Monday, November 24, 2014

Loving Hut II

November 8, 2014


Leigh Drew has been in Melbourne recently promoting her new cookbook Greenilicious. She found time between celebrity appearances and repeat visits to Yong Green Food to share a meal with some veg bloggers including Veganopoulous, Green Gourmet Giraffe, The Good Hearted, Veganise This! and Kittens Gone Lentil.

Veganopoulous kindly reserved us a table at Loving Hut Northcote, which we've been long overdue to revisit. The menu has expanded to almost fifty savoury dishes with a variety of mock meat and non-mock dishes, stir-fried, deep-fried and completely un-fried foods. Everything is vegan, and the menu is coded for gluten-free, raw, chilli-heavy and onion/garlic foods.


I've had an eye on other bloggers' meals at Loving Hut throughout the year, and it was darn difficult to settle on just one for dinner. Ultimately I went for the sizzling katsu duck ($14) doused in a sweet and sour plum sauce, topped with a few steamed vegetables. The mock meat was excellent with a tender, slightly fatty texture and crisp crumbing.


The fried chicken that so impressed me on our first visit now has a spicier sibling called the volcano ($17). It's an even heftier serve of mock meat doused in a three chilli-rated sauce that marks it as Michael's meal - I don't have the heat-tolerance to steal more than a bite!


The dessert cabinet's expanded with the menu, and we couldn't help but test it out too. Lower shelves hold homely goods like brownies and jam tarts, and the top shelf is reserved for some of the fancier cakes. (After we picked a couple of these, our waiter proudly mentioned that they're made by his partner.) This chocolate and hazelnut slice (~$6.50) was silky smooth and topped with a toffeed pecan and sherbetty powdered raspberry.

The Loving Hut staff were efficient and personable, even stopping by to check that our meals were OK - unheard of at a Supreme Master venue. On our chattering, seat-swapping table of eight I was oblivious to the half-empty food court atmosphere I've previously reported. The only shortcoming was ours and not the restaurant's: we were too enthusiastic about the deep-fried dishes and should have made more space for their fresher, vegetable-focused foods. Perhaps we can make amends next time.

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This shared meal has been mentioned in passing on Green Gourmet Giraffe and Veganopoulous.

You can read about our first visit to Loving Hut Northcote here.

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Loving Hut
377-379 High St, Northcote
9077 1335
menu: one, two
http://www.lovinghutnorthcote.com.au/ 

Accessibility: Lookin' good! A very wide automatic door, flat floors and moderately spaced tables. We ordered at our table and paid at a low-ish counter. We didn't visit the toilets, but I spotted a disability-labelled unisex toilet down a wide corridor at the back of the building.

6 comments:

  1. I have driven past this place SO many times and always been so curious!! Now I know they do dessert too gives me a much bigger reason to actually visit ;)

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    1. Hi there - I'm sure you will find it worth your while. :-)

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  2. Was good to see you there and to get a chance to visit Loving Hut finally - the wanton noodle soup I had felt quite healthy. Though I managed to balance this out with spring rolls :-) There is lots on the menu I would have liked to try so hope to get back there.

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    1. Hi Johanna - I was glad to see you there too! It reminded me how much I've not yet tried on the menu, hopefully there'll be a few more chances to visit this summer.

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  3. I was so sorry I couldn't make it that night. Looks like it was fun. I went with my daughter last week and it was totally full - I've never even seen half the tables full before. I'm glad it's getting busier, because the food it good...and I can walk there!

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    1. Hi lentilinstitution - I'm sorry we missed out on meeting you! Glad to hear this restaurant is attracting so many customers, it's a nice spot.

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