, and zero music set in a strip mall. No matter, we were here to fill the air with chatter and our stomachs with deep-fried everything. Briefly consulting with James, Matt ordered (too much) for the three of us.
The Golden Toona Pancake ($6.50) is crispy and lightly seasoned.
The Combination BBQ set ($15.50) is an outrageous quantity of snacks served in a gaudy butterfly platter - the satay skewers and spring rolls were par for the course but the other two appetisers were new to me. In the foreground are crumbed rice paper wraps stuffed with yuba-based mock meat. My favourites, though, were the lacy-wrapped two-toned taro rolls pictured top right.
The veggie calamary (sic, $6.99) were, from dim and distant memory, a pretty impressive imitation of the real thing.
The sweet and sour veggie ribs ($14.99) are one of Matt's favourites. The sauce was a little undercooked this time, and the mock meat was unusual - sliced thinly with a spongey, grainless texture.
The highlight, though, was the Spicy Crispy Chicken ($14.99) - Matt knew it and rashly ordered two plates! I couldn't stop picking at it - the chicken was more batter than mock and undeniably crispy, smothered in a sweet, salty and slightly hot sauce. The capsicum, celery and cashews really worked with it. This is the dish worth catching the number 150 bus out to Mt Gravatt for.
I hear that the 85 dishes across Su Life's menu are a bit hit and miss, but I benefited from James and Matt's devoted sampling across many visits. It'd be nice to make a couple more, myself.
On their blog, James and Matt deem Su Life one of the two best vegetarian restaurants in Brisbane. It has also received positive reviews on vegawesome!, Viva la vegan! and la petite foodie. Meanwhile on Little things, Arly recreates the spicy crispy chicken as tofu.
Shop 4 Palmdale Shopping Centre, 2120 Logan Rd,
Upper Mt Gravatt, QLD
(07) 3349 5995
veg dishes $5.50-14.99
Accessibility: The strip mall has a step up to pavement level, then Su Life itself has a flat entry and reasonably well-spaced tables. We ordered at the table and (James) paid at the counter. Toilets are located down an alley, were the subject of a hilarious Matt story, and did not sound accessible at all.