With all three Sea Shepherd ships docked at Williamstown at the moment, we found ourselves touring the Steve Irwin and learning about the crew's last campaign, which saw 932 whales saved thanks to their direct action in the Southern Ocean. The Sea Shepherd crew don't contradict their values by protecting some animals while eating others; they are in fact all vegan, which is truly honourable! Speaking of eating, we got hungry after our tour so a mad google search led us to the Novel Kitchen nearby.
Williamstown is anything but a hub for vegan eating so we thought it a great discovery to find Novel Kitchen which has plenty of clearly labelled vegan options throughout the all-day breakfast and lunch menu. A few of the items such as the 'Tofubake' ($14 GF) and 'Silverbeet, potato and chickpea burger' ($15) were sold out so we delved deeper into the menu to discover a vegan 'Kashmiri vegetable pie' ($14), which was a healthy mix of lightly spiced organic vegies in a pastry base, topped with seeds. It had a good mix of spices and was accompanied by a salad which was reminiscent of the side salad from TOFWD* with grated fresh beetroot and carrot.
We also tried the homemade baked beans which were seriously good and had plenty of flavour. Too often, homemade baked beans at cafes are either tarnished with ham hock, or are a bland let down - but not this time! I had a side of avocado, tomato and coriander salsa which was an odd choice on my part to accompany beans, but it was fresh and tasty nonetheless. Other vegan options on the menu that we didn't try included 'Lightly spiced lentil and pumpkin patties served on quinoa and almond salad' ($13.50 GF) and a vegan 'Lentil bake, topped with a pumpkin mash' ($14) - a bit like a shepherds pie.
Take home meals are available at cheaper prices and there are some vegan cakes and biscuits on offer too, including an organic vegan chocolate mud cake ($3.30 GF), which would tempt any sweet tooth. Novel Kitchen uses Espresso Syndicate coffee (which is organic, rainforest alliance and fair trade) and has no soycharge for Vitasoy. The Good Hearted would love to see an end to the mother-flippin' soycharge in Melbourne so we give huge props to any establishment that bucks the trend and doesn't discriminate against compassionate consumers.
If you want to visit the Sea Shepherd crew for a tour (and perhaps to deliver a vegan food donation?!), you can do so until May 26th, 2013 at Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown (entry via Ann Street) - 12-4:30 pm on weekend days.