Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published May 19th 2014
A place where kind food meets Melbourne's hungry dinner trade
There are myriad dining choices from Collingwood to Brunswick for Melbourne's vegetarians and vegans, and they're well-catered for, no matter what time of day, though the choices reduce to slim pickings when you crawl along Hoddle Street towards the bay. By the time you reach St Kilda, you're sure to be famished and in search of a substantial meal.
Sister of Soul is the newest vegetarian kid on the south-eastern block and has flung its bay windows open to the Acland Street trade. If you sneak in early, you have optimum choice of sitting among furnishings that have been stripped back to the basics – raw timber, exposed brickwork and lightbulbs dropping from the ceiling, their brightness mellowed by the wicker baskets that shade them.
Once you settle yourself into a chair, you're greeted warmly by a tempting vegetarian menu. If you're vegan, then you're welcomed too. There's a modest selection of choices for vegans here which means you can dine away – from starters to mains – and even indulge in a vegan dessert (a rarity among these parts, sometimes). The menu does encourage its guests to "step into the lightness", but those who dine here won't walk away hungry.
Keep the hunger pains under control with an order of raw lasagne; a winning choice that rewards the tastebuds. Thinly sliced raw zucchini 'lasagne' sheets are stacked in between creamy cashew ricotta, a walnut mince and hearty, tomatoey sauce. This weighty stack comes aside a serve of fennel and radish salad, and the whole meal slides down well with a pot of Mountain Goat beer. It's at this point when you might feel you're done for the night (the lasagne is deceptively filling). If you're a sweet-tooth, then a vegan dessert simply can't be overlooked.
Head for the chocolate and beetroot cake, served with a soft scoop of fruity sorbet and sticky sweet praline crumble. If you're dining on your own, you may be heading for Struggle Street, though it's the perfect dessert to share if you can't handle a whole slab on your own. The cake is dense, moist and wickedly rich; a crowning end to a kind meal.