Before becoming vegan, I must admit that eggs were present whenever I would order a breakfast out in Melbourne. When I decided to depart ways with eating eggs, I also discovered so many options where a main meal, particularly breakfast, could be served with tofu. A new culinary world opened up to me, one that was not only tasty and fulfilling but cruelty-free at the same time.
Tofu is not only packed in protein, calcium and iron, it’s a filling choice for all hungry travellers. Every main meal is covered by at least one eating establishment in Melbourne, and the dilemma to choose between breakfast, lunch or dinner for a tofu dish is a regular one for me.
In this month’s Vegan Life Magazine, tofu is on the menu from tips on prepping tofu at home to a stack of yummy tofu recipes to try. As much as I love to cook, I am a busy traveller who does enjoy the occasional day off from kitchen duties.
When I do have a day off, I love heading to these spots in Melbourne where I can order an amazing tofu dish, along with a few extras in between of course! In the spirit of tofu, here are my top spots around Melbourne that account for each main meal of the day.
Breakfast at Waratah Organics: Scrambled Tofu
How better way to start the day than with a hearty serve of scrambled tofu. I’ve travelled to a lot of places through Melbourne for scrambled tofu, though one of my favourites happens to be quite close to home and one I experienced recently. For a filling scrambled tofu breakfast, I recommend the drive out to Waratah Organics in Ferntree Gully. Not only can you order the scrambled tofu for breakfast, you can also enjoy a trek through nature up the 1000 Steps which happens to be within walking distance.
Waratah Organics trades in health and happiness, so all vegetarian and vegan meals are made onsite from certified organic ingredient sourced from local farmers seasonally. My suggestion for a warming cooked breakfast is the scrambled tofu served on a bed of toasty sourdough bread and complemented by fresh veggies such as cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and a side of homemade tomato relish. I also recommend the chai latte, made from Byron Chai and almond milk. If you prefer a cooler beverage, then Waratah Organics’ fresh juice and smoothie menu has you well covered.
Waratah Organics 1224 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully Victoria 3156 Victoria. Phone: 03 8719 5982.
Lunch at A Caterpillar’s Dream: Tofu Benedict
Lunch is one of my favourite meals of the day. Case in point – you can break the rules by blinding the boundaries between breakfast and lunch! Caterpillar’s Dream is one of my favourite places to do this and with good reason. They serve breakfast until 3pm and they serve an incredible Tofu Benedict. The dish involves wobbly silken tofu cubes sitting on top a toasted English muffin, crumbed tomato cheeks and wilted spinach. The proof for this dish is in the veganised Hollandaise sauce; it exceeds expectation and challenges any traditional recipe. I like to enjoy mine with a brewing pot of roasted rice tea on the side then a cheeky petit four from the dessert cabinet afterwards. There’s no need to rush with this meal. I suggest taking it low and lazy so the meal can run its course at a slow pace.
A Caterpillar’s Dream 4/26 Princess Street Kew Victoria 3101. Phone 03 9939 6133.
A fun update! Since this blog post went live, A Caterpillar's Dream has undergone a metamorphosis. A Caterpillar's Dream has now re-opened as V Series. My beloved Tofu Benedict is still on the menu along with lots of my favourite sweet treats!
Dinner at The Cornish Arms: Vegan Fisherman’s Basket
The Cornish Arms in Brunswick serves up one of the most extensive vegan pub menus in Melbourne and the choices range from traditional pub meals to contemporary, seasonal listings. I enjoy my time coming here as I know I can enjoy some of my pub food favourites as vegan options. My stand-out choice that I have gone back to again and again is the Tofu Fish and Chips. Though, in recent times, the dish has been transformed into a vegan Fisherman’s Basket to include vegan calamari and vegan crumbed prawns.
The “fish” is made from bean curd wrapped in nori and fried in a beer batter. Even though this dish does come with the customary pub-food inclusions – chips and salad – you can’t pass the temptation for a serve of eggplant chips from the snacks menu. Your belt buckle may bust, though your tastebuds will thank you for it. Have it served up with a pint of Cooper’s Pale Ale, one of my favourite Australian vegan beers. If you somehow end up having room after this feast, then ask for the day’s vegan cheesecake flavour from the specials board. If you’re lucky, you may just score the peanut butter flavour. It’s a dessert that doesn’t disappoint. Or, this whole pub meal for that matter.
The Cornish Arms 163 Sydney Road Brunswick Victoria Phone: 03 9380 8383.
After journeying around Melbourne for tofu, why not try making a dish for yourself? Gather more inspiration from Issue 8 of Vegan Life Magazine that’s out now. Subscription and subscription packages can be purchased too.
Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free digital copy of Issue 8 of Vegan Life Magazine.