Disco Beans in Preston came back on my radar thanks to a recent discussion in one of the local vegan communities. It was a good reminder for me to go and check it out, something I’d been meaning to do in, oooh, forever. I love Japanese food though I haven’t had all that much in my vegan years, apart from the usual suspects like gyoza, tofu don and fresh avocado cucumber rolls.
When I checked out the menu online I was surprised to see the opening hours extend to breakfast. From Tuesday to Sunday, Disco Beans is open from 8am to 4:00pm for breakfast and lunch, then reopens for dinner from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Sweet!
The inside is bright and cheery, with a mix of colourful artwork, knick knacks and goods for sale including a small rack of clothing, pins, cards, ceramics and more. It’s not huge and I’m not sure if there are additional seating areas but we got a table without a problem at 5:30 on a Sunday. A few more diners came in after us, and others to pick up orders. There’s a couch near the counter for people to wait for their take-away meals to be prepared.
The menu has a lot of vegan, or vegan-option meals. We got the pan fried tofu and vegetable gyoza ($10.5). A good start! Photo up the top there.
It’s always a bit tricky working out what to get for the kids but fried mock chicken is usually a safe bet. I wondered if the mock chicken would be the same as the one used at other vegan/vegetarian restaurants with a mock chicken dish, and I suspect I was correct. The mock fried chicken ($16.50) was served on top of mixed grain rice, with vegan mayo and salad:
I ordered the lemongrass udon noodle ($14.50) which came with mushroom, silken tofu, salad greens and nori. The lemongrass broth was lovely and I enjoyed it:
You know how when you see something on a menu that says deep fried potato croquette and you’re like THAT’S IT SAY NO MORE and you decide to get it before reading the rest of the description? That’s what we did. Deep fried potato croquette with sweet rich flavour sauce, you get two on the plate for $8.50. These were nice and crispy crunchy, though the potato wasn’t heavily flavoured. They were nice with the accompanying sauce:
My son Arthur has always wanted to try okonomiyaki so we ordered the vegan option ($14.50, also listed as gluten free). The menu said it was made with grains, green onion, ginger and vegetables topped with homemade vegan mayo and sweet okonomiyaki sauce. The grains appeared to be the same as the grain rice mixed use for the fried chicken don and other dishes served on rice, making this seem more a rice pancake than the hefty cabbagey versions many may be more familiar with. It worked well though with the sauce and nori strips for a little extra punch:
By this stage we were pretty full but left room for dessert. Arthur got the black bean brownie (not sure of the price as it was displayed on the counter and not an item the printed menu). We shared this and it was beautifully soft and fudgy without a single hint of beanyness:
If I see green tea-anything I’m getting it, so I got the green tea cake (not sure of the price for this either). Arthur and I really liked this and it was a great ending to a really nice dinner:
Service was very friendly and our orders came out quickly. There’s so much more on the menu I’d love to try, especially for breakfast and lunch. I definitely see a few return visits in my future. Check out the menu online.
The designated driver for the evening dropped us off and picked us up so I don’t know anything about the parking situation, except that there’s no parking right out the front on busy Plenty Road. Tram #86 stops right outside the door though, which is super handy.
Here are some past reviews from fellow Melbourne veg*n bloggers: The Good Hearted (2014), In The Mood For Noodles (2010a and 2010b), Where’s The Beef? (2011a and 2011b), Vegan About Town (2010a and 2010b), and Ballroom Blintz (2010).
539 Plenty Road
Preston (it used to be in Northcote)