Loving Hut Northcote II

Happy World Vegan Day (for yesterday!) I didn’t do anything to celebrate as I was home in bed with the sniffles, however am looking forward to the WVD Melbourne event next Sunday. Come at me delicious food!!

I’m still trying to knock out some recipe and dining out posts from before and during MoFo – this one being one of them. A couple of weeks back, the Bear and I hit up the Northcote Social Club for a gig. It was a Tuesday night, so we headed there straight from work and had some time to kill before it started. I don’t know why I feel that I need to give you a backing story to why we ate at Loving Hut, it really does not need to be justified.

As usual, the vibe was kind of weird as there was only one other couple sitting in when we arrived, in that sparse, school cafeteria-style space. There was a video playing on the TV of nature and animal shots which kept us entertained for some time, and for a moment I almost forgot how strange it was that a TV was playing there in the first place.

lovinghutnorthcote1We started out with some steamed wontons, which were sitting in a ginger-soy vinaigrette. I really enjoyed the dressing, as well as the crunchy garlic shoots and herbs on top.

lovinghutnorthcote2I couldn’t resist ordering the tofu bites again, I am obsessed. Hot, crispy, salty outside with melt in your mouth centre. And that tartar sauce, how?! So good.

lovinghutnorthcote3For the main, we shared a bowl of the Bun Bo Hue, which was plenty for the both of us as we were not super hungry. I always find these big bowls of soup so filling, even with the thin broth base. You can choose to have mock beef or tofu with this one – we chose beef. The flavour of the broth was lovely, made with lemongrass, chili, ginger, lime and cinnamon. It was zesty and slightly spicy and made me feel good inside.

lovinghutnorthcote4After perusing the dessert cabinet, there was no way I was leaving without a piece of this. There were a few cakey slicey things like this of different flavours, I can’t remember exactly what this one was – I think hazelnut mocha raspberry, or something of the like. I remember thinking that all those flavours might be a bit ambitious, but it seriously worked so well. The base had an incredible light and crispy texture, the centre beautiful and creamy, and how could I go wrong with a scoop of Zebra Dream ice cream on the side? Winnnaaaahhhhh!

If you want to see the glory of my first visit to Loving Hut Northcote, check out the post here. The Northcote shop definitely wins my vote over the Richmond one, which I have been to several times but only once taken pictures (post still to come). Also note, the hours of operation have changed since my last visit and they are now open for lunch too. Hoorah!

Loving Hut
377-79 High St, Northcote
Tues-Sun – 11am – 10pm
kitchen closes 30 mins prior to closing

Red Door Corner Store, Northcote

Well helloooo! You guys, I have been so busy preparing for MoFo next month that I have barely had the energy to write any blog posts. I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into this year, I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew so to speak. Oh well, I’ll give it a red hot go and see what happens. I’m really looking forward to reading all the wonderful posts from everyone!

Today is just a pit stop I suppose, to remind you I’m still here and to share a quick meal that I ate last week. The Bear and I both had a Friday off, so we decided to go out for brunch. The sun even came out for us, and it was G-L-O-R-gloooooorious! We popped over to Northcote and sat out the front to bask in the warm rays. Happy times.

I had never been to Red Door Corner Store before, but I had heard of it and liked the rhythm of the name so really wanted to check it out. The cafe is located a couple of blocks back from High street, in amongst the houses – so it really does have that ‘corner store’ feel. Quite charming really! The staff were just as charming as they buzzed around taking orders and delivering coffees.

There were not many (if any) outright vegan items on the menu, however a few items had little marks noting how the dish could be made gluten free or vegan.

reddoorThe Bear and I both ordered the same dish – corn, zucchini and quinoa fritters, avocado, romesco and grilled corn salsa, though Bear had his as the original item on the menu suggests – with a poached egg on top.

These were not what I expected at all – fritters always brings to mind flat round disc shaped creations. However, wikipedia tells me that fritters can refer to a wide variety of foods – basically batter or breading with stuff inside. This fits the bill. Plus when I opened my mind a little and saw photos of banana fritters, I realised that many fritters I have eaten are not disc shaped. MOVING ON.

The insides were all blended up and creamy, the romesco was surprisingly sweet but nevertheless enjoyable and I loved the colourful salad. Rainbow foodies!

We also ordered some coffees and a small side of chips to share because chips are delicious, even if they aren’t reeeeaaaalllly breakfast food. The coffee was nice, albeit a little cooler than I would have preferred. The chips were delicious, and came with a non-vegan aioli which the Bear devoured.

reddoor2In conclusion, the Red Door Corner Store turned this grumpy armless bear….

reddoor3…into a happy, satiated and fully-limbed one. The end.

p.s. Yes I jumped on the Daiya bandwagon…by the time I got to it, there was only pepperjack flavour remaining. I ate it on a variety of things, but mostly just melted it on crumpets.

crumpiesIt was gooey, and somewhat stringy, and coated my mouth. I enjoyed it. Just don’t eat it straight out of the bag because it is disappointingly bland at that point – somehow melting makes it magical. Cheeeeeese!


Red Door Corner Store
70 Mitchell St, Northcote
Mon – Fri – 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun – 8am – 4pm

Loving Hut Northcote

The other week, the bear and I decided to go out to Northcote to see a comedy show as a part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival that took over town for a few weeks. I haven’t really spent much time in Northcote – mostly because it used to be kind of far and out of the way for me, but living and working closer to the city now means it’s quite within reach. This is exciting news, given the experience we had at Loving Hut.

Loving Hut is an international chain of vegan restaurants, which focus on the provision of affordable, cruelty-free food. The Northcote restaurant has only been open for a few months, while there has been one in Richmond for some time now (incidentally it is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER from my new place!). While I am yet to visit the Richmond one (I know, right?!), we popped by the one in Perth when we were in Western Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We decided to order a few dishes to share in order to make the most of the experience. First up, spring rolls.

ImageBilly really enjoyed these. I thought they were nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. A good, crispy spring roll.

ImageNext up we got some of the southern fried chicken. I had to try this after seeing it on Cindy and Michael’s blog, as well as over at Veganopoulous. It did not disappoint. The texture was amazing – a thick, crunchy batter with chewy, stringy insides…I honestly don’t know how they do it, it’s one of veganism’s mysteries. Served with a creamy spiced mayo, I enjoyed every bite.

ImageWe decided to get the rainbow salad to ensure we got some fresh veggies and not just a huge meal of mock meats. This was a good move. While the constituents of the salad were not particularly impressive, they provided a fresh, juicy break from the fried-ness of our other dishes. The two dressings were great, I particularly enjoyed the herb-y punch of the green one.

ImageWhile we were eating, I saw a specials board which had earlier gone unnoticed. On it was an entree item of fried silken tofu bites, which I knew immediately that I had to try. After ordering a serve, we were so glad that we did. These were hands down the most delicious things of the night. Perfect little golden crispy medallions that melted in your mouth when you bit into them. They were seasoned with herbs identical to those used on Grill’d chips, and served with a vegan tartare that was mind-blowingly spot on. I have no idea how they got it so creamy – another vegan miracle. The bear and I could not stop talking about these for days (possibly weeks?). Even the folks at the table next to us asked one of the staff members what was on our table and ordered themselves some. I am trying to come up with excuses to go back there, just so I can eat these little gems again.

All that only cost us around the $30 mark between us.

Completely satisfied, we wandered down to the social club to catch the comedy show, only to discover it had been cancelled. Not to worry, the night was still marked down as a success thanks to the delights of dinner.

With lovely staff, quick service and delicious meals, Loving Hut Northcote is definitely a winner.

Loving Hut
377-79 High St, Northcote
Tues-Sun – 5.30pm – 10pm
kitchen closes 30 mins prior to closing