Just a short walk from the Adelaide Central Markets and Chinatown lies Mimi, a modern Thai eatery at your services for lunch and dinner feeds. Since Mimi’s inception in November 2018, they have claimed the 2019 South Australia New Restaurant (City) Finalist award for excellence, and mi oh my we can see why. With the recent addition of their fully vegan menu, created by head chef Noki, there really is something for everyone at Mimi…yep, gluten-free options too!
We sampled a selection of their vegan options, here’s the verdict:
This disc of pan-fried vegetable dumplings are served in a ginger soy sauce, and topped with crunchy sesame seeds and fresh coriander. The dumpling’s contents is relatively smooth, having a mincey kind of texture, if you will, with no noticeable chunks of vegetables. The perfectly pan-fried dumplings are wonderfully crackly on the outside, making for a textural adventure. The flavour itself is somewhat meaty, but pleasantly sweet from the ginger soy dressing. You’ll also have the honour of breaking the disc apart which really hits home with the auditory sensory – crispy city. The entree sized serving is great if you’re after a light snack or a delicious appetiser number.
Larb Flavoured Cauliflower Florets
This dish is again more on the entree side of things, utilising an estimated quarter of a cauliflower, but by no means lacks flavours. The fried cauliflower florets are coated in a spicy larb seasoning powder, served with a generous amount of mixed green herbs and a slice of lime. If you’re not a huge spice fan, this dish may not be for you, however the lime certainly helps cut through the heat, making for a refreshing relief. As the cauliflower is fried, it is quite greasy indeed, but with the addition of fresh greens balance is achieved. Gluten-free friends, this one is for you!
Mimi’s pad thai is simply excellent! The classic rice noodle dish is served with three generous slices of fried tofu and wilted bean shoots and topped with garlic chives, lime, peanuts and chilli flakes on the side. There’s a few elements to this pad thai which really sets it apart, starting with the bean shoot situation. Usually raw bean shoots serve as a topping to the dish, but Mimi wilts the shoots through the noodles, minimising that strong beans taste which can sometimes be slightly overpowering. Secondly, the rice noodles used in this pad thai are quite thin, opposed to the generally thick rice noodle, which runs the risk of being a bit soggy. No sog here, just wonderfully flavoursome, chewy noods. The overall taste is sensational with strong garlic and onion notes, very minimal spice and light tomatoey vibes with a sweet aftertaste.
Thai Red Curry
This one really packs a punch and we definitely recommended it if you like to work up a sweat. This red curry contains chunks of zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, cherry tomatoes in a HOT coconutty sauce, and topped with two grilled pineapple slices, two florets of fried cauliflower, and two stalks of broccolini. As chilli is the star of the show, the two sweet pineapple slices serve as a relief if your tastebuds begin to struggle. The cauliflower, broccoli and pineapple on top give the dish a crunch while the veggies in the curry melt in the mouth. This Thai red curry will 100 percent warm you up in the winter – seriously, leave the scarf at home and bring your gluten-free friend.
Tom Yum Linguini
Moving awaaaay from the spice, this tomyum linguini is not your standard menu item – perhaps the only tom yum linguini being served up in Adelaide! Italian meeting Thai may have you raising an eyebrow, but you may be as pleasantly surprised as we were. Tom yum is traditionally a sour soup with sweet notes, and those flavours are definitely the feature of this dish, minus the soupiness. Aiding the sourness are thin slices of crispy lemongrass which is present throughout the pasta, whereas a saucy coconut base contributes to the sweetness…and creaminess! Part of the heartiness in this meal comes from the mushroom medley consisting of grilled king oyster, enoki and field mushrooms which are tossed through the linguini, along with wilted cherry tomatoes providing the funky freshness. Give it a chance, you might be blown away by the unique combo!
This one goes out to the mushroom lovers out there. In a salty soy/shiitake broth lies a mushroom medley with the likes of grilled king oyster, portobello, enoki, and field mushrooms, along with cherry tomatoes, slow cooked carrots, radish and spongey tofu puffs to soak up some of that delicious broth. The broth itself is rather salty, so keep a glass of water on hand. Although there’s heaps of earthiness derived from the ‘shrooms…almost like a Thai minestrone. In classic king oyster mushroom style, they have a meat-like texture, almost like the fatty part of a steak, making for a super hearty time.
Grilled Eggplant Salad
This salad is frankly beautiful. The vibrancy is off the scales, especially with the addition of edible flowers to top it all off. The salad is bursting with flavour thanks to the grilled eggplant, fresh orange slices, cherry tomatoes, a variety of mesclun leaves, toasted almonds and a palm sugar dressing…and you guessed it – it’s gluten-free! Eating this salad really took us on an adventure – more specifically to a summery island, sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun, temporarily making us forget that it’s sadly gloomy in Adelaide right now. The combination of fresh and cooked ingredients provide great texture from soft, to chewy, to crunchy – so if you’re all about mukbang vibes, this salad will surely do it for you. It’s not exactly quintessential Thai cuisine, but it’s a great dish if you’re after something filling that isn’t greasy, or spicy, and if fab options for gluten intolerances and guilt-free eating!
Fries with Sweet Chilli Sauce
Fries are generally a pretty safe option – you know what you’re getting, but it’s always a hit or miss situation. Well these thin cut fries are beautifully golden and crunchy, whilst remaining fluffy on the inside. But there’s a twist, these poh-tay-toes are topped with a mixed spice powder, really hitting those pepper and chilli notes. It’s unusual, yet delectably more-ish.
Chia Seed Pudding
Being the only vegan dessert on the menu, we can safely say this chia seed pudding probably isn’t what you have in mind. Such care is taking in the assemblage of this dessert, you can tell the chef take prides in the delicate appearance of Mimi’s creations. In this chia seed you will find a pattern of perfectly round honeydew and rockmelon balls, two scoops of mango sorbet, topped with edible flowers, crispy bits of coconut flakes, a crumble of almond praline and a ravishing bright pink sheet of tule. Every part of this pudding truly makes it the best I’ve put in my gob. The chia seed in the pudding are almost chewy, opposed to the watery consistency some chia seed puddings can have. The main element of sweetness comes from the mango sorbet, which tastes legitimately like you’re eating a straight up mango. Although you may not think of this as a ‘dessert’, it’s definitely refreshing after oily or fried foods, much like a palate cleanser. It’s creamy, it’s elegant, it’s crunchy, it’s everything you could possibly want in a chia seed pudding.
Mimi‘s new vegan menu is available lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Monday.
Words by Dale Anninos-Carter
WHERE: 50 Sturt St, Adelaide