Here’s part two of my vegan eats blog of Melbourne, after visiting early this year. If you want to check out part 1 (just in case you haven’t already…) here it is 🙂 Let’s get down to it then, shall we? Good.
Super gutted I only managed to visit Smith & Daughters once on my trip, as the menu was obscenely good. I popped in for brunch on a Sunday, so didn’t have anything too huge (which I should have, looking back now!). I had a Reuben sandwich that was chock full of vegan meats and cheese, with a yummy pesto sauce and a side of tortilla chips.
This is another place to visit off-peak as it gets very busy during your standard lunch and dinner times (because the food is so damn awesome!). Smith & Daughters is “a vegan bar and eatery with a unique rock ‘n’ roll vibe”, and they have a brilliantly extensive, Spanish/Latin American style menu. If you get a chance to bump into one of the owners (highly likely – they both work and love hanging out there), definitely have a chat with them. On visiting Smith & Daughters and being served by Mo (one of the owners) and having a chat with her, a couple of days later I visited their takeaway/grocery store, Smith & Deli – Mo was there, and she greeted me with a very American “Hey, Jen!”. Lovely people, give them all of your food money please.
Another place I should have visited more than once! So so so SO many vegan treats to be found at the little sister take-away/grocer to Smith & Daughters – there are fridges and freezers full of vegan goodies, freshly made salads and sweet things, made to order sandwiches/baguettes and lots of other grocery items and fun items of clothing. I could have spent a fortune in there, however, I only bought a Parmageddon and a couple of drinks, as I was worried I might be overweight (in both baggage and stomach-wise!!).
I was going to pick up one of their “Smith & Daughters – A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan)” but unfortunately they had sold out. Luckily for me though, they ship to the UK so I bought one when I got back to London. Get yourself a copy as it’s is WELL worth it. Gorgeous book and brilliant recipes.
This speciality coffee bar/plant-based cafe was walking distance from my Air B&B, on the same street, so there was no backing out of visiting while I was in Melbourne. I popped in on a boiling hot day, and they didn’t have a full menu out, only what was available as the specials. I settled on the lentil and potato shepherds pie (on a hot day? Yeah, well done Jen…) which was yum, but really, really filling.
I had a coffee as well, which I don’t usually drink, so I was buzzing for the rest of the day.
This is vegetarian/vegan dining at its finest. Everything on your plate is well thought out and presented with the utmost of care. Not exactly the kind of place where you whip out your Canon 5D mkiii with your massive zoom lens, but I managed a couple of sneaky photos on my trusty Samsung mobile phone instead.
First up was a salad with olives, pink grapefruit, caramelised walnuts and greens. The menu isn’t online, so I’m going on memory alone here! An interesting combination of flavours (olives and pink grapefruit?!) which ended up tasting delicious. They clearly use the freshest ingredients in everything.
After the salad I had a dish of silken tofu with carrots and seaweed. Hoooooly hell. Talk about flavours. Every part of the dish tasted completely different yet it all worked together brilliantly, just like the salad. Transformer is kind of a tapas style restaurant where you order a bunch of plates and share, which is great because you can try plenty of things on the menu. I was on my own however, so only managed to try two dishes before I was full. I ordered a cocktail with an emoji on it instead of dessert, because I couldn’t possibly fit any more food in!
Why oh why did I leave this place until my very last day in Melbourne? I was on the way to the airport with my suitcase and my friend Jay and decided to have lunch here instead of going to the airport early. So glad I did. We ordered two dishes to share, the first being a tofu and quinoa burger with a side of sweet potato fries. As I said on my Instagram – easily one of the best vegan burgers I’ve ever had! That smoky tofu though… mmmmm
After devouring the burger pretty quick smart we started on the Moroccan tagine, which was also delicious (but hey, it ain’t no smoked tofu burger…). Sweet potato and chickpeas in a rich tomato sauce with couscous, roasted cauliflower, fresh cucumber and a dollop of yoghurt (or Tzatziki?! not entirely sure!).
Don’t be like Jen – make sure you visit the guys at Veggie Bar while you’re in Melbourne. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, so you know they know what they’re doing. Big, big fan.
There ends my (extensive!) wrap up of what I ate in and around Melbourne earlier this year. I was bowled over by not only the amount of places you can pick up vegan food, but the standard of what I was eating. If there is one place you should visit when you make the trip to the Land Down Under, make it Melbourne – it’s a vegan foodie paradise. Someone take me back there soon, yeah? Ta!
#nowplaying Methyl Ethel – Ubu