We had a sneaky non-blogged trip to The Cornish Arms in mid-December and finally stepped beyond the mains section of the menu to discover the vegan option of the spicy chicken wings ($13). They were so good that we were back soon after for a second shot at them. They're a basket of crispily fried mock-meat with a batter not too far removed from KFC hot and spicy and a creamy aioli that soothes the chilli burn. And they are so freaking delicious! Go. Go and order them at once.
The only problem with ordering the chicken wings is that it really drives home how ridiculously big the main meals are. Still, we soldiered on - it was the holiday season after all. I tackled the stupidly gigantic vegan souvlaki - mock duck and chicken (both seitan-based) with salad, garlic sauce and chilli plus a bucket of chips and some tomato sauce ($20). My memories of this are slightly tainted by how full I was by the time I got through it all - the first few bites were out of this world: excellent mock meat, soaked in chilli, mayo-y sauce, but it gradually wore me down. I probably wouldn't recommend ordering this on top of the chicken wings, but on its own it's a pretty incredible meal.
Cindy was smarter and looked to the more manageably-sized pizza menu, falling back on her faithful mock Hawaiian (strangely unblogged by us!). It's a combination of delicious mock-chicken and excellent facon with disgusting, sickening pineapple. Honestly, you pineapple pizza people are all monsters. Our dining buddy Clamps was more appropriate, ordering the chilli non-carne pizza, a modestly sized treat topped with beef and black bean chilli, corn chips, salsa, jalapenos, sour cream and a smattering of veggies. It looked amazing, but I was too far gone with my souvlaki to sneak a taste. Next time!
The Cornish is a Melbourne vegan treasure - at least for vegans who embrace junky pub food. There's almost nothing healthy on the menu - it's all burgers, pizzas and mock meat - but that's sometimes what you need, and the Cornish is getting better and better at delivering it. The pub's generally got a good vibe (it depends a bit on whether or not there's an open mic night going on), the beer taps are always diverse and excellent - it's a real winner.
Read about our previous visits to The Cornish Arms here and here. Since our last blog post, it's been reviewed positively from a vego perspective by I Spy Plum Pie, Veganopolous, easy as vegan pie and Little Vegan Bear and by omni-bloggers I talk too much my mouth hurts, makelovetotheworld and A Chronicle of Gastronomy, who all enjoyed the food, although the latter two were let down by slow service.
The Cornish Arms
163A Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Accessibility: There's a flat entryway and a pretty spacious interior. Lighting is low without being ludicrously dim. Ordering and payment happens at the bar. The toilets are on the same level and are wheelchair accessible.