CBD Eats: Supercharger and Raw Trader

The Emporium kind of terrifies me. I have been in there three times now – once to check it out, and twice to eat at Supercharger. Each time I have been in, I feel disoriented and unable to find my way out. One of the times I was there, the alarms went off and I was worried I would not be able to get out (particularly with the lack of panicked people running for the door. Seriously, what is going on people? Alarms mean GET OUT!!). Regardless of the fear I feel from the Emporium experience, I find myself returning, simply because I know I can get a filling and nutritious vegan lunch at a reasonable price.

The deal is this: a whole array of vegan options that you can piece together to make your perfect bowl (and side bowls). It’s canteen-style ordering which makes it simple for them as well as gives you time to co-ordinate your meal (trust me, you’ll need it with all the options!) This style of eating really appeals to my love of bits and pieces, mix and match, fresh and cooked, texture extravaganzas and wanting to have it all.

So you can choose a base with 4-6 items. Of course I had to try one thing from each section, so went with the base + 6 option. Here I have a ‘base’ of steamed quinoa and fresh baby spinach, a ‘smash’ of green pea and avocado with coconut oil and mint, a ‘raw’ of shredded beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger with apple cider vinegar (I know, I CHOSE beetroot – WHAAAAT?), a ‘ferment’ of red cabbage and caraway kraut, a ‘simmer’ of mild eggplant and potato curry with tomato ginger and lime leaf, a ‘protein’ of fresh tofu in tom yum broth and finally a ‘sauce’ of fresh tomato and chili salsa with red onion and coriander. All that for a very reasonable $14. And look at all that colour, heck yessss! Don’t you feel good just looking at it?

Supercharger also have a bunch of delicious looking smoothies, juices and raw desserts that I would love to give a try, however my dining companion and I had earlier visited Raw Trader and felt we could not face any more sweets.

Raw Trader is a tiny cafe tucked away in a little CBD street. It has a huge array of raw cakes, slices, balls and more, as well as coffee, tea and smoothies. It’s kind of overwhelming seeing the display of pretty treats, they look almost too good to eat and near impossible to choose.

We took a painstakingly long time to pick two desserts to share. This is the cappuccino cake. It had a lovely creamy texture, and I love the white layer like froth on top of a capp. I would have liked a stronger coffee flavour, as I found it a bit mild, with the rich nuttiness and coconut flavour coming through more prominently.

A small dense piece of lemon slice – I actually preferred this one, as the zestiness of the lemon really shone through. I guess the trouble with raw desserts becoming so popular is that they have to be pretty special to impress me now. I would like to go back and try some of the other desserts that took my fancy like ice creams and mousses, as I feel that there is definitely potential, but I just wasn’t blown away with the options that I chose. Regardless, Raw Trader is a great place to meet a mate for a coffee and cake if you’re in the CBD area.

Level 3, Emporium
287 Lonsdale st, Melbourne
Sun – Thurs – 11am – 7pm
Fri – Sat – 11am – 9pm
Raw Trader
10 Sutherland st, Melbourne
Tues – Thurs – 7.30am – 8.30pm
Fri – 7.30am – 10pm
Sat – 10am – 10pm
Sun – 10am – 4pm


  1. That lemon cake looks delicious– as much as I love chocolate, I can’t help but be impressed with a good lemon treat (especially if it’s raw vegan!). Looks like this was a nice dinner. 🙂

    1. So true – lemon or any fruity cakes are always a winner. I wish I had a lemon tree – they have turned terribly expensive here at the moment. I must go for a walk around the streets and see if I can spot any overhanging ones 😉

        1. I’ve definitely noticed some around in front yards, and hanging over fences. I’m sure they wouldn’t miss a couple 😉 There is also a website that maps “feral” fruit trees around town – trees that are not on anybody’s land – which is pretty cool.

  2. I must get to raw trader – last time I tried to get there I got too lazy to walk that way and when I was buying shoes nearby I forgot to drop in. D’oh. I did try supercharger and loved the idea but did not feel my choices went well together. But it is so much better than a lot of food in the city. And I am not a huge fan of the emporium but am happy to be able to walk across the streets on the walkways again.

    1. It is all a bit haphazard, but I kind of enjoy that. I think I picked more on colour than anything else, hehe. But there are definitely some stronger flavours on the menu that probably don’t blend too well. You’ll have to drop by Raw Trader next time!

  3. I totally panic in malls too -I’m guessing the Emporium is a mall?- to me they’re a weird combination of boring and over-stimulating. But if there were brilliant veg bowls like that to be had I would put on my blinders and forge forth. What a rad, rad city Melbourne is!

    1. Yep, it’s a mall type structure recently built in the CBD of Melbourne – it’s quite narrow, but has about five stories, so there are constant streams of escalators and confused people. It definitely heads the competition in terms of food courts though – not only Supercharger, but an array of good quality options. Can’t go past this one though! You’ll have to visit 😉

  4. I know what you mean about Emporium! I’ve noted specific landmarks for locating Supercharger and then escaping efficiently after my meal. 😀

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