A day of deliciousness: Admiral Cheng-Ho, Gelato Messina and Reverence Hotel

Yesterday was a good day. Not only did I get to have hangs with Billy and family and see some bands, we also got to eat some really delicious food. What more could I ask for? Good company + good music + good food = happy.

While trying to decide on somewhere to eat, my mum suggested Admiral Cheng-Ho, which she had read about online. I was only too happy with this decision as it was definitely on my ‘to-do’ list after reading about Cindy and Michael’s visit there a couple of weeks ago.

We wandered in for a late-ish lunch and were greeted and seated by the friendly staff there. Looking over the menu there was plenty of deliciousness, and the majority of it was already vegan (with much of the remainder having the option to be). They do an all-day breakfast (yay!) as well as a selection of sandwiches and salads for lunch.

I was pretty sold on the breakfast menu, and though I loved the sound of the quinoa pancakes I was definitely in the mood for something savoury. I (along with most of our party) went with ‘The Admiral’ – zucchini fritters with sauteed kale, seasonal vegetables, tangy beetroot relish and basil cashew cream.

ImageThis was exactly what I could have hoped for. The fritters were light and fluffy, and while they weren’t bursting with flavour on their own, the sides and balsamic drizzle were the perfect accompaniment, offering beautiful zestiness and creaminess. I was slightly apprehensive of the beetroot relish, seeing as though it is not my my most loved vegetable, however the tanginess did a great job at neutralising the sweetness – which is what I think I don’t like about beetroot in the first place. And oh my goodness, the basil cashew cream…whaaaaaat?! This is AMAZING. I need a tub of this to dip everything in. Seriously.

I didn’t grab snaps of the other dishes – the other two both went for the Umami mushrooms on pumpkin, spinach and sundried tomato polenta bread. They had the non-vegan option, which included goats cheese as well as thyme and red chili oil. It looked delicious and had a good reception from both.

While I would have loved to grab a coffee, I just couldn’t face it in the heat. Billy and Ellen had the guys whip them up a specialty iced chai, which was lovely and refreshing, and mum and dad both went for a glass of coconut water. We were all very happy customers, and I’ll no doubt be returning to give the rest of the menu a good try.

After lunch, we went over to Gelato Messina, which mum had been hanging out to go to for some time. There was a bit of a line when we arrived, but it moved fairly quickly and actually gave us a chance to look over the menu which was quite extensive. They had some really interesting flavour combinations, and while the vegan selection was limited to the sorbets, they had some flavours that were far from ordinary.

ImageI couldn’t resist getting three flavours to try, and I went with blood orange, salted coconut with mango salsa, and pear and white balsamic. The flavours were all beautiful, the salted coconut being a stand-out favourite. The balsamic pear was awesome too, tangy and packed with a pear punch.

ImageBilly went with a combo of the salted coconut, passionfruit and chocolate. The chocolate was amazingly rich, and the fruity passionfruit balanced it out nicely. Billy was stoked, claiming it to be the best gelato of his life and then declaring that it would be the last ice-cream he would ever eat, as there would be nowhere to go but down from there. We’ll see about that….

After wandering Smith St for a while, we headed over west to Footscray, as we were going to a show later in the evening. To kill some time, we headed over to the Reverence for a beer and to get out of the sun for a while. After our late lunch, we weren’t super hungry but looking over the menu we thought we had best sample at least something while we were on this side of the city. I am totally loving the surge of vegan pub food available in Melbourne right now. So many options! The menu at the Rev is Mexican-inspired, with a bunch of snack/small plates and larger meals, as well as a selection of pizzas (and a few desserts).

ImageWe went with some taquitos, which were stuffed with vegan chorizo, sweet potato and refried beans and topped with guacamole, lime and tomatillo sauce with a side of chipotle mayo. HOLY MOLY. These were SO FREAKING GOOD. It was like an explosion of delicious in my mouth. Neither of us had ever had a taquito before, but this will definitely not be the last. We raved about these allllll night. And even today. All we have been doing is planning our next feasible time to visit the Rev for more food.

ImageObviously we couldn’t have bar snacks without the spicy shoestring fries (with chipotle lime mayo). To be honest, neither of us could detect much chipotle or lime in the mayo, but we enjoyed the creaminess nonetheless. The fries were generously seasoned which I love. They were gone in a flash.

And so ends our day of delicious eats!


Admiral Cheng-Ho
325 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Mon-Fri – 6am – 4pm
Sat-Sun – 8am – 5pm

Gelato Messina
237 Smith St, Fitzroy
Sun-Thurs – 12pm – 11pm
Fri-Sat- 12pm – 11.30pm

Reverence Hotel
28 Napier St, Footscray
Kitchen Hours:
Mon – CLOSED
Tues – $3 Tacos only, from 6pm
Wed-Sat – 6pm – 10pm
Sun – from 3pm

0 thoughts on “A day of deliciousness: Admiral Cheng-Ho, Gelato Messina and Reverence Hotel

  1. I’m drooling! Basil cashew cream? I’m going to try to make that. And you got in to Gelato Messina? It’s on my way home from work, but the queues are soooo long, I’ve never had time to wait. The taquitos look incredible too. This is exactly why I’m putting on weight!

    1. I know, right? It was sooo smooth and creamy and delicious. I want to try and recreate it too!

      Yeah there was a bit of a queue, we waited maybe five minutes to be served…but I needed that long just to decide on the flavour!

      There is FAR too much delicious vegan food in Melbourne. Seriously!

  2. I am super jealous of your heat and the gelato. I mean, the gelato. I would totally complain about the heat;)
    I am also not the biggest fan of beetroot, bu that relish sounds great and I love the presentation of that dish.

    1. Hehe, yeah, we have a tendency to complain whatever the weather! I don’t mind the heat, though the heatwave we had the other week of 42-44C every day was pretty crazy and quite justified I think. Just means more gelato though! Yes, they did a wonderful job presenting that dish – it was really beautiful. I’m going to aspire to use beetroot in a similar way – I want to eat it because I know it’s good for me and I don’t want to accept that I don’t like it! (I like it in chocolate cake 😉 )

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