MAID MICE Café, Lounge, Adelaide
SINCE WRITING THIS, MAID MICE HAS NOW CLOSED
Ok, so you’re probably sick of me yabbering on about all of the good places opening up in Adelaide of late – well, too bad, because here’s another one! Well, this one actually opened in December last year but I’ve only just discovered it so it counts as ‘new’ in my books.
Maid Mice is truly a family affair. It’s brought to us by cousins Tien and Kieu who were both born in the year of the rat (Chinese horoscope). They wanted to reflect that in the name of their restaurant, however, they sensibly realised that having the word ‘rats’ in their restaurant name probably wasn’t going to get diners flocking in, so they chose the reference to ‘mice’ instead. The third business partner is another cousin, Sophie, who manages the kitchen with Tien’s brother Vuong who’s head chef.
It’s a spacious venue with two dining areas separated by a large ‘blackboard’ wall with an archway in the middle. The back dining area has its own bar so it’s good for a private function. Above the archway they’ve chalked up the Maid Mice story. That story includes the fact that the food being served is reminiscent of their Vietnamese/Australian home-cooked meals and combining traditional ingredients with modern flavours. The walls are adorned with framed photos and decorative pieces from their childhood.
The menu is nicely concise – 7 smaller tapas style dishes and 9 larger meals. Everything sounds appealing. To start – the Salmon Ceviche – sashimi salmon, tangy dressing, wasabi mayo and garden herbs with side chilli and lemon. In short, I love raw fish, and this dish certainly did it justice. A generous serve. A nicely sweet sauce, Asian herbs and a mild wasabi mayo made for a well-balanced dish. So simple, so good.
Next, the Quail with sweet and spicy glaze. I couldn’t quite pick the flavour – Tien has to tell me it’s done in a spicy sweet red bean paste. Tasty and well-cooked – and the natural flavour of the quail still shines through.
I was really excited about the mains – firstly the Shnoodles – potato glass noodles, portabello mushroom, herbs, roasted sesame seeds with a vegan tangy sauce. This dish is a real winner! And what a great name! The ‘Sh’ is from ‘shrooms. It was a decent size plate of shlippery goodness – with that huge sexy mushroom sitting on top. I’d go back just for this dish.
And then finally, the Claypot. I have a weakness for a good claypot. This one has Chinese pork sausage, chicken, prawns, vegies and rice infused in soy broth and topped with a shiny egg yolk sitting in the middle which you mix in with everything. It’s a tasty and satisfying dish – I’d also order this again. In fact, I’d order it all again!
They’re licensed but there’s also the BYO option at $12.50 per bottle corkage. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Maid Mice!