For those of you who unaware, compared to Auckland (where I grew up in New Zealand), Melbourne has so much more to offer, in terms of accommodating vegans HALLELUJAH! I’m always adding vegan cafes, restaurants, stores and suppliers to my Google maps, so I easily find places around me to check out.
On my way from dance rehearsal to the Hillsong church evening Easter Service, I decided to pop into Smith & Daughters for a quick bite. I was absolutely famished from all that leaping around and I didn’t have time to run home to fix myself dinner, so what better time to visit a local vegan joint?
Smith & Daughters is located at 175 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy Melbourne, quite a funky area with lots of thrift stores and unique graffiti work. The restaurant itself is quite dimly lit, but very spacious, with a few tables around the side and one large long table down the middle of the room. The far wall displayed an array of artistic works, as well as an awesome light depicting the words “EAT VEGAN”, on the other corner of the restaurant is the bar, which of course serves vegan drinks, so you won’t need to be checking on barnivore before ordering every drink!
For a vegan, there is nothing better than being able to choose from the entire menu, but in some cases it leaves us sitting at the table reading the options over and over, having absolutely no idea what to choose (FYI that was me) The menu at Smiths & Daughters featured Latin inspired vegan dishes from Melbourne’s very own award-winning chef Shannon Martinez.
Despite the fact this was my dinner, I opted for a breakfast dish of french toast. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a place that serves vegan french toast, GOOD vegan french toast. The dish is described as follows:
Spanish French Toast — Shannon’s grandfather’s recipe. Spanish-style french toast dipped in spiced wine syrup, coated with batter and served with poached quince.
I’m not sure whether it was because I was so hungry from all that dancing, but this tasted phenomenal. I KID YOU NOT. The bread was cooked to perfection — soft, but not mushy, crisp at the edges, but not stale that you had to put in elbow grease to cut through (we’ve all had that experience..) The batter itself was quite mild, carefully balanced between sweet and spiced, but not overpowering in anyway. The star of the dish was most definitely the syrup drizzled over top, my oh my, I feel as though my descriptions just wouldn’t do it justice! The consistency was slightly viscous thus preventing it from being soaked up by the bread or spread so thinly across the plate it would be impossible to pick up, the taste was sweet, slightly caramel like, with a tinge of the spiced wine coming through. However, if there was one part of the dish I felt unsure about, it would be the poached quince, personally I like my entire meal to be at the same temperature, or at least similar. The quince was chilled, as it if had come straight out of the fridge, in addition I also felt that it was quite tough to bite into, and the contrast it created with the bread didn’t complement the meal positively, so I ended up eating the two parts separately.
All in all, I did very much enjoy my meal, the staff were all lovely, they made me feel welcome and cared for. Highly recommend you dropping in, if you’re around the area.
Have any of you been to Smith & Daughters? What did you order and how was your experience? Leave me a comment! (: