The 'Samantha Ratnam' granola at Handsome Her
Our 2017 eating is done being documented, so we've spent an afternoon with our archives and picked some new faves to add to our where's the best? page. We bid farewell to El Chino, The Snug Public House St Kilda, Discobeans, Melbourne Wok, Middle Fish, and Easy Tiger. Many of these have natural replacements - we'll soon blog the eatery at El Chino's address, The Snug's still in business in Brunswick, Middle Fish is scheduled to return in 2019, and the Easy Tiger crew are still working elsewhere in Victoria. Two of 2016's major closures have had Lazarus moments too - Enlightened Cuisine is now Vegie Kitchen and little but the name has changed; the former White Lotus address is now Melbourne's third Loving Hut.
The Tramway Hotel
There's never been a better time to get breakfast in the inner north. Handsome Her was our 2017 highlight, and we also had good times at Humble Rays, Sweet Evelyn, Kines, and Merri Clan. More and more pubs are getting into decent veg grooves; this year we raise a glass to the The Yarra Hotel, The Last Chance Rock'n'Roll Bar, The Tramway Hotel and The Green Man's Arms. At long last, pizza and dessert are just as delicious and almost as accessible for vegans as for the rest of us, thanks to Red Sparrow Pizza, CassellBella's Bakery & Cafe, Girls & Boys and Black Waffle. Kudos also goes to Dosa Plaza, The Alley, Mantra Lounge, Bhang, Etta, A Fan's Notes and Feast of Merit.
Tofu with hot & sour rhubarb sauce
In our own kitchen, we've dined on tempeh taco salad, paneer butter masala, mock fish sambal goreng, and tofu with hot & sour rhubarb sauce, smugly packing leftovers for work. Our most luxurious breakfast was a recreation of Smith & Daughters' corn & jalapeño pancakes, and we did our darnedest to impress our potlucking friends with spring onion pancakes, melon salad with jalapeno-pickled pineapple, eggplant kataifi nests and butterbean hummus with red pepper & walnut paste.
Fig & walnut friands
I've been baking up a storm, making fig & walnut friands and banana & molasses cake just for us at home. The Twin Peaks revival inspired my first (then second, third and fourth) attempt(s) at cherry pie - it might become my signature dessert! I'm certain that my one shot at Ottolenghi and Goh's chocolate cake won't be my last, either.
We entered the new year with a broken oven, but I'm pleased to report that it's been repaired and is in the best shape we've had it. We're looking forward to showing you what else it does, and the other great places we eat from in 2018.