Saturday, August 31, 2019


August 13, 2019

It's fantastic to see Ethiopean restaurants spreading more broadly across metropolitan Melbourne! Michael noticed that one such spot, Northcote's Mesob, is located along our bike commute. It's a comfortable, low-key place with a naturally inclusive and intentionally well-labeled menu: mains are centred around their wonderfully sour and spongey gluten-free injera, and almost half their main dishes are vegan.

Naturally, we went all-in with the Herbivore Combination Platter ($23 per person). We didn't take a whole lot of interest in the central salad when we could be scooping up shiro (thick, berbere-spiced chickpea flour), miser wot (red lentils),  gomen (collard greens), yatakilt alicha (tender sauteed cabbage, carrot and potato), duba wot (caramelised pumpkin stew), and kik alicha (turmeric-spiced yellow lentils). And scoop scoop scoop we did, until it was almost done - those injera are filling!

Injera platters make for terrific winter comfort food, and they're so much fun to share. I've got a hunch that we'll be parking our bikes out front of Mesob on a regular basis.

Mesob has already received positive review on veg blogs Green Gourmet Giraffe and Enlightened Decadence.

213 High St, Northcote
9489 6952

Accessibility: There's a small ramp on entry and moderately spaced tables and chairs throughout the restaurant. We ordered at our table and paid at a low counter. We didn't visit the toilets.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Yellow II

August 11, 2019

I stretched my birthday celebrations nearly three months past the actual date, arranging a family weekend in Sydney with my mum and siblings. They flew from all over the world for the weekend and I picked Yellow for a special Sunday night dinner. Yellow's a well-loved Sydney fine-dining place that picked up a lot of buzz in 2015 when it shifted to an entirely vego menu. It was the perfect place for a fancy night out.

We ordered the five course banquet ($85 a head) and were easily talked into adding a serve of the sweet potato, chipotle and lime tortillas as a bonus course ($8 each). They started us off with a couple of warm-up dishes as well: the housemade sourdough with a smoky mushroom powder on top and a plate of lightly pickled veggies with a macadamia-based dipping sauce. The bread is always a highlight at fancy restaurants and Yellow is no exception.

Next up was our extra dish - sweet potato, chipotle and lime yoghurt tortillas and a serve each of the macadamia tofu with grape, celeriac and little strips of kelp. The tortillas were lovely - smoky and sweet with a hint of spice, but the tofu dish was just okay. The little bursts of flavour from the grapes were great, but otherwise it wasn't particularly memorable.

Things moved up a gear with our next dishes - charred cabbage with black garlic, dashi and mustard seeds (left) and romanesco broccoli with tomatillos, green pepper and preserved lemon. These were both great - the romanesco dish was my favourite of the night, with a brilliant mix of strong flavours and some lovely textural touches. The cabbage wasn't far behind - loaded with richness from the sweet black garlic and the almost caramelised dashi.

The final savoury dish was tempura Jerusalem artichoke with leek, black lime, sage and goat's yoghurt. This was another winner - delicately crispy batter filled with nutty, starchy artichokes with some nice tang from the powdered dried lime.

Dessert was a honeydew sorbet with yuzu curd, coconut and peppermint. This was a fresh and tangy way to finish the meal with more fun textures (although I'm always a bit disappointed when there's no chocolate at dessert).

Yellow is a wonderful restaurant - we had fantastic service all night (right down to an embarrassing candle and song in my dessert) and the food is brilliant. It's great to see an all vegetarian fine dining place thriving - they're really worth a visit.

You can read about my previous visit to Yellow here.

All the blog reviews of Yellow's vego incarnation were positive - check out Will Be, Sashimisho, Ms Brulee, welcome to andyville, Sarah vs Carbs, foodie mookie, Does My Bomb Look Big In This?, Belly Rumbles and the unbearable lightness of being hungry.

57 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Accessibility: There's a flat entryway and a reasonably accessible layout inside. Toilets are gendered and accessible.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


August 11, 2019

We've just had a long weekend in Sydney and we based ourselves in Darlinghurst, a neighbourhood that Michael and I are now quite familiar with. Even so, we didn't recognise the cafe Organism just next door to Shenkin. It's got a cute, rambling vibe and a promise of waffles, so I gently steered Michael and his mum there for a small Sunday breakfast.

The menu is centred primarily around toast, rolls, bagels and waffles and there's a gorgeous display case of croissants, pies and muffins. Vegetarian options are plentiful; vegan and gluten-free options are less common but well-marked, including a lunch-time bibimbap that hits both marks.

After initially being drawn to the tofu l'ancienne roll, Michael settled on the Crush'n on Avo ($14) - a modest portion of sourdough toast and smashed avocado, topped here with tomato, feta, parsley and black sesame seeds.

There's a mini waffle menu with four different options, and I was in the mood to skip by the ostentatious ice-cream-laden ones and just get the simple ricotta version ($8). This really brought out the best in the waffle! It was lightly crisp with caramelised spots on the outside, concealing a thick seam of lemony house ricotta through the middle. A topping of maple syrup and cinnamon sugar supplied ample sweetness, and I enjoyed a rare honey yuzu tea ($6) on the side.  

I was utterly charmed by Organism, with its slightly cluttered nooks and understated meals. I'll definitely check in on them again, hopefully for a slice of pie next time, whenever I find myself in Darlinghurst again.

288 Crown St, Darlinghurst
(02) 7901 2509
facebook page

Accessibility: Pretty limited! There's a steep, curling staircase with handrails to enter. Furniture is densely packed and a little rickety, a mixture of heights and back supports. We ordered at our table and paid at a high counter. We didn't visit the toilets.