Sitting in a shady beer garden on a warm sunny day with a good friend, eating delicious vegan food, is just about my favourite thing to do.
Yesterday was unexpectedly warm and humid. Just the day to pick up an old friend for a walk up to Wesley Anne in High Street Northcote, to sit out the back and enjoy one of their delicious vegan options, along with a glass of chilled vegan wine.
If you don’t know it, Wesley Anne is in a gorgeous old stone building that was (I think I remember hearing) the first church in Northcote. A Wesleyan church – hence the current name. (When my daughter was little she thought it was called Where’s Leanne?)
It’s one of my favourite places to eat with omni friends and family, because it’s not just a lovely place, they also have good vegan options and even have vegan wines marked on the menu.
Soba noodle & marinated tofu salad
I didn’t need to read the menu. I knew exactly what I wanted – the soba noodle & marinated tofu salad. Cool and light and very tasty, this is just the thing for a summer day.
One glass of wine and the cat’s out of the bag!
While we were relaxing in the shade, chatting about kids and parents and holidays, I ‘came out’ to my friend as a blogger. I’ve always been a total wuss about telling my real-life friends and family that I have a blog, because…well, I’m not really sure why. But after just one glass of Te Mania Sauvignon Blanc I told her about the Lentil Institution, so she may well be reading this now! Yikes! What have I done? (Hello Tricia, if you’re out there!) 🙂
I should also tell you that last time the two of us ate out, I suggested Loving Hut, but the thought of the Supreme Master gave her the willies, so we ended up further down the street at Seoul Soul (which I must write about soon). Why do I have so much trouble getting anyone to come to Loving Hut with me! Anyway, back to Wesley Anne…
The soba salad isn’t the only delicious vegan option at Wesley Anne. Last time I visited, back when Mum was in hospital, it was a chilly, dark night. I was in dire need of healthy comfort food and the mushroom risotto, which is vegan on request (they just leave the parmesan off the top) was exactly the kind of warm, rich and satisfying comfort I was looking for. This was also when I first noticed the vegan wines on the menu, and chose a glass of Te Mania Pinot Noir.
I can also recommend some of the side dishes – broccolini & green beans (which you might JUST be able to see in the back of that risotto picture above). They’re lightly cooked, flavoured with whole garlic cloves and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts. And the roasted kipflers – hot and crunchy with more whole garlic cloves (we can’t get enough of them!) and rosemary.
I just wish they had a vegan dessert!
Trio of dips
When my sister and I drop in for the occasional weekend drink, we like the trio of dips – ask for extra bread, because you don’t want to waste any of those dips!
Wesley Anne was one of my favourite places to eat even before I was vegan, so I’m really happy that they have so much good vegan food on the menu these days. Hopefully I’ll be able to find excuses for a few more pleasant afternoons in the beer garden before summer’s over.
And by the way Tricia, if you do see this post please forgive the crappy photography – perhaps I’ll have to get you to give me some pointers…or come and eat with me more often so you can take the pictures!
Wesley Anne is a 250 High Street, Northcote. Enter via the door on the right (the left door is the band room). They often have music of the folky/bluesy kind – free in the front bar, but you have to pay for the bigger gigs in the band room.