October 28, 2013

First Impression: Loving Hut

Before my strictly vegetarian co-worker left for her one month holiday, I thought it would be sweet to have lunch together one last time. After hemming and hawing about a few places - me being a meatatarian and her being a vegetarian make it really difficult to agree to the same restaurant - she suggested The Loving Hut, a vegan joint. That's right, she suggested a vegan eatery. After my own personal hemming and hawing, I agreed. I figure, I could get a burger on the way back to work. 

So, I'm just going to cut to the chase - THIS PLACE WAS F$%#ING AMAZING. There, I said it. I had vegan, and I enjoyed it. Not once during the meal did I miss the lack of protein. 

So sit down kittens. 
And let me tell you all about it. 
The Loving Hut is an all organic vegan restaurant. They boast no msg, no gmo, and they're peanut & nut free. Yea, and to top it all off, all the dishes were affordable to boot - like starving artist, cheap college student affordable. 

We started with the Summer Rolls ($5.75). They were lame, just tofu and vermicelli. No herbs, nothing. Feel free to pass. There was too much viniegar in the dipping sauce and it was overall very bland. Stay with me,  it gets better from here...
We decided to eat family style. Sangeeta (my co worker) picked the Pad Thai ($11.45) and I ordered the Golden Burst fried rice ($10.95). 

I know the Pad Thai looks a little "ketchupy" but I swear to you - none of that was up in this pad thai. What you see is strips of tofu and tempeh drowning in rice noodles and a lip-smacking sauce. Make sure to ask for some hot sauce on the side because they make it in house and this stuff gives sriracha a run for its money! Both the tempeh and the tofu sopped up the pad thai sauce beautifully. Each strip of tempeh was chewy and meaty - I enjoyed it a lot more than the tofu. 
The fried rice was the perfect dish to go alongside the pad thai. The crispy fried bits of rice worked well up against the saucey noodles. I alternated spoonfuls of each and they both provided a different texture and flavour profile. I find places like these ie. vegan/raw joints often reuse the same ingredients in very dish so it all just taste the same. Ahem, we all remember my visit to Live right? 

A few lashings of the house made hot sauce on this dish made my taste buds sing. I loved it - I'm also a big sucker for fried rice too so when someone gets it right - it makes me very, very happy.  This was a little different than the typical Chinese fried rice, I could tatse a hint of curry or turmeric - either way, it was scrumptious and I'd be happy to order this again. 
Another dish we ordered to share was The Golden Age ($11.95). It was a mountain of "popcorn squash". This dish was what really sealed the deal for me. They were fried little nuggets of squash tossed in chili oil. Don't be fooled though, it wasn't too spicey. But like shrimp or chicken popcorn, they were highly addictive. I could eat these all day 'er day.  They were fried to absolute perfection - and then salted right when they came out the fryer. Every nugget was salty and then bursting with sweet, soft, sexy cubes of squash. I love it when something so simple turns into something so mouth watering right. 

The portions were very generous, we ended up taking left overs back to office. I honestly can't wait till my next opportunity to go back to the Loving Hut. I definitely do not live a vegan or even vegetarian lifestyle but I genuinely enjoyed my meal and the service was excellent as well. 


Happy Eating! 

The Loving Hut
140 Spadina Ave Suite A101
Toronto, On
Loving Hut on Urbanspoon


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