Thursday, January 14, 2016

Shakahari, Carlton by Bureaucrat

While I'm an unabashed carnivore, I do enjoy a really nice vegetarian meal.  By this, I don't mean dull-as-dishwater rabbit food or eating a big slab of tofu and trying to convince myself that it's "steak".  There's only one or two vegetarian places that stand out in my mind as being tasty enough to satisfy those who are used to cutting their canine teeth against the muscle of a once living, breathing animal - these places being my all time favourite Smith & Daughters in Fitzroy, Enlightened Chinese Cuisine in Southbank and Au Lac Royal Vegetarian Cuisine in Canberra.  Most other vegetarian places that I've eaten are okay but the food that's served at these establishments wouldn't be able to convince me to go green for good.

So when Ms No Meat organised a dinner for us at Shakahari, a place where she raves about the food, I was very keen to go!  And based on our happy foodie experience, I'm glad to say that Shakahari has joined the ranks of Smith & Daughters, Enlightened Chinese Cuisine and Au Lac. Shakahari offers a fairly extensive range of vegetarian dishes that draws from cuisines around the world.  And it caters for vegans, coeliacs and a range of other dietary needs.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, avocado magic
With so many enticing dishes on offer, we decided to share an entree.  This was Ms No Meat's pick - a dish that she had before and loved - a signature dish called Avocado Magic (vegan, non-dairy and gluten-free).  These are wedges of avo, red capsicums and eggplant that have been fried in a tempura-like batter and served with a green sesame coriander puree ($14.50 for a standard serve - note that the above pic is bigger than a standard serve but I forgot how much the price was).  This was delicious, buttery (from the avo), crispy and not greasy.

Despite all of us wanting to try as much dishes as possible, Ms No Meat suggested that we each order our own dishes as the dishes aren't really plated up for sharing.  However, that didn't stop us from trying tidbits off each other!

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, quinoa, chickpea stew
Snooze ordered the Red Meets White, a vegan, non-dairy and gluten-free dish ($22).  It was red and white quinoa steamed in veggie stock, pistachio nuts and herbs.  It came with a chickpea stew that had plenty of eggplant, tomato and choko.  Served with a watercress and goji berry salad with a basil vinaigrette.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, laksa
Ruby Grapefruit ordered the Laksa Hebat (vegan, non-dairy, $21.50).  The laksa had organic udon noodles, spinach, mushrooms and bean sprouts in a ginger flower, lemongrass and coconut cream stock.  It was topped with fried tempeh, tofu, seitan and herbs.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, quinoa, croquettes
Ms No Meat ordered a dish that I also had my eye on - the Quinoa Croquettes (vegan, gluten-free, $21).  These croquettes were more patty-shape in style and were made up of yam, black quinoa, buckwheat, macadamia nuts and diced veg.  It was served with kim chi and a chilli, onion and wasabi puree.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, nonya, curry
Big Fil got the Nonya Curry (vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, $22), which had a mixed veg stew that was cooked in a spiced coconut stock and was served with turmeric brown rice and a fresh salad.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, bi-aglut, spaghetti
I was very happy with my big bowl of Urban Spaghetti (vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, $22).  This was a gorgeous and generous serve of Bi-Aglut spagehtti.  I had no idea what Bi-Aglut was at the time, but it tasted amazing and the texture was remarkably like regular wheat pasta.  In writing up this review, I've found out that Bi-Aglut is an Italian pasta brand that specialises in making gluten-free pasta that tastes and feels the same as wheat pasta - and I can tell you that it is spot on!  As I'm gluten intolerant, discovering Bi-Aglut pasta was a revelation! My pasta was tossed through a delicious sun-dried tomato and pine nut pesto, baked portabello mushrooms and asparagus.  I asked for them not to put the shaved soy cheese on top as I'm not a fan of soy.

Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, chia, pandan, sago
While I was plenty full, the rest of the Eat and Be Merry Crew ploughed on for dessert.  This included the pandan chia seed sago ($14.50)...

 Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, tofu, caramel, dessert
...tofu caramel ($14.50)...

 Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, coconut, ice cream
...and a couple of serves of organic coconut ice cream ($7).

 Shakahari, Carlton, Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free


We loved it


Wow-ee!  With the punchy flavours, interesting dishes and fresh ingredients you'll definitely won't miss having meat in your meal at Shakahari.  Definitely give it a go!  Ms No Meat advises that the menu changes often so there's always something new to try.

Find it at

201-203 Faraday Street
Carlton 3053
Phone: 9347 3848

Shakahari Vegetarian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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