The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Restaurant

Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel

Degustation, Dinner, Desserts, Gluten Free, Licensed, Restaurant, Special Occasion, Dunkeld, Regional Victoria, Southern GrampiansThe Good HeartedComment

Wickens at the
Royal Mail Hotel
98 Parker St,
Dunkeld VIC 3294

(03) 5577 2241

royalmail.com.au

menu


Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



On winding down the distinctly native garden path to Wickens at the Royal Mail, the native bird chirps coming from speakers hidden in trees suggest that a live performance by actual birds couldn't be left to chance. Chef Robin Wickens wants this experience to be perfectly curated.

The dining room is moody and dimly lit, drawing our attention to the vast window framing Mount Sturgeon and the ancient gumtrees full of (real) birdlife. Italian hand-blown lights hover over impressive tables made of local solid sandstone, but unfortunately, animal leather placemats and chairs also take pride of place.

The Royal Mail Kitchen Garden is the most productive kitchen garden in Australia and provides all of the produce showcased in the five ($170) or eight-course ($195) degustations. We opted for eight courses (it ends up being more like 12) and ate like vegan royalty for I kid you not, over four hours.

The degustation starts with a series of canapes, such as the 'beetroot pop tart,' 'apple, watercress mustard cracker' and 'fermented radish, smoked maple with leek ash.' Funnily enough, though, it was the homemade sourdough bread that left the most profound impression, and we would go back again for that alone (ok, we may need to save for a bit first).

Other amazing dishes that came our way include 'chickpea pancake, spinach and tofu' and 'watercress custard, porridge oats, black garlic, and flowers.' We enjoyed no less than four deserts, including the playful 'jelly baby vegetables' and a unique 'green tomato on granola with sweet woodruff.'

Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel was awarded 2 Hats in the 2019 Good Food Guide Awards, along with Regional Wine List of the Year.

Wickens at The Royal Mail isn't straight up vegan. Please specify vegan at the time of booking.

 

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

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


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...'

 

Wonderbao

Melbourne CBD, Takeaway, RestaurantThe Good Hearted4 Comments

Wonderbao
4/19-37 A'Beckett St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(accessible via Literature Lane - off Little Latrobe Street)
(03) 9654 7887


Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am - 6pm
Sat: 11am - 4pm
Sun: Closed

Cash only


Wonderbao is a hidden little gem devoted to the humble steamed bun. It's a little tricky to find if you haven't been before, so we suggest ignoring it's official address and heading down Literature Lane (off Little Latrobe Street) where you can't miss it; just look out for the green milk crate seats out the front.

The great thing about Wonderbao is that all of the savoury vegetarian offerings are vegan. There is 'Choi bao' ($2.20), a steamed bun filled with shitake mushrooms, tofu and vegetables and a 'Fried silky tofu gua bao' ($4.20), which is a thoroughly delicious open steamed bun with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts. For dessert, a vegan 'Taro bao' ($2) hits the sweet spot nicely.

We tried all 3 vegan offerings in a vegie lunch pack for $8.20, which offered a monumental saving of 20 cents. Wonderbao also make their own organic soy milk ($3) which is served hot or cold, ladled into a takeaway cup. Regrettably I didn't try the soy milk as it's out of my comfort zone to drink soy milk straight up - I'll vow to be more adventurous next time.

 
Wonderbao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Also visited by: veganopoulous

Miss Chu

Gluten Free, Melbourne CBD, Restaurant, TakeawayThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Miss Chu
Shop 2,
297 Exhibition St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9077 1097

website



Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am-10pm
Closed Sunday

It can be a real brain strain to come up with a last minute, no fuss, no booking required, non expensive, vegan friendly dinner option in Melbourne's CBD (and no, Lord of the Fries doesn't count). Fortunately, Miss Chu fits the criteria rather nicely.

Miss Chu is a manic Vietnamese restaurant with a tuckshop style ordering system requiring you to tick boxes on your menu/order form. There are a good number of vegan items that are really well labelled, with gluten free options being well signed too. Miss Chu call themselves the 'Queen of Rice Paper Rolls' and offer a 'Vegan tofu' version (2 per serve $7.50) however I was drawn instead to the 'Traditional Vietnamese steamed rice crepes (bánh cuốn)' ($12) which were filled with

mushrooms, black fungi, tofu and spring onion and topped with fried shallots, coriander and fresh chilli -  delicious!

Another good choice is the 'Vegan sauteed shitake, enoki & shimeji mushrooms' ($15) which arrives with either a Vietnamese warm vermicelli salad or with steamed rice and greens. We went for the rice and greens options and were happy to be presented with red rice and royal quinoa, as opposed to boring white rice. There was also a generous amount of tofu along with the mushrooms.

The 'Vegan soup' ($13) wasn't really bursting with flavour, but is still a hearty choice, full of fresh veggies, including an array of mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum, carrot, snake beans and basil, along with silken tofu and plenty of chilli on the side. The 'Hanoi Curry' ($15) served with rice vermicelli and Vietnamese herbs is listed as vegan online, so I'll be certainly trying that next time.

If the self serve water doesn't take your fancy, be sure to try a 'Frozen young coconut crush' ($6.50). I tried the refreshing pineapple & mint combination, however lychee & cucumber and banana & mint flavours were also on offer.

Miss Chu have delivery (although I've heard it isn't that speedy unfortunately) and pick up options that you can order online. It can get very busy at Miss Chu's and it certainly isn't a place where you can get too relaxed and linger, as there will always be omeone waiting to take your table the second you depart.

 
misschu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yong Green Food

Fitzroy, Inner North, Gluten Free, Fructose free, Organic, Raw, Restaurant, Takeaway, Onion/Garlic Free, All VegetarianThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Yong Green Food
421 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
03 9417 3338

website
menu


Opening Hours:
Closed Monday
Tue-Sat: 12-4pm, 5-10pm
Sun: 12-4pm, 5-9pm


The majority of Melbourne vegans need no introduction to the wholesome and delicious food on offer at Yong Green Food, and the midweek queues out the door are testament to the fact that the word has truly gotten around!

Yong Green Food offers an extensive all vegetarian (mostly vegan) menu with an abundance of gluten free options - along with raw, organic and biodynamic dishes. On our recent visit, we opted for the 'Oyster Mushroom Calamari' (GF $10.50), which was so incredible that I fear I won't try other menu options in the future in case they don't live up to this dish! The organic king oyster mushrooms are deep fried in organic rice butter (drool…) and served with salad, jalapeno marinara and vegan aioli sauces - clearly this dish is a 'must-try'.

Another delight from the snack menu are the 'Fried Nori Rolls' (GF $12.50) which are long, thin rice battered fried nori rolls of mung bean noodles, tofu and veggies. As stunning as this dish was, it didn't pip the oyster mushroom calamari at the post.

For mains, my sidekick gave the hearty 'Japanese Curry' ($15.50) a go - which had potato, carrot, mushroom, peas and sliced soy beef in a mild curry sauce with biodynamic brown rice. I'm not sure how many Japanese curries he's tried, but he did proclaim it the best he's had, which is a pretty damn encouraging recommendation.

I went for the most medicinally dangerous sounding dish on the menu - the 'Macro Dragon Bowl' (GF $18), without onion and garlic (OGF optional), which is a truly nutritious delight of biodynamic brown rice topped with assorted vegetables (including amazing shitake mushrooms), organic tempeh, seaweed and lemon tahini cream. As if all that doesn't sound fulfilling enough, the dragon bowl is also served with miso soup.

We took home a sneaky slice of organic 'Raw Chocolate Cheesecake' (GF $8.50) which is predominately made of cashew nuts, and I liked that it didn't have the strong coconut oil aftertaste that some raw chocolate desserts can have. We also wanted a slice of the organic 'Raw Pecan Pie' with cashew cream ($9) but alas, it's high demand had caused a sell out - which was no real problem for us really, because we'll be back at Yongs in no time.

 
Yong Green Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Also visited recently by: where's the beef and Green Gourmet Giraffe

Shokuiku

All Vegan, Gluten Free, Northcote, Organic, Raw, Restaurant, Desserts, Inner NorthThe Good HeartedComment

Shoku iku
120 High Street
Northcote VIC 3070
0403 569 019

website


Lunch served Wed to Sun 11:30am – 4pm

Dinner Sat only 6pm – 8pm

Cash Only


Shokuiku is a new raw, organic, macrobiotic, vegan eatery in Northcote that's created a flurry of curiosity amongst Melbourne's vegan community. Raw dining, where food is not heated above 48 degrees so that enzymes, vitamins and minerals are not destroyed, is a new experience for us, so we thought we'd better check out the April dinner menu in it's entirety in order to report back to you good (hearted) people.

Shoku iku is open for dinner only on Saturday nights at this stage and you must book a table if you want to partake. There are two choices available for each course (first courses $12, second courses $20, desserts $10 and side salads $9). We opted for the three course meal with side salad ($46) and were off to a great start with their 'Curried crepes w/ julienned apple and zucchini and plant-based yoghurt'. The vegan yoghurt made this dish something special.

A 'Whole tomato, stuffed w/ sunflower pate and served w/ walnut pesto' also arrived to compete with the crepes and it definitely held its own! The incredibly moreish walnut pesto (complete with garlic hit) gave the vegan yoghurt sauce a real run for it's money.

After a little wait, our main courses arrived complete with a side salad on each plate. The 'Vegetable ravioli, filled w/ plant based cream cheese and served w/ chunky tomato sauce' was accompanied by a huge serving of a 'green leafy salad w/ vegetable cous cous and red grapes w/ a fig and balsamic dressing'. The raw raviolis saw vegan cream cheese sandwiched between sliced radish and apple and it went down a treat, however the salad had copious amounts of a grated root vegetable (perhaps celeriac) masquerading as cous cous and while it was super vitamin hit, we couldn't quite stomach eating all of it.

The other main of 'Kelp noodle and vegetable pad thai w/ sweet and spicy almond sauce and activated teriyaki nuts and seeds' was more salty than sweet and spicy and I felt healthier just looking at all that kelp! On the side was a 'Marinated carrot ribbon salad w/ creamy curry spiced dressing' but again, there was rather a lot of it and there's only so much ‘carrot ribbon’ one can eat in a single sitting!

The evening peaked again when dessert arrived, delivering us an extraordinarily rich and creamy 'Peppermint and chocolate layer cake' along with 'Poached strawberries w/ lucuma (a subtropical fruit from Peru) and cupuacu (an Amazonian 'super fruit') sabayon and orange cream' which despite the extravagant description was a simple and refreshing dessert which was also garnished with strawberry leather (aka fruit rollup).

There are plenty of herbal teas ($3-3.50) on offer (warmed only) along with teeccino which is a herbal coffee served with freshly made almond milk or warmed cacao ($5). The teeccino and cocao is rather creatively warmed in a vitamix.

 
Shokuiku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Gong dè Lin

All Vegetarian, Melbourne CBD, RestaurantThe Good Hearted2 Comments

Gong dè Lin
Level 3,
264 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9663 7878

facebook


We'd heard on the vegan grapevine that a new vegetarian restaurant had opened in the CBD, and so like moths to a flame, we found ourselves at Gong dè Lin Chinese vegetarian restaurant last Friday night.

Gong dè Lin is a bit off the beaten track (if that's possible in the CBD?!), given that it's necessary to take a lift to level 3 from the front of another restaurant at 264 Swanston Street (yes that is the old address of the Shaft Adult Cinema, you perverts). The restaurant seating is predominantly booths which we liked, especially if you end up in a window seat overlooking Swanston Street like we did - not only do we get a good view over the Swanston St rooftops, but the busker below provided a good soundtrack for the evening.

The menu is about a dozen pages long with ample mock meat and mock seafood options, as well as numerous mushroom and vegetable dishes. We decided to share some Cold Mushroom and Spinach Wontons ($5), the Soya Bean Fillets ($16.80), Sauteed Sliced Mountain Mushrooms with a Hot and Spicy Sauce ($16.80) and Sauteed Spinach ($14.80). The wontons were delicious in their sweet soy sauce, which I preferred over the other accompaniment, a diluted satay sauce. However, at $5 for six of these, you can't go too wrong.

I was expecting the soy bean fillets to be fillets of tofu, however they were more akin to crumbed crispy fried fillets of vegan ham and were easily the highlight of the whole meal. The sauteed sliced mountain mushrooms with hot and spicy sauce were definitely hot and spicy and more to my sidekicks level of tolerance. The mushroom in this dish was pretty amazing though, with a succulence and texture that could lend it to be mistaken as a mock chicken. We ordered sauteed spinach to ensure we had a balanced meal and while it had a good flavour, there was an over abundance of stalks, which not only made it tedious to eat but created some competition for the leafy bits.

There's plenty more on the menu that we'll have to go back and try. Some other dishes that jumped out to us include Sauteed Vegetarian Abalone with Broccoli ($20.80), Vegetarian Goose ($12.80), Deep Fried Shredded Black Mushroom with Salt & Pepper ($18.80) and Vegetarian Sea Cucumber with Shanghai Greens ($22..80). The menu doesn't highlight which dishes are vegan, and even though most dishes are, make sure you check when ordering.

(while this does appear to be Gong dè Lin's website, it's a shocker which doesn't even spell the restaurant name correctly...)

 
Gong De Lin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Also visited by vegan about town