The Restaurants Making Vegetables the Main Event

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Oct 02, 2017

by JO MCKAY

Hold the steak! Pass the carrots! Here are the establishments serving impeccable fare of the garden variety.

Urbane legend

Brisbane restaurant Urbane has been known for its plant-based dégustations for close to five years. The fact that executive chef Alejandro Cancino lives a vegan lifestyle only bolsters the restaurant’s cred. Diners can choose between herbivore and omnivore menus.

High stakes

At Hobart’s Aløft, the Asian-inspired offerings are big on flavour and texture, regardless of composition. For vegetarians, that might mean dishes such as prawn-cracker-inspired miso and tapioca or tempura zucchini. Pescetarians and coeliacs are also looked after with dedicated menus.

Image: Lauren Bamford

Tapas roots

The Spanish-inspired dishes at Smith & Daughters are entirely plant-based but omnivores may not realise it. “Blood sausage” is a mix of beetroot and wine, while the “bacon” on the Brussels sprouts doesn’t come from a pig at all. Yep, this edgy eatery in Melbourne’s Brunswick is bending minds and matter.

Good beginnings

Start your Sydney Saturday at Yellow. The weekend breakfast selection, which has been exclusively vegetarian since June, beats bacon hands down. Try the corn custard with miso-koji creamed corn and poached egg – it’s chef and co-owner Brent Savage’s favourite dish. 

A new leaf

What began in 2014 as a carnivore’s go-to has morphed into one of Adelaide’s most vego-friendly establishments. Sure, Duncan Welgemoed’s menu at Africola still features pork sirloin and peri-peri chicken but flavour-packed vegetable dishes such as cauliflower steak, cabbage heart and charred carrots are textural, tasty and oh-so-satisfying.

Top image: Yellow

SEE ALSO: Cheap Thrills at Australia's Best Restaurants