A vegan girl is spoiled for choice when it comes to dining on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. I’ve been coming to Fitzroy for as long as I can remember and for myriad reasons such as checking out local bands, taking in a local artist’s exhibition or some simple retail therapy. In recent years, it’s the food that’s been reeling me in to the area and Yong Green Food is one such destination that’s captivated me.
Sustainability is key at Yong Green Food and has remained at the core of its business since opening its doors. From the reclaimed timber tabletops to delicious food that “doesn’t sacrifice lives” and the homely buzz of a packed Saturday night, it’s no surprise that this sustainability appeals to diners too. Yong’s homeliness is fashioned further by a separate kitchenette located at the front of the premises; a beating heart of this vegetarian establishment.
When a long menu is over-pouring with vegan options ordering a full three course meal plus drinks is a must. For starters, a steaming bamboo basket of homemade tofu veggie kimchi gyoza is a perfect choice. They’re plump and delightfully wobbly, exuding a zing when dipped in a side of chilli soy sauce. These zingy gyoza complement my glass of lime mint crush wonderfully, the mint soothing my tongue from any unnecessary heat from the chilli. This medicinal-like quality to the menu is realised early and I know I’m going to be buzzing by the end of the meal.
Not only is the food fulfilling, it’s fast and we’re met by our mains with efficient speed. My macro dragon bowl is roaring with flavours and textures – from chopped sautéed mushrooms to marinated purple cabbage, gently fried organic tempeh chunks and slippery seaweed that’s not overpowering on the sea aspect. It’s a grand affair atop a bed of biodynamic brown rice, tailed off by a small basin of lemon tahini cream and bowl of comforting miso soup. This main would be, well and truly, an ample meal on its own but I don’t stop there. There’s a dessert menu to explore; my eyes and fingers wander over the choices available.
I simply can’t step past the tiramisu – one of my all-time favourite desserts. Layers of raw biscuit have been delicately soaked in organic spiced rum and espresso, sandwiched by a rich smearing of coconut butter flavoured by agave, cashews and Brazil nuts and dusted by cacao powder. My portion resembles the spitting image of the traditional variety and I become slightly melancholic when I swallow the last mouthful. At least I have my glass of macca chai, lightly sweetened by agave, to keep my sweet affair lingering a little longer; a sign that I’ll just have to come back another night and do this all over again.
Get your buzzing dose of sustainability at Yong Green Food, 421-423 Brunswick Street Fitzroy Victoria 3065. Phone: 03 9417 3338. Open for lunch Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays, open for dinner Tuesdays to Sundays.