Our weekend away started with us getting a bit lost on our way out of town. Almost by accident we found ourselves in Kew and Cindy had a brainwave: let's stop for lunch at A Caterpillar's Dream. It had been a couple of years since our first visit and things have changed a bit since then. The menu has grown, with a bewildering array of cuisines: burgers, pasta, dumplings, noodles, pies, wraps etc etc. There's even a breakfast menu, although it's actually pretty generic - no scrambled tofu, no tofu bacon.
It was the siren song of chips that made my decision for me - the burgers come with a hefty serve of crispy fries, which was enough to convince me to order a grilled fish burger with salad and dill mayo ($14.95).
I was pretty happy with this - the 'fish' was nicely battered tofu with a few strips of nori to provide a hint of the ocean. The salad was basic and the inclusion of canned beetroot earned them a thumbs down from me, but otherwise it was a pretty successful burger - nothing revelatory, but sometimes you just want some battered mock meat on a bun with a big pile of chips.
Cindy's a sucker for both bento boxes and for sweet and sour pork so a sweet and sour pork bento box ($15.95) was always going to catch her eye.
The pork was a solid recreation of suburban Chinese restaurant sweet and sour, so if that's your thing you'll enjoy it. The crispy veggies provided something a bit healthier, served in a mild, salty broth. The little pickle centrepiece was a highlight, as was the complex and subtle flavour of the tofu and seaweed miso soup.
We spent most of our meal eyeing off the stunning looking selection of vegan sweets, but we'd all eaten far too much to order any (plus we had La Panella treats waiting for us in the car). A Caterpillar's Dream seem to have got things working nicely - the menu is hugely varied and seems to be executed reasonably well, the staff are friendly and there was a steady stream of customers coming in for lunch on a Friday. Kew's not a suburb we visit too often, but I'd be willing to find an excuse to head back for more mock meat.
Read about our previous review here. Brianna's post was the reason we were keen to return (although we failed to follow her advice and get the duck) and The Tallest Poppy is a big fan of their sweets. The Sanctuary, Mel: Hot or Not and EAT AND BE MERRY FOR TOMORROW WE DIE(T) all had mixed experiences with the full menu.
A Caterpillar's Dream
Shop 4, 26 Princess St, Kew
veg lunches $8.95 - $18.90
Accessibility: Looks good - flat wide entry, plenty of space between tables, table service and payment at a low counter. We didn't visit the toilets.