It seems it wasn't so long ago I used to go for a coffee in the mornings at Tyranny of Distance. It was an eye-opener to realise they now only open from 3pm onwards to 1am, thus turning themselves into a venue for dinners, with kitchen hours at 4-10pm. That wasn't the only thing they went and changed while I was sleeping during the pandemic. They are now a full-fledged vegan restaurant, and have been for the past two years or so. A good thing I'm vegan as well, and how convenient that they're practically across the road from me at 147 Union St, Windsor.
Gathering a few friends together just so I could have a few dishes to photograph (what are friends for), off we went for a meal before Drag Queen Bingo in Prahran. You need to make a booking online, via the website. You could also try calling them after 3pm on (03) 9525 1005. Situated just a shop back from the ice-cream shop Pidapipů down Union Street, off we trotted into a large private dining space with a pink backdrop of a wall behind us, adding to the excitement and anticipation of trying out the vegan menu.
As is the norm these days, there was a QR code stuck onto the bottle holding some greenery (see last pic) for a COVID safe check in and to view the menu. However, at Tyranny, you don't order via the Chrome menu link. It's just for viewing. When you've decided what you want to eat, the waitress will come over and take your food and drinks order in person.
There was an exciting selection on the menu and here are some of the food we ordered. Just say the word roti, and I'm in! We had the Duck Roti Rolls (keep in mind it might say duck or chicken - but it's ALL vegan!), which was a sweet and soy roasted duck, spinach, bean shoots and cucumbers rolled into a warm, pliant, light but not too light roti which made it beautifully filling, served with a lime wedge and sriracha mayo which was the perfect accompaniment. That went down a treat and had I known it was so filling (at $14), that would have done me for dinner.
Luckily there were 5 of us to share the food around so everyone got a taste of everything. Next up was the Arancini which was a porcini truffle-infused risotto with wild mushrooms and rich parmesan, served with lemon garlic aioli and a rich napoli sauce. By this second round of food (also $14) we were happily swept away into vegan heaven. The arancini was light and hot as it made its way out of the kitchen, with the insides still steaming, so be sure not to bite into those with abandon. Both the roti and arancini were from the Shared Section of the menu but they were generous and filling.
Next up, from the Mains were the Bao Sliders (three on a plate) with tender pork belly marinated in Korean spices, spring onions, Asian slaw, peanut dust and sesame seeds with a serving of spicy mayo. Soft and light, it was wolfed down quick smart with many takers wanting a bite. It's obviously not what you'd order if you have peanut allergies, so be sure to check with the restaurant for allergy-friendly food.
Though from the shared section those Jackfruit Nachos were full on! There was more on the plate than expected and remember, you heard it here - they are a little spicy for those who can't take the heat. For us - no worries. It was tasty with baked corn chips and house blend spiced beans, savoury spiced jackfruit, melted vegan cheese sauce, chargrilled corn, sour cream and avocado. Heaven on a plate.
Everyone's favourite and a generous serving was the Massaman Chicken/Tofu Curry from the Mains. It's a traditional Massaman chicken or tofu curry with Asian slaw salad, mirin wine dressing and steamed jasmine rice and dried shallots. The curry had a light coconut flavour through it that was enticing and tasty and comes highly recommended from all who tasted at the table. One other meal ordered was the Roasted Cauliflower from the shared section (no pic). It's oozing with a nutty brown butter and a creamy caramelised cheese sauce, which I was told was more than up to standard by the one consuming it. I don't think any of us got a look into that one for a taste. All in all, the food was a delightful experience and we can't wait to go back again to try out other offerings on the menu.
Prices range on average from $10-$17 for the shared plates, with most of them in the $14-$15 range and Mains come in at $19-$21, which makes it a very affordable night out to treat yourself. You'll find the Menu on the website along with the drinks menu. Being a bar, you'll find a good range of drinks at Tyranny that includes wine and drinks in cans, bottles, on tap, jugs, classics, mocktails and more. Check it out and swap a couple of meat nights with a vegan replacement. It's highly unlikely you'll be disappointed, and you'll do the planet a world of good. Seriously though, this is good food served at very affordable prices. Best of all is the lovely atmosphere, the attentive, efficient, friendly staff, and nothing beats food served with generosity, looking generous on a plate. Below is my sugar hit. My inner child jumped out and wanted a raspberry soda. Perfect!