Small Axe Kitchen has very recently opened up on Victoria Street in Brunswick, right near Sydney Road. I saw a couple of positive reviews from vegans and photos that looked pretty good so on my next Sydney Road grocery shopping trip, I checked it out.
Inspired by the flavours of Sicily, the menu certainly has some good looking vegan options and it took me a while to work out what I’d get. It was down to two dishes so I went with my “when in doubt get the eggplant” strategy. Works every time! This is the smokey eggplant with pomegranate, almond hummus and tahini mayo, served with a flatbread ($18.50, can be made gluten free on request). In a word, this was excellent. The eggplant was perfectly done and there was a decent amount of it too:
The internal battle I’d had was between the eggplant and the chestnut rice pudding ($15.50, gluten free), so I got this on my next visit. Another very good dish, not overwhelmingly sweet but just right– I’m the sort of person who always reduces the amount of sugar in a recipe so this pudding, while sweet, wasn’t toooo sweet for me. I loved the broken nuts, fennel pollen, prunes and figs together and sat there thinking up a version to try at home:
On my third visit I went with the soft polenta with broad beans, peas, nettle, mint and lemon ($17.50, gluten free). I rarely have polenta and prefer to have an expert make it for me (in other words my own efforts usually stink) and this was another pretty good dish. Lots of peas and beans with a nice bite to them:
It’s nice and light inside and there’s an outdoor seating area which can also be covered. There’s a room out the back which I didn’t check out but it looks good for a private function. Staff are really helpful and there was bit of a wait on my third visit, thanks to a big queue ordering takeaway coffees but staff were apologetic and got to me as soon as they could. So no problem there and my food came out quickly (like both times before).
Fitzroy is a bit of a further hike for me and that’s where I used to go to get some good vegan fare but with the vegan options in Brunswick/Coburg, I’m more than satisfied staying local. Like I’ve said before on the blog, it’s fantastic having more vegan options around Sydney Road but these options from Small Axe Kitchen aren’t hastily put together. They’re well planned and presented, showing that Small Axe Kitchen aim to provide great meals for all customers with different diet preferences and requirements. Another great addition to the Sydney Road area!
Small Axe Kitchen
281 Victoria Street, Brunswick
Catch the Sydney Road #19 tram or the 508 bus (which stops right at the door)