Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Pink Giraffe, Oxford

43b St Clements Street
Oxford OX4 1AG Map

If you've got an aversion to "mock" meat products then the Pink Giraffe is probably not the place for you. As well as the "vegetarian" chicken, beef, pork, ham and duck it has bean curd and vegetable dishes on the menu. It is the most extensive vegetarian menu I have ever see at a Chinese restaurant.

They offer several set menus, including ones for meat, vegetarian and vegan.

We chose to have one of the vegetarian ones and started with a very spicy vegetarian Tom Yum soup, that was absolutely packed with vegetables. This was followed by salt and peppered bean curd and "vegetarian chicken" satay.

Once we'd finished this, "vegetarian beef" in black bean sauce, "vegetarian chicken" in wine and hot garlic sauce, bean curd in yellow bean sauce and rice were delivered to the table. It was all quite tasty, but there was probably a little to much of the mock meat for me, I would've preferred a few more vegetable dishes mixed in.

Given that it is now around fifteen years since I gave up meat, my memory of what it tastes and feels like is probably pretty bad. However, the textures brought back a few memories and the "beef" was scarily real. However you feel about meat substitutes. if you look at it just as an ingredient to add texture and taste to a meal, then it works quite well in these dishes.

The portions were a good size, and I was too full for any dessert. With drinks and a tip, the meal was about £20 per head, which I think was a bargain.

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