The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne


Shu Restaurant

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

147 Johnston Street
VIC 3066
(03) 9090 7878


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.


Las Vegan Cafe (Closed)

All Vegan, Cafe, Burgers, Desserts, Inner North, CollingwoodThe Good HeartedComment

Las Vegan Cafe
22 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066


Tues-Wed: 11am-3pm
Thurs-Fri: 11am-3pm / 5.30-9pm
Sat: 9.30am-3.30pm / 5.30pm-9pm
Sun: 9.30am-3.30pm

Las Vegan Cafe has closed.

So, here's an embarrassing confession - this is the first time we've eaten at Las Vegan Cafe. As one of the only all vegan cafe's in Melbourne, it's crazy that we haven't been here before, let alone regularly. On this particular morning we went for breakfast AND to pick up our amazing Tofurkey for Christmas Day.

The first thing that impressed us about Las Vegan Cafe were the prices. Tofu Scramble or homemade Baked Beans on homemade sourdough is $7 and extras (tomato, mushrooms,  tempacon, baked beans and avocado) range between $1-2. We went for the Big Breakfast ($15) which is the Tofu Scramble with all the extras on Olive & Rosemary Sourdough and it was gooood! The 'tempacon' was smokey, crispy tempeh and was the absolute highlight, I could have eaten a whole bowl of it - seriously.

Naturesoy is used for the coffee which I'm not a great fan of. The coffee was good, but just not as great as it could it been if it was made with Bonsoy.

We were handed our tofurkey after breakfast and were shocked by the size and weight of it - it was huge! We were instructed to cook it for a further hour before serving and to baste it with a special herb-laden concoction that was provided.

The ultimate proof was in the eating and we were so impressed. It had the most beautiful stuffing - complete with cranberries and walnuts - and the basting gave it a lovely golden crispy crust. I ordered the tofurkey a few days in advance and it was $60 (serves 16 or more).


The Gasometer (Under New Management - No longer as vegan friendly)

Collingwood, Inner North, Pub, LicensedThe Good Hearted2 Comments

The Gasometer
484 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
9417 5438

Kitchen Hours:

Tue - Fri: 6pm til 10pm

Sat - Sun: 2pm til 10pm

*The Gasomoter has reopened with different owners and a different menu. It is no longer has stand out vegan food.

I'm sure that many of you need no introduction to The Gasometer Hotel, a friendly pub in Collingwood with an extensive vegan / vegan optional (VGO) menu.

For those of you that know the Gasometer, but haven't eaten there in a little while, you'll be happy to hear that a new addition to the menu, 'Gas Vegan Nachos' ($20), are incredible. The Gasometer have had vegan nachos on their menu in the past and we haven't cared for them - but this version is a winner. The nacho chips are homemade and reminiscent of delicious crispy roti bread in chip form. The topping is a seitan and mixed bean chilli with vegan feta (incredible), sour cream, guacamole and salsa. These nachos are really worth trying. 

Other favourites on the menu are the Buffalo Tofu Strips ($12 GFO) which are deliciously smokey and juicy and come with vegan ranch dipping sauce. The Gasometer is well known for their near-perfect hot chips, which makes the Poutine ($12 VGO) another popular choice; and let's face it - who doesn't love chips covered in cheesy sauce and rich brown gravy!? The Spanish Mushrooms ($12 GFO VGO) are also highly recommended - they come in a smoked paprika and garlic cream sauce, finished with sweet Spanish sherry.  

There are plenty of other vegan mains (and desserts!) to choose from including Vegan Chicken & Waffles ($20), Vegan BBQ Ribs ($18), Arepas with Red Chilli Seitan & Salsa ($20) and the Southern Fried Chicken Burger ($18) to name a few. Basically, vegans are extremely well catered for and you should get yourself down there!


Pabu Grill and Sake

Collingwood, Inner North, Licensed, Restaurant, Vegan BanquetThe Good HeartedComment

Pabu Grill and Sake
190 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
03 9419 6141

Good vegan food that tripped on the final hurdle…badly

Pabu Grill and Sake is a new Japanese restaurant on Smith street that we stumbled upon the other night.

The first page of the menu was the 'Chef's Banquet', with one option labelled in bold 'Vegetarian' and directly below labelled again 'Vegan Dishes - $50'. There wasn't another price listed for Vegetarian, so this banquet appeared to be all vegan by default!  Great news, however I did find the vegan labelling pretty confusing throughout the menu. Everything vegetarian was clearly identified, but only some vegan dishes were labelled as vegan - or they were labelled as vegan in the banquet, but then not in the rest of the menu. Confused? We were!

This is what we settled on: 

Agedashi Tofu served with a sweet miso and rocket salad ($7.50) - 'melt in your mouth' tofu in a delicious sauce, yum - what more can I say.

Nasu Dengaku - grilled eggplant with sweet & spicy miso ($9) - topped with shredded nori and sesame seeds, the miso was so sweet and rich, making this one of the best versions of this dish I've had.

Mushroom Salad - variety of mushrooms in salad mix with cherry tomatoes ($13) - it would have been better to have more mushrooms and less salad mix, but it was still great. Renkon (sliced lotus root) chips added a delicious crunch and thin hairs of dried bell pepper added a subtle kick to the dish.

The dinner was ticking all my boxes, until we reached the final hurdle - dessert! None of the desserts were labelled as vegan, but I was told by a staff member that there were two vegan options: Yuzu Sorbet (Hand made lemon & Japanese citrus sorbet with mixed fruit - $8) and Daifuku (Cherry blossom & kuromame (black soybeans) rice cake - $6.50). Let me shout if from the mountain that

the Yuzu sorbet isn't vegan and I found out the hard way

- by tucking into a significant portion of it before realising to my horror that the taste of yoghurt in my mouth wasn't in my imagination - it was indeed a 'yoghurt sorbet'. 

So a lovely dinner ended on a really sour note for me and if the vegan dishes had been labelled consistently it could have been avoided. I'm off to brush my teeth again.

Price: Reasonable prices, but dishes are small.

Pabu Grill & Sake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato