Whilst walking along Swanston Street, you may see a big yellow sign with some Chinese words and underneath ‘Vegetarian Cuisine’ in green writing. This is your queue to keep on walking. If you end up travelling up to Level 3 in Noodle Kingdom’s elevator, then unfortunately you have missed the queue and you will be welcomed by Gong Din Lin’s sterile surroundings.
In fact, the list of dishes is so astounding that I can’t even advise you what the name of the dish I ordered was. I can confirm that it was a soup, with bok choy, and Chinese mushrooms with hokkien noodles in vegetable stock. The ingredient that is really throwing me here is the golden coloured puffs of funghi or dumpling.
I’m going to lay it on the line here, I didn’t like the soup, nor the venue that brought to mind a hospital. There was an odd scent in the air and the general feeling of being in that restaurant was bleak. I sat close to the window, spilling my noodle soup on the butcher’s paper, anxious to leave. In one’s view, I will not be returning here. However, those that are interested in vegetarian and vegan cuisine should pay Gong De Lin a visit as there are copious amounts of other dishes to try.
The Skinny Dog is nicely renovated and spacious for a pub. It has a good outdoor area to drink and share food. My group fan girl friends and I ordered the flat breads and dips, wedges, margarita pizza, and calamari to share. The flat bread was perfect. The dips were not home made. They were definitely purchased from Woolworths up the road. The balsamic vinegar dip was just oil.. The dipping dish was too deep to get the balsamic vinegar. The wedges were standard. The margarita pizza with cherry tomatoes and basil was quite bland. I didn’t taste the calamari as it did not look appetising. I would go back for the atmosphere and the beer garden.