I found myself in Richmond at lunchtime the other day, so I headed over to Swan St to check out Hellenic Bite, a Greek souvlaki and burger place. They won an Age Good Food Guide award for their food and came recommended from a couple of people on social media.
A souvlaki joint is unlikely territory for a vegan, but they do a great vegan burger. The vegan patty is made in house from brown rice, small green french lentils and vegetables – I could make out at least corn and carrot. They were friendly and helpful and happy to answer the questions I had.
The ENORMOUS burger is served in good bread (a not too thick pide roll) with a beautiful, fresh lettuce, tomato and onion salad, with tabouleh, hummus and sweet chilli sauce.
Very good and so, so fresh. But despite it being great, I couldn’t finish mine because it was so big. OK, I confess I did get the chips as well, which were stellar. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, just the way I like them. I couldn’t finish those either!
The food is generous, fresh and really delicious. Highly recommended.
172 Swan St,
Break out the quince paste! Yes! That is a vegan cheese plate.
I crossed town to the Prahran Convenience Store last week, to pick up some of the new Miyoko’s Creamery cheeses. In breaking news, these cheeses are now also available at Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery on my side of town.
There are three currently available at both stores – although there are a tantalisingly large number of them listed on the Miyoko’s Creamery website, including a truffled one!
I bought all three that were available, the Rustic Alpine, the Sundried Tomato, and the Fresh Chive.
The cheeses are all soft, not slicing or melting types, and have that proper cultured flavour that I miss most about cheese.
The Sundried Tomato is probably my least favourite, sundried tomatoes are a bit eighties for me. The Rustic Alpine is a slightly offputting strange brown colour, but it is nice, with a sweetish, slightly smoky flavour which went nicely with some tart apple. But the Chive is absolutely the pick of the bunch. It is TOTALLY delicious.
The cheeses are not cheap at $16.50 for 185 grams, so I won’t be buying a lot, but I think the chive one is worth it. People obviously agree, because I got the last chive one while there were still piles of the other two flavours available.
It is good time for vegan cheese lovers. The available cheeses just keep getting better.
A new branch of Dosa Plaza opened recently in Preston, right on the junction, just near the Aldi supermarket. Dosa Plaza is a franchise with a handful of stores around Australia and New Zealand as well as over fifty in India. I wouldn’t normally give a franchised restaurant a second look, but I had been watching the store being built over the last few weeks. What caught my eye was the fact that they were entirely vegetarian. A quick look at the website and I found that they had a large number of vegan menu items as well. So I decided I wouldn’t be a snob and give them a try.
The menu runs the gamut from Italian pasta to a variety of Indian and Asian food ranging from street style snacks to full meals. It also has an astonishing array of what could be described as cross-cultural dosas, from Mexican to Chinese.
For my first try, I stuck to straight Indian flavours. I chose some pani puri with a potato filling and two sauces as well as a dosa with a vegetable and lentil soup and some coconut chutney. Both were delicious.
I love food that requires assembly at the table and the pani puri satisfied my love of playing with my food. Pani puri are small crispy hollow puffs. You crack a hole in the top, fill with some potato and spoon on some of the tart tamarind sauce and fill with the green chilli sauce. Then eat them whole before they go soft. The experience is great. The crispy outside explodes in your mouth to release the soft filling and the sauces.
The staff were a bit worried when I ordered them, they told me the green chilli sauce was quite hot. I decided I’d be brave, but I was a bit worried it would be diabolical. When an Indian person tells you something is hot, it is possibly a good idea to take note. In fact I need not have worried, it was just the right amount of heat for me. There was quite a large bowl of the green chilli sauce, they told me that they drink the leftovers. I didn’t. As a sauce it was great, as a soup it would have been a bit too much.
I also enjoyed the dosa and soup and chutney, though next time I will probably go for a filled dosa.
All in all a very nice surprise.
4 Plenty Road,