The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Preston

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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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

 

 

Chew Burgers

Burgers, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, North, PrestonThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Chew Burger
147 Plenty Road
Preston VIC 3072
(03) 9484 9720

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Opening Hours:
Tue-Thur: 12-9pm
Fri: 12-9.30pm
Sat-Sun: 12-9pm


Chew Burger popped up next to the The Racoon Club in early 2014 to bring burgers and fries to an otherwise quiet little strip in Preston. With the tip-off that they catered for vegans, we checked them out on a Friday night when they were bursting with takeaway orders and busy servicing the drinkers next door.

We discovered that there's actually only one vegan burger on the menu, aptly named 'Vegan' (GF $15). It has portobello mushroom, thyme, vegan mayo, guacamole, salsa and cos lettuce on a gluten free bun.

The burger's winning ingredient is the vegan mayo which they've really nailed, however it was let down a bit by the gluten free bun, which in the end dominated the flavours. Serving the vegan burger on a gluten free bun (substitute not allowed) led me to believe that perhaps this burger is intended as a 'cure all' for those pesky types who won't eat 'normal' food. Also, at $15 the price is really quite steep for a rather small burger.

We also tried a serve of 'Shoestring fries w/ roasted ghost chilli salt' and vegan mayo ($4.50). We're not sure if a mistake was made on the night, but the fries were sweet rather than salty. They looked as good as Trippy Taco's 'Trippy fries', but without any of the moreish salty goodness.

There's also an 'Apple, slaw, mint, pea salad' ($5) and a good array of Italian and Mexican soft drinks ($4.50-$4.50).

 
Chew Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pearl Oyster

Bonsoy, Cafe, North, Preston, Breakfast/Brunch, 7 days, Lunch, Scrambled TofuThe Good HeartedComment

Pearl Oyster
14 Miller St

Preston, VIC 3072
03 9480 2500

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Opening Hours:
Mon: 8am-4:30pm
Closed Tuesdays
Wed-Sat: 8am-4:30pm
Sun: 9am-4pm


Pearl Oyster Cafe in Preston has always catered well to vegans since opening in 2008, and after undergoing a change of ownership in 2014 we were happy to discover that the menu remains largely the same.

For something simple, Pearl Oyster offers up a 'Blueberry Bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese' ($8), 'Hommus, tomato & pepita zaatar on organic sourdough' ($8) or 'Avocado w/ dukkah or pickled jalapenos on organic sourdough' ($8). I decided to make my own rules on this occasion and opted for avocado w/ dukkah on a sesame bagel ($8) with a side of organic smoked tofu ($3). It's a lovely combo, however I found my bagel to be a bit dry (perhaps freshly baked bagels are harder to source over the Christmas break?) and I needed to ask for (an essential) wedge of lemon to squeeze on my avocado.

There is also a 'Thai style soft scrambled tofu' ($16) with shitake mushrooms, chilli, capsicum, fried shallots, crispy lettuce and bean shoots. It's a very tasty dish, especially for the chilli lovers, but doesn't come with any toast so you may want to order a side of organic sourdough ($6) too.

Other vegan options include 'Field mushrooms in sherry vinegar with lemon, chives & confit garlic on sourdough toast' ($14), the 'Tofu Burger' ($16) with organic tofu on a sesame seed bun with slaw, mayo, tomato, lettuce, hot sauce & pickles and the 'Tokyo rainbow salad' ($15) with avocado, picked ginger, baby spinach and red cabbage in a sesame-vinegar dressing with grilled organic smoked tofu.

I have fond memories of the coffee ($3.50 w/ 50c soycharge for Bonsoy) at Pearl Oyster, however I now find it too bitter for my taste. An extensive array of teas ($4.50) may also interest you. Props to the new owners for keeping the menu so wonderfully vegan friendly.

 
Pearl Oyster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato