Friday, June 12, 2009

Padmanadi's Father's Day Buffet

Friday, June 12, 2009
Location: 10626-97th Street, Edmonton, Alberta
Date/Time: Wednesday June17th, noon-10pm
Price: $15

When we were in our late teens Carly once decided she was going to be a vegetarian. She wasn't sure why; she just decided. For any of you who know of her love for rare steak (and by rare I mean seared on the outside and practically raw on the inside) this may come as a shock. It certainly did for me! I said "What?! Ok..." I played the supportive friend. Her mother on the other hand did not. "What?! Are you crazy? Well you are going to have feed yourself because I am not going to cook anything special for you. I don't know how to cook vegetarian food!" Carly's vegetarian endeavour lasted about 3 days. Maybe she would have been more successful if she had found a restaurant like Padmanadi to eat at.

Padmanadi is an entirely vegan restaurant located in China town. They offer "a blend of Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisine". In addition to regular service, every month they have a buffet dinner and Carly and I went for our first Padmanadi buffet experience a few months ago. When we got there the line up was out the door! Buffets work on a first come first served basis and they are extremely popular so be prepared to wait. That night we didn't have to wait too long though. A table was ready for us within 15-20 minutes. The restaurant was not super large and it was packed! At times throughout the night the buffet line up wound from the buffet at the back of the restaurant to the front door. When we first got there though it wasn't too bad so we dropped our stuff at the table and got in line. The buffet looked great. There was steamed rice, a couple noodle dishes, some stir-fried veggies, and 3 or 4 "meat" dishes. We loaded up and went to sit down.

For those of you who have never tried mock meat before be prepared. It's not going to be exactly like chicken or pork or whatever is being imitated, but its close enough that I marvel at it every time I have it. It's something you really have to try for yourself, and it's not everybody's cup of tea. A verbal description though just doesn't do it justice. The point is however, meat or no meat, the food is delicious! My favorites are the ginger beef (I think it's supposed to be beef) and the yellow curry which is ALWAYS way to spicy for me but I have two helpings anyways!

For more information about Padmanadi and its story check out their website above. The restaurant is run by Kasim Kasim, the owner, and his family (if they have time ask them the story about their names), and you can really feel that the restaurant is a family business! The walls are covered with photos of the family and customers and you can really tell that Padmanadi and the owners have touched people beyond just serving them good food.

Padmanadi's next buffet is Wednesday, June 17 in honor of Father's Day. So if you haven't tried vegetarian cuisine come out for the experience, and if you already enjoy vegetarian cuisine just come out for the delicious food! Carly and I plan to be there as usual! We are aiming for three helpings - wish us luck!


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