Everyday I am overwhelmed with mouth-watering posts in Melbourne cafes from all the beautiful accounts that we follow on our berryberryhappy Instagram page. So finally, earlier this month I got the chance to tick off some of the places on my extensive ‘food places to go in Melbourne’ list! Accompanied by my one and only sister (Erica) and one of our very close friends Caitlin we set out to conquer as many brunches as we could in a week! We set a date after our (Caitlin & my) final Year 12 exams to kick back Melbourne style and celebrate the end of our schooling year! After a mere hour upon arriving and a short walk to stretch our legs the foodie adventures began!
1.First up… The Vegie Bar
After a long drive and all feeling very exhausted and quite hungry, we were not disappointed! The Vegie Bar really lived up to and exceeded my expectations. With a completely vegetarian menu, also with many vegan options our initial struggle was trying to decide what NOT to order, it all sounded so yummy! After graciously accepting that we could all not bear to try just one meal we ordered three dishes to share around, and boy were they all delicious!
On the far right is a vegan veggie curry, which was divine! Bursting with flavour this mild curry was filled with fresh seasonal vegetables.
Bottom: Rice balls with satay. I had never actually tried anything like this, and I don’t know why it took me so long to discover! The crunchy outside of the rice balls suited the sweet satay sauce perfectly.
Left: Pumpkin pizza on a gluten free base. Having been gluten free for about two years now I often do not order pizza due to being let down far too often with chewy or cardboard like textured pizza bases. However, this base was a whole new level! It was thin and crunchy. This was also completely vegan, and to all of our absolute shock the ‘vegan cashew cheese’ actually tasted like REAL cheese! It was fantastic to get to enjoy all these yummy flavours on pizza and knowing it was all completely healthy!
- Monk Bodhi Dharma
This is not one to miss if you are in Melbourne!! Although it could be easily missed as it is hidden down a side street, but well worth the hunt. Monk Bodhi Dharma boasts a completely vegan menu, and is gluten free friendly as well! I enjoyed the best acai bowl I have ever had in my life! (bottom right), with perfectly crunchy cacao granola and coconut cream. Erica had the fluffiest and also the best buckwheat pancakes I have ever tasted (bottom left), with apple and maple syrup. Those pancakes alone are worth the trip! And Caitlin had the scrumptious granola with almond milk. I would highly recommend a visit, the staff are lovely and the food is divine!
- Pana Chocolate
We were prompt upon visiting Pana on our first full day in Melbs to ensure we would not miss out. From left to right: Chocolate and raspberry, orange, chocolate and caramel. We have all had our fair share of raw cakes in our time, but nothing compares to the decadent, rich and silky smooth slices from Pana!
- Tall Timber
This café in particular had been in my sights for a long time so finally getting to go was a tick off the bucket list! And wow… I was not disappointed at all! I ordered the pumpkin bruschetta, which was truly AMAZING! It was topped with a poached egg and duckha that was out of this world! I loved this concept so much that I have actually re-created my own version at home. It has nothing on the real thing though… I’ve got the feeling that Tall Timber specialises in poached eggs, as they were a common theme among most of the meals. Erica also had poached eggs with chickpeas, cauliflower and greens. However, if you are vegan there were also plenty of options, as displayed by Caitlin’s poached pear oatmeal!
- Fred Gets Friendly
Filled with desserts, salads, coffees and coconut ice cream we were blown away as we stepped into the store. Photographed is Erica’s chocolate sundae, consisting of coconut ice cream, chocolate sauce and an Ace cookie. To believe it was healthy is astounding! It was creamy, oozing with chocolate and all gluten free and vegan! Just amazing. I also enjoyed an Ace cookie and Caitlin an Ace ice cream cookie sandwich, which looked amazing, but unfortunately a bit less photogenic as the ice cream started to melt…
- Sister of Soul
After a little tram ride down to Saint Kilda we located Sister of Soul and enjoyed a fabulous dinner by the sea watching the sunset. The menu was extensive with so many options, including vegan and raw options! I enjoyed the fresh Pho, Erica had the famous Satay stir fry with brown rice and Caitlin had the completely vego burrito. With full and satisfied bellies we left to relax by the beach.
Quite a small and homely café, snuggled in on the corner Sardi was a one-stop wonder. The granola with rhubarb compote, scrambled eggs with phenomenal paleo bread and fritters with poached eggs were all very much enjoyed! As our final actual ‘brunch’ destination for the week it was lovely to end on a high with a great meal and friendly service. I would have to recommend visiting on a weekday as we did, because I can imagine it would get very packed during prime brunching times on weekends!
The new Emporium food court in Myer has definitely earned its five star rating! Boasting an array of fresh, healthy and real food options in a food court style. I visited Top Juice for a green juice, which I have had previously and have been dreaming of ever since. However, it was a small vegan store Thrive that really blew me away. I’ll admit the menu was a tad confusing, but after some greatly appreciated guidance I was able to order brown rice, an eggplant curry, lentil dhal, side of sweet potato’s and kale. The idea of the store is terrific: you have a few option of a base eg. I had brown rice, then you can add curries and sides, all of which were vegan and delicious! I enjoyed my meal so much so that I returned to purchase a super yummy raw chocolate cake for dessert!
Overall the whole week was great! Lots of time spent with close friends, family and tons of gorgeous & healthy food! All of the places we visited were fantastic and unique in there own special way. Thus I would suggest any foodies or just anyone in general to try out one or two of the places we visited to have a great Melbourne experience. There will surely be another instalment of Melbourne Brunch Adventures soon, so stay tuned!
Love Peta x