Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yong Green Food, Fitzroy by Big Fil

I'm not usually the biggest fan of vegetarian restaurants, often finding the food kind of bland and uninteresting. Even some of the bigger name places around Melbourne have left me disappointed and thinking there must be more to it than this. While not converted to a vegetarian lifestyle by Yong Green Food it's the first vegetarian restaurant that I've been to in ages which has left me wanting to go back to try more of the menu rather than just willing to return.

irst of all, despite the rather nondescript exterior the interior is brightly coloured and interesting. A large dragon painted on one wall, floral decorations on another, a little dark but comfortable and cosy. Complement this with quiet but polite and friendly staff and first impressions are all positive.

The menu is a mixture of raw and vegetarian dishes. For starters Snooze and I went for the raw nachos. I thought the chips were more like a seedy crisp bread than the normal crunchy corn chips, but I did enjoy the accompanying dips. Cashew cream, guacamole and capsicum, all nicely and quite strongly flavoured. I'm not sure whether that came from their being 'raw' foods as strong flavours isn't something I always associate with vegetarian food.

My choice of mains was the Japanese curry - potato, carrot, mushroom, green beans and sliced soy beef in a mild curry sauce. While not much to look at it had good depth of flavour, rich with nicely firm vegetables.

Snooze went for the pho. A very generous serve, particularly the noodles and bean sprouts, and with a nicely flavoured soup. The thing which most interested me though was the soy beef. I'd never actually tried vegetarian soy meat before, put off by the thought of supermarket 'not' peperoni and 'not' beef. However, I was pleasantly surprised by both the taste and the texture. It's not the real thing, not quite, but it's a fairly good substitute for those who choose a more ethical lifestyle.

Finally, to finish Snooze picked out another raw food dish. Our fudge comprised Brazil nuts, avocado agave, coconut and raw cacao. As with the nachos a strongly flavoured dessert, without the smooth textures I'd normally associate with most fudges. A little bit rougher, less sweet and more powdery in texture, probably not to everyone's taste but something to think about ... the impact of raw food on taste and texture.

Thinking back there are probably two words I'd use to describe Yong Green Food - happy and intriguing. Happy for the staff, who unlike in many places seemed to want to be there, both proud of their food and concerned about customer experience. Intriguing for the raw food in particular, with tastes and textures slightly outside the familiar. The raw food did seem a little on the pricey side, though I understand that it's quite labour intensive to make.

Food - 7.5
Service - 8
Ambience - 7.5
Price - 6.5

421 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel: (03) 9417 3338

Yong Green Food on Urbanspoon


Cindy said...

We are big fans of Yong! It's very different to the food we cook at home, which makes us all the more happy to eat it out. :-)

Bureaucrat said...

Did you get a headache (ie detoxing feeling) after all the good, wholesome food?

Laur. said...

Looking forward to giving it a go this weekend!

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