Update September 18th 2015: Toastie Temple is no longer operating at Preston Market but they’re available for catering and will also pop up around the place! Please keep an eye on Toastie Temple’s Facebook page for updates.
Preston Market is a place I visit every now and then for cheap fresh produce, but I’ve always wished there was a greater variety of vegan lunch options there. Market trips were always followed by heading off to lunch somewhere else most times. Well folks, there were a lot of fist pumps around here this week when I read about Toastie Temple, a new pop-up vegan, gluten-free and organic food stall right there in Preston Market from the creators of Little Earth Bakery, the makers of most excellent gluten free breads. Yay!
PAM Lane (Preston Artist Market) has just been launched by the team behind Fitzroy’s Rose Street Market. The space is designed to feature independent and small business makers, designers and artists–of course that rightfully includes food! Goods are made and sold on site and are available during the Preston Market‘s opening hours on Wednesday to Saturday. Officially launched just this month, there are over twenty spaces available for short, mid-term and long-term leases.
Toastie Temple has a colourful setup, though once the toasties were on the grill plate and smelling awesome, I thought I could have just followed my nose instead of looking for signs!
Toastie Temple serves up the most delicious vegan, organic and gluten free toasties, using the Little Earth Bakery breads and melting cheese by Damona Divine Cow Non-Dairy Cheeses. The quality and flavour of the ingredients are paramount, with the full flavoured gluten free breads also being sugar free and yeast free as well as packing a nutritional punch. Everything is made locally by hand using quality organic grass roots products which is a winner for me, not only because I know the ingredients are top notch, but also because my money stays local and supports small business.
All toasties are $5 and the filling options include tomato and cheese with pesto on rice and arame bread; grilled eggplant, roast capsicum, olive tapenade with sundried tomato mozarella on sweet potato and chia bread, and the field mushroom, baby spinach, brie and cranberry sauce on pumpkin and amaranth bread. How ace does all that sound?! I ordered the grilled eggplant toastie and it was toasted to perfection with those lovely little brown bits of melty cheese and bread. I also got to try the field mushroom toastie, shown in the bottom right of the topmost photo.
The size of the toastie is smaller than your standard slice of bread but this is far from a plain old loaf of bread from the supermarket– these handmade supercharged breads are really in a league of their own and are among the nicest gluten free breads I’ve tried. The Damona Divine non-dairy cheese is also made locally from quality ingredients.
Toastie Temple’s owner-operator Rishi is open and responsive to customer feedback and a deluxe size toastie will be available for those wanting a larger size (the price for these will be higher). There are also plans to introduce some extras to the menu like kale chips, cheesy bites and new toastie combos and the possibility of having a regular gluten bread in the future.
When I arrived there was a group of vegans there trying out the toasties. I love how word gets around in vegan town and people head straight for a new vegan business:
Toastie Temple is currently the only store to sell ready-to-drink Tonantzin hot chocolate. Also produced locally from quality ingredients, Tonantzin is easily the best hot chocolate I’ve tried. Look at the photo below and see how thick it is. THAT is what you drink. No mixing with milk to get the thin hot chocolate most people are familiar with. I got a cup for $3.50 and will definitely be buying it again wherever I see it:
As Melbourne continues to increase its number of vegan eateries or food options in non-vegan cafes and restaurants, I’m really happy to see that this is happening in suburbs further away from the well known vegan-friendly areas like Fitzroy, Northcote and Brunswick. I’ve noticed the change in Coburg over the past few years, so it’s great to see Preston, and other areas, joining in the fun.
Toastie Temple will be at World Vegan Day Melbourne this year so if you can’t make it to Preston but plan on heading to WVD, you know who to look for!
PAM Lane is a little tricky to find. I started at Preston train station then walked to the Aegean Foods store you see from the station carpark (on the market side). PAM Lane is right near there.