The other week, the bear and I decided to go out to Northcote to see a comedy show as a part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival that took over town for a few weeks. I haven’t really spent much time in Northcote – mostly because it used to be kind of far and out of the way for me, but living and working closer to the city now means it’s quite within reach. This is exciting news, given the experience we had at Loving Hut.
Loving Hut is an international chain of vegan restaurants, which focus on the provision of affordable, cruelty-free food. The Northcote restaurant has only been open for a few months, while there has been one in Richmond for some time now (incidentally it is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER from my new place!). While I am yet to visit the Richmond one (I know, right?!), we popped by the one in Perth when we were in Western Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
We decided to order a few dishes to share in order to make the most of the experience. First up, spring rolls.
Next up we got some of the southern fried chicken. I had to try this after seeing it on Cindy and Michael’s blog, as well as over at Veganopoulous. It did not disappoint. The texture was amazing – a thick, crunchy batter with chewy, stringy insides…I honestly don’t know how they do it, it’s one of veganism’s mysteries. Served with a creamy spiced mayo, I enjoyed every bite.
We decided to get the rainbow salad to ensure we got some fresh veggies and not just a huge meal of mock meats. This was a good move. While the constituents of the salad were not particularly impressive, they provided a fresh, juicy break from the fried-ness of our other dishes. The two dressings were great, I particularly enjoyed the herb-y punch of the green one.
While we were eating, I saw a specials board which had earlier gone unnoticed. On it was an entree item of fried silken tofu bites, which I knew immediately that I had to try. After ordering a serve, we were so glad that we did. These were hands down the most delicious things of the night. Perfect little golden crispy medallions that melted in your mouth when you bit into them. They were seasoned with herbs identical to those used on Grill’d chips, and served with a vegan tartare that was mind-blowingly spot on. I have no idea how they got it so creamy – another vegan miracle. The bear and I could not stop talking about these for days (possibly weeks?). Even the folks at the table next to us asked one of the staff members what was on our table and ordered themselves some. I am trying to come up with excuses to go back there, just so I can eat these little gems again.
All that only cost us around the $30 mark between us.
Completely satisfied, we wandered down to the social club to catch the comedy show, only to discover it had been cancelled. Not to worry, the night was still marked down as a success thanks to the delights of dinner.
With lovely staff, quick service and delicious meals, Loving Hut Northcote is definitely a winner.