Monday, January 12, 2009

January 10, 2009: Base Kamp

Cindy and I were only alerted to Melbourne's newest vegetarian dining establishment when Kristy invited a bunch of us to try it out early in the new year. Unfortunately, Cindy and I were still hanging out in Tumut and couldn't make it (though we did read Pip and Rachel's positive write-ups), so we put it on our list of places to visit (along with the still unvisited Plush Pizza) and waited for an opportunity.

Base Kamp is generally a weekday lunch and coffee only place, but they open up on Saturdays during summer. Lucky for us - our inability to make it into the city when the regular workers are getting their lunches has stopped us from visiting Fo Guang Yuan for more than two years. Anyway, we had no problems with Base Kamp, who were open and welcoming when we rolled up at midday on a Saturday. It's a cute little place, with seats for about 15 people inside and another handful of tables outside. Foodwise there's a small breakfast menu, and a series of rolls, wraps and burgers for lunch, along with a few daily specials (Spanish omelette and satay 'chicken' when we were there). The prices are reasonable - between $6.50 and $9.00, and the options all look pretty enticing.

Cindy decided to try the Chick'N Roll - Soy chicken with Base Kamp satay sauce, tomato, baby spinach with creamy mayo and sweet chilli sauce. She didn't actually notice any satay flavours, but with both the mayo and the chilli sauce, another condiment was hardly necessary. The roll came out super fresh and lightly toasted, and laden down with delicious fresh salad. The chicken patty was fine, Cindy said it reminded her of the Sanitarium vegie roasts that she had a brief fling with some years ago.

I decided to try the 'roll for count', which is basically a soy beef burger, with a good serving of salad and a paprika and mayo sauce. The 'beef' had an interesting texture - firm and stringy, but its flavour was overwhelmed by the sauce. This didn't really matter because the sauce really hit the spot - the tangy paprika adding something interesting to the mayo base. To be honest I wasn't really in the mood for mock meat, so I didn't really enjoy my burger as much as I could have. Which isn't to say that the burger wasn't good - everything was well executed and I'm sure that on a different day I would have come away raving.

Melbourne just keeps on coming up with the goods - our visit back to Brisbane really brought home how abundant the vego options in Melbourne are - Base Kamp is a great addition to the CBD's lunchtime selection with a fine selection of cheap and delicious fare. The staff were friendly and welcoming and the setting was delightful. If you're a city worker, it's well worth swinging by and checking it out.

Address: 390 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Ph: 9670 3569
Price: Breakfast - $4.50-$8.50, Lunch - $6.50-$9.00


  1. I went with Miss T a few days ago. Their tuna wrap is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

  2. Ooh, I ended up at Base Kamp one day, not having heard about it and I was so excited. Admittedly though, not enough to revert back to my vegetarian ways.

    I think I am due for another visit though.

  3. So I keep hearing, Lisa! But doesn't the tuna wrap have pineapple on it? That kinda put me off...

    Bunches, I can imagine it being a rather nice surprise - it's such an ordinary city-lunch looking cafe. (And in a way, it is an ordinary city-lunch cafe... just meatless.)