Monday, July 20, 2009

Sydney Trip: Mother Chu's

I'm still talking about Sydney over a week later!

My final Sydney post is about another favourite restaurant of mine, Mother Chu's Kitchen. This is a vegetarian, mostly vegan, Taiwanese and Chinese restaurant. It is a family business, presided over by Mother Chu herself every night.

Unlike many chinese vegan restaurants, Mother Chu's does not rely heavily on mock meat. The menu uses very few dead animal names. Instead, it lists gluten, tofu, tempeh, soya roll (with seaweed, a bit like mock fish). It also has a great range of traditional naturally vegan dishes. If you order steamed rice, there is a choice of brown or white rice. I love brown rice, so I think this is a great option.

The food is very good and moderately priced. I have tried a wide variety of food and have never been disappointed. This time I had:

Wonton soup first. Lovely broth with several wontons and gently cooked Chinese veges. I liked the addition of heaps of veges to this soup, especially the greens, which are a favourite of mine.

I followed the soup with this unusual dish. It is eggplant stuffed with a mix of minced tofu and veges, then battered and deep-fried. It was then topped with a mild miso chilli sauce and julienned vegetables, including enoki mushrooms. Instead of being slightly sweet, which I had expected, the sauce was tangy with some sort of vinegar. It was surprisingly good, as the tangy sauce balanced the richness of the deep-fried eggplant. Again, there was more vegetables, which is a feature of many of Mother Chu's dishes. I enjoy a lot of vegetables, so this was welcome. (For the less vege-obsessed, there are some dishes with little vegetables.)

Finally, I made room for Mother Chu's homemade vegan ice cream. I chose mango and passionfruit for my two scoops. This slightly creamy, fresh ice cream is a delicious end to a Taiwanese experience.

If you are trying Mother Chu's, you may wish to book the night before for Peking duck, which must be ordered a day ahead. They also make excellent home-made gluten and fantastic tempeh and tofu dishes. This is another restaurant without alcohol, but there is once again alcohol-free wines and beers, plus several soft drinks and teas. They are worth a try for consistently good food that can be standard Chinese (e.g. sweet and sour) or something a bit out of the ordinary.

For the bibliophiles, after you go to Mother Chu's, there is a great little used book store just a few doors torwards the city. It has all sorts of new and used books, including a range of graphic novels. Even better, it stays open late most weeknights. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name, but I can tell you it's worth a look.


  1. I was talking to someone a few years ago who was praising Mother Chu's from the rooftop. He said it is, hands down, the best vegan restaurant in Australia. That ice cream looks like enough to get me there!

  2. It is certainly one of the best I have been to. I especially love the fact that it is not basically an omni restaurant with fake meat instead of dead things. Though there are old favourites, the extensive menu has heaps of things that are new to me, so I am not eating the same old, same old stuff that you can get anywhere.