The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

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Spiral Beans (Closed Down)

Bonsoy, Gluten Free, North, Preston, LicensedThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Spiral Beans
539 Plenty Rd
Preston VIC 3072

03 9478 1461
spiralbeans.com
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menu


Opening Hours:

Cafe: 
Tues-Fri: 8am-3pm
Sat-Sun: 9am-4pm

Dinner: 
Tues-Sun:
5.30-9.30pm


Spiral Beans is Yuka Mikayama's reincarnation of her homestyle Japanese cafe Disco Beans, and is a collaboration with Spiral Foods, who's greatest hits include the famed Bonsoy.

The focus at Spiral Beans is very much about traditional Japanese flavours within a predominantly organic vegan menu, with gluten free, raw, fermented and macrobiotic options to boot.

The 'Okara Nuggets' (gluten free $11.5) are shallow fried spiced chickpea nuggets, and have our approval. Funnily enough, okara defines as soy pulp or tofu dregs (!), but never fear as this dish proves fried tofu dregs to be very delicious! 

Yuka's version of 'Nasu Dengaku' (gluten free $11.50) or deep fried eggplant, is cut up into bite sized pieces making it easier to eat and share than the usual whole eggplant half we are used to.

As a hats off to Disco Beans, the much loved Okonomyaki (gluten free $19.5) remains on the menu, and is presented sizzling in a teppan. The sweet sauce and vegan mayo are both made by hand and from scratch and Spiral Beans are not afraid to declare that their version is better than any okonomyaki found in Osaka. I personally would have liked a bit more vegan mayo – slather it on I say!

The 'Soba Salad' ($18.5) is tossed in a wonderfully balanced homemade balsamic dressing, with greens and baked tempeh and was my favourite.

There are vegan desserts, including 'Coconut Milk Kuzu Pudding' along with an impressive range of high quality Japanese green tea. Japanese tea ceremonies are hosted and cooking classes are also available.

 
Spiral Beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Trippy Taco

7 days, All Vegetarian, Breakfast/Brunch, Fitzroy, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Lunch, TakeawayThe Good HeartedComment

Trippy Taco
234 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

(03) 9415 7711

website

menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Tue: 11am-9pm
Wed-Sun: 11am-10pm

Phone orders taken up to 15 minutes before close.


Trippy Taco is a popular all vegetarian restaurant that has been churning out Mexican style fare to hungry Melburnians since 2006. By replacing dairy cheese with vegan cheese, and egg with tofu, almost all of the menu is on offer to vegans. 

The vegan 'Tofu Asada' burrito ($12.50) is a favourite choice, with spicy chargrilled tofu, salad, salsa, vegan cheese, fresh lime and if you're lucky you might even find a couple of sultanas hidden in there (trust me, it works!). Ask for your burrito to be 'Californian style' and they'll sneak some paprika-ry 'Trippy Fries' into the mix too. I should mention that some of the Trippy Taco burritos (while being delicious), do tend to be rather 'juicy' and can be messy to eat (don't say I didn't warn you).

Other menu items include a 'Breakfast Burrito' ($10.50) with scrambled tofu in lieu of egg, 'Vegan Nachos' ($11 regular, $17 large GF), Tacos (from $7.50 each GF), 'Quesadillas' with vegan cheese (from $9) and Taquitos ($12 GF). The 'Trippy Fries'  ($4.50 small, $6.50 regular) are an essential extra and have a delicious seasoning.

The vegan cheese of choice for Trippy used to be Cheezly, however they've now (controversially for some) changed over to using Daiya cheese. I'll confess to being a member of 'Team Cheezly', however the changeover is far from being a deal breaker.

Desserts can also be found, and include the 'Tamale Dessert' ($12), a sweet corn tamale with soy ice-cream, banana and maple syrup (ask for vegan version) or a veganised 'Nutella and Banana Melt' ($8) with vegan chocolate spread and banana melted in a flour tortilla.

Trippy Taco can get pretty busy and while there's a few tables, they do tend to fill up rather quickly. If you're after takeaway, it's good to phone your order in to avoid a wait. Also note that phone orders are taken up to 15 minutes before closing, however in my experience, staff may be too busy to answer the phone, so it's best to call as early as possible.

 

East Elevation

Bonsoy, Brunswick, Cafe, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Lunch, 7 days, Breakfast/Brunch, East Brunswick, NorthThe Good Hearted4 Comments

East Elevation
351 Lygon st
Brunswick East
VIC 3057
03 9381 5575

website
menu


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
Sat-Sun: 8.30am-5pm


East Elevation is a cafe in East Brunswick which resides in a delightful light filled space with an abundance of greenery.

The all day breakfast menu offers up a good old fashioned 'Full veggie' breakfast ($18), with a choice of chipotle tempeh or mushrooms along with spicy beans, oven dried tomato, avocado and sauteed spinach on sourdough. The chipotle tempeh is moist and cut thick, and while it's pretty awesome—I just don't find it as irresistible as thin, crispy tempacon

The 'King and swiss brown mushrooms' ($17.50) are grown on the cafe's rooftop and come with sauteed spinach, avocado and sourdough. The mushroom dish is good, but lacks a salty element to replace the feta (the avocado replaces feta). The pick of the "brunch bunch" is the 'Coconut & rhubarb tapioca' ($14 GF) w/ orange, strawberries and pistachios. It's accompanied with a jug of coconut milk to pour over and is the perfect light summery breakfast or snack.

There are options for lunch too and you won't need to 'veganise' the "Roast eggplant & tahini" ($17.50 GF) w/ pumpkin purée, green beans, moghrabieh (giant cous cous salad) & fresh pomegranate.

Coffee is $4 with a 50c soycharge for Bonsoy.

 

Port Phillip Estate

Desserts, Gluten Free, Licensed, Lunch, Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill, Restaurant, Special OccasionThe Good HeartedComment

Port Phillip Estate
263 Red Hill Road,
Red Hill South VIC 3937

(03) 5989 4444

website


Opening Hours:
Lunch: Wed-Sun
and public holidays
Dinner: Fri-Sat

Bookings recommended


If you find yourself on the Mornington Peninsula and fancy an experience of 'the good life', head to the monumental 'rammed-earth' fortress of Port Philip Estate for some vegan fine dining while gazing out at the coastal views of Westernport Bay and Bass Strait.

While the Port Philip Estate dining room is far from being an all vegan establishment, they do cater for vegans and manage well with last minute bookings (we booked online only 3 hours in advance and made sure to advise them of our vegan ways).

For our first course, we were presented with a salad of heritage vegetables, including roasted beetroot, local heirloom carrots, baby radish, ancient grains, micro herbs, dijon vinaigrette and olive oil powder (we'd never heard of it either). To follow up, the chef prepared semolina crusted soy bean fillets (the word 'tofu' just doesn't cut it), tomato relish stuffed zucchini flowers, roasted local tomatoes, olive tapenade and herbs from the in-house kitchen garden. 

To accompany the main meal, we shared some 'roasted Hawke's potatoes (from Boneo) with parsley and confit garlic', along with 'wilted organic baby kale with espelette' (which I discovered is a type chilli cultivated in the French village of Espelette).

Dessert was a shared vegan 'Knickerbocker' - sorbet from local cherries and raspberries a top of fresh strawberries, raspberries, mulberries on a base of strawberry jelly (from agar), topped with crunchy almond praline.

Prices are $85 per person for three courses and $68 per person for two courses. The two shared accompaniments were no extra cost.

 
Port Phillip Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Cornish Arms

Brunswick, Burgers, Desserts, Inner North, Licensed, North, Pub, Lunch, Dinner, Gluten FreeThe Good HeartedComment

The Cornish Arms
163A Sydney Rd
Brunswick
VIC 3056
(03) 9380 8383 

website
email
menu


Kitchen Hours:
Lunch:
7 days: 12-3pm
Dinner: 
7 days: 6-9.30pm Sundays only:
Full menu 12-9:30pm


It was a long time between visits to The Cornish Arms Hotel, so we'll forgive ourselves for accidentally turning up on a Wednesday night, which is ironically the weekly (and very busy) "Cheap Steak Night". Nevertheless, the extensive menu of vegan pub food was still on offer, so we went ahead and dined amongst the corpse munchers.

There are well over a dozen vegan options on offer at The Cornish Arms, including four vegan pizzas ($11 + $3 GF), one of which is the aptly named 'Bbq meat loathers', which boasts all the faux meats. There are three vegan burgers (w/ chips) including a 'Vegan chicken burger' ($18) with a southern fried mock chicken fillet with 'facon', 'cheez', avocado, lettuce and tomato with chipotle aioli. 

Other vegan pub classics include a 'Vegan parma' ($18) and 'Vegan beer-battered fish & chips' ($19) with bean curd 'fish' pieces cooked in Coopers Pale Ale batter with chips, salad & vegan tartare. The tartare is fantastic and compliments the crispy fish pieces nicely, but I'm not a huge fan of the chips unfortunately - perhaps a bit more seasoning would make them better. The 'Vegan Double Down' ($20), otherwise known as the vegan KFC option, consists of 'cheez', 'facon' and tomato sandwiched between two southern fried mock chicken fillets, served with mash 'n' gravy and slaw. Those on a health kick need not apply.

Along with the pizzas, gluten free vegans can enjoy a 'Thai salad' ($18) with tempeh or a Spicy lentil burger' ($19).

There are a couple of vegan cheesecakes ($9) available, including 'Cookies & cream' and 'Peanut butter' flavours. I would have tried one, but the Cornish doesn't allow takeaways and there was no way I could tackle such a dessert so soon after the heavy 'fish and chips'. 

There are also a dozen or so vegan beers and ciders and around six vegan wines to choose from.

 
The Cornish Arms Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shu Restaurant

Collingwood, Degustation, Desserts, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Raw, Restaurant, Special Occasion, DinnerThe Good HeartedComment

Shu
147 Johnston Street
Collingwood
VIC 3066
(03) 9090 7878

website
email


Opening Hours
Mon-Tues: Closed
Wed-Sun: 6pm-10.30pm
Vegan degustation on Wednesday nights


Encouragement from friends after many a successful dinner party led Shu Liu to open his own modern-Sichuan restaurant in Collingwood back in 2012. With vegan friends in his circle, he became well practiced in adapting Sichuan food for the compassionate eater and now devotes Wednesday nights at Shu to a vegan degustation.

Shu's fitout has a quirky chemistry lab/nightclub feel about it; think beakers, stainless steel, video projections and neon lights. All that aside, it is indeed the vegan food that steals the show.

On our visit, Shu's vegan degustation ($45) started with an impressive chilled platter of three dishes, including a 'Daikon roll of cucumber, smoked tofu, enoki mushroom and asian herbs' in a spicy soy dressing that had a memorable kick. A 'Chilled silken tofu jar of fresh peas, lentils and chickpeas, topped with housemade chilli jam' also featured and had a great mixture of textures.

A few hot plates followed including 'Steamed tofu pockets stuffed with preserved vegetable and roasted almonds' and the most amazing 'Pan fried vegan dumplings' with pickled chilli jam and Chinese vinegar.

Following on were some shared plates that included 'Pan roasted eggplant rolls stuffed with preserved mustard greens and roasted cashews'. The preserved mustard greens can only be described as a salty mouth explosion, which according to Shu is unique to his Sichuan hometown, situated at the beginning of the Yangtze river.

'Crispy fried organic tofu brushed with spicy black bean sauce sprinkled with roasted dried chilli and Sichuan pepper' was another amazing shared plate, paired with perfectly 'Grilled green beans and preserved mustard greens'.

A dessert of 'Raw avocado cheesecake topped with dried blueberries, puffed rice and brown rice syrup' was the perfect end to the meal. It was light and not too sweet, and would definitely entice me back to Shu just so I can have it again.

Thank you to Shu for offering complimentary meals to The Good Hearted.

 

Smith & Daughters

Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, Nut Free Options, All Vegan, Bonsoy, Cafe, Restaurant, DessertsThe Good Hearted1 Comment

Smith & Daughters
175 Brunswick Street,
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

website


Opening Hours:

Tue-Fri: 6pm-1am
Sat: 10am-3pm (brunch menu)
6pm-1am
Sun: 10am-3pm (brunch menu)
6pm-11pm


You only need to walk past Smith & Daughters on a weeknight to see that they’re not only leading the way in all vegan dining, but dining in general. Vegans and omnivores alike are flocking here for awesome food, super friendly service and a damn good vibe.

The Spanish and Mexican inspired all vegan dinner menu is an ever-evolving pursuit of perfection. Say goodbye to main meals, and hello to a vast selection of mouth-watering small plates to make your own smorgasbord. Choose from such delicacies as 'White truffle, forest mushroom pâté w/ caper berries, cornichons & toasted bread' ($15 GFO), 'Tuna & green pea croquettas w/ caper aioli' ($5 each) and the amazing 'Tortilla w/ garlic aioli' ($7 per slice).

If you’re more in the mood for salad, the 'Tacos con enslada' (GFO NFO $16)—a crisp tortilla basket filled w/ black beans, vegan chorizo, grilled corn, pickled jalapenos, shredded lettuce, pickled red cabbage and coriander cashew cream is a popular choice.

Life’s too short for regrets, so don’t skimp on a Smith & Daughter’s dessert—do try the 'Tarta de Chocolate Azteca' ($14), served with the most incredible fresh avocado ice cream or share some ‘Warm Spanish Donuts’ ($12) with quince and spiced sugar.

Spanish or Mexican Baked Omelettes ($16 GFO), ‘Spanish French Toast' ($16) and a 'Breakfast Burrito' ($15) w/ scrambled tofu, crispy vegan chorizo, black beans, garlic kale and guacamole are on offer for brunch on weekends only.

Coffee with your choice of soy, oat, coconut or almond+coconut milk is $4 or $3.50 (black).

P.S Thursday nights from 10pm-1pm are dedicated to Morrissey/Smith's tunes, 'moza-ritas' and late night vegan eats. 'So, please, please, please, let me, let me, let me eat all the vegan treats this time...'

 

Misuzus

Licensed, Takeaway, South, Restaurant, Gluten Free, Albert ParkThe Good HeartedComment

Misuzus Restaurant
3-7 Victoria Avenue,
Albert Park VIC 3026

03 9699 9022


Opening Hours:
Open 7 days, Midday-10pm 


After an afternoon at the beach and in need of an easy takeaway dinner, all we could think of was "Oooh, I wish South was still open!" (Clearly, South had being making vegan life way too easy for us!). So the racking of the brains began, and we remembered that Misuzu's Japenese Restaurant has an awesome take home section that could sort us out.

The refrigerated glass cabinet was glowing with all sorts of tasty Japanese treats, including some delightful looking cold snacks of Sesame Tofu and Pea Croquettes. Unfortunately, neither of these were vegan as they contained egg (ughh, arrow through my hungry heart!). We got over that and our attention wandered to the selection of salads - all vegan!

We liked the look of the Hijiki Salad, Tofu & Veg Salad and the Sweet Potato Salad and snapped them up, leaving behind the Soba Noodle & Veg Salad and Green Seaweed Salad for another day. Prices for a large takeaway container of salad (choice of 2) is $9, while the small size (choice of 2 salads) is $6.20.

The Hijiki Salad had hijiki seaweed, julienne carrots and soy beans and was splendid. Even better was the Sweet Potato Salad, which was seriously amazing, with green beans, sesame and crushed nuts. The tofu in the Tofu & Veg Salad was firm on the outside, so silky in the middle and the dressing had a nice hint of chilli.  

We'd also picked up some vegan uramaki ($2.30 each) that contained seaweed salad, cucumber, carrot and sesame seeds. The accompaniment of white pickled ginger was much appreciated, especially as I recently learnt that the pink pickled ginger is sometimes white ginger that has been dyed using cochineal.

So next time you take yourself off for a swim at a southside beach, follow our lead and check out Misuzu's for a quick and healthy take home vegan meal or if you're not in a rush to return home, their restaurant is worth checking out too.

 
Misuzu's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Warung Agus

Takeaway, North Melbourne, Inner North, Licensed, RestaurantThe Good Hearted5 Comments

Warung Agus
305 Victoria Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
(03) 9329 1737


Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 6pm till late


Fully licensed, no BYO

10% discount applies for takeaways.

No Efftpos. Credit cards accepted.


On arriving at Warung Agus for some traditional Balinese cuisine, we were greeted by a blanket of fresh rose petals on the footpath in front of the restaurant - a welcome sight juxtaposed with the red-eyed North Melbournites stumbling towards us before we entered. Once inside, the abundant greenery and Balinese decorations made for a perfect setting to our night.

There were a number of dishes marked (v) on the menu and we were delighted to learn that dairy is rarely used in Balinese cooking (aside from ice cream in the dessert menu), so all of the vegetarian options were also vegan. The four of us were feeling free and easy so we let our waiter choose four vegan dishes for us to share. 

First to arrive was the Toge ($20), which is a traditional Balinese gado gado with steamed veggies and bean curd in a rich peanut sauce, topped with cassava crackers - which were a bit like a (non) prawn cracker. We were also presented with Temple Jagung ($20) which is described as nutty soya bean morsels (it may have been easier to call it tempeh, but hey!) in sweet soy sauce with corn, spring onions and spices. Both of these dishes were incredible, so full of flavour and down right delicious.

Tuung Mebasa Santen Lalah Manis ($20) which is eggplant and tofu braised in coconut milk and sweet soy and spicy gravy was the next winner to arrive (this dish is the one not to miss!). Finally we had the

Tahu Istimewa ($20) which I failed to take a photo of (probably because it was devoured before I got the chance!), this was a lighter dish of tofu in spiced sauce with crisp bean shoots, capsicum and cherry tomatoes.

There are also some interesting Balinese drinks on offer, such as Es Jus Pisang ($7) which is fresh banana juice, sweetened and blended with ice and Es Jus Apokat ($7) which is fresh avocado juice, sweetened, blended with ice (very curious about this one!). We however couldn't go passed Es Jus Jeruk Nipis ($7) - fresh lemon juice, sweetened and blended with ice. It was like a fresh lemon juice slushy, really highly recommended!

I can't recommend Warung Agus enough for their incredible vegan food, attentive and friendly service and for the rose petals on the footpath!

 
Warung Agus Balinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Deer Tracks

All Vegetarian, Cafe, Desserts, Gluten Free, Inner North, Licensed, CoburgThe Good HeartedComment

Little Deer Tracks
44 O'Hea St
Coburg VIC 3058
(03) 9354 3449

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Mon to Fri:
7:30am - 4:30pm
Sat to Sun:
8am - 4:30pm


If Little Deer Tracks isn't the best choice for breakfast or lunch north of Bell Street, then I'm not sure where is! Ever since this all vegetarian cafe opened back in 2011, it's been one of our favourite breakfast/brunch/lunch haunts.

My 'usual' breakfast is the avocado on house sourdough toast ($8.50) with a house hash brown ($3), sauteed mushrooms ($3.50) and grilled asparagus ($3.50). It's always delicious, but I must say that it's not until right now that I am actually realising that it's also quite an expensive breakfast at $18.50... I also had gluten free bread ($2.50) last time which would have made my 'usual' $21. Oh well, as I said, it's always delicious! 

Due to a late night, my last breakfast visit turned into a lunch sojourn, so I tried the handmade organic potato and spelt gnocchi with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil sauce ($18.50). The sauce is freshly made with beautiful chunks of ripe tomato and the gnocchi really were the 'light fluffy pillows' that we're told all good gnocchi should be!

My sidekick had his usual of penne puttanesca with capers, olives, chili and oregano ($12.50) which sees him well satisfied until dinner. The lunch menu starts at 11am so we're often heading to "Little Deery" late morning so sidekick can have his pasta breakfast!

There are some dishes that are so close to being vegan but aren't, such as the almond crusted eggplant cutlet with hummus & salad ($18.50). It sounds so vegan but unfortunately an egg wash is getting in the way of this food fantasy. Booo!

There is usually a vegan cake to look out for in the cake cabinet ($6.50 per slice) and the vegan lemon bomb biscuits are pretty good. Little Deer Tracks also make a very fine coffee ($3.30) with Bonsoy (.50c).

 
Little Deer Tracks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato