We've been seeing references to The Merri Clan all over vego social media for the last few months and finally found a spare Saturday morning to head over to Preston to check it out. It's a casual neighbourhood haunt, with a cafe menu during the day and a bar vibe at night. The fit-out is low-key and a bit ramshackle, but the whole feel is charmingly laid-back. We headed out to the courtyard to enjoy the sunny weather and scope out the menu.
Everything is vegan, including some amazing sounding burgers, a big vegan brekkie, nachos and a good selection of other savoury dishes. There are healthy-sounding smoothie bowls and, for a sweet-tooth like Cindy, there are poffertjes.
The giant, wobbly pile of poffertjes pictured above is the 'fully loaded' snack size (15 pieces, $14) - Cindy shared a few of her snack plate, and I really can't imagine anyone could tackle the meal size (25 pc, $18) on their own. The fully loaded option comes with house made nutella, maple cashew cream, berry compote and candied pecans. Cindy was very happy with her brunch treat - the poffertjes are a puffy, sweet base for the slathering of delicious toppings, with the berry compote cutting through the richness of the sauces. If you can't face the fully loaded option, you can build your own, based on the above toppings plus jam, cinnamon sugar and lemon, butter and maple syrup. It's a very flexible offering and I think a very popular one.
I ordered the breakfast tacos - a pair of corn tortillas topped with black beans, spiced toasted quinoa, tomato salsa, guacamole, smoked chipotle sauce, lime infused coconut yoghurt and fresh chillies ($15).
These were so laden with toppings that they were impossible to eat as tacos, but luckily they were very, very tasty. The crunchy toasted quinoa was the surprise star of the dish for me, adding texture and spice to the creamy beans and tangy sauces. I really loved these and am super keen to try out more of their savoury options.
The coffee I had was decent, and the outdoor space was lovely. Service was a bit mixed, with some super helpful and friendly staff and some with a bit less enthusiasm, but the food is fantastic and I really liked the atmosphere. We'll be back.
There a couple of very positive reviews on Veganopolous, but nobody else seems to have reviewed The Merri Clan.
The Merri Clan
15 Gilbert Rd, Preston
0407 888 626
Accessibility: There's a flat entryway and a reasonably spacious interior. The outdoor area is a hodge podge of different tables and chairs, but everything is pretty accessible. Toilets are good, including a unisex and fully accessible cubicle.