HappyCow is loading...

Shakahari

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 24 reviews )
Contact 03-9347-3848
Find

201 Faraday St (at Lygon St), Carlton, Victoria, VIC 3053

Upscale and creative vegetarian dining serving food with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Indian influences. Busy on weekends, reservations may be necessary to avoid long wait. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm, Mon-Fri 6:00pm-9:30pm, Sat-Sun 6:00pm-10:30pm. Call for hours - tell us.

Category: Vegan-friendly, International, Beer/Wine, Asian Fusion, Gourmet

Reviews (24)

First Review by Aloo

Good but not justifying the price - Edit

I only come here on special occasions, because it's not cheap, with mains around $22 and starters around $15. I came here this weekend and was reminded how I always end up wondering why this restaurant is that expensive. The food is generally good but not amazing, and is not made fresh or from scratch when you order. The upside of this is that your meal can arrive quite quickly. The decor is pleasant near the fireplace, but don't sit directly in front of it. The croquettes tend to be a staple for us, although they vary in quality from one visit to the next. The mushroom dumplings were delicious but tiny for $16. The Salad Shakahari is an unremarkable mixture of vegetables and grains with a tahini-based dressing and does not justify its price. The Sonam Chum Chum was another average mixture of grains and vegetables, although it did have a pleasant nutty component. I would be fine with this food if it were about $5 cheaper per dish. On the weekend we waited for our dessert ($15 for a small fruit crumble!), reminded them after 15 minutes and cancelled after 20 because we had to get to a movie. I don't think you get what you pay for.

Pros: Decent food, Nice setting

Cons: Very overpriced


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Well worth a visit - Edit

We visited this restaurant ten years ago and on a return trip to Melbourne made another visit. It was everything we remembered it being and more. Really great selection of unusual and interesting food, well served. Lovely to have options for starters, mains and deserts - a real night out. Being vegan and avoiding wheat and soy was no problem here, plenty on the menu to satisfy. Good choice of wine and non alcoholic drinks too. Would definitely visit again. A bit tricky to find as it is in a house without the obvious frontage of a restaurant. The building is orange and has trees in front of it, the sign Shakarhari is above but not clear. Persevere though to find it, it is well worth it.

Pros: Good range of interesting food, Friendly and attentive staff, Nice ambience

Cons: Tricky to find restaurant


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great for a special occasion - Edit

As many of the reviewers have commented, Shakahari is more expensive than most of Melbourne's vegetarian establishments. It also offers a more gourmet menu and atmospheric environment. I treat it as a place to go to celebrate a special occasion, but at the same time, it's in a similar price bracket to a lot of places I used to eat out at before I went veg, and I wouldn't call it expensive. As for the serving sizes, they're perfect for me, in fact, they could probably be smaller. An entree shared between 2, a main, and a dessert, and I'm absolutely stuffed. Usually, I skip the entree to ensure that I have room for dessert.

I love the food at Shakahri, and excluding take-away places, I would have had more meals there than at any other restaurant in Melbourne - and it's nowhere near convenient to where I live. It's also somewhere I feel comfortable taking omnis for dinner, they all seem to enjoy it.

Weather permitting, I recommend sitting outside as the courtyard has a lovely atmosphere, and inside can get a bit noisy.

The tofu caramel is particularly amazing, it tastes just like a really good panna cotta.

Pros: Great fusion of flavours, "Fancier" veg restaurant

Cons: Can get noisy


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Elegant and delicious! - Edit

Everything on the menu here is beautifully prepared. Nice variety of international cuisine, fresh ingredients, attention to detail. Nice atmosphere, friendly, attentive staff. Wonderful green papaya salad. Plenty to choose from for vegans.

Pros: Food is beautiful, creative, flavoursome

Cons: I prefer eating at all vegan restaurants


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

One of the best - Edit

Hve always enjoyed this restaurant. Classy, excellent food but not overpriced. One can safely take non vegetarians there and they will be impressed. Good wine list and close to parking and bicycle spaces. There is always a surprise with the menu with new things to try.

Pros: Decor, Food, Prices


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Pretty good - Edit

We sat outside for dinner, which while picturesque, wasn't ideal as the tables were uncomfortable and wobbly. Would be so much better if they smartened up this area like the inside

All the starters were great - can recomend the avocado magic and mushroom polenta

Mains were patchy - satay was great, but the chickpea tofu dish was lacklustre and not worth the time

Service was sweet but super patchy - got the impression they were all travellers working while travelling round Australia rather than professional waitstaff

Pros: Starters, Range of flavours

Cons: Waitstaff not that professional, Poor seating outside


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Treat Yourself - Edit

This restaurant is a little more expensive than the average vegetarian cafe. It is superior to the often 'hole in the wall' vegetarian dining experience with a nice setting and creative menu. I adore their satay kebabs which include tofu, seitan, onions and peppers accompanied by wholesome rice and vegetable pickles. I hope that they never take this off the menu...Later you can grab a coffee and cake accross the street at Melbourne's famed Brunettis.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Cosy - Edit

Cosy, welcoming atmosphere. Great range on the menu. Delicious food. I agree that it’s a bit exy, but I don’t mind supporting a valued food institution and paying a bit extra for food that has this wonderful balance of real, earthy home-cooked, whilst also being chef-cooked and restaurant served.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Very nice food - Edit

We go here very often and the food is always very good. on the down side, it is a bite expensive. If you like mushrooms, I recommend Italian Secret. They also have organic/vegan wines.

Pros: Nice food, Service, Quality

Cons: Price


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Not worth the price - Edit

Decent food, went here for a fancy dinner and was quite underwhelmed. Was my first visit in 10 years.

Would prefer the food from most cheaper veg restaurants, but the service is definitely first class.

Pros: Service

Cons: Pricey


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

A nice dining experience - Edit

Went there for a lunch with my husband- we ordered the avocado magic (tempura with avocado), satay and gnocchi (note-the gnocchi is Asian-style). We enjoyed the avocado magic- it was something different. Satay skewers were good and had been on the menu for 40 years. The gnocchi was okay- I didn't like the seaweed thing that came on the side with the salad. Desserts looked good but we were too full.
I think this place offers a very nice dining experience and the food is reasonable good. They also had a wine list with certified vegetarian/organic wines

Pros: Nice food, Very good service, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Relatively expensive


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great atmosphere but food not up to pricetag - Edit

A group of my friends reserved the restaurant for my birthday after hearing it was an exceptional restaurant. The restaurant itself had a nice ambience and was very much upscale compared to most other veggie places (something which is definitely appealing after tons of very basic hole-in-the-wall veg cafes). The waitress we had was very nice and helped us answer our questions about the menu.

We each ordered something different, but out of the six of us eating, none of us were very impressed by the food despite the fact that we have very different tastes. My boyfriend and I ordered the avocado magic as a starter which cost us $13.50 and was okay but definitely not worth the price as it was a bit tasteless. My boyfriend got the satay plate for about $20 which was again, okay but definitely not worth the price. Also, the plate was pretty small. I ordered the curry plate for about $20 as well but felt what I received for the price was similar to what I would receive for half the price from a takeaway counter. The food was very well presented and looked beautiful on the plate, but it just didn't live up to expectations.

Also, because it was my birthday my friends had brought a cake along but the waitress said it would cost $5 for "cakage" (like "corkage"). They were so unimpressed after the overpriced meal that we just took it home instead.

Although it might be a nice place to take someone on a classy veggie date or take the parents to, I would not bother going again. If I'm spending $20 for a vegan main, or $13 for an entree, it had better be mind blowing!

Pros: ambience, well presented dishes, upscale atmosphere

Cons: grossly overpriced, average food


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

what a hidden gem in the city... - Edit

The restaurant is a small fronted converted victorian house and is easy to miss,but definately worth the search and booking ahead for a table (they get booked out quite quickly) food was excellent, a little pricier than other vegetarian/vegan places but oh so worth the extra dollars!
Some really innovative dishes on the menu, the chef must certainly be very creative...best of all the creations were delicious, there was six of us in our party and we all sampled each others dishes and all of them could not be faulted:)

Pros: creative and unusual menu, efficient staff

Cons: high ceilings make it noisy/echoey, not able to adapt menu to suit customer.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Tasty Foo, Small Portions, Overpriced, No Ambience - Edit

My husband and I went here for dinner on a Monday night. It was pretty full, not packed but busy.

We ordered the gnocchi, Shakahari salad, Couscous, Thai Mango sticky rice, and apple fig crumble.

The gnocchi was a surprise, very tasty, but different than I expected, it had a tofu like texture but was very good.

The Salad was rather small and cold rice and beans was not so appetizing, as they were pretty cold instead of room temperature.

The Couscous with chickpeas was good, but seriously overpriced. The most expensive vegan dish I've ever seen! $21 for some wheat semolina, chickpeas, tomato sauce and a few vegetables... are you kidding?

The Thai Mango Dessert was good but very small and only 1/4 of a mango was served instead of the full mango and large portion of rice they serve in Thailand for $1. This was a total rip off, 1/4 of a mango and rice for $13.50?

The crumble was good, a little dry on top, at least it was cheaper.

The food tasted pretty good and have some nice presentation, but this is not a French restaurant, I did not even pay these prices for vegan food in Paris, so I really felt they are kidding themselves with perceived value. The portions are small and we were still hungry after sharing an appetizer and a main each.

The staff are wearing plain clothes and pretty meek, not personable servers at all. The bathrooms outside are really dirty and disgusting, I can't believe they charge that much for food and leave them that dirty. And the decor and ambience is non existent. If they've been around forever, it doesn't make sense, the place has nothing to offer in a memorable evening except nice food.

Pros: well presented food, good flavor, vegan friendly

Cons: SMALL portions, expensive, dirty bathrooms


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing! - Edit

One of the best vegetarian restaurants iv been to. ALL the mains on the menu are vegan and so amazingly interesting and delicious. The tofu creme caramel is so close to the real thing and the service is fantastic. Highly recommend!


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

TASTY! - Edit

The one of the fancy vego resutrants in Melbourne and actually the oldest. The choices are good, though there are some nice looking vego meals the vegan meals are also lovely. The avocado rolls and whenever I will go back that is what I will order. We went on a friday and could only get a table for 1 hour, that was long enough to enjoy there fast served meals and still enjoy the meals.
I would go back. Entres around $10-15 and mains above $20. to give you an idea. No idea about desert

Pros: Healthy, variety, nice staff

Cons: Need to book table


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

5 star vegan food - Edit

On our last holiday to Melbourne we attempted to visit every vegetarian restaurant (warning: you would need a long holiday to succeed in this) and this tied for our equal favourite place (with Soul Mama). Exquisitely prepared and presented, light delicious food. The only frustrating aspect was the delicious sounding non-vegan items on the menu - why not make them all vegan? Although I love cheap and cheerful food too, it is also great to have the option of an up market restaurant for occasions or to impress someone. Being on holidays, we were able to go on weekdays/nights and it wasn't crowded at all.

Pros: Fantastic food, Classy

Cons: Delicious sounding non vegan dishes


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

Book Ahead!! - Edit

Didn't end up going because I missed out on a table - booked out. I called at 10am and already the place was fully booked for the night, so I was disappointed to miss out but know to book a few days ahead for a Saturday night now! Can't wait to go!!! Just thought I'd let you know (for those who haven't been yet) BOOK AHEAD for weekends!! :)

1 Response

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing experience - Edit

Agree with everything written in the reviews below. One of the best vegan dining experiences I've ever had. Food was blissfully good. Enjoying it immensely. The grilled seitan/tofu skewers with satay were sublime. The red curry was equally delicious.

You cannot miss with this place!!! It is a little pricier than some of the others, but as a fine dining experience it is without equal.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Fanastic and gourmet! - Edit

My meat eating partner and myself enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Shakahari. Fantastic service again and beautiful food! The avocado rolls are different but delicious.. and for the sceptics.. try the tofu caramel, a vegan take on creme caramel... yummo! You wouldn't even know it was tofu!

Pros: gourmet food, great service, great atmosphere


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Special Occasion Venue - Edit

This place has consistently good food and a lovely ambience. I would recmmend it, especially for a special occasion. The menu changes regularly, so there are often new items to try. This is a kind of place you could take meat eaters, and they wouldn't miss a thing & may actually enjoy it!

Pros: ambience

Cons: more expensive than most


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Carlton Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Shakahari closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 2857 times since Aug 2007.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×