Tagged: vegetarian

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.

According to my acquaintance, ‘The Morrissey’ veggie burger also had a very shiny bun and was splendid.

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.



The B.East on Urbanspoon

Flemington 3031: McDonalds

Why did I go to Mcdonalds?

For these:

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 9.13.51 PM

But what I really got was:



Enough said.


McDonald's on Urbanspoon

North Melbourne 3051: Town Hall Hotel

Walking down Errol St you know you are near the Town Hall Hotel when the  notorious mumbling beggar asks you repeatedly for spare change.

You got any spare change, spare change, spare change, spare change, spare change….

Instead of giving him your spare change you walk into this dingy pub and use your change to buy a Coopers Pale Ale, Fat Yak or Coopers Dark Ale.
If you’re lucky you get to sit in the little hut out in the beer garden with your mates and if you have more spare change you order one of the Town Hall Hotel’s well-known parma’s.

The parma took a fair amount of time to come out, but was delivered to our little villa without a problem. The service at the back bar was fantastic, as was my eggplant parma.

However, I had to scrape the economy cheese off the eggplant patties and was less than impressed by the bland fries.


This is the chicken parma my acquaintance ordered:


The Town Hall Hotel has a great vibe out the back with friendly staff and a fantastic beer garden. There is an extensive list of interesting mains to choose from on the menu including a polenta crumbed eggplant & Portobello mushroom burger and classic English bangers & mash. I am eager to come back here and try the grilled fish of the day served with kindler potatoes and lemon butter sauce.

Town Hall Hotel on Urbanspoon

Ascot Vale 3032: Yim Yam Thai Laos Restaurant

At about 4.00pm on a Friday afternoon a friend and I decided to dine in at Yim Yam’s Thai Laos Restaurant in Ascot Vale.
We parked at Nando’s and thought screw it, Nando’s aren’t going to tow our car if we don’t buy a peri peri burger and walked to Yim Yam’s. We were pleasantly surprised at the wonderful decor and Thai/ Laos art work in the venue. The venue was bright and the table clothes were white, giving the place a fresh vibe and expensive feeling as you sat down. The service was friendly and the food came out quick.

I ordered the typical Thai dish, Satay Vegetable & Tofu Stir fry $12.90 and Bread Roti Bread $3.50. Clearly this was the best $16.40 I have spent on Thai food in Melbourne/ ever. I can see why Matt Preston gave it a good review in the Age in 2006 and so many more Yim Yam Restaurants have opened up since then in the inner-north suburbs of Melbourne.


The steamed veggies and tofu was stir-fried to perfection, and the spicy satay sauce was mild (perfect).  Crispy and soft all at once, the roti bread was also perfect.


I tried the Tofu Satay Skewers, costing $6.90, which tasted very much the same as the tofu in my stir-fry, only crispier. Delicious!


As my friend and I had both just come back from a Christmas lunch, we could barely finish half of our food so I asked to get the leftovers as take away. This wasn’t a problem at all, so I also indulged in the number 43-  a rich, authentic Thai dish, Vegetable and tofu Green Curry for lunch the next day.


Right this second, I am craving Yim Yam’s and I’m going to try to Yarraville restaurant tonight for take away. I have faith the Yarraville Restaurant is just as pleasing to my taste buds.
I recommend Yim Yam’s to everyone – especially lovers of high quality and fresh Thai food with Laos influences.

I must try the Yum Yim Yam next time, a dish exclusive to Yim Yam’s-  a deliciously creamy and sweet warm salad with shredded banana blossom.

BRB calling the Yarraville shop now.

Yim Yam Thai Laos 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?





Cornish Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

Melbourne 3000: Kinfolk Cafe

There are some good healthy meat and vegetarian dishes here.
The cafe is busy, the service is friendly and the food comes out fast.
I ordered an orange juice which came out in a trendy jar (Heather Simpson likes this). unlike freshly squeezed juice, it was watery and filled with ice, but was refreshing.
I ordered the lunch platter to eat; soup, salad and a baguette.
The carrot soup with hazelnut oil was amazing, however the goats cheese and eggplant baguette was average and the quinoa salad with raisins was too salty.

I don’t doubt that Kinfolk are doing great things for the community but they aren’t doing great things for my lunch time baguette. I will definitely come back here for their soup.



Kinfolk 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.



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.




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.





Northcote Social Club on Urbanspoon