Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 20, 2011: Munsterhaus II

Edit 07/03/2020: Munsterhaus is now closed.

Despite our initial enthusiasm, it's taken us more than a year to make a return visit to Munsterhaus. In part this is to do with their trading hours - they're basically a lunch place and are closed on Sundays. Given our weekend breakfast habit, it's a rare Saturday that we're looking around for somewhere to go for lunch. There's also something summery about Munsterhaus - the bulk of the food is salady, and the big windows are made for letting in the sunshine, so it hasn't been a priority over winter. So when spring suddenly appeared on a fairly quiet Saturday we jumped on our bikes and headed over for a revisit.

Not much has changed since we were first there - the setup is as cute and stylish as ever and the dining options are the same: small ($9), medium ($12.5) or large ($16) plates filled with a pick 'n' mix of salads and hot dishes. Even some of the dishes are the same - we both returned for another go at the delicious tempeh and broccoli salad, but otherwise we mixed things up a little.

I had a medium plate with one of the hot dishes (a mild coconut and tofu curry) served on a little scoop of quinoa, alongside a few garlicky brussel sprouts, the aforementioned tempeh, another broccoli based salad (this one with marinated tofu), a chickpea salad and a miso-flavoured noodle salad. There's a dab of tofu-based dip somewhere in there as well.

Everything was excellent - lots of fresh vegies turned into creatively flavoured salads. I think next time I'll ditch the hot meals altogether (the curry was fine, but it kind of seeped into all the other dishes) and just compile a salad plate. The glazed slivers of crispy sesame tempeh were the stand-out, but that's hardly a surprise. It's wonderful to go out and eat a big plate of delicious food and not feel like you're being particularly unhealthy.

Cindy had the broccoli and brussel sprouts as well, but otherwise ordered completely differently to me. She used a lentil and brown rice dish as her base and then piled a couple of okara patties on top with a few crispy polenta triangles and a big dollop of spicy cashew dip.

She was equally happy with her choices - particularly the okara patties, which were almost like unprocessed chicken-nuggets and were an excellent vessel for the cashew dip.

Having ordered a small plate, Cindy felt justified in trying out Munsterhaus' dessert. She ordered a slice of flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla icecream on top ($6).

This was a pleasant dessert - the cake was a bit light on the cocoa, but Cindy liked the coarse home-ground texture of the almonds. I think she'd have been better off getting a bigger plate of savoury delights.

I'm not sure how much of my positivity about this lunch is related to the utter gorgeousness of the weather in Melbourne. We went for a wander along Merri Creek afterwards and everything seemed right with the world, so it's hard to feel anything but great about our lunch. Munsterhaus was the perfect fit for the day, healthy, tasty and loaded with veggies. The service was friendly and the coffee was fine (although Cindy wasn't the excited by her chai). Vegans should have no problems - I think my plate was accidentally vegan and only the yoghurt on Cindy's brown-rice dish un-veganed her plate. There was at least one vegan dessert on offer as well. Pick a sunny Saturday and go!

Read about our first visit to Munsterhaus here. Since then, Juganaut and Words@Random have given it the thumbs up.

371 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy
veg lunches $9 - $16, cakes ~$6

Accessibility: There's a flat entryway into a reasonably spacious and well-lit interior. Ordering requires you to look at your options across a reasonably high counter, and payment etc all takes place there.


  1. I love Munsterhaus. Really simple food when it comes down to it, but filling, tasty, and they're always really friendly in there. Not to mention heaps of vegan options. The baby baguettes served with strawberry jam (on the menu, not in the bain-marie) are lovely too.

    Also a fan of the coffee; they know how to make a good long black! So many places over-pull shots for long blacks and they end up bitter. Munsterhaus gets it right. The "warm fuzzes" you seemed to have on a sunny Saturday are part of my usual experience of the place, weather aside... good place to go if you need someplace cozy and friendly.

  2. Looks like a nice place. Will have to check it out one day.