The Good Hearted - Vegan Food in Melbourne

Degustation

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