Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 14, 2009: Vegie Bar VI

It's been a long time since Michael and I have dropped by the Vegie Bar (probably more than a year!) but it was a convenient location to share dinner with Kristy and Toby, Rachel and Buzz after attending the Neon Pilgrim book launch. Even without our regular patronage the Vegie Bar is doing just fine, thank you very much; we just barely managed to get a table on this Wednesday night.

The menu doesn't seem to have changed much, though this restaurant should be commended for the extensive rotating list of specials scrawled on the walls. This was where Michael selected his dish of chilli tofu, served on brown rice (~$12, pictured below). He commented that we'd be able to make this at home but this didn't diminish his enjoyment of the meal, particularly the dried chillis.

After much umming and aahing, I went for the tempeh burger with a side of chips (~$10, pictured top). These proportions and price were just my style - generous chippage with a modestly-portioned burger and plenty of fresh veges.

Though we might claim to be Vegie Bar veterans, this was our first stab at dessert. Others have suggested that dessert is what the Vegie Bar does best, so this has been quite an oversight! There's usually about half a dozen items in the display case and they are not for the faint-hearted - the servings are HUGE. Michael and I shared a super-fudgy slice of sticky date pudding, warmed so that its butterscotch topping melted in a languid pool, and accompanied by two large scoops of vanilla icecream ($8). It was a delicious challenge between two and would surely mean imminent death for the brave soul who tried to eat it on their own!

Via the others at our table, I also scored tastes of the flourless chocolate cake (more sweet rich density) and a comparatively light vegan chocolate cake (pictured above) - though I could detect hints of tofu, Kristy loved it.

This was one of our better Vegie Bar experiences even if it wasn't perfect. It's a relentlessly rowdy environment; the menu is extensive if not creative and the specials board adds some novelty. The food's cheap and cheerful, and though the portion sizes are unpredictable they are usually generous, sometimes gut-bustingly so. Service is erratic but friendly - the staff made several mistakes at our table during our visit but each time corrected the error with a smile and an apology.

Read about some of our previous Vegie Bar meals: one, two, three, four and five.

And here's an interesting pic of the Vegie Bar premises in a previous life.


  1. I went here for the fist time over the weekend. I loved it. I had the amazing mushroom risotto, dim sims and the Malay Roti.

  2. It was just a shame that no one apologised for bringing the non-
    vegan cake to us until we complained when we went to pay - having already eaten half of it before we realized! Even though we only paid for one of the replacement vegan cakes, that kind of mix up in a veg cafe is pretty poor and I kind of expected a little more acknowledgement of the seriousness (for us) of the mistake (and maybe even a free drink!). But, even so, I really enjoyed the rest of the food and think that The Vegie Bar's standards are back on the rise.

  3. love the vegie bar and always want dessert but so rarely can fit it in after a good meal - last time I went I just had dessert and the flourless chocolate cake was so good

  4. Glad you had a good time, Adrian! Toby also had the mushroom risotto and loved it. :-)

    Miss T, I wonder if the problem is (dis)continuity of service - the person who incorrectly took the order was not the person who changed the cakes was not the person who rung up the bill. Maybe if one person was designated to each table they'd be more likely to take responsibility for mistakes and address them well?

    Johanna, I was similarly impressed with my small taste of the flourless choc cake! I will seriously consider ordering dessert for dinner on my next visit. :-D

  5. I have to disagree about the changing specials, I swear that they have barely changed in a year or so.

    But I did enjoy the vegan cake!

  6. Kristy, I guess I wouldn't actually know, since it's been a year or so since I was there last! The specials seemed to change more often when I was a more regular visitor.

  7. Hm, it's a bit sad that I think they have gone downhill. Everything is stodgy and underseasoned or hideously overseasoned, or lacking in dimension of flavours, and not a very good example of good vegetarian food.
    Unfortunately as well, the chili tofu used to be on the menu and the only thing worth eating. Sad to see that it is just a special now.

  8. Jess, if Kristy's right about the rate of change on the specials board then it probably doesn't even matter whether the chilli tofu's on the standard or special menu. :-D I found their meals to be highly inconsistent, but it doesn't seem to be doing any damage to their popularity.