Saturday, 6 April 2013

Vegie Bar Fitzroy - I Like Carrots

There is no secret that I like to eat animal flesh often. A quantity of rare meat whenever I can source it placates me in the same way cocaine gives a high to an addict. If I wasn't trying to live outside of my comfort zone which is predicated by writing this blog, I really doubt that I would have turned up at Vegie Bar in Fitzroy for a meal. Fortunately for me this blog is indeed a vehicle for me to expand my appreciation for different things that others are passionate about and effectively gives me a reason to tell a good tale.

The cool underbelly of Fitzroy is on display at this eatery which is not only seemingly quite popular but has been an stalwart for around 20 years on Brunswick Street. High ceilings with fans, communal tables and a buzz that mimics the activity of Flinders Street Station certainly transports you into another world where the smell of garlic is as pungent as a few of the hipsters that were dining outside on the street. We were informed that a small freestanding table was available for us to eat at in the back courtyard and we could not refuse such a glorious offer being it was a perfect day weather-wise. It is a small leafy space that can hold about 15 people comfortably and is a virtual oasis away from the hive of activity inside.

Although beer was available for sale, I opted for the "Berry Blast" which is a freshly squeezed juice ($6.50) made up of raspberries, blackberries, banana and apple juice. This was a good tasty blend and did motivate me to visit the Queen Victoria Market soon so that I could purchase my own quantity of fruit and prepare a concoction like this at home. It would sure beat the poor coffee that I usually have but for the time being I was enjoying my fruit sensation however became sullen that I have become a bit lazy and depend on places like Vegie Bar to prepare modest quenchers like this for me.

The menu is very comprehensive and I was surprised at what was available. My eyes were drawn to the Chickpea Dahl ($7.90) which included a serving of Malaysian flat bread serviced with a lentil and potato dahl. This was really nice and the amount of flat bread that accompanied the dish was the perfect amount to wipe the cup of dahl dry. The lentils had a nice texture and I enjoyed scooping this up and effectively comparing and contrasting it with the dodgy option that I recently had at the takeaway Indian "restaurant" in Sydney but that is a story for another time.

Despite wanting to try my luck with the "Raw Taco" or the "Mexican Burrito", I ordered the "Raw Living Stack" ($13.50) as a main, mainly because of the name of the dish. This turned out to be a castle of crispness, where a marinated mushroom is effectively the foundation of a tower of brightly coloured cashew ricotta, avocado, basil pesto, baby spinach, grated carrot, squash, zucchini and a sliced tomato. A tomato and beetroot purée complimented this stack and the smattering of dehydrated herbed tomato, raw parmesan and kale chips provided a bit of a salty kick.

Service was playful and cheery. Various members of the team were happy to keep replacing the carafes of water (after walking fromt the southside I was very parched) and the only awkward moment was when the food was delivered and there were no utensils on the table for us to use. However this was just a minor hiccup that was quickly fixed. I probably had a more enjoyable time since I was able to languish in the courtyard like a snake on a warm rock as the restaurant itself seemed to be a tad on the loud side, especially around the communal tables. There is a bit of a queue to pay the bill but this can be avoided if you leave cash on the table. In the end I was pleasantly surprised by this healthy and fun place where I want to return just to select other dishes that are adorned with more cashew ricotta. What a great taste! It also helps that you are within crawling distance to Naked for Satan and Black Pearl, so there is additional motivation for me at least to visit the area again soon.

Vegie Bar, Fitzroy, Brunswick Street

Vegie Bar
380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9417 6935
My Rating: 14/20
Service: 3.25/5
Ambiance: 3.50/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3.25/5

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of this post, 87% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like Vegie Bar.

Vegie Bar on Urbanspoon