We had such a great time at the Ray vegan feast a couple of years ago that we were super keen to go back when our friend suggested a dinner there. You turn up, sit down and they just bring you food - there are no choices to be made and you wind up tasting about 15 dishes across five courses.
Cindy enjoyed her spritz enz - a mocktail based on cold pressed strawberry juice, soda water and lemon ($6).
Foodwise, we started out with a trio of entrees: smoked almonds, kale chips dusted with sumac and steamed edamame with thyme salt. The kale was the pick of the bunch from my point of view, but every dish had its fans.
Next up was another trio of dishes: raw and pickled veggies with black tahini and beetroot, a plate of bread and lavosh with smoked pumpkin hummus and smoked eggplant tahini and one of the stand-outs of the night: corn chips, miso cheese, refried beans and thousand island dressing. We talked about the miso-cheese all night - spectacular.
Things got a bit heftier for the next round - corn jacks with romesco and jalapeno, mushroom tagine with chickpea panisse and cauliflower puree and a grain salad with pepitas, pomegranate and orange dressing. Cindy loved the corn jacks, which were crispy fried little parcels of corn, while I was a big fan of the mushroom/chickpea dish.
We were filling up, so the size of the final round was a bit overwhelming. The banh mi toasts were the stand-out - little crisp breads filled with pickled slaw, cucumber, black lentil pate and a chewy seitan mock. The veggie side-dishes were good, but we were really struggling to keep eating. I was especially sad not to eat more of the kipfler potatoes with wild rocket pesto, but I had to leave room for dessert.
Dessert was mercifully modest - a cute little glass filled with a mix of fresh figs, jaffa mousse, hazelnuts and coconut yoghurt. It's hard to go too far wrong with fresh figs, but this combo in particular really worked.
Things wound down with a bonus course of choc-chip cookies.
We were reeeally full by the end of this meal. It was a huge amount of food, with a fantastic variety of dishes coming out across the five courses. The price has gone up to $45 (from $30 a couple of years ago), but it's still exceptionally good value. The fact that they only do the vegan feasts once a month means that they really deliver on the night. Keep an eye on their facebook page for the next one - you definitely need to book ahead.
332 Victoria St, Brunswick
menu (from this visit), drinks
Accessibility: There is a shallow and slightly narrow ramp on entry. Tables are quite densely packed, but there is a clear corridor through the cafe. We ordered at our table and paid at a low-ish counter. Toilets are unisex, fully accessible individual cubicles.