4

The Snug Public House in Brunswick

Since my first visit to The Snug Public House in St Kilda, the vegan menu options at The Snug (both St Kilda and Brunswick) have really kicked off. I missed the vegan night back in November, where diners were stuffed with samples of the upcoming menu.

I’ve been to The Snug in Brunswick twice now. Both times I wanted to try the mushroom stout pie but it wasn’t available and doesn’t appear on the Brunswick menu, so perhaps it’s just a St Kilda thing. No problem though because there’s always a shepherd’s pie AS BIG AS YOUR FACE.

But first, an entree! I knew the main meal would defeat me if we shared an entree but I wanted to try the pulled jackfruit bbq ‘pork’. Usually I avoid ordering bbq-anything because bbq sauces are always so sweet for me and if I follow a bbq-something recipe at home I always cut the sugar waaay down. The Snug’s bbq pulled pork was pretty nice, sweet without being unbearably sweet and I was happy-surprised to see it sitting on top of hummus. There were a couple of flatbreads on the side and some pickles. I’d order this again with a group as it was a great sharing dish. I can’t make out the price on the menu photo I’ve found online:

I’ve said it before and others have said it before: the servings at The Snug are HUGE. The shepherd’s pie (about $23), shown up the top and just below is a big, big bowl of tasty gravy and veg (with TVP I believe), topped with a big pile of crispy mash. Hand cut chips were on the side, as well as some slaw and salad. The salad was really good, with a taste cumin dressing and I tried to eat as much of it as I could. But as always, defeated by the sheer enormity of the portion size.

Even without having had the entree, there’s no way I could have finished it:

Okay, here’s where the phone photos come in. On a previous visit with my son (and without my camera), he ordered the battered sausages. The kitchen had run out of sausages and so this was a half serve as it’s all they had left (our bill was reduced accordingly). The sausages are one of the vegan brands available, not sure which but my son enjoyed it regardless (mainly because there weren’t any vegetables):

The chips are the cheesy gravy chips (gluten free, $12). I really liked these and again would order them as part of a group to share:

The most massive meal I have ever been served is this Irish stew ($23). You know a regular size loaf of bread? This loaf was about 3/4 the size of a regular loaf. Jackfruit was used in place of meat, though it was pretty sparse compared to the mountain of veg. I swear, this was so huge that everyone who saw it come out just stopped and gaped. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has eaten the whole thing. Probably a superhero of some sort:

I don’t think I could ever face dessert at The Snug if I’ve eaten a main. Perhaps I should go just for a dessert– banoffles chocolate waffle ($12, gluten free) and the Guiness chocolate mousse with honeycomb and fennel biscotti ($12, gluten free) both sounded great and I’m curious to see if they’re massive serves too.

For the bbq pulled pork entree, a second entree and three mains (not all vegan) without drinks, we paid just under $100.

The Snug have about a million vegan options now. The pub is small compared to St Kilda’s Snug, but that’s really not a problem for me. Service and staff all great and you can see a lot of effort has been made with the vegan menu.

Since that first visit to The Snug in St Kilda, I’ve been impressed with the ever growing vegan options on the menu. Brunswick is closer to me so I don’t anticipate heading down to St Kilda Snug any time soon, but Brunswick’s Snug more than compensates.

4

Return To I Dream Of Sushi In Moonee Ponds

I blogged about I Dream Of Sushi back in March 2015. I’ve been back quite a few times, always opting for the tofu don ($13.50) because I like it so much. Tofu, beans, carrots and greens all on a nice big amount of rice with a tasty sweet sauce:

The vegetable gyoza are always a winner:

The past couple of times I’ve ordered something different from the vegan menu. The veg bento (about $14.50) was really quite good, with perfectly crispy tempura veg. A bowl of rice is included:

The agedashi lemon soba ($15) is made with a tasty shiitake broth with chunks of fried tofu. Photo at the top.

A food display case contains all the hand rolls. The vegetable varieties are $6. When you eat in, they’re presented like this eggplant miso roll:

I Dream Of Sushi is still my go-to vegan place in Moonee Ponds. It’s located at one end of Puckle Street right opposite Moonee Ponds train station. The vegan menu is on separate cards.

Seating inside is on stools, with I think about 10 stools in all perhaps. There are a couple small tables on the footpath. I make sure to go at non peak times and have never had trouble getting a stool.

This is good, authentic Japanese food and definitely worth checking out if you’re around Moonee Ponds!

I Dream Of Sushi (located opposite Moonee Ponds train station)

6 Margaret Street

Moonee Ponds

http://www.idreamofsushi.com.au/

 

16

New Vegan Options At Grill’d and Crust Pizza

Well, new-ish. The Veggie Vitality vegan burger at Grill’d has been out for quite a while now but I only got around to trying it this week. Grill’d is a burger chain and while they have had a few veganisable veggie burgers (like omitting the herb mayo makes it vegan), they now have an all-vegan burger.

I’d heard some mixed reviews, ranging from delicious to… not delicious. The patty is made with beetroot, sweet potato, spinach and quinoa and is served with a slice of grilled pineapple, avocado, lettuce and shredded carrot.

I’m in two minds about the Veggie Vitality. I did find the patty quite bland– it could really be zinged up with the simple addition of something like smoked paprika with a little chipotle powder. Getting a mouthful of patty with the grilled pineapple and avocado together was loads better, though the flavour really should come from the patty. Still, I like that it’s a ‘healthier’ option because my family go to Grill’d now and then, I would be okay ordering this again. I just might take along a little bit of smoked paprika.

Grill’d chips are still going strong, the rosemary salt combination makes them one of my favourite chains for chips, even if it means annoying my family because I pick at theirs instead of ordering my own.

The newest vegan + gluten free option on the Grill’d menu are the avocado chips, covered in a turmeric quinoa coating. I really don’t like hot avocado (or avocado in smoothies…yeeeech) so these for me were… interesting. Not awful, mind. I’ve heard lots of positive reviews about the avocado chips and while a serving was just too much for me, I’m happy to suggest you order these to share. I wouldn’t say no to one, because I liked the crunchy coating, but if you’re like me and believe avocado should never be hot, keep that in mind!

Crust Pizza are another chain and although you can build your own pizza (you can also do this online), they’ve recently introduced the Herb Crusted Al Funghi. This pizza is topped with a wild mushroom mix, vegan bechamel base, truffle oil and onions. Oh, and a bit of vegan cheese:

Well, I will say when I opened the box the pizza looked pretty fine. But after the first bite, I was all “where’s the flavour?” Because there was just no taste and it was incredibly bland. Waaah! It looked so promising. Most of the reviews I’ve read say the same, but that you can make it taste better by adding other toppings. Which is true, but the pizza really should be good on its own, not with additions.

While I appreciate Grill’d and Crust offering a dedicated vegan option, I’m disappointed they’re both on the very-bland side and do nothing to showcase how wonderful vegan food can be. I hope they can improve!

6

Dinner at Altro Pizza in Williamstown

This is one of those regrettable short reviews, where I wish I could go back and try more meals to not only provide you all with more photos and food options, but also because my Altro pizza was so freaking good that I’m most bummed to not frequent Williamstown as much as I would like.

Altro Pizza and Cafe in Williamstown have recently started serving up a host of vegan pizza options. The chef is vegan and it was thanks to his comments in a Melbourne vegan Facebook group, as well as great feedback, that I a) sat there drooling over pizza photos and b) determined I should get there fast. So on a too-hot Melbourne day, we thought we’d go to Altro for dinner then hang out at the beach.

The separate vegan pizza menu had about nine options for traditionally made Napolitan pizzas, including the housemade nutella strawberry pizza. Based on a few recommendations I’d read, I ordered the San Ciro ($23) which was topped with tomatoes, Notzarella, rocket, almond feta, pears, walnuts and olive oil.

This was really, really good pizza. So good that it’s really bothering me that I’m not likely to return for a while, at least not until the beach isn’t as packed as it was! As in, so good I’m thinking of having my birthday meal there with some family. My family enjoyed their meals too (not vegan).

I’m really pleased to see Williamstown has picked up where vegan options are concerned. I’m hardly there at all to be able to check out what’s available these days, but the Altro pizza menu is now a big drawcard. A few years back the only pizza I was able to find in Williamstown was your standard tasteless vegetarian minus the cheese. Not so with Altro, these are top level pizzas.

Altro Pizza and Cafe

68 Stevedore Street, Williamstown

http://www.facebook.com/AltroPizzaCafe/
Altro Pizza & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10

Brunch At Dad And Dave’s Cafe In Yarraville

Dad and Dave’s Cafe in Yarraville has been mentioned quite a bit in vegan groups. I kept it at the top of my to-do list for ages, but Yarraville is unfortunately not a place we visit often. Thankfully I had to attend a meeting which was conveniently a short distance from Dad and Dave’s, so brunch was an easy decision!

Dad and Dave’s is located right near Yarraville train station, at the 431 and 432 bus stops. It’s nice and light inside with a display cabinet that featured some good looking vegan muffins. I kicked myself later for forgetting to buy one.

I’d heard people rave about the pancakes so when I looked at the vegan options on the menu, the vegan ricotta hotcake stood out.

I am demonstrating my uselessness as a proper food blogger by telling you all (again) I forgot to take note of the price and other vegan-vegan/GF menu options. I just have to go back asap and update this!

So, the hotcake was one bigass pancake smothered in fresh fruit, pistachios, maple syrup and a strawberry ice cream. I forgot to ask where the ice cream is from but it tasted like Zebra Dream. I also neglected to ask about the ricotta aspect as none was visible, so I guess it was part of the hotcake batter.

I don’t usually go for sweet breakfasts unless something looks and sounds awesome. This hotcake did not disappoint, though I couldn’t finish it as I reach a limit with sweeter meals. I polished off the fruit and ice cream though (it was hot!)

I really want to make a return visit or two to Dad and Dave’s. With public transport it’s a bit of a hike (tram, bus, bus or tram, train) for me but if my first meal there is anything to go by, it’s certainly worth it. When the weather isn’t as inferno-level hot, I’ll go back.

Dad and Dave’s Cafe

27 Birmingham Street, Yarraville (right next to Yarraville train station)

http://www.facebook.com/Dad-Daves-cafe-148644425276000/

 
Dad and Dave's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato