Loving Hut Northcote: Pictures of half-eaten meals

A note before I start: I’m back and feeling almost normal! Thanks so much for all the get well messages. Of course, I wasn’t on the computer to read them until today, but it was a lovely surprise to come back and see that someone had noticed I wasn’t here. 🙂 I was writing blog posts in my head while I was lying around last week, even though I couldn’t write them down. So here’s the first…

You know what (for me) is the hardest part of being a vegan blogger? It’s not thinking of topics for posts. It’s not even writing the posts (although that can sometimes be tricky). The hardest part for me is to remember to take pictures of a meal BEFORE I dig in and make a mess of the dish! Our visit to the new Northcote Loving Hut a couple of weeks ago was a prime example.

Loving Hut Northcote opened its doors very quietly, a few days before Christmas. Although I’d been impatiently waiting for them to open, the pre (and post)-Christmas madness kept me busy and I only made my first visit about two weeks ago.

The first thing that struck me when I walked in the door was that I had never seen a cleaner restaurant anywhere. I seriously think you could eat off the floor! It was also very quiet – Tuesday lunch time – so there were only 3 other diners in the fairly huge restaurant. I imagine it gets much busier later in the week and in the evenings. Anyway, this meant that we got attentive service by the friendly staff, and we were served very quickly.

We weren’t all that hungry, but I wanted to check the place out, so we shared a meal.

Fried dumplings

I prefer steamed dumplings, but B wanted fried, so I agreed because I wanted him to like the place enough to make a return visit.

Only two dumplings and sweet chilli sauce

Oops! We’d already eaten most of them before I remembered to take a photo.

They were tasty and crisp, and we’d barely started eating them when our main meal arrived. That was fine because we were just sampling and sharing bits and pieces anyway, so we had lots to choose from.

Fried Chicken

I usually dislike mock meats, but I couldn’t resist the fried ‘chicken’. We ordered a big Rainbow Salad to counteract the oil, and a serve of steamed rice was complimentary at lunchtime.

Fried 'chicken' balls

Fried ‘chicken’ balls

The mock chicken was a bit of a novelty for me. It was like chicken, but not so much that it made me think it really was chicken, i.e. there were no veins, bones, sinews, gristle or guilt.

What I really wanted from the fried ‘chicken’ was the oily, crunchy, salty coating – and it definitely had all that. It wasn’t the kind of thing I’d like to eat everyday – but it was good fun and obviously popular. Two of the other three diners had also ordered it. I also saw that Veganopoulous ordered it on her visit, and after seeing her post, I wondered if we actually got two serves!

Rainbow Salad

The Rainbow Salad, on the other hand, is something I could certainly eat every day. Super crisp and fresh, with two dressings on the side. The green dressing was particularly delicious! It tasted of fennel or aniseed and I dipped everything into it.

Half-eaten Rainbow Salad

As you can see, I hadn’t learnt my lesson and we’d almost finished it before I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture.

Where to find Loving Hut

Loving Hut is on High Street, Northcote, just south of Separation Street (where the old NQR used to be). Catch the 86 tram from the city and get off at Chemist Warehouse, or catch a South Morang train and jump off at Northcote Station. Or, if you live near me, you can just walk!

Like all Loving Hut restaurants, the menu is totally vegan. It’s such a lovely treat to be able to choose ANYTHING from the menu without having to read the fine print or beg or negotiate. I had photographed a menu when they’d just opened, but it has expanded considerably since then.

Actually, looking on the bright side, my bad (and missing) photos are a good excuse to make a second visit soon – and next time I’ll arrive hungry so we can include dessert and photograph each dish BEFORE I start eating it – and also get a picture of the full menu, then I can call myself a proper blogger!

14 thoughts on “Loving Hut Northcote: Pictures of half-eaten meals

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell, but glad you’re doing better. Being sick sucks!

    I can totally relate to not getting a snap in before eating…especially with my boyfriend. I only have to blink and he’s already half demolished a meal. Loving Hut looks interesting, I’m keen to go and check it out. I’ve only been to the one in Perth, which is very different – a bit more mish mash of raw foods, western-style dishes like quiche and pies, as well as a couple of asian-inspired dishes. Still yummy though!

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one! Loving Hut is a bit of a mystery to me. From what I’ve seen, they all seem to be different. I don’t think they’re really a franchise, they just get permission to use the name if they meet certain criteria…at least I think that’s how it works. 🙂

  2. great to hear you’re feeling better 🙂 I’ve also done plenty of the eat-first-think-about-photos-later! With the fried chicken, I got the cheaper option ($12 I think) which had three pieces, the other option was $15 or $18, with more pieces. The table next to us seemed to have what you ordered because there were lots more than mine. I have to stop thinking about that delish dish now that I’m trying to avoid fried stuff!

    • Ah, that solves that mystery then. Of course, if I’d remembered to take a photo of the menu, I might have been able to figure that out myself! I saw amongst your blog post headings that you’re getting very healthy now – but I haven’t had a chance to read all the posts since I’ve been allowed back on screen. I have a lot of catching up to do this week, and I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂

  3. Sounds like an interesting place – glad to hear you are feeling better. I am pretty much in the habit of taking pics – though sometimes the food is so good you just want to eat it – but I find it hard to stop others digging in when I want to take a photo

    • Thanks Johanna. You’re an experienced blogger – hopefully I’ll get the hang of the photo thing too, soon. Although I failed again with tonight’s dinner. I feel like Bart Simpson in Lisa’s ‘Is my brother dumber than a hamster?’ experiment!

  4. As a Northcote local, I’m eager to try the Loving Hut–in June upon our return from Taiwan (fortunately there is a lot of vegan fare here).

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