a quick trip to brisbane
In mid April, a friend and I headed off to Brisbane for a few days to see a couple of concerts at the Brisbane Baroque festival. In the day in between the two concerts we squeezed in a night and two half days in the Lamington National Park.
We managed to eat at a few places while we were in Queensland. Thanks to some suggestions from friends, as well as from some helpful fellow vegans who answered a callout on Facebook, we ate pretty well.
First night we grabbed a late lunch at Vege Rama in the happening vibe of the Myer food court. While the ambience may be lacking, the food is great, cheap and filling and almost all vegan. We had a mixed salad platter, a curry plate with coconut potato curry, dhal and rice, with a side order of a spinach and onion pakora. All delicious.
For breakfast the next day we walked to Fortitude Valley to visit The Lost Boys. This is an all vegetarian place with a couple of vegan options. Unfortunately they had run out of the vegan corn fritters that I’d heard good things about, so we settled for the good old reliable avocado on toast, this time topped with some caramelised onions. The coffee was excellent.
Our overnight stay in the National Park at Binna Burra Lodge had filled me with vegan food trepidation. You know what I mean, we’ve all had it. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with no vegan food for miles. I had low expectations even though we had given notice that we were vegans.
It didn’t start well when the only option at the cafe was chips, and the side salad that we ordered with them came out covered in cheese. When we sent it back though, they outdid themselves, presenting us with a large salad about 3 times the size.
Dinner at the restaurant seemed like it might be a challenge too, as getting decent vegan food at a place focussed on a buffet style meat/fish and three veg approach doesn’t seem all that likely. The waiter told me there were four other vegans at the restaurant (we did a small high five and wondered who they might be!). The restaurant had made a vegan braise of artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes and other goodies served with rice and lots of side veggies. It wasn’t the greatest vegan food I’ve eaten, but way better than I had counted on and I was really happy they had given it a go. That’s all I ask really. Breakfast was toast, home made baked beans, steamed asparagus, hash browns and mushrooms. They had soy milk.
In between the eating we went on some wonderful walks in the rainforest. It was a riot of growth, quiet except for the sounds and sights of small birds, wallabies and brush turkeys. I sometimes forget how wonderful it is to be somewhere so peaceful. It is very nourishing.
Back in Brisbane for our final concert we checked out the branch of Vege Rama in the West End. I figured they would have similar menu to the food court and I would have been happy to eat that. But this was a much more upmarket and varied place. Nice surrounds, cocktails, and inventive food. We started with a very drinkable cocktail of coconut, mango, pineapple and Midori. We shared some shiitake dumplings (so delicious we ordered a second plate) and then tempura battered zucchini flowers with cashew cheese, and a celeriac rémoulade and oranges. This second dish was a little bit disappointing with the batter a little pale, undercooked and chewy and everything just a bit white and soft. I’d definitely go back though, the dish just didn’t work even though it sounded good.
Before leaving we stocked up on vegan rocky road from the Noosa Chocolate Factory. We felt like drug runners packing it into the carry on luggage, as all of it was for friends. I’m not a huge rocky road fan, but I am assured it is the bees knees. They also serve excellent coffee with no extra charge for soy milk, and we drank ours there while inhaling all the chocolate scents.
On our way to the airport we stopped for lunch at The Green Edge, a vegan grocery and cafe. We ate delicious junk food, a lentil burger and a meatball sub. Both great. All washed down with a ginger beer spider.
A woman at the table next to us ordered the “Epic” burger which came with every patty they offer, about five I think. It was gigantic. There was a bit of mirthful banter amongst the people at the tables about helping her eat it. 🙂
Vege Rama Myer Centre
91 Queen St, Brisbane CBD
07 3012 8586
Vege Rama West End
Shop 2A, 220 Melbourne St
West End, Brisbane
07 3255 3388
The Noosa Chocolate Factory
144 Adelaide St (also at 156 Adelaide St – The Dark Chocolatier)
The Lost Boys
694 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
07 3162 4195
The Green Edge
Shop 2b, 229 Lutwyche Road, Windsor QLD 4030
07 3861 1132