Melbourne’s newest shopping precinct Emporium is the home of Supercharger – a power centre for plant-based eating. Not only does Supercharger sell a banquet of bowl-based meals to choose from, this vegan cornerstone brings life to an otherwise mundane food-court dining experience.
Supercharger is located on Level 3 of Emporium, hugging a row of cafeteria-style benches where hungry visitors can sit and refuel. Supercharger acts like a takeaway counter and a sense of urgency can be experienced when trying to decide what to order. Except, behind a glass partition, there’s not a skerrick of fast-food to be found. Instead, there are rows of vessels filled with vegan power foods – vegetables, pulses, tofu and tempeh, black sesame seeds, nutritious stocks and smashes. Hungry hoards can build a bowl from scratch from the vast amount of delicious choices available. Those who are less inclined to make too many decisions can choose one of four complete meals to order.
I decide to get my week off to a powering start and choose the Endurance complete meal option. Endurance is three bowls of vegan power food that provides exactly that. Within the space of about five to ten minutes, I’m served a large meal tray mounted by three bowls that have been built with a dizzying amount of ingredients and all layered in sequence. I also have confidence knowing that these complete meals have been compiled for Supercharger by a nutritionist and dietician.
My main bowl is filled with a “base” of steamed white basmati rice and mashed potato, a “smash” of sweet potato with tamari, “ferment” of cauliflower peppered with black sesame seeds, and a “raw” layer of broccoli flowerettes with a ginger dressing all draped in a “sauce” of spicy kale puree. Two remaining side bowls complement the nutritional prowess of this meal – a bowl of “protein” in the form of tofu simmering in a tom yum broth and a “simmer” bowl of split peas, carrot, curry leaf and coconut kardi.
There’s no doubt that I am benefiting from the carbs, proteins and anti-oxidants all packed into these bowls, though the spiciness – at times – takes too much of a front seat. Still, it's comforting to have a jar of lemongrass and ginger water infusion to help me through those moments; a refreshing infusion that I can see being sipped numerous times once summer arrives.
To top my Endurance off, there’s a raw passionfruit “cheesecake”; layers of passionfruit pulp, soaked chia seeds and sweet cashew cheese. This dessert, among others, is prepared fresh by Raw Cake by Evelyn Reid and it’s the perfect partnership for Supercharger and customers alike. Not only can I devour one of the healthiest, most filling and empowering meals I’ve experienced for lunch, I can top it off with an equally healthy sweet treat if a craving decides to emerge.
Empower your body and mind at Supercharger, Level 3, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000. Phone 03 9020 4334.