The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Special Occasion

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.

 

Ezard

Gluten Free, Melbourne CBD, Licensed, Restaurant, Degustation, Special OccasionThe Good HeartedComment

Ezard
187 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9639 6811
www.ezard.com.au/ 


Lunch:
Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm
Dinner:
Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm


What better way to start the new year than with a vegan degustation with 11 friends at Ezard - the winner of The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Diners' Choice Award.

The degustation consisted of eight courses for $125 each, and with a group of 12 people we had enough numbers to make use of Ezard's private dining room. The dining room and table was roomy enough to accommodate our expectations, yet still modestly sized enough to allow for easy conversation.

We started with some lovely bread (this was not one of the eight courses - technically there were actually 10 dishes served up!) which prompted an olive oil frenzy, into either salted black pepper or chilli sugar. Unfortunately/fortunately the bread was replenished as soon as it was devoured, so we were mindful to 'save room' for the eight courses that were to follow (as the evening progressed it was clear that some of us had more willpower than others!). The first course to arrive was a Japanese inspired tofu shooter and nori cigar, followed by a white miso soup chaser. The shot was perfectly balanced, with tofu that just melted in the mouth and the spicy aftertaste ensured this first dish as quite a standout. The next course was a light salad of chioggia beetroot and asparagus on an olive sand (tastiest sand I've eaten all Summer!) with micro herbs and a white truffle vinaigrette.

Next up on our gluttonous food journey was steamed spice tofu with chilli, fragrant oils and crispy sweet potato followed by a warm salad of baby carrots, mandarin gel, coconut mousse and puffed rice with a delicious surprise of red quinoa and edamame hidden underneath.

The ante was upped with the 5th course of roasted jerusalem artichoke, pea-puree, asparagus, soft herbs and chive oil. The jerusalem artichoke was quite meaty - a bit like eating vegan scollops (the non-vegan in our party concurred with this). Next up was one of my favourites of the night - sesame rice noodle roll with asian mushrooms, soy mirin broth with black bean crumbs and candied chilli. Unfortunately a couple of us missed out on the rice noodle component of the dish which was a real shame considering how delicious the complete dish was.

We were all filling up by this stage, but Ezard had another savoury dish up its sleeve - caramelised eggplant (which was delightfully smokey) on jasmine rice, coupled with coriander lime salad and yellow curry.

A palette cleanser of mango sorbet with dehydrated strawberry crumbs was next and got us well in the mood for dessert...and oh what a dessert it was - summer berries on a sherbert crumb, blood orange sorbet, strawberry water, raspberry coulis and a sesame twill (see pic at the top of the page). A great way to end the meal.

Eight course vegan degustation: $125

 

The Isthmus of Kra (Closed Down)

Restaurant, Special Occasion, South Melbourne, South, DessertsThe Good HeartedComment

The Isthmus of Kra
50 Park Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
03 9690 3688
www.isthmusofkra.com.au


After a long and sunny afternoon in South Melbourne for a friends birthday, our group had the growing need for a close by and vegan friendly place for dinner. We racked our brains and remembered Shakahari's sister restaurant, The Isthmus of Kra.

The Isthmus of Kra is predominantly southern Thai cuisine and unfortunately not 100% vegetarian like Shakahari. There are some vegan winners on the menu though and the staff are also very willing to 'veganise' anything. As it's kind of pricey, we didn't have entrees but can report on these two options: Monsoon Oysters - Vegan Version (silken tofu, oyster mushrooms and baby spinach topped with herbs, spiced lime, and lemongrass dressing - $14) and Cassava Mushroom Pillows (beancurd pastry rolls with a mixture of mushrooms, julienned cassava, roasted almond flakes and herbs - hot plate seared, with a wasabi mustard herbal salsa - $15). Hmmm, what were we thinking... we should have had entrees...

We did try the Vegetarian Dialogue ($18.50) and it was a delightful conversation (ha!) of french black puy lentils, steamed baby spinach, tofu crisps, beanshoots, crushed macadamia and snow pea strips - all tossed in a caramelized chilli and kombu dashi dressing. The crunch of the tofu crisps and macadamia really made this salad something special - it was a delight and sizeable enough for sharing.

We also had a Mushroom, Tofu and Vegetable Laksa ($23.50). It wasn't a typical spicy sour soup laksa, but a saucy tamarind curry with ginger flower, kaffir lime leaves and Vietnamese mint. The laksa was full of different delicious mushrooms which I especially loved along with the juicy tofu strips. It also had thai green eggplant in it which I really didn't like, but that could just be me?!

There are vegan desserts including Tofu Caramel with Crushed Toffee Pistachio ($12.50) which is also an old favourite at Shakahari. I believe the Caramelised Mango, Black Rice Pudding with Shredded Coconut ($13.50) was also vegan (will confirm).

Price: Pricey but a bit special too.