Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Fina's Vegetarian Cafe 2

May 29, 2015


The Brunswick St veg*n enclave has expanded further still with the opening of Fina's Vegetarian Cafe 2 a couple of months ago. It's a sibling to the cute vegetarian Vietnamese cafe Fina's in Richmond with a matching orange mural. Everything we're fond of from Fina's 1 seems to be here  - that is, unless anyone was particularly attached to their dairy products! Fina's 2 appears to be completely vegan, right down to the Mister Nice Guy cakes, soy milk smoothies and soy condensed milk Vietnamese iced coffees.

They've also set the gold standard for menu labelling. There's a photo of every dish, and an extensive code indicating pure vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, onion & garlic-free, and MSG-free items, as well as offering 'no mock meat' and 'more mock meat' variations.


I started out with a slushy-sweet custard apple smoothie ($5.80) and picked at my friends' chosen entrees. The crispy tofu ($9.80) was silky and hot, while the wontons ($9.80) had more bite to them, stuffed densely with tofu and wood ear fungus.


On our recommendation, J ordered the magnificent grilled pork skewer ($26.80) and monopolised the table with rice paper wraps, hot water and two plates of fillings. It was OK, though, because he shared.


The menu recommends that the chicken satay with capsicum ($12.80 + rice $2.80) is for "people who love mock, this special clay pot will have it all". Clamps boldy took it on with More Mock Meat and was satisfied with his choice. The well-seasoned soy nuggets were nestled in a rich broth, without any of the peanuttiness I was expecting. I returned to the pancake that I know and love from Fina's 1 ($14.80) - it was crispy with a strong and welcome coconut milk flavour, stuffed with bean sprouts, mushroom slices and the odd skerrick of fatty mock ham and squidgy mock prawn.

The wait staff were terrific and it was great to see this new business bustling. Everything we ate was well prepared, balancing hot fried veg*n proteins with crispy-fresh vegetables, although the prices jumped all over the place. I don't think I'd stretch to $10 for the simple entrees again, but the chicken claypot was excellent value and the pancake held its own. Regardless, I'm thrilled to see Fina's extend their brand of Vietgetarian food to the inner north.

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You can read about one, two of our past visits to Fina's 1 in Richmond. We haven't spotted any blog reviews of Fina's 2 elsewhere.
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Fina's Vegetarian Cafe 2
339 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
9415 6765
menu pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
facebook page

Accessibility: The entry has one step. Inside the tables are densely packed with a clear corridor through the middle. We ordered at the table and paid at a low counter. I didn't visit the toilets.

10 comments:

  1. Ooh I went past a few times while they were moving in but haven't made it over to eat there yet. I will definitely have to head up ASAP!

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  2. I love Fina's! More Mock Meat! Always More! :) xox

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  3. We tried to go last night but apparently they close on Tuesdays!

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    1. Oh, what bad luck marlene! I hope you manage to make it in on a non-Tuesday. :-)

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  4. We went along on opening night - haven't shared yet but we got the satay chicken too - it was our pick of the night. The pork skewer set up looks epic!

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    1. I'll look out for your post, littleveganbear! The pork skewer is terrific, but has also become rather expensive.

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    2. I thought it was pretty hefty - would it be a dish for two though?

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    3. Indeed, the menu suggests that it's to share between two or more... though I know a couple of hefty appetites that could finish it off by themselves. :-P

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