The Laughing Owl

The Laughing Owl


Posted 2019-04-26 by Justine de Jongefollow
A road-trip to Belgrave in Melbourne's outer east brings patrons back to nature and food inspired by nature. Nestled in The Dandenongs is the vegetarian and vegan café The laughing Owl .

is placed along the main strip and flanked by other small eateries and specialty shops. What makes special is the fact that you need to arrive early in order to secure a table. The shop is cosy and warm, with a beaming atmosphere to match the rhythmic hum of the ever-busy coffee machine at the counter. Every nook and cranny houses a table, bench and chair so that space is maximised and patrons can vie a spot at this popular café.

is a 'café with a conscience', emphasised by its dedication to plant-based fare and ethical ingredients. Patrons are spoiled for choice if they want to sit back over a long and lazy brunch, or who stop quickly for a takeaway coffee and cheeky treat from the over-flowing cabinet. Towering cakes anointed with fresh flowers, smaller treats like slices, biscuits and balls all add to the selections here so it's no wonder a steady stream of foot traffic wander in and take a few moments to make their choices.

Patrons also have a choice when it comes to their coffee – takeaways are served in recycled jars, complete with screw-top lids that eliminate spillage. In a time when minimising waste is so important, this genius solution to disposable cups and lids is a popular point in 's conscious business model. Patrons can also buy an eco-cup if they choose.

If patrons are lucky to score a table (yes, can take bookings in advance), a tasty short order menu waits with flavours to satisfy plant-based and non-plant-based customers alike. For a cooler day, the zucchini fritters are a delicious choice. Lightly fried patties snuggle within a light salad of greenery and corn salsa, all flavoured by a sweet and spicy house-made chilli jam. The heat from the chilli will warm a cold body if the weather conditions outside are less than favourable. 's 'naked' burger is another filling choice; dense burger patty that's layered with salad, balsamic glaze and creamy condiments.

While patrons wait for their meal (not too long a wait), they indulge in a soy latte, warming hot chocolate or vegan chai while admiring the quirky furnishings. A gorgeous selection of glass bottles and lanterns hang from a ladder attached to the ceiling, playing in the sunlight peering through the vast shop window-front. Lights are strewn across the shop's ceiling, joined together by dried tree branches.

It's best to leave some room for something sweet afterwards. There are many gluten-free options for vegetarian and vegan patrons, and a slice of the day's cake is always a reliable go-to that will satisfy the sweet tooth.

Whether it's served at the table or as a takeaway for later, it's a wonderful finish after a tasty and satisfying brunch. Patrons lucky enough to get a table at won't leave disappointed.

173277 - 2023-06-15 12:03:08


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