November 3, 2012
We were aiming for the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday afternoon and decided to pause along the way in Frankston to check out Savers and the local vegetarian cafe, Aum Shanti. As you can see from the photo above and perhaps guess from the name, Aum Shanti is pink and batiked and new-agey, stocking homewares and jewellery and other gifts as well as offering breakfast, lunch and snacks.
The menu is entirely vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free items well marked. For breakfast there's a simple selection of toast and toasted sandwiches, muesli and pancakes with all items costing less than $10. Lunch includes soup, pizza, curry, a burger and anything from the display case, where we noticed Funky Pies, several salads, huge arancini, quiches and a range of sandwiches and wraps. Higher up a second display case boasts cakes and chocolates; we recognised cupcakes from Mister Nice Guy and saw more helpful vegan and gluten-free labelling.
While a Funky Pie was certainly tempting, Michael thought he should branch out a bit and ordered the trio of dips ($9.50) - actually a duo of pesto and double-hommus served with a few falafel and pita bread. The falafel were unexpectedly soft and the hommus was the high point so Michael was happy to double down. Nevertheless, he felt some order envy when he saw someone else's burger served up.
I picked the spinach and potato roti wrap ($8) from the counter display - it was stuffed tightly with vegetables and thoroughly crisped up in the sandwich press. I was glad for the relish, which really kicked up the flavour.
We found time and room for a pretty good coffee and some Black Velvet Gold Chocolates ($2.50 each) - the hazelnut toffee, rum and raisin and peanut swirl all hit the mark, but the coconut ruff wasn't our style.
Aum Shanti hosted a steady stream of customers while we visited - the dreadlocked, the retired, youth and families all stopped by to eat, filling every table available and placing takeaway orders too. I can only imagine what a god-send Aum Shanti's pie and cake stocks are for any veg*ns out Frankston way!
The only other blog review about Aum Shanti that I've found is a positive one on Vegan Melbourne back in 2009.
439 Nepean Highway, Frankston
veg meals $4.50-14
Accessibility: Aum Shanti has a fairly smooth, standard-width entry and flat interior; tables are well-spaced although many of them are nestled up against shelves of retail stock. The cake display is set high and the savoury display is set low. Ordering and payment take place at a standard-height counter, with food brought to the table. We didn't visit the toilets, though if they're in the cafe they're probably located up several steps.