225 Clarendon St
South Melbourne, VIC 3205
03 9682 2207
Prior to last year’s Bhutan trip, Fatbee left Melbourne a week earlier… leaving me behind to ‘fend for myself’. I moved back to my apartment… had Weet Bix for dinner, looked at the four walls and started panicking. I next sent SOS texts to my friends and organised catch up dinners for the rest of the week so that I won’t have to “Weet Bix” it again.
That’s how Damo and Eric agreed to have a catchup meal with me at this vegetarian restaurant.
As for our choice of venue, while Eric still enjoys his meat, Damo has shifted his culinary preferences towards vegetarianism. On this front, I’m becoming a bit like that as well… until I have a plate of bacon or roast duck in front of me, where I’ll slide backwards into a meat-guzzling gremlin. Yeah… I’m only human!
LASAGNE CONCHITA (dairy) – 22.0
Rustichelle d’Abruzzo lasagne sheets (Italian) layered with dark olives, kale, couscous and walnuts, and sweet corn, shredded pumpkin and chia seeds. Served with herb roasted root vegetables and salad greens and tomato sauce.
MUSHROOM AGNOLOTTI (vegan, non-dairy) – 15.5
Individually made saucer-like dumplings filled with cup and portobello mushrooms textured with quinoa flakes. They are pan-fried with herbal oil, laced with balsamic reduction and chilli oil.
We each picked a main and then proceeded to share all of our dishes. The minced meat in the lasagne has been replaced with lots of couscous, giving quite a bit of fibrous weight to the dish. Presence of sweet corn made this main dish lean towards the sweet side, which was something I wasn’t that keen on.
The mushroom dumplings turned out to be a hybrid of sorts, where crisp fried Malaysian rotis came with chopped mushroom “duxelle” as its filling inside. It was drizzled with a vinegary balsamic dressing and the presence of chilli oil was mild.
CROQUETTES QUINOA (vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free) – 20.5
Crunchy patties of steamed mashed yam, potatoes, roasted macadamia nuts, pickled turnips, diced vegetables and black quinoa. Served with herbal oil, tossed steamed greens, kim chee and a mild citrus red capsicum sauce.
These quinoa croquettes turned out to be the nicest of the three main dishes that we ordered. It reminded me a bit of Indonesian Perkedel (potato croquettes) but a healthier and slightly nutty version of it. I liked how the accompanying sauce came tangy and spicy, which cuts through the richness of the carb-heavy croquettes nicely. This dish came with a side serve of Korean kim chi.
LEMONGRASS COCONUT CHEESECAKE (dairy) – 15.5
Lemongrass flavoured coconut and freash mascarpone set in a crusty biscuit base. It comes with reduced palm sugar and blue berries
We ended our meal with two shared desserts. This cheesecake was light and has a texture that reminded me of tofu or agar agar. I liked how it wasn’t too sweet and it came with a subtle hint of fresh lemongrass. Very nice.
BLACK RICE AND SAGO PUDDING (vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free) – 14.5
Black rice and sago cooked in coconut and organic quinoa milk flavored with pandan leaves. Topped with caramelized coconut threads
And finally, we had a mixed pudding of black rice and sago. The rice gave what’s normally a soft sago dish a firmer texture and more fibrous bite, which I liked. The coconut and quinoa milk was also lovely and I believe they also used palm sugar to sweeten this dish, topped with delicious morsels of shredded coconut.
Overall, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the main dishes that we had here… but I have to admit that the desserts at Shakahari were great.