Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grumpy's Greens

Mr T and I recently went to Melbourne's newest veg restaurant. I was impressed with the couches and the general feel of the place. On Tue night they have $10 mains. Unfortunately though they only have 4 mains to choose from: eggplant parma, pizza, risotto and veg burger. We decided on the risotto and veg burger.

The burger is listed as having cheese and with mustard mayo and they make it vegan by removing both rather than replacing it with vegan versions which left for a relatively bland burger, I ended added tomato sauce to it (that we asked for). The patty itself reminds me of the veg patties you can get in the supermarket which I'm not a huge fan of.

The pumpkin and asparagus risotto is listed as having cheese on it and they also remove that to make it vegan but this time it doesn't appear to affect the taste, it is still quite tasty.

It's disappointing that they don't offer vegan cheese, as I imagine the eggplant parma and pizza won't really be the same without it either.

I've heard rumors that they want all the ingredients to be from Victoria and I understand the wanting to be green, but how green do you think dairy is? I also think relying on cheese in veg meals is just so boring!

I do have small hope for the entrees menu though- the chickpea battered vegetables and marinated tofu skewers sound good but it would be good to see this place have some more interesting vegan choices. Also there are no real vegan breakfast options such as scrambled tofu. At the moment I think I will tend to treat this place more as a bar than a cafe until it hopefully lifts it's vegan game.

Grumpy's Green
125 Smith St
9416 1944
Tue-sun Midday to late


  1. I always find it really disappointing with 'vegetarian' means 'lathered with dairy.' It smacks of a lack of creativity and inspiration and it's so disappointing. I remember pizzas that hid their mediocrity behind a mountain of melted cheese, and it's disappointing that this restaurant falls back to the 'you just take away the thing they don't eat' school of catering for dietary requirements.

  2. It sounds a bit disappointing. Especially the crinkle-cut fries. I don't know why, but I hate them with a passion.

  3. Hi Guys.
    Don't give up us on just yet!
    We are offically one month old yesterday so it's all very new to us.
    We have a new chef starting (currently in vegas getting married... really) and when we do we will be doing a massive menu overturn, the last month has been us testing the waters and seeing what people want.
    Originally we were aiming for a bar with some food but the vegetarian interest has become so high that we are planning to concentrating much more on our vegetarian menu.
    As for Vegan cheese we are planning on having the option and we are currently trailing making our own vegan cheese. The vegan cheese we have found for commercial purchase is unfortunately extremely pricey and it goes against everything we want to do if we start charging ridiculous amounts for our food.
    Our Green attitude comes from showing how a commercial venue can be run on a variety of eco friendly options, while our food is a large part of the picture it also includes using rain water for the toilets, recycled goods, donating to various causes, etc. I do understand the thinking about 'how can having dairy can be green' but we do make a effort to use free range eggs and organic produce. Without dairy we would lose our coffee cliental along with two thirds of our menu along with majority of our wines and we cannot offer vegan options if we are shut....
    Also on the drawing board is vegan deserts and muffins.

  4. Well that's pretty impressive response time. Do you feel all influential now Kristy?

    For a burger a different sauce (like a tahini one or something) would probably do it. A tofu based pizza topping could also work. I agree that the Parma would need some kind of vegan cheese though... Although U'm not really a fan of them myself.

  5. we went there on the weekend too. unfortunately we stumbled on the place just after we ate lunch at trippy taco so we just had beer. we were impressed with the good range of microbrews and their eco friendly attitude. it'll be good when they get that menu change done with their new chef.

  6. GG has been posting the WVD forum and we have all suggested getting in some vegan cheeze and including desserts etc all of which they sounded eager to do!

    I hope the next time you go, you enjoy it more :)

  7. Grumpy's green, thanks for responding and don't worry I haven't given up yet! My initial reviews of east brunswick club and vege 2 go were not great either but now I really like these places. I look forward to trying it again and tasting what sounds like great improvements.

  8. Hey Kristy - I linked to Ani Phyo's pesto in the post but I subbed in pine nuts and cashews instead. And for the zucchini pasta, I just washed it and chopped it into strips by hand and the night after I used a veggie peeler to create ribbons! I don't own her book either but she has a recipes section on her website that's got a few things on it :)

  9. I wasn't going to bother trying it ... until I saw that they commented. Snaps for checking it out and writing a friendly, explanatory reply! Cheers to you, Grumpys Green.

  10. i seem to complain about this a lot but i really hate how a lot of places rely so heavily on cheese and sometimes eggs to give vegetarian food flavour. yes, dairy is hardly green so there's that issue, but how healthy can eating every meal slathered in cheese be? please, CHEFS, you guys are professionally trained, and one would hope, have some kind of interest if not passion for food - so use your talents to find flavour in your food, not use stock standard ingredients to provide all the taste.