As part of my monthly mission, I decided I would also hold a monthly event to go along with it! This would allow bloggers and friends to join me, allowing some interaction and fun offline and not just online. You can imagine how nervous I was when I started inviting friends to a vegetarian event…
Luckily, I have some amazing supporters who came to share this unique experience with me. I was after somewhere I hadn’t particularly heard of, but still sophisticated enough for my first dinner event. I came across Shakahari in Carlton and realised they had a second branch in South Melbourne, which looked worth checking out.
It looks small from the front, but they led us to another dining area at the back. The fish on the walls and mythical creatures on the menu seemed to provide some undertones of possible spiritual influences on the type of food they serve.
I found the menu quite accessible for people who aren’t vegetarian – as everything still managed to sound familiar yet delicious. Whilst we decided on our mains, we enjoyed the Avocado Magic for entree; tempura avocado wedges and capsicum rolled in eggplant, served with coriander and sesame puree.
I feel like this was quite creative for a vegetarian entree, and I particularly enjoyed the puree to provide more flavour to the batter.
My friends also ordered a few non-alcoholic drinks. The left drink tasted a bit like apple juice, whilst the right included tamarind and had a bit of a sour aftertaste. I feel that the vibe of the restaurant meant these drinks are supposed to showcase natural ingredients and provide some sort of cleansing in the body.
- Nonya Lodeh ($22): Basmati rice, coconut curry, pappadum (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
- Italian Secret ($22): Spaghetti or Linguini tossed in herbal oil, fresh basil and pesto (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
- Green, Green Laksa ($20.50): Udon noodles in Thai krachai and basil green coconut stock (Vegan, Non-dairy)
- Croquettes Quinoa ($20.50): Patties of mashed yam, potatoes, quinoa and more (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
- Lasagne Conchita ($22): Lasagne layered with cousous, kale, pumpkin, chia seeds and more (Dairy)
I had the lasagne, which was so large I struggled to finish it. The layers filled with couscous really made a filling meal and The Sunday Oven beside me also couldn’t finish her’s. For the first time in my life, I would recommend making the lasagne a tad smaller and providing more of the sides and salad to balance it out!
I felt like I also had a bit of food envy for the people who ordered the laksa – it looked delicious and I usually enjoy tofu dishes.
- Lemongrass Coconut Cheesecake ($15.50) (Dairy)
- Flourless Chocolate, Cherry and Fig Pudding ($15.50) (Dairy, GF)
- Tofu Caramel ($14.50) (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
- Black Rice and Sago Pudding ($14.50) (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
- St Ali Coffee Ice-Cream ($6.50, not pictured)
After some talk, most of us still had room for dessert and I loved the variety in the menu that seemed to cater to all my guests’ tastes.
I had the tofu caramel, but was slightly disappointed as the caramel flavour wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped nor did there seem to be enough sauce to liven up the tofu. My friend’s black rice on the other hand was delicious. It wasn’t pretty, and looked like “cat food” according to Consider the Sauce. But warm and topped in milk, pandan and coconut caramel, the flavour truly shone.
Some of my guests also chose the freshly made ice-cream. The coffee flavour was made with St Ali coffee and tasted stronger than your usual coffee ice-cream, but I really enjoyed it at that strength.
Thanks to everyone who made it to this event and I hope you enjoyed the food. I’m glad everyone also enjoyed my cards and programs for the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne – the event that inspired this vegetarian theme.
There’s no mock meats here, so don’t expect that, but expect some flavoursome and creative vegetarian food. I’ll be trying more vegetarian places this month, but feel free to provide suggestions for next month’s event and theme!
Shakahari Too is located at 225 Clarendon St, South Melbourne and is open for lunch Tue-Sat 12-3pm and dinner Wed-Sat 6-10pm. They will start opening Tue-Sat 6-10pm from 2nd September.