Monday, January 25, 2010


Gluten disclaimer: I do feel a little bad for my fellow coeliac sufferers for posting about gluteny dishes, but I only have one week left and then it's back to not eating gluten FOREVER so am having the gluteny dishes while I can. As Danni wisely named it: 'kristy's good bye gluten tour'.

To celebrate our first wedding-ed anniversary Toby and I went to Shakahari for dinner. I've always loved Shakahari, but a bad experience with a birthday celebration there last year left me not wanting to return anytime soon. We had incredibly rude service, average meals and a whole list of things that I had to do to make a large booking. Like pre-order dishes and be there before the restaurant opened. I had high hopes though after both Niki and Carla gave it glowing reviews. Besides, it's the only fine dining veg restaurant in Melbourne. They have changed the menu since I last went there and I swear that the portion sizes are bigger, but the staff insisted there had been no change.

We shared the avocado rolls, the one gluten free dish that we ordered:
The coriander sauce was amazing, however the rolls were not particularly flavourful, also we cut them open and discovered a white substance which I initially thought was vegan cream cheese, however was also flavourless and I suspect may be uncooked batter. Though I'm hoping that someone can correct me.

Toby had the satay legend, the satay sauce was absolutely brilliant, however the rest of the dish was pretty average. I remember the sides on this being full of flavour and I'm sure the seitan used to have a better texture or flavour. As Toby pointed out on the plus size: they used to serve 3 skewers and now you get 4.

I had the quinoa croquettes They used to have a similar dish, with macadamia nuts, that I favour over this. The kimchi had just the right amount of punch of chilli, without being too overbearing but again this dish seemed to depend on the sauce. Kind of the theme for the night. We sadly didn't have room for dessert.

Overall, nothing was bad, it just wasn't amazing. At some stage during the dinner I heard someone yell out my name and it turned out to be fellow food blogger Niki, my photo taking had given me away. Such a small world! I think maybe next time I will follow her lead and just order entrees rather than mains.

Shakahari Vegetarian Restaurant
201-203 Faraday St
Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 3848


  1. Your opinion of both the avocado and the satay is the same as mine during our last Shakahari visit! I really did like that sauce with the avocados though...

  2. Agreed, your review is spot on. The avocado tempura rolls are all about the sauce, and the mains just can't live up to the entrees. Entrees all the way baby.

    Reassuringly, you can order 4 entrees between 2 and a bottle of bubbly and be too full for dessert! My vote next time, 3 entrees and 1 dessert between 2.

    PS Great to meet you and Toby!

  3. It's a shame this didn't blow your socks off - I feel like you deserve to have every morsel of your good-bye gluten tour be nothing less than the epitome of fabulousness. Are you at least able to have last hurrahs with old gluten-y favourites?

  4. I last went to shakahari's last summer in the heat wave and found it a bit average but wondered if it was to do with the heat which wasn't great for having an appetite for food - need to try it again but I think I enjoyed the avocado rolls - in the past I have had excellent experiences so hope they have not just gone down hill

  5. Steph, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    Niki, I will it a go next time.

    Thanks Hannah, that's really sweet!

    Johanna, me too, but am willing to give the entrees a better go.

  6. I completely agree with Niki, also it is vegan cream cheese in the tempura rolls...