A late lunch at Gong de Lin (finally)

It seems like everyone in the Melbourne veg*n blogging world has been to Gong de Lin.  Okay well maybe not really, but I feel like I’m about fifty thousand years behind the times because I’d never been.  I was in the city today and was starving around 3:30pm so I said listen up Veganopoulous, you will go to Gong de Lin OR ELSE (or else you… will be hungry I guess).

Yet again, I forgot to take a photo from the street.  Anyway, there’s a little elevator that goes up to the third floor where Gong de Lin is located.  It’s a small, cramped, smelly elevator:


Gong de Lin was completely empty at this hour:


I had a bit of a tough time working out what to order.  I thought about tofu but I have enough tofu at home I have to eat soon.  I wasn’t in the mood for noodles.  I don’t like soup much.  So I decided to get the sizzling black pepper steak, to see if it was something that Husband, Mr “Sizzling Pepper Non-Vegan Steak” would think was okay.

After ordering, I began to think that “what the heck have I done?” thought.  I’m not a fan of seitan and I want to avoid pure wheat gluten.  So yeah… a total “WHAT HAVE I DONE” moment of stupidity.  I was in the mood for jasmine tea and a pot cost $2.  I sipped it and looked out the window at the slightly blah scenery, thank you construction work:


I ordered some plain steamed rice and when the meal came out, it was sizzlin’ a-mightily:


Okay so first off, the actual taste was good.  The sauce was nice and not overly sweet and the vegies had a good crunch.  Because the sauce was sticky, some of the ‘steak’ was stuck to the foil covered serving plate, so little bits of foil remained stuck on the food.  No, I didn’t eat those bits.

Now I have to say, this did not resemble a steak in any way.  As veg*ns we’re pretty much aware that seitan won’t always fool a meat lover and this dish is certainly not one I’d recommend you use to convince your steak loving friends to eat because “it’s just like meat steak, honest!”  Because it’s not.  The texture of the seitan was just too soft for that.  This is a meal I’d refer to as “sizzling seitan”.

But if seitan is your thing then I do highly recommend the sizzling black pepper steak!

I paid $20.80 which kind of made my eyes bug out a little.  This is pricey for what I got and I was thinking why didn’t I just go to Om’s Vegetarian?  But Gong de Lin is a place I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while now and it was nice to have the time to myself to do something ‘special’.  Next time though, I’ll get a tofu dish or something without seitan!  Service was helpful and quick but of course, I was the only customer!

Here are a few photos out and about in Melbourne.  This is the old Melbourne General Post Office, which now houses a bunch of boutiques and other stores:


I absolutely love this building.  I want to get really rich, buy it and live there.  I love it so much, I have no idea about its history:



A typical Melbourne city street scene:


Gong De Lin is located at level 3, 264 Swanston Street.  They are open 7 days from 10am to 10pm.  When you walk in at ground level there’s the lift in front of you to your left.  The lift opens on level 3 directly in to the restaurant.

And I have to mention Chrissy Amphlett, who passed away two days ago. It’s only now as an adult that I’ve really enjoyed watching music videos and live performances of The Divinyls and I never really appreciated them as much when I was growing up.  Chrissy, in my opinion, was one awesome, rebellious rock chick but when I heard she had been cast in The Boy From Oz, as Judy Garland no less, I thought it was a bad choice.  That was until I heard her sing and she was magnificent in the role.  She wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I think under all the hunched over scowling (more so in her earlier days) and attitude, she was a deeply sensitive person and extremely intelligent.

Thanks Chrissy!

5 thoughts on “A late lunch at Gong de Lin (finally)

  1. I saw the original Boy From Oz in 1998 (I think that was the year) and I too thought she was wrong for the role…but she blew me away. She was a phenomenal Judy. So sad to hear she passed. I also know I owe you one big email….

  2. The seitan looks delicious anyway. I have never eaten seitan and I am kind of nervous to try it.
    I love that building too and would buy it if I had the money and it was in New York. It is gorgeous!

  3. This post is everything ours should have been but wasn’t! We failed to get a photo of the menu listing this dish and its price (even though we ordered it), I failed to mention that it stuck all over the foil, and I tried to get a photo inside the lift but freaked out with people everywhere and tripping over a ramp. Thanks for documenting it all better. 😉

    • Bwaha! When I took the photo of the restaurant I had to wait until I heard the waitress was definitely gone because I was a bit embarrassed. Now I remember I was going to take a photo of the menu book thingy but heard her coming so I quickly put the camera away in case I got told off or something.

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