This restaurant is not Melbourne's flashiest or most prestigious but it still makes for a special night out. Shakahari has been preparing thoughtful, nourishing, Asia-inspired vegetarian food for over two decades and has slowly but surely won our devotion.
To begin, a plate of their signature avocado rolls is a must. Inside the crispy tempura batter is not just buttery avocado, but also velvety eggplant and sweet capsicum. Use your piece to scoop up as much tangy herbed sauce as you can!
From there, take your pick. If you're not very hungry, maybe you'd just like another entree. Of the mains, the Satay Legend is my all-time favourite but really, we've loved every meal we've tried here.
If you skipped the bird-watching and have been spending money all day, the $50 you pocketed this morning is probably now no more than loose change. But don't balk at the $20 mains - dinner is on Michael! Since we've managed to steer him away from the bookshops, he's spent the least of all of us today.
We might just have time to squeeze in dessert before our twelve hours are up. I could split a pudding here with you (they're rather good); or, if you've never been there before, we have to walk through Brunetti - you just won't believe it! Otherwise we could get a scoop of heaven from one of the many gelaterias on Lygon St before we walk you back to the tram stop. That's the conundrum in Melbourne - whatever you're into, there's more than one way to get into it.