For a catch up with Ms W, we went to a cafe in Kew called A Caterpillar's Dream.
Ms W had been there before and liked the food. I liked the sound of the cafe - such a cute name for a vegetarian eatery.
Even on a rainy day, ACD was quite full with lots of locals taking refuge from the drizzle. The menu is a mix of your typical cafe fare (all day breakfasts, pasta, sandwiches/wraps) with a mix of Asian dishes (bento boxes, dumplings, mock meats, etc).
Ms W went for salt and pepper 'squid'. A light, crisp batter and perfectly seasoned. The texture of the squid was like most mock meats - a slightly chewy/firmish texture. As an omnivore, I would have much preferred a plate of real s&p squid.
Ms W also got this omelette pancake thingy (sorry, I can't remember the name of the dish). I had wanted to get this myself, so there was a bit of food envy on my part. A very generous omelette that's filled with shredded cabbage, savoury seasoning and I think some flour to give it some body. It reminded me of a vegetarian sausage roll. It had a very tasty eggyness about it.
I went for the mock duck bento box. The mock duck was a bit more chewier and oily than the squid and had a bit of chilli kick to it. It came with some stir fried vegs and pickled brocolli stalks. It was an okay bento box - not great but not bad.
ACD is a nice place for a vegetarian meal. Kudos for offering a dining experience for herbivores. The service was friendly, but seemed a smidge slow on the day.
While I don't mind eating mock meats, I was a bit disappointed that as a vegetarian cafe it didn't offer more creative dishes without the use of mock meats - bring on more dishes like the omelette wrap!
In terms of price, this was a bit more pricier than I had expected for a mid-range cafe. While I acknowledge that the cost of produce is more expensive these days, I tend to expect a vegetarian dish would (on average) cost less than its meat-based equivalent. Also, ACD has a dessert range which are about $12-$15 each. For me, that's a very pricey dessert for a mid-range cafe. I'd expect to see those prices for a more upscale establishment. I'd be interested to hear your views on this - do you expect to charged less for a vegetarian meal?
Food – 6.5
Service – 7
Ambience – 7
Price – 6.5
A Caterpillar's Dream
Shop 4, 26 Princess St
Telephone: 9939 6133