12

What I Ate: The Glass Den Edition

The Glass Den Coburg Hotcakes

The Glass Den in Coburg continues to be one of my favourite places to eat. I first reviewed The Glass Den in October 2015 and blogged about another visit. Since then I have enjoyed many more meals alone (that’s my ‘me time’!) or with family. Here’s a look at some of my favourite meals since then (which of course include things I’ve already blogged about, I just order them again because they’re so good).

I can’t go past the gluten free coconut hotcakes as the first photo up there! They’re always presented so beautifully. These seemed slightly different to the last time I tried them, a little more puffier and cake like but still great. The coconut mousse melted a bit before I had a chance to take the photo. Every time I’ve seen this dish, the toppings have changed a little.

My sister enjoyed the breakfast soba, probably my favourite on the menu. They’ve changed the presentation a bit, with all the components mixed up together (previously they were separated more). The noodles are different too but still my top pick:

The Glass Den Coburg breakfast soba

I’ve heard quite a few people say how much they love the beer battered fries. I’ve never ordered them before but got a large serving for our group of four to share. Some of the nicest chips I’ve had and the aioli was spicy with a bit of a chipotle (I think) heat:

The Glass Den Coburg fries

From a recent Special board, I ordered the Pattalung mushroom curry served with Turkish bread. This was excellent and although I’m purely a curry-with-rice person, this was good enough for me to put that personal preference aside. Still, I wouldn’t say no to a serve of this over loads of rice:

The Glass Den Coburg pattalung curry

My mum ordered the portobello burger. I had this the last time I visited The Glass Den and was surprised how great it was. Surprised, because I rarely order mushroom burgers when I’m out. The almond feta in this was really good:

The Glass Den Coburg mushroom burgerThe Glass Den Coburg seating

Pics of stuff on my long walk from from The Glass Den:

Bridges reserve coburg memorial West Coburg door Coburg flatsLofts shoe store sign Coburg

I’m slowly working through my backlog of restaurant photos and hope to be back to my regular weekly What I Ate (during the week) posts next week. Sometimes I feel the eats are a little too boring to stick up on the blog– I mean compared to the hotcakes up top there, everything pretty much pales in comparison!

12

More Visits To The Glass Den In Coburg

The Glass Den Coconut Hotcakes Summer fruits

Back in October 2015, I visited The Glass Den in Coburg. You can read about that here. I’ve been back a few times because it’s quite easily my favourite place in Melbourne, or anywhere really, for breakfast/brunch (though I’d eat there at any time).

I’ve loved every meal I’ve had and service is consistently good. Make sure you check out the specials board too!

One of the nicest meals I’ve had anywhere is the Breakfast Soba. I’d love to make this at home but I suspect I’ll leave it for trips back to The Glass Den. Green tea soba noodles alongside sauteed kale, garlic polenta crusted oyster mushrooms (these were excellent), pine nuts (though these weren’t on mine) and a kale sesame crumble for $16.50:

The Glass Den Coburg Breakfast Soba

The vegan option Biggy ($22) was another I wanted to try and it didn’t disappoint either. Sourdough toast with Dutch carrots, smoked coconut, mushrooms, beans, tomato, sautéed kale and a beetroot relish. This was fantastic, though the coconut bacon is not shown in the photo.

The Glass Den vegan Biggy

I’d seen online that the toppings on the coconut hotcakes ($18) had changed since my last visit and are now served with different fruits. The current menu says “almond meal hotcakes, grilled banana, jackfruit, lotus root compote, maple syrup, toasted coconut, taro chips and coconut mousse”. These look beautiful and like last time, diners near me were looking at my meal with big eyes (and I was kicking back like The Fonz going ehhhh, vegannnn *thumbs up*). The hotcakes themselves aren’t sweet which is perfect for me, though the toppings are pretty sweet making this overall a great option for those who love a sweet breakfast. It’s gluten free too:

The Glass Den Coconut Hotcakes Summer fruits

Neglect the specials board at your peril! I couldn’t decide what to order off the menu and took a look at the specials board. Sticky date pancakes with cashew cream and pistachio brittle? Yes please! These tasted great though the pancakes did defeat me with their sweetness and I couldn’t finish it all. The cashew cream was just right for sweetness. If you love sweet pancakey meals and see this on the specials board, get it! I can’t remember if this was gluten free though:

The Glass Den sticky date pancakes

 

Food is always beautifully presented. The vegan meals are also popular with non-vegans and I truly believe The Glass Den does an exceptional job with showcasing how awesome vegan food can be and busting the silly myth that we only eat boring salad.

With their excellent, well thought out vegan options, The Glass Den continues to be my top pick! If you’re visiting Melbourne, it’s really easy to get to. Just catch the #19 tram up Sydney Road from the city and get off at Bell Street. The Glass Den is a short walk from there.

You can read about some recent visits to The Glass Den by bloggers Green Gourmet Giraffe, Quinces and Kale and Where’s The Beef?

The Glass Den

15 Urquhart Street

Coburg

http://www.theglassden.com.au/
The Glass Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

14

Vegan Brunch At The Glass Den, Coburg

The Glass Den Coburg

The Glass Den came to my attention through the vegan community, when there was a bit of a buzz about a new vegan menu coming up. I also love this part of Coburg, with the historic Pentridge Prison that was built in 1850 (closed in 1997) and have wandered around there many times. I was excited to hear of more vegan options around the Bell Street end of Sydney Road, but also to see what had been done with the space.

I wasn’t disappointed– it’s roomy, colourful and light filled inside with plenty of original features. It’s clearly a popular place too: there were two large smiley groups finishing up when I left and lots of people coming through.

The Glass Den Coburg

I enjoyed spotting original features here and there– the big prison-y gates, bare bulbs and of course the bluestone walls. I loved the large tables such as the white one you see in the pics. It used to be a (very large) door. The gate door stop is even from Pentridge days of old and the chairs are a cheery mismatch from past decades:

The Glass Den Coburg

The ‘outdoor’ space is enclosed and like the inside, it’s roomy and colourful. There’s a play space for children in the far corner (with an awesome old trunk). It’s doggy friendly too!

The Glass Den Coburg

It was the lure of the new menu and the recommendation of the coconut hotcakes from Where’s The Beef? that drew me to The Glass Den, but I was tempted by many of the options. First off, the vegan meals sound great– very well thought out and I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I always love a vegan-options menu where you can tell at a glance that the business has really sat down and thought about how best to serve vegan customers, or those with certain dietary requirements. The Glass Den ticks all those boxes and I was also impressed with the interaction between one of the staff and the vegan communities on social media, showing they were listening to what vegan customers want.

I had gone there with the coconut hotcakes in mind but I faltered a bit when I read more of the options, like the crushed avo (seeded loaf, avocado, dukkah, coconut bacon, macerated raisins and beetroot relish, $14.90) and the crispy wonton pad Thai (crispy wonton skin, tofu, alfalfa, radish sprouts, bean shoots, chives, chili, red onion with a tamarind dressing and toasted cashews, $16.00). I was there more at brunch hour but the lunch options, like the breakfast options, are served all day. The coffee menu vegan milk options include Bonsoy, almond and coconut at a small charge and sweet accompaniments are available on the counter, including treats from vegan bakery The Compassionate Kitchen.

The Glass Den Coburg

But coconut hotcakes ($16.00) it was. These are gluten free and are served with grilled banana, berry foam, maple syrup, candied almonds and a big dollop of a coconut cream. I was chatting with the person at the table next to me and although he had enjoyed his meal, he told me he wished he’d ordered the hotcakes too as my meal looked so nice. I saw a few of these being served and a lot of googly eyes watching the plates go past:

The Glass Den Coburg

I also went for the flu fighter juice ($7.00) made with carrot, orange and ginger:

The Glass Den Coburg

It was an excellent meal all up (in case the photo alone doesn’t tempt you!) I was nearly defeated and wondered if I could fit in the last couple of forkfuls and bit of juice (I did). The hotcakes were really filling and the coconut cream on top was a generous serve. Cindy from Where’s The Beef? compares the texture to a flourless almond cake and I agree. These aren’t light fluffy pillowy bouncy castle pancakes though I’m happy to say they’re far better. A truly excellent gluten free vegan breakfast, with the bonus of being available all day!

There’s also a small kids menu with the vegan option being a pancake with coconut icecream for $6.50.

Service was great too and I didn’t wait long for my order. My neighbour at the next table and I had a good chat about how meals like the hotcakes really do well to represent how awesome vegan (and gluten free) food can be.

The Glass Den are currently not open in the evenings but starting on the 30th they’ll be having happy hour on Friday nights from 4pm to 7pm with a tapas board (vegan available) and a jug of Thunder Road Brewing Company‘s Pacific Ale for $20, or the jugs for $12 until 10pm. You can follow The Glass Den’s Facebook page to keep updated.

Coburg really has itself a winner here. Located parallel to Bell Street (near the intersection with Sydney Road) and right near the Moreland Council offices, The Glass Den is easy to get to with public transport. The #19 tram stops a short walk away, along with buses 903, 527 and 513. The closest train station is Coburg. There are car parks nearby (though possibly ticketed, I’m not too sure as I use public transport to visit that area) or you can try your luck in Elm Grove, which has a few spots just off Bell Street. When you’re done with dining, take a little walk around the Pentridge site or up to Coburg Lake.

You can view The Glass Den’s menu online or follow them on Facebook to keep up with news. I’m tempted by everything vegan on the menu, so I don’t think it will be too long before I go back  😉

The Glass Den

15 Urquhart Street

Coburg

http://www.theglassden.com.au/

 

The Glass Den Coburg

Glass Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

24

Lunch At Wild Timor Coffee Co. Cafe In Coburg

Wild Timor Coffee Co

A few weeks ago a fellow vegan mentioned vegan options at Wild Timor Coffee Co’s cafe on Sydney Road. I’m often around that area and as today was officially crowned My Blog Research Day (by me, cos Husband and the kids are out) I decided to head to Wild Timor Cafe for lunch.

The space inside is nice and light, not crowded, not loud, just right. There was a high chair at a table and as a parent I found it quite roomy. I really liked the pictures on the wall, unfortunately I didn’t get a photo as people were sitting at the tables there. The sign out the front on the bike said the court yard was open, but I only read the sign on my way out!

Wild Timor Coffee Co. has an interesting story behind it. I don’t want to get it wrong here, so I’m just going to copy-paste from http://www.wildtimorcoffee.com/phone/our-story.html

In early 2012, four Australian soldiers were sent as part of a peace keeping force to help with the stabilisation of East Timor as part of a long standing friendship between Australia and East Timor which spans back to World War 2.

A 200 year old discovery

After 30 years of neglect during Indonesian rule, coffee that was originally planted by the Portuguese some 200 years ago, was discovered by peace keepers in remote villages, as they patrolled the area, striving to ensure that it remain trouble free and searching for militia hell-bent on destruction.

Unique, wild and organic

The now ‘wild’ coffee that grows in the mountain regions of Maubisse and Aileu is thriving. The former soldiers have become loyal friends of the farmers who once fled their crops, are now tending to the coffee.

Fair, equitable profit for Timor Leste

They have now returned with coffee from the same plants for everyone to enjoy and also to ensure that their friends in Timor Leste are finally beginning to enjoy the fruits of their struggle for independence and are receiving a fair and equitable price for their product.

The menu contains veg*n and non-veg*n options and there are sweets available at the ordering counter. There was a vegan carrot cake and a biscuit if I recall correctly. Gluten free options are available too.

As for food, in my usual haste I forgot to take proper note of the vegan options on the menu (which I can’t find online) but the friendly member of staff said she could help me out. In the end I went for the veggie burger ($12) which had a nice lemon tahini sauce and kale that for me was spot on (I prefer my kale the way you see it in the photo). I was expecting your typical looking veggie burger so I was pleased to see it looked more like a beetroot burger. I was also glad to receive four paper napkins because I needed every single one, but I’m not the most elegant of diners!

Wild Timor Coffee Co

The cafe also has a number of Wild Timor products available for purchase. I’ve also heard good reviews of the coffee they make at Wild Timor and it’s times like these I kinda wish I was a coffee drinker (I know I know, I live in Melbourne and I don’t drink coffee). So I do apologise for not being able to provide a coffee review!

Wild Timor is a welcome addition to the Coburg end of Sydney Road. I’d love to try some vegan (or veganised) Timorese food, so if you ever hear of Wild Timor offering vegan versions of their Timorese specialties, you must leave me a comment at once! Also, check out this article from The Age on Wild Timor.

Wild Timor Coffee Co

Wild Timor Coffee Co

Wild Timor Coffee Co. (and the cafe)
282 Sydney Road, Coburg

http://www.wildtimorcoffee.com

http://www.facebook.com/wildtimorcoffee

Wild Timor Coffee on Urbanspoon

11

A Return To True North in Coburg

True North Cafe Coburg

I met up with Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe yesterday at True North in Coburg. I pretty much have a plan to try as many of the vegan options as quickly as possible, in case they change the menu. Because my Reuben sandwich there was so good, I don’t want to risk missing out on anything!

This time I ordered the veganisable chorizo and haloumi Hot Poppy. I asked what the vegan haloumi alternative was and I was shown a tub of what looked like sliced Cheezly (unless another vegan cheese comes in those Cheezly-shaped tubes?). Anyway, works for me! This was another great sandwich, and the chorizo may have been by Redwood as I’ve bought the Redwood chorizo before and this seemed exactly the same. Johanna ordered the Reuben and both our sandwiches had a small handful of corn chips on the side. Interior shot:

True North Cafe Coburg

I wasn’t sure whether to update my first True North post with this second sandwich, or leave it for the next What I Ate, but then I decided this pumpkin was so awesome that it needed a place of its own. Because IT’S GOT WHAT IT TAKES!

True North Cafe Coburg

Is there any meal you recommend I try next? How about sweets? And the big one: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?!

True North

2A Munro Street

Coburg

http://www.truenortharcher.com/

https://www.facebook.com/truenorth3058