June was a busy month for mainstream restaurants offering vegan nights.

These are restaurants that always offer good vegan options on other nights, but the special nights were all vegan offerings.

The first was at B’stilla, which I went to, the second was at Woodland House, which I didn’t get to, and the third was another all vegan night at Dandelion in Elwood to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Dandelion has won hats in the Age Good Food Guide for the last four years.

We ate 5 delicious courses of Vietnamese and Thai influenced food and also received a water blessing by a monk. The meal was great value at $65.

First up was a sweet potato, carrot and coconut soup with crispy toasted yam and taro garnished with purple basil. This was lightly spiced and utterly smooth and delicious.

Next was a beautiful pandan pancake filled with pine and enoki mushrooms with a peanut sauce and crispy fried betel leaves. Also delicious.

The next dish was probably the only disappointing dish of the night for me. It was a small salad of barley, pink quinoa, avocado mousse and fried chilli dressed with a mulberry vinaigrette, but it lacked flavour and it was shown up by the first two dishes completely.

The next course was a deeply complex vegetable green curry with choko, kohlrabi, cauliflower, pumpkin and some other vegetables which I don’t recall.  It was beautifully garnished with crispy lotus roots. It was accompanied by brown rice, some stir-fried tofu and snow peas in a mild yellow bean sauce, and a relish of pink grapefruit and herbs. The green snappy snow peas made a great textural contrast to the softer vegetables in the curry.

Two dessert dishes followed, a dark bittersweet chocolate mousse with a mangosteen sorbet, chunks of crunchy honeycomb and a pomegranate tuille. The mousse had a brulee top that gave a satisfying crunch. The mousse defeated me, it was so delicious, but so rich I had to give up up about half way.

Lastly a coconut, cashew butter and cumquat crispy slice/biscuit made a great finish with the coffee.

I loved my meal at Dandelion, the flavours ranged from delicate to bold, the food looked beautiful and I would be happy to return any time.

133 Ormond rd, Elwood
03 9531 4900


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