Euro Kitchen European Vegan Café and Restaurant
is one of Melbourne's vegan surprises, serving up traditional European cuisine in 100% vegan versions.
Euro Kitchen's menu is a smattering of European-inspired dishes, from stews and soups from western European countries to the schnitzels, stuffed cabbage rolls and decadent cakes from the east. Traditional dishes from selected countries and regions lay the canvas for veganised versions. The staff at Euro Kitchen is inspired by 'the love of animals, their wellbeing, and their welfare and for the wellbeing of humankind and the planet.'
It's assumed that taking traditional European dishes and making them vegan will face the challenge of replicating flavour and texture. Customers would be excused in thinking that Euro Kitchen had taken on quite an undertaking. Instead, Euro Kitchen has produced a scrumptious menu that challenges tradition and drawing on it at the same time.
Take for example one of Euro Kitchen's signature dishes – stuffed sour cabbage rolls. Nick (Euro Kitchen's owner) explains that the dish is a vegan version of a 200-year old family recipe. Despite an upbringing that was full of meat, dairy and eggs, Nick and his staff have created a comforting and filling meal that echoes its history while seeking a vegan future in the heart of Fitzroy Street. A soy-based mince is simmered with rice and wrapped in wilted sour cabbage leaves, topped with paprika and creamy plant-based cacik (similar to tzatziki). Other veganised signature classics include Swedish 'meatballs' on creamy potato mash and cascading mushroom gravy with sides of Lingonberry jam and picked cucumbers. Another favourite is Euro Kitchen's hearty bean stew with crusty bread on the side. Euro Kitchen convincingly presents these vegan alternatives while challenging the status quo through vegan cuisine. To match the heartiness of Euro Kitchen's meals is a fully stocked bar of vegan beers, wines and spirits.
Euro Kitchen's sides and entrees are just as filling and fulfilling. Euro Kitchen chooses share plates to give their guests a festive start to their main meals, including an all-vegan deli platter, seasonal vegetables, crispy polenta chips and a shopska salad; fresh chopped vegetables dressed with a red wine vinaigrette and plant-based 'feta'.
Desserts are decadent here at Euro Kitchen that will delight any sweet tooth. House-made apple crumble, sticky date butterscotch pudding and honeycomb cheesecake are only a few of the choices on offer, all made from plants. A decent hot drinks menu is available, from coffees, hot chocolates and a range of teas. Customers can spice up their coffee or hot chocolate with a dash of whisky, grappa or brandy.
Through the traditional custom of cooking, Euro Kitchen European Vegan Café and Restaurant succeeds in creating vegan dishes that do not lack in taste, flavour and traditional character. Euro Kitchen prides itself on a homestyle menu, warm and hospitable service accompanied by a mission of loving animals. To have the courage to tweak traditional family recipes and create vegan versions is a gracious and bold step. What Euro Kitchen shows is that breaking tradition really is possible and acceptable in this modern-day world that is more accepting of veganism by the day.