Loving Hut Northcote has had a makeover, and now goes by Brother Bon. While the distinctive yellow signage has been replaced by a more relaxed teal, there's some continuity in the staff and the menu. I stopped in strategically for a workday lunch between city meetings and an afternoon back in my suburban office.
The all-vegan menu is thoroughly marked with information about what's free of garlic/onion, gluten, nuts, soy and chilli. The variety is overwhelming: there are dozens of dishes to choose from; some light and vege-filled, and others based on mock meat with a side of chips. There are traditional dishes from across Asia like dumplings, rice paper rolls, fried noodles and pho, as well as surprise combinations such as 'big mak' cheeseburger baos and a Southern fried chicken banh mi. These are interspersed with breakfast dishes, burgers and desserts.
I was in the mood to start small, so I chose the crispy chicken bao ($15, pictured top) to eat on the spot. I took my time breaking apart the steamed bao and filling them with super-crispy, mayo-drizzled mock chicken and finely-shredded slaw; there was plenty of filling to go around. It was everything I was anticipating.
On my way out, I picked up a La Panella-style caramel slice ($5, pictured above) to enjoy at my desk for afternoon tea.
Now that we're all housebound, Brother Bon is offering takeaway and delivery services to a number of northside suburbs. The breakfasts will have to wait a long while, but we're excited to try more of their dinner menu later this week!
377-379 High St, Northcote
menu page 1, page 2
Accessibility: The front door is very wide and slides, floors are flat and tables are moderately spaced. I ordered at the table and paid at a low-ish counter. We haven't visited the toilets, but I previously spotted a disability-labelled unisex toilet down a wide corridor at the back of the building.