Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 23, 2007: Bowl of Soul

Michael and I ventured out to Port Melbourne for the first time on Friday night with the purpose of eating at Bowl of Soul. I spotted this cafe on More To Love Vegan quite some time ago, and I was rather psyched about the possibility of a veggie BLT. As a lover of burgers I was overwhelmed with the choice here - they were based on tofu, lentils, beans, and faux meats from beef through to prawns! Other toppings and sauces are well chosen to suit the burger themes, from Mexican to satay. There's also some soup and a couple of other things on the menu, but mostly it's about the burgers.

The vegan and vegan-adaptable items are clearly marked and cover almost everything on the menu. There are a few gluten-free options too, particularly in the mouthwatering cake display. Buttons rued the lack of chips to go with her burger and to our surprise, they are now available after 6pm! Unfortunately I didn't notice until after I'd ordered, and Michael chose a side-sized Soul Salad ($5.50) instead. In addition to the usual mixed greens and carrot, this was packed with fresh beetroot, mung beans, sprouts, capers and semi sun-dried tomatoes.

In spite of the BLT that brought me here, I actually decided to order the Soul on a Roll ($9). This featured a freshly fried fillet of wheat gluten with a ocean-flavoured 'skin' of nori. There were generous servings of lettuce and tomato, and a thick spread of lime-infused tartare sauce. These guys get triple points for the super-fresh ingredients and preparation! It makes all the difference with fast food such as this, with no oily guilty feeling sitting in my stomach afterwards.

As you can see from the top pic, Michael was into the Soul Dog ($7.50). This is no little wiener, it's smothered with grilled onions, cheese, tomato sauce and mustard. With that many condiments it's just as well he ordered the salad! He demolished the lot in record time and I seriously challenge anyone to tell the difference between a soysage and a hot dog in a blind taste test.

As we ate, we were sitting with a full view of the dessert cabinet and it was inevitable that I'd be picking up a little something to take home and enjoy later. These are wild figs coated in dark chocolate and vanilla sugar (50c each). They taste at least as good as they sound, filled with chewy fruity sweetness. The Soul kids don't skimp on the chocolate either! The cook warned us that they were addictive and it's just as well I had a belly full of burger, 'cause those choccies were good. I could easily have run all the way back and bought out their supply.

It's no secret that Bowl of Soul has my number. I love, love, love a freshly prepared vege burger and these guys do an amazing array of them for less than $10 each. It'll be no chore to revisit and report back on the standard of the chips!

Update 10/5/10: Unfortunately, Bowl of Soul has closed down. Very disappointing. We didn't get across the river very much, but it was always a winner when we visited.

Address: 118 Bridge St, Port Melbourne
Ph: 9645 2470
Price: veg mains $5 - $9.50


  1. I strongly recommend the deluxe steak sandwich (with bacon and cheese or soy cheese in my case). I also really enjoyed the mushrooms and the ribs.

    The figs are lovely and cheap too.

    Your making me hungry!

  2. Suggestion noted, Kristy! I think Michael's already pretty keen on ordering the ribs next time.

    I'm glad this cafe hasn't escaped your notice. :-)

  3. Lovely decor, good selection of natural and organic drinks. I liked the chips and also tried the figs and loved the selection of yummy choc brownies. Soft comfy seats aswell.

  4. I couldn't agree more - very pleased to hear that the chips measured up!

  5. The scrambled tofu owns! Chicken Creole and Soul on a Roll are my personal faves! And the ginger bread! I eat here every Thursday night before work. Amazing!

  6. Stacey, you must know your way around the menu well if you're visiting weekly! I can't wait to go back, myself. :-)

  7. Afraid it closed yesterday. Doesnt seem to have moved, just gone.

  8. The food was delicious and the service was even better, they will be sorely missed.
    I was still in the process of reverse engineering the brown lentil casserole!