5pm on a Friday night…”Wanna head to Brunswick Steet?”…always a welcome question in my book! This Friday afternoon after a couple of ciders in the sun a few friends and I found ourselves at The Vegie Bar…
The Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street really is an institution. Its not only loved by vegetarians, vegans or those on gluten free diets (which are remarkably easily catered for by the marked menu) but lovers of good food in general.
On a busy evening expect to wait for a table. As usual when we arrived at about 8 on a warm Friday night, we were given a playing card and ushered out to the cute outside bar designed for the masses to wait for their tables. While there is always a wait here, before you know it and the shaggy/tattooed wait staff are back to show you to your table.
Your table, up to you of course, could be a private table, or you can join one of the large communal tables and share a meal with your fellow vegie bar lovers; simply adding to the laid back, friendly atmosphere this venue oozes.
As we took a seat at our table, we looked over the never changing, dependable menu. With a vegetarian and a gluten and dairy intolerant among our group, we were overwhelmed with choice not found at many restaurants.
It was the famous rice balls with satay sauce for most of us for entrée and we were in no means disappointed! The rice balls, perfectly crisp on the outside are filled with brown rice risotto and then drowned in satay sauce…they really couldn’t be better!
The service here is always fast friendly and accurate. The wait staff are unbelievably busy yet are still able to smile, all the while taking intolerances in without needing a pen.
However…I must say that one down fall is that alterations to the menu are not taken well. On previous occasions I have asked for corn chips on the side of my order of curry instead of the standard roti bread, as I’m gluten intolerant. I was told no from the chefs on ‘principle’. You would think a venue that is so aware of intolerances, allergies and lifestyle preferences would be willing to make the occasional alteration to the menu, yet they seem only willing to subtract not alter or add.
This Friday night however, I was served by a waitress who had slight pull with the chefs…corn chips were given on the side of my Duo of curries (Satay Chickpea Curry and the Potato and Lentil Curry) which were as always amazing! In one, spicy lentils are mixed through with large chunks of potato to give that homemade comforting feeling, and in the other chickpeas are sautéed in the creamy satay sauce. They are served along side brown rice giving a final touch of homeliness.
The menu, while all vegetarian, is versatile. Entrees include Rice balls, Japanese Gyozas, Stuffed Mushrooms, soups, chips and nachos while the mains have various sections. There are pizzas, bugers, wraps, salads served with sides of your choice, various noodle and vegetable dishes, stir fries, curries and stews. There is bound to be something on the menu to satisfy everyone…and you wont walk away hungry from the extremely generous serves.
Finally…desserts, which come in the form of the cake fridge in the centre of the room, cater to all dietary requirements through one item or another and taste even better than they look!
What always manages to amaze me at the Vegie Bar is the bill. With a party of four, there were four entrees, four mains, three desserts and four drinks and the bill came to a grand total of $130…this place is nothing if not good value.
I highly recommend The Vegie Bar for lunch or dinner for dependably great food!!
For more information:
380 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9417 6935