The ultimate challenge for an arrogant carnivore
I’m a stubborn person. When my mom told me, “vegan food just isn’t tasty” during an argument, I couldn’t let it go. I waited for her to take it back. She didn’t. So, of course, the side of me that flips Monopoly boards came out, and pretty soon, I was writing a list of places to prove her wrong. I’m not gonna try to convert you to a plant-eater. This is, however, a bet. I bet that if you complete this entire list, you won’t be able to deny that vegan food can be mouth-wateringly glorious. If I can’t change your mind… then you have pretty terrible taste buds! xoxo
Vegan Zinger Noodles from Pheast
Whenever I tell students to buy this, they say something along the lines of “we have noodles at home”. Oh yeah? I have noodles at home too. I also really don’t want to end up like the student who was hospitalised for eating too much ramen (honestly, Google it!). Finally! THIS IS WHAT NOODLES ARE SUPPOSED TO TASTE LIKE. Fresh, homemade noodles in a spicy lime, chilli and ginger sauce. When to buy: When Netflix and procrastinating. So… tonight.
Price: $15. Suck it up, you’re just gonna have to spend $15 less when you’re at Shads next.
Vegan Duck Chinese Burrito from Belly Worship
When I saw the menu at Belly Worship, I calculated how much it would be to buy all the vegan things. Fortunately for me, I remembered that and contacting Studylink to beg for money is a nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
The wrap was golden and had that little crunch. The “duck” was outstanding. They nailed the marinade, and it encaptured all the best parts about Chinese food. I couldn’t tell it was fake meat, at all.
When to buy: On a Monday.
Price: Usually $14, but on Mondays only $7.
Jackfruit Tacos from Mr Taco
The jackfruit came in bold, spicy and confident. It was smokey with the texture of pulled pork and paired perfectly with raw onion, cilantro and lime. The tortillas were perfect. No, I’m not talking about the one brand (yellow box) of dry, cracked, somehow always stuck-together, tortillas from Countdown. I’m talking about freshly made, soft tortillas, which you wouldn’t mind dying after eating. Only downside was that it was terribly small and left me craving much more.
When to buy: When you’re not necessarily hungry but just got paid and gotta spend it. Price: 3 for $12
Crispy Fried Chick from Wise Boys
I hate chicken burgers. Even as a carnivore, chicken was the economy class of a long haul flight. It’s soggy yet dry and a downright disappointment. Until this burger.
The only thing in common was the name. An angelic slab of crispy, starchy goodness. Bun toasted to perfection, the usual veggies and some vegan aioli and sriracha slapped all over. It was not a chicken burger. It’s most certainly a vegan patty that makes you feel privileged to eat it.
When to buy: Just before opening your grades — best way to ensure the rest of your day goes well. Price: $15 (remember its insurance for collateral damage).
BBQ ‘Pork’ bao from The Butcher’s Son
A good starter says a lot about the food to come. These pork bao were incredible. The bao was soft and fluffy. The ‘pork’ was crispy and sexy. The veggies were fresh. I can’t say much more other than perfection. The plating was so pretty that I wouldn’t even mind if my boyfriend dumped me for it.
I’m not an idiot. I know most of you read my intro, thought “challenge accepted” (in a Barney Stinson voice) but now realise that you are broke and simply can’t be bothered. So if you were looking for a way out, just one dish to change your mind… this is it!
When to buy: On a date that isn’t going so well. That way, when the bill comes around, you can make them pay without feeling bad. Price: Let your bad date handle it. They deserve it for talking about INFOSYS the whole time.
Cinna-Walnut Scroll from Tart Bakery
Recently, it’s been colder than that chick from Too Hot to Handle. The one who’s like, “I’m just going to kiss my best friend because I don’t care about everyone else here” I know you Aucklanders are used to it, but 6℃ is not what I signed up for when I moved from Fiji. Anyways, it’s been freezing, and this scroll was a warm, autumny angel. Unlike most cinnamon scrolls, the walnut was the star of the show. It was like a walnut jam, paired ever so carefully with orange zest.
When to buy: When you forget to bring your jacket to OGGB.
Price: $6.50. If you’re too broke, I give you my permission to have it for lunch.