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Return Visits To Zagame’s

My first visit to Zagame’s in Reservoir was a bit of an accident. I’d purchased one of those Cudo discount vouchers but hadn’t read the fine print about which days the voucher was valid for. No problem, we went anyway and I was very impressed with the new vegan menu. Zagame’s is one of those big family restaurant bistro places that typically, perhaps now in days gone by, were most vegan unfriendly with so-so vegetarian options too.

Not so with Zagame’s. I enjoyed that first dinner so much that when I found myself in Caulfield for a job one day, I was thrilled to see I was around the corner from Zagame’s Caulfield. The menu is the same at the different locations.

So, at Caulfield I decided to go for two entrees. First, the crispy corn and zucchini fritters with guacamole, lime and soya emulsion ($14, not marked as GF). I loved these. Fritters done perfectly! In fact, I loved them so much that when we went back to Zagame’s in Reservoir last week with our voucher, I ordered them again:

At Caulfield, I also got the cauliflower salad (shwarma maybe?), I don’t recall the exact title but it’s not on the menu now and seems to have been replaced with spring rolls. I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower but I did enjoy this:

Back over to Resi. I was already full from the corn fritters and couldn’t finish this potati rosti with caponata ($22). I did my best because it was another good meal. The rosti was nice and crisp in parts, and the caponata was just right. A dish well done:

The only little let down was when I ordered the orange poppy seed cake at Caulfield. This came out with two warm orange poppy seed muffins on the plate and a kind of cream. The muffins were okay if you wanted muffins, but I wanted a nice piece of cake!

The service has been excellent each time. Last week my main hadn’t come out when the rest of the family got their meals and I had two wait staff come and ask me about it and chase it up. It wasn’t a big wait, only a few minutes but in those few minutes the staff were really on the ball.

Don’t let the whole family restaurant thing turn you off. Sure, it’s noisy (but so are other places that aren’t for families) and has the gambling/gaming areas and the big tv screens with bingo or whatever. But it was relatively quiet when we went and there were tables further away from the noisier areas. If you’re invited to a dinner there, don’t think gahhhhh family restaurant! The menu is pretty good and deserves a look.

 

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Dinner At Zagame’s In Reservoir

Zagame’s is a family friendly bistro/restaurant and not the kind of place you might expect to introduce a decent vegan menu. But they’ve done just that and the vegan options are quite impressive.

Having heard about the new menu through local vegan groups, I told the family that’s where we were heading for our next meal out. Now that my kids are older, we don’t need to visit the kid friendly eating places as much but I appreciate the thought Zagame’s put in to making it fun and appealing for kids. There’s a big play area and the staff make it a priority to bring out the kids’ meals with the starters, so children don’t have to wait too long for their food. We visited today (a Sunday) and it was noisy with kids running around but that’s what you need to expect from such a kid friendly venue. I noticed staff interacting well with the kids who were running about.

There is however the gambling/gaming area attached to the restaurant and one tv on the wall had betting game results, with another showing the main channels (nightly news in our case). So keep that in mind if that’s something you want to avoid.

Okay, so the vegan menu is actually pretty good, though there are only three gluten free vegan options and unfortunately no GF vegan dessert. I hope that changes. There’s even a vegan kids menu. I think it’s a great example of the times changin’ when a chain restaurant like Zagame’s introduce vegan meals that aren’t… well, crap. You know what I mean, veggie stacks and fruit salad. The Zagame’s menu has polenta fries, a burger with cashew cheese, and orange poppy seed cake. You can find the menu at http://zagames.com.au/reservoir/  (the menu is the same at the other locations).

For my starter, I got the polenta fries (also GF, $11). They were nice, like regular polenta fries but not something I ever make at home so I treated myself. I wouldn’t get them again unless it was to share with a group, as they were very filling. The sauce is house made:

I had a tough time deciding on a main. The spiced Moroccan bean ragout (not marked GF possibly due to the bread it’s served with) sounded good, but I ended up with the beetroot burger ($16). This was a tasty beetroot patty, cashew nut cheese, onion jam, lettuce, tomato, red onion in a beetroot bun and served with a lot of chips. It rivals burgers you can get at other vegan/vegan option places:

Despite the full stomach, I ordered the churros with chocolate sauce ($10) as blog research. These were just okay, though I’m very fussy about churros. The other dessert option was the orange poppy seed cake so I might try that next time:

Check out the menu and you’ll see that a fair bit of thought that has gone in to the vegan options. I confess to being quite surprised (but pleasantly so) that this style of restaurant would come up with some decent vegan options, and kids vegan options too. I don’t usually bank on bistro style places even knowing that cashew cheese is a thing, so hats off to Zagame’s for making a good effort. Hopefully they’ll introduce more options, or at least a dessert, for the vegan-GF folks.

Zagame’s is also located in Caulfield, Berwick, Ballarat and Boronia.

Living Social by Cudo currently has a discount coupon deal for Zagame’s: $60 value for $30. Read the fine print! You can find this discount here at Living Social.