Posted on 10 / 05 / 2015
This restaurant's reputation precedes itself, and I was looking forward to experiencing some vegan 'fine dining'. My companions and I ordered the white truffle pate, 'blood sausage', tortilla salad, tortilla bean soup and leek and kale bake. Everything on the menu sounds delicious, and clearly much time and energy has been spent making each item sound ravishing. If only such time and energy had been spent constructing the actual dishes themselves, perhaps one would not leave this venue feeling like they'd been ripped off.
The truffle pate - which is plentiful - tasted kind of like a creamy, salty nothingness. The bread provided is enough for the first few scrapings, and each subsequent serving of bread (a couple of tiny slices) costs an extra $2.
Their signature dish - the 'blood pudding' - also tastes of very little except salt (my dining companions suggested that it tasted like white rice, or maybe bread crumbs, salted and dyed with beetroot juice).
The tortilla salad seemed promising - a deep-fried tortilla stuffed with mounds of TVP and bean mix, topped with a creamy coriander cashew paste and a slice of lime - until one dug below the surface to discover most of the tortilla stuffed with almost half an iceberg lettuce (I mean, is TVP really that expensive that you need such filler?!).
The soup was a very basic bean soup with a tiny garnish of avocado, cashew cream and four slices of radish (really not cool to describe a *garnish* as the actual meal). The soggy strips of tortilla add a sort of DIY cheapness to the dish.
The only really delicious item on the menu was the Leek and Kale Bake. Despite not being a fan of kale, I loved this dish: creamy, cheesy, tasty. The tiny dish it arrived in was less than half full - no problem, as it's quite rich - but my companions and I were horrified to discover that, once the mound of 'garlic bread crumbs' had been excavated, this $16 dish comprised less than one centimetre of actual casserole (I mean we're not talking smoked salmon or caviar here!). It was as though the kitchen had a couple of tablespoons remaining, spread it on the base, and filled the rest with bread crumbs to give the appearance of a full serve.
Bottles of water are not provided (possibly due to the tight space), but rather diners are expected to rely on the small glasses being refilled by waitstaff. I had to ask four or five times for water (it was a hot night) by waiters who were standing around doing nothing in a half-filled venue.
Great concept, cool name, yummy cashew cream
Lots of cheap filler, overpriced, mostly bland, uninspired, over-salted dishes