Tagged: vegan

Melbourne 3000: Gong De Lin

Whilst walking along Swanston Street, you may see a big yellow sign with some Chinese words and underneath ‘Vegetarian Cuisine’ in green writing. This is your queue to keep on walking. If you end up travelling up to Level 3 in Noodle Kingdom’s elevator, then unfortunately you have missed the queue and  you will be welcomed by Gong Din Lin’s sterile surroundings.

Melbourne  has a few Chinese mock-meat vegetarian venues, but none quite like Gong De Lin.
The menu is extensive, to say the least.
Menu Page 1

Menu Page 1

Menu page 2

Menu page 2

In fact, the list of dishes is so astounding that I can’t even advise you what the name of the dish I ordered was. I can confirm that it was a soup, with bok choy, and Chinese mushrooms with hokkien noodles in vegetable stock. The ingredient that is really throwing me here is the golden coloured puffs of funghi or dumpling.

Vegetable and Mushroom Noodle Soup

Vegetable and Mushroom Noodle Soup

I’m going to lay it on the line here, I didn’t like the soup, nor the venue that brought to mind a hospital. There was an odd scent in the air and the general feeling of being in that restaurant was bleak. I sat close to the window, spilling my noodle soup on the butcher’s paper, anxious to leave. In one’s view, I will not be returning here. However, those that are interested in vegetarian and vegan cuisine should pay Gong De Lin a visit as there are copious amounts of other dishes to try.

 

 

Gong De Lin on Urbanspoon

Brunswick East 3057: B-East

After a long discussion about what type of cuisine we wanted to eat for our early dinner, a partner of my friend recommended B’East for American style burgers and fries.

B’east is a relatively new establishment, located in Brunswick East on Lygon St. B’east is open for lunch and dinner and as a bar at night, with trivia on a Tuesday.

Just prior to leaving I had been suffering from an incredibly painful toothache and had taken a panadene for it.

On the drive to B’east I was nauseous, struggling to get excited about the prospect of lunch. I was hungry though, and when we arrived I ordered the roast pumpkin and blue cheese sliders ($7) with a side of fries. The mini burgers came out on a the ever trendy chopping board, the buns gleaming up at me insisting I eat them. Flavoursome and light, the sliders were a hit for me, even though the bread was shiny and obviously very sugary.
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According to my acquaintance, ‘The Morrissey’ veggie burger also had a very shiny bun and was splendid.
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The thick cut fries on the side were battered and deliciously crispy and fresh.

I tried some of my acquaintances poutine, worried that she would think I was similar to a seagull. I could not stop stealing chips covering in delicious gravy and cheese.
Unfortunately when I returned home I was violently ill in my bathroom, but this way in no way associated with my meal at B’east.
I recommend b’east to people with a hangover, it is reasonably priced and the thick cut chips are superb.

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The B.East on Urbanspoon

Brunswick 3065: Cornish Arms

On a Monday night at around 7pm I arrived at this dingy pub on the dark side of inner city Melbourne.
Sydney Rd is known for multiple murders and gang shootings but tonight I was greeted with a bustling crowd of young inner city citizens drinking Goats and Fat Yak Beer at the Cornish Arms bar.
There was a sign for $12 parmas and burgers on a Monday night.
I wanted the Mexican Parma, but apparently they only do this variation on Sundays so I opted for the Thai Massaman Curry.

Being a pub and not a thai restaurant, i suspected the curry wouldn’t be fantastic and I was correct in my assumption. The coconut rice didn’t taste coco nutty, not sure what Thai curry has fried shallots on it either. This isn’t Laksa King. Maybe this is ‘Modern Australian’ Thai food. Who knows really.

So I became a seagull and sampled my friends left overs. The vegan fish and Chips were interesting (and extremely unhealthy), the pumpkin and rosemary pizza tasted like a rosemary bush sprinkled with craft Parmesan cheese. The onion rings were sure to contribute to any predisposition I might have for heart disease.

Good greasy pub food, large range of gluten free/ vegetarian options, but where are the healthy and delicious options?

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Cornish Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

Fitzroy 3065: Trippy Taco

I went to Trippy Taco on Sunday with 2 acquaintances and left with heart burn and a truckers arm.

We wait for half an hour for an obnoxious group of individuals, who probably live in Fitzroy, to leave one of the tables outside. One was cleaning his shoe with a napkin. When they finally left, their dishes and leftovers remained at the table for 10 more minutes until we decided to take it in ourselves.

I had the Tofu Asada Burrito and tried the chilli fries and nachos. The asada burrito is good, I do enjoy raisins in savoury dishes and I found their secret use of beetroot in the burrito to be interesting. The spices used on the chilli fries left a dry feeling on my tongue and the nachos were average. I just don’t get why people like the chilli fries here. The Reverence do better seasoned Mexican fries.

There is a lack of tables for patrons (only 2 outside) and non existent shade outside. My entire right arm and shoulder got extremely sunburnt.

I recommend Trippy Taco to people wearing colourful patterns with a hang over. There is a better Mexican restaurant called Los Amates in Fitzroy.

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Trippy Taco on Urbanspoon

Footscray 3065: Bo De Trai

I love Footscray, and i usually love vegetarian restaurants but the location can’t save this Vietnamese/ Chinese restaurant from a bad review.

Near the door is a 10% off sign and I thought to myself,

Really, 10% off? Ten percent off what? Surely it can’t be everything. That’s weird

We walked into the deserted eatery and asked to order take away. The menu was easy enough to read, but ordering the food was difficult as I don’t speak Vietnamese.

I chose the spring rolls for a starter and the imitation pork and veggie hot pot for main, both for take away.

The spring rolls were crunchy, but tasteless and the imitation pork looked like a prawn cracker soaked in water.

It tasted like a bit of bread soaked in water. The sauce in the hot pot was boring and the vegetables were boring and chopped roughly.

My Austrian acquaintance ordered the Chinese mushroom which were really just plain old button mushrooms in some Chinese sauce. They looked very unappetising.

My other acquaintance got the Tom Yum Soup, and left it in the kitchen as it tasted like nothing.
Disappointing, but I should have known better than to eat here. The lack of people in the restaurant and the 10% off sign should have been a red flag.

I’ve heard good things about this restaurant, but after the meal my acquaintances and I got, I will certainly not be coming back here. There are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants on Hopkins St I would rather pay to eat at. I will pay more attention to red flags moving forward.

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Bo de Trai on Urbanspoon

Northcote 3070: Northcote Social Club

I’ve heard a mixture of opinions about The Northcote Social Club, some saying it’s dingy but renovated, and some telling me not to expect much at all.

I walked into a dim lighted pub in a questionable area, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw I saw the outdoor furniture and hanging tropical plants in the beer garden. The back of pub is appealing to a young, trendy crowd and the atmosphere they bring is fun and free.

I skimmed through the very simple pub food menu and didn’t see anything outstanding that I felt like eating so I ordered plain old ‘fish and chips’, making sure the dish came with tartar sauce and lemon.

After a bit of a wait my dish arrived and I was about as excited as when I was reading the menu. What appeared on my plate were 2 flathead tails and some frozen chips with a very basic salad.

My acquaintances ordered the lasagna and chicken poppers which were very generous in serving size.

The birthday boy I came here for got a chicken Parma which was incredibly cheesy. Apparently the ham was a little too thick, but the chicken itself was alright.

Sounds mediocre to me.

I’m not sure I would eat here again. Perhaps I would try the portabello mushroom burger as it looked quite good. I recommend the food here to hungry, drunk patrons.

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Northcote Social Club on Urbanspoon

Footscray 3031: The Reverence

The 45 minute wait for my chimichanga was worth it.

The generous servings and variety of gluten free, meat, vegetarian and vegan options on the menu attract a wide range of people.

My two daughters came with me to this run down bar in Footscray and were very pleased with the busy young crowd, and their meals. The pulled pork made from jackfruit, with apple sauce and almonds pleased my youngest daughter, and the eldest enjoyed the vegan quesadillas immensely. However she thought the bar’s slim selection of hot sauces could be improved.

Footscray does it again with fresh, affordable vegetarian food. I recommend this to anyone looking for decent bar food in inner west Melbourne.

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Reverence Hotel on Urbanspoon

North Melbourne 3051: Little Africa

This is a great place to go if you have never tried African food as there is a description next to every dish on the menu and there are tasting plates available.

Price – $20 for a tasting plate is good value.

Service – fast, friendly, knowledgable.

Dish – Vegetarian tasting plate was interesting, exotic and fun to eat!
The large piece of bread that the tasting dishes are served on will blow your mind. I’m still not sure how the dough doesn’t break, it is so thin but so large in diameter. All I can say is this takes talent- I’m impressed.
You must like spicy food to some degree to enjoy most of the dishes.

Interesting fact – if the restaurant is fully booked out (not uncommon!) you can in fact go to Prudence bar down the road, order and eat it there. Brilliant.

This place has only good reviews and here is another.

Little Africa on Urbanspoon