Monday, April 28, 2008

April 19, 2008: Friday Featre Food - Enlightenment Cuisine

Edit 25/04/2017: Enlightened Cuisine is now rebranded as Vegie Kitchen.

Not strictly Friday, and not pre-theatre. Instead, we wandered across to Enlightenment Cuisine in South Melbourne early on a Saturday evening following a matinée showing of Holding the Man at The Malthouse. Cindy had one of her semi-regular faux-meat cravings, and our previous trip to the incongruously located (across the street from Crown) Enlightenment Cuisine had been relatively successful. It all added up to good excuse to make our theatre-related dinner a slightly more expensive experience (although it turns out they're now offering a series of $9 'food on the run' meal combos straight from the lunch menu, so it needn't have been quite so expensive).

Cindy, bafflingly, is rarely able to expand her faux-meat enthusiasms from the sickly sweet Chinese treats she remembers from her childhood: usually honey chicken, sweet and sour pork or lemon chicken. This week it was lemon chicken - I always enjoy stealing one little chunk off her plate, but more than that would be too much for me - Cindy enjoyed it though, happily chowing down the sweet, batter-y goodness.

I decided to try another 'fish'-based treat - fish with black bean sauce (see top). It was the same kind of weird dry fish substitute that we'd had at Ten Ren's, but this time it was appropriately smothered in sauce - a vinegary, beany black bean syrup. It also came with a decent number of vegies stirred through, something lacking from the lemon chicken. I'm not as enamoured of the Chinese faux-meat experience as Cindy is, and at more than $15 a pop, this isn't the great-value city food that we can score from places like Nila or Lord of the Fries. Maybe next time we'll try the $9 specials and see how they measure up.

Read about our previous visit to Enlightened Cuisine here.


  1. I am IN LOVE with their lemon chicken. How do they get the outer skin so perfectly crispy and skin-like?

    I always find it really hard to not order mock meats when I go to EC but they have a spicy eggplant and tofu dish that is out of this world as well, I think it's called 'spicy eggplant and tofu' actually.

  2. Lisa, I similarly can't resist the mock meats but Michael might. I'll pressure him into ordering the spicy eggplant and tofu next time. :-D