3

Lunch At Dosa Plaza In Preston

HEADS UP: a couple of years ago there were dishes at Dosa Plaza being marked vegan, or staff insisting were vegan, but contained dairy. There were apparently some serious incidents involving allergy. I wasn’t aware of this when I hit publish ten minutes ago but have done a quick search in a Facebook group now. I did ask the Dosa Plaza staff to confirm vegan items and honestly, from the food I ate it didn’t seem not-vegan. It is possible that in the last two years, Dosa Plaza have taken more care with vegan foods. I hope this is the case… I have just learned that lentil balls/donuts often contain cheese and I ordered these (shown below) as they were marked vegan and I was told they’re vegan and don’t contain dairy. But I can’t offer any confident confirmation at this point.

 

I love dosa so it’s a bit embarrassing that I’ve only just been to Dosa Plaza in Preston, despite reading about it on Where’s the Beef? blog back in March 2017. I got to choose the Sunday lunch venue for our group of four, so Dosa Plaza it was.

Dosa Plaza is located on the pointy corner of High Street and Plenty Road and we parked in the nearby supermarket carpark. Once inside, we were a little overwhelmed by the menu which has a bajillion options, either vegetarian or clearly marked vegan. There are gluten free options too. The menu itself is an experience and takes a fair bit of time to work through (and exclaim over), with different sections such as Italo (yes, it’s pasta), Mumbai chaat, Tandoor & Curries, Sizzler and more.

The ordering system involves being given a little piece of notepaper to fill in, listing the menu item number and the quantity you want. So, to start with we got a serve of the onion bhaji:

I also chose the Pani puri, which are served with spiced potatoes, tamarind chutney and a mint dressing:

Our third entree was the Sambar vada (‘lentil donut dipped in lentil soup containing fine carrots, and garnished with coriander leaves’):

There was also a potato masala dosa on our table, which to our surprise was bigger than we anticipated so I added the fork in to give you an idea of size. Pretty sure the dosa I’ve had to date haven’t been this big!

My sister ordered the Mysore masala dosa (‘dosa stuffed with onion, tomato, capsicum and mint tomato chutney with tempered mashed potatoes’). I screwed up the focus on this photo sorry:

I took a leaf from the Where’s the Beef? book and ordered the spring roll dosa. Yes, this works! It had a really nice stir-fry taste to it. Photo at the top.

Another accompaniment we got was described as deep fried bread which I believe is M14 on the menu, but it doesn’t appear online:

I’m glad I finally tried Dosa Plaza. It’s nothing flash, but the food is good and nobody kicked us out even though we lingered for a bit after lunch (though only a few tables were occupied). We were stuffed, and all enjoyed our meals, two of which were vegetarian and got the nod of approval from those who ordered.

My advice would be to set aside the time to go through the menu. Seriously, if you look at the menu online I’m sure you’ll understand the overwhelm element. Still, it’s also fun looking at the different options such as the fusion dishes (American chop suey!). I believe only one dessert option is vegan, and that’s a sweet dosa, but as there was cake back at home I didn’t order it.

I think Dosa Plaza is definitely worth a return visit, even if only to try the Schezwan Sizzler which you can see on the Where’s the Beef? blog post!

Dosa Plaza are located in a few suburbs as well as Brisbane, Adelaide and New Zealand. Check the website to find what’s closest to you. And check out the menu online too, but be warned there’s a lot of it with little sub-menus!

http://www.dosaplaza.com.au/

5

Lunch At Veggie On Board In Hawthorn

The first thing I do when I have an appointment is look up vegan food options in the area. I was in Hawthorn today and a few steps away from Veggie On Board. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of it before, there are loads of places I file away in my memory as soon as I hear of them, then I forget.

My son and I chose some sides from the menu, rather than bigger meals. They were all reasonably priced, around the $4 to $5 mark I think. First up, the popcorn mock chicken (son’s choice). This was good in that plain salty way:

Next, the (I think) deep fried bean curd which ended up being regular tofu deep fried. Which isn’t a problem but I thought it would be something else. No matter, it was still nice with the sauce and as my son has gone off tofu, I was glad to see him digging in to this:

I got the mock bbq pork mini burger. This was excellent, even if I did manage to eat all the filling in the first bite. I’d go back just for this:

And I’d also go back for this sesame sticky rice filled with mushroom. Absolutely delicious:

Of course I forgot to take a photo of the outside as usual, I was babbling on to my son about how much I enjoyed that meal and then lamenting that I’m never in this part of Melbourne.

Veggie on Board is only a few minutes walk from Glenferrie train station so at least it’s easy for me to get back to. What a gem this place is, with the vegan options clearly marked (otherwise the food is vegetarian) and not too expensive either.

Veggie On Board

397 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

https://www.facebook.com/veggieonboardmelbourne/

2

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

Preston

http://www.facebook.com/themerriclan/

 

 

5

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

Preston

http://www.facebook.com/themerriclan/

 

2

Quick Lunch at Huong Viet in Footscray

Huong Viet is a recent newcomer to the veg*n restaurant scene and it’s great to see another ‘vegan’ sign at restaurants in Footscray!

This will be a short review because I’ve only been to Huong Viet once when passing through Footscray. I took a detour so I could have some lunch here, after seeing good reviews on Facebook and pictures of awesome Vietnamese food. Usually I like to visit a place at least twice before blogging, but I won’t be in Footscray again for a while.

I love lemongrass tofu, so that stood out for me. I anticipated it would be exactly what you see, which is a more dry dish, which is fine by me. I got some rice on the side and ended up taking half the tofu home because it was a very big serve.

This was beautifully flavoured and I was so glad to have leftovers the next day. I think this would make a fantastic option for a share dish.

Service was very friendly and if I were around Footscray often, I’d be going back to try more of the menu. I can’t remember what I paid, but the serving was generous and it wasn’t expensive.

Huong Viet

36a Leeds Street

Footscray

http://www.facebook.com/huongviet.vego/