We were sad to notice that our old favourite El Chino on St Georges Rd had closed down. Luckily though, it's been replaced by an exciting new place - Tootsie Roller! It's a vego cafe with an Indian-inspired breakfast and lunch menu, Industry Beans coffee and a gorgeous courtyard out the back. We met up with Steph for a Sunday breakfast to try it out.
The menu is heavy on the savouries and on first glance not very vegan friendly. There are lots of Indian-inspired egg dishes: poached eggs with jeera potatoes ($17), eggs Darjeeling ($18), eggs on naan ($11) and so on. There are also breakfast tacos, a smoked tofu burger and a thali plate - so many excellent looking things to try! We had a quick chat with the waiter about vegan options and were reassured that they're happy to sub tofu in to make most of the egg dishes vegan - this isn't well labelled on the menu, but if you ask they'll come through for you.
Cindy kicked things off with a chai boy ($5.50), which was gingery and delicious. I enjoyed the coffee too.
I couldn't resist the Mumbai scramble - an Indian spiced scrambled egg dish with fried onions, chilli, coriander and spinach on grilled kalonji naan ($15). I added a side of black beans ($4) because I'm out of control.
This was a superb breakfast - the eggs weren't massively spicy, but there was a great depth of flavour from the cumin and chilli (plus maybe garam masala?). The naan was great, and the big pot of beans really added some heft to things - a fantastic way to start the day.
Cindy wanted something a bit more summery, so she ordered the coconut and rice flour waffles with coconut yoghurt, compote, toasted almonds and a big ol' pile of fresh mango and strawberries ($15).
She raved about this - the ratio of fruit to waffle was particularly impressive, but each of the components really hit the mark as well. Steph seemed happy with her smoked tofu breakfast tacos and we had excellent friendly service.
Tootise Roller is a fantastic addition to the neighbourhood - just writing this post has me wanting to go back tomorrow and try out more of the menu. The courtyard is particularly welcoming during summer. They're licensed, and will eventually open up for a few nights a week - it's hard to imagine a better way to spend a long summer evening then eating a smoked tofu burger and having a beer out back - can't wait.
214 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North
Accessibility: There's a small step as you enter and a clear corridor to the counter, but the tables are quite crowded inside. Access to the courtyard (and the toilets) requires negotiating a few uneven steps. We ordered at the table and paid at a low counter.