Another great vegan-friendly vegetarian restaurant to add to my list of new favourites. Especially when I need a proper table service and a licensed restaurant for a special dinner occasion. Although the number of vegan-friendly eateries in Sydney are expanding, I must say that it’s still quite difficult to find more formal dining options. There’s just not many of them around. I’ve only managed to find a handful of them: Otto’s Restaurant in Wolloomoolloo, Yuli’s in Surry Hills, and this – Harvest in Rozelle.
Because I no longer eat animal products, some people think that I’ve turned to this weird ‘save the planet’, barefoot-walking, pink-haired hippie… or heading in that direction *palm on face*. Just because they have seen some strange-looking anti-war, unshaven, braided hair fruitarian from Bryon Bay who happened to be vegan, all of a sudden all vegans are weird, smelly, and wear nothing but hemp. Right.
Obviously I’m not, and I’ve been forever convincing everyone (including my own boyfriend) that I won’t be dying my hair pink or have ‘Peace’ tattooed on my neck anytime soon. This gets a little difficult when we visit a vegan joint in Enmore and see people with exactly that. I always get the look from him followed by an expected smirk comment I am so used to hearing … ‘look Keren, your friend’… Yes, I know… he’s still a work in progress…
Well, I’m happy to say that there’s no way of making fun of vegans and vegetarians here at Harvest. Be it the warm atmosphere, respectable layout, well-dressed patrons. extensive wine list, great service or the delicious wholesome food, you can safely take your friends here. It will appeal to even the toughest, pickiest, pompous omnivorous friends, colleagues, family members or (in my case) boyfriend.
The menu is 100% vegetarian with a pretty decent vegan option. I found a couple of dishes without the (V) symbol that are vegans by default (i.e., vegetables), so it pays to look at the description on the menu. The menu says that the restaurant use no animal products (Excluding Dairy). I think they need to include eggs on the exclusion list too since, the last time I checked, eggs are from chickens. They did say however that their cheeses are rennet-free and their eggs are free-range.
So many options, so little stomach space. For entree, I had the green split pea soup ($12.50) from the Chef special list as it sounded really nice. It was. Creamy and hearty with an aromatic and mild spice flavour of cumin, coriander and turmeric. It’s delicious and comforting and tastes home-made.
For the main, I went with the Tofu and Roasted Vegetables Skewers with Peanut Sauce ($23.50). It’s the first one on the menu list and I remember a friend told me that he always chooses the first one on the menu as it’s always the best one. I think he might be onto something. I got two skewers of delicious marinated tofu squares with roasted pumpkin, potato, sweet potato and eggplant drizzled with a generous serving of Asian-style peanut sauce (think Indonesian Gado Gado or Thai’s sweet peanut sauce dressing) on a bed of wild rice. It tastes too good to be healthy.
Buzz had the vegan version of the English Spinach and Kumara Gnochi ($24.50). Sweet potato dumpling served with roasted Tomato and Sage Sauce. I’m not a fan of the sauce (a bit to bland for me) but I love the slightly sweet and fluffy gnocchi. He thinks the sauce is perfectly fine, so I guess it’s down to personal preference. He likes more simple, mild flavours whereas I like big, punchy flavours. I’m just happy I didn’t have to share my tofu skewers.
Tempted to tried their home-made desserts but we’ll save it for another time. Turns out they also do monthly vegetarian cooking class for those who want to learn how to cook tasty vegetarian meal. You can check out their cooking class schedule on their website. I think I might drag Buzz to one of the classes…
As I went to the bathroom, I saw a cute Golden Retriever sitting patiently just outside the kitchen, right next to the door leading to what looks like a backyard. I wonder if my dog could ever be that obedient.