The Merri Clan In Preston 2

I loved my first visit to The Merri Clan so much that I went back pretty soon after. In fact I think I’ll repost my photo (above) for the Fully Loaded Poffertjes and the nachos to have all my photos here in one spot for your convenience:

So, the second time I rocked up for the BBQ jackfruit burger only to be told it wasn’t available for another day. But that was cool because I ordered the Merri Breakfast and it was excellent.

I didn’t have the big camera with me on this second visit, so forgive the phone-camera photos. This was one really, really good dish. Slow cooked beans hiding some roasted sweet potato, a decent amount of avocado and tomato, pesto and two almond feta topped mushrooms. Gluten free as well. I had zero disappointment from missing out on the burger:

I also got one of the Earl grey tea donuts. So, so good (but not GF sorry folks):

The third visit back, I got the BBQ jackfruit burger. I made a huge mess (it was tricky to eat all delicate like) but this is a fine burger– slightly spicy if that’s not your thing:

My son got the poffertjes with jam and, for the second time, said they were great:

More donuts:

I forgot to note down prices on those other visits. There’s more on the menu I want to try, so I’ll be sure to update. Staff have always been friendly and helpful at The Merri Clan, so I’m looking forward to trying more of the menu.

The Merri Clan

15 Gilbert Road






The Merri Clan in Preston

The Merri Clan showed up on my radar thanks to an Instagram photo I saw of an amazing looking pile of poffertjes. Better yet was this pile of poffertjes being sortof down the road from me in Preston. I used to live in Amsterdam and haven’t had vegan versions of the famous Dutch little pancakes yet. I really need to get on to making my own recipe seeing as I lugged a cast iron poffertjes pan over on my final trip home.

So I did that thing where I didn’t read the entire menu because a) I had hungry kids with me and my youngest was already attacking those sachets of sugar on the table and b) as soon as I saw vegan nachos with black beans and the fully loaded option of the vegan poffertjes I really didn’t feel a need to read the whole menu. I was confident I chose well and choose well I did.

These nachos (vegan option $18.50) are hands down the best vegan nachos I’ve tried anywhere. It’s a big serve with loads of guacamole and really good black beans. Lovers of coriander, like me, will be happy but if you’re not a fan perhaps ask if they can leave it off. I loved everything about this dish. I can’t even remember the exact details and haven’t yet found the menu online, but from the ingredients alone I’d say it’s also gluten free:

My daughter ordered one of the vegan muffins on the counter, which were either berry vanilla or apple cinnamon. This is the berry muffin:

These fully loaded poffertjes (25 pieces, $18.00 I think) were excellent. The fully loaded option comes with all the toppings. There was a maple cashew cream, nutella style cream, candied pecans and berry compote. A fantastic option for vegan pancake meal lovers:

The Merri Clan is conveniently located right by a route #11 tram stop. Service was friendly and it’s nice and comfy inside with some armchair/couch seating towards the back. I didn’t get pics of the inside but we sat at a table by the front window.

I’m always happy to see kickass vegan options on menus where there has been clear thought put in to the offerings and where the vegan options are a standout. Both the nachos and poffertjes ticked those boxes.

The Merri Clan

15 Gilbert Road





Lunches At Loving Hut Richmond

I haven’t been to Loving Hut Richmond in AGES. A birthday lunch was on the same day as the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, so most places were closed. Not our faithful Loving Hut Richmond. A second bonus was that we found parking right away, just opposite. That’s never happened before. Thank you Your Majesty!

The Richmond menu is different to the Northcote Loving Hut, and for me each has some excellent dishes I’d return for.

First up were the fried spring rolls. My son likes fried entree things and these were your nice little regular fried spring rolls:

We also got some steamed dumplings for our entree. Nice and freshly made:

The menu has changed a little from when I last visited. My sister beat me to the Royal Rendang. This was excellent. Truthfully, I was a little nervous about the soy fillet ‘beef’ because when I bought some of the dried version myself and rehydrated it, it was awful and tasted heavily of soy. More a strong soy milk taste. This Loving Hut meal had none of the soy taste. A stand out:

My son ordered the Mongolian BBQ. This was also really good and wasn’t way sweet:

I chose the lemongrass chili tofu. I didn’t know what this would be like, other places have tofu cubes deep fried so it’s crispy. This dish was different though, with a much softer tofu and a lot of it. This is a great dish for sharing, I wouldn’t get it for myself again but for sharing, absolutely:

We got a fried rice to share which was also pretty good:

My son was apparently not able to fit the veggies in to his stomach but had no problem ordering the sundae, which had a three scoops option we shared. It’s the soy So Good icecream. I wished there was more sauce though:

Here are some pics of what I had the last time I went to Loving Hut Richmond aaaages ago. I don’t know if these dishes are still on the new menu: 

I used to be in Richmond every few weeks and would often stop at Loving Hut for a meal. I miss those days and although I’m way spoilt now with more vegan options closer to me, I still miss lunches at Loving Hut Richmond.

Loving Hut Richmond

10/242 Victoria Street




New Vegan Menu At The Pancake Parlour

The Pancake Parlour is a long time (since 1965) family restaurant chain and one of those places etched in to the memories of many a Melburnian. Nothing on the menu was vegan, until now. The Pancake Parlour management has listened to customer feedback, as well as feedback from staff who were telling head office people kept coming in asking for vegan options.

Alas, the pancakes are not vegan and while I don’t miss any pre-vegan foods, if Pancake Parlour made a vegan version of their pancakes, I’d be all over it. Perhaps that’s due to a fair bit of nostalgia because PP was a very special treat when I was growing up. On our few trips to the city during the year, Mum would take us to lunch and I’d always get the Alice in Wonderland (a pancake with icecream, chocolate syrup and sprinkles).

During my vegan years, I never went along to the PP when there were family meals there because there was nothing satisfactory I could have or veganise easily enough, so I’d stay home. So it’s good to know that I can go along and get a meal too.

One of my favourite treats in the pre-vegan days was the Swiss Mountain Milk Malt and I was really happy to see this is on the vegan menu. The milk options are almond or soy, so my son and I shared a soy version with the chocolate flavour (the other flavour was espresso). I love malt but couldn’t really taste it at all, and it was pretty sweet. At $11.20 this is a pricey beverage but I’ve been waiting years for vegan options at the PP and was happy to splash out the cash! Yes, that’s my doppelganger on the glass:For a meal, I got the Strawberry Plantcrepe ($16.90). The filling is made up of fresh strawberries with organic strawberry jam and vanilla soy ice cream is included. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as some of the vegan crepes I’ve had elsewhere haven’t been that flash, but this crepe was really well done.Other vegan crepe options include the Chocnana Crunch Plantcrepe (banana, peanut butter, chocolate, $15.90), Bavarian Apple Plantcrepe (spiced apple filling, $15.90), two plain Plantcrepes with ice cream ($12.60) and the Jamaican Banana Plantcrepe (grilled banana, $15.90). All served with vanilla soy ice cream.

There’s the Superfood Salad too (gluten free: kale, quinoa, lentils, black beans, corn, mixed lettuce, hommus, other fresh mixed veg dressed with lemon infused olive oil, $15.90). Vegan chickpea tuna is an optional extra for $4.

There’s a Berry Power Smoothie and a Super Green Power Smoothie, both $9.50 and gluten free.

I am pretty impressed at the chickpea tuna offering, because that shows some research has been done. From what I have seen and heard, the PP have really made an effort to develop this vegan menu and hopefully there will be even more. I’m hoping for a vegan version of the cottage fries!

I’m always happy when restaurants include decent vegan options or better, develop a new vegan menu in response to customer requests. A big name like PP introducing a vegan menu is pretty great.

We had lunch at the Melbourne Central restaurant. The full vegan menu is available here, Doncaster and Malvern East only. The smoothies, malt shake and salad options are available at all the PP restaurants.




Girls And Boys in Fitzroy

Girls and Boys is the latest venture from the owners of The Vegie Bar and Transformer. Located right next to The Vegie Bar, Fitzroy has scored yet another all-vegan affair.

The pictures I’d seen online certainly looked good enough and there were some great reviews about the soft serve ice cream, so on a hot day I dropped in and ordered the Baklava Pimped Out soft serve ($12).

It was way bigger than I’d anticipated and I wasn’t able to finish it so next time I’d share. But this was really good soft serve icecream– I’ve never had a vegan soft serve and I’m fussy about ice cream in general. The filo sheets were nice and crunchy and there was a sweet lemony sauce with pistachios and walnuts. Close up!

There’s also a selection of beautiful looking/sounding small cakes (with unrefined sugars), smoothies, housemade gelato, lattes, coffees and juices. There are gluten free options though I’m not exactly sure which are GF:

You can also grab some Vegie Bar take away from the next counter and fridge.

There’s a flavour-of-the-day special for the Pimped Out soft serve, and on the day I went it was a mango-something.

Having a 100% plant based dessert bar is a great addition to Melbourne and although Fitzroy is a bit of a public transport hike for me, I’d make the effort to go and try some of the cakes and another soft serve.

You can read another review over at Where’s The Beef?

Girls & Boys

382 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy