30th May 2016
Level 3, Emporium Melbourne
287 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
I had never realised just how many vegetarian/vegan food blogs there were around Melbourne, until I looked up reviews for Supercharger. Personally I’m alright with vegetarian, but vegan food usually makes my canines cringe a little (with the exception of Smith and Daughters). But after going out for dinner 5 days in a row, Supercharger seemed like a much-needed detox.
Although Supercharger is in a food court, like most of the eateries in Emporium, they are also a restaurant in their own right, and deserve a legitimate review. The premise behind Supercharger is simple – plant-based and nutrient-rich foods that are also ethically sourced.
As simple as Supercharger may sound, the menu can actually be a bit confusing for first-timers, so here’s the down-low: Grab a menu and a pencil, then tick off 5 Items for $12, and each additional item will cost another $2. If you’re not a fan of designing your own meal, then there are 4 pre-made sets – Endurance, Strength, Lightness, and Immunity to choose from at $15 each. To top off your meal is a wide selection of potions and brews, as well as some raw vegan desserts. Now onwards ho!
I’m a big fan of customising my food, so after ages of humming and hawing, I decided on the following 5 items: Steamed Long Grain Basmati Rice, Seared Wombok, 10 Second Broccoli, Fresh Tofu Simmered in Tom Yum Broth, and Red Split Pea Dahl. I thoroughly enjoyed my selections; the wombok and broccoli were generously seasoned with ginger and sesame oil, as well as a variety of other Asian sauces and herbs, resulting in a satisfying oriental-styled bowl of rice. The dahl was similarly good; thick and flavoursome, with large chunks of stewed carrot. My only complaint was with the tofu; whilst I really liked the generous portion and the sourness in the soup, there was just too much coconut oil mixed in, and it ended up being too cloying to finish.
Chris on the other hand hates customisation, so he went with the Strength combo, which included Steamed Brown Rice with Quinoa Mix, Cauliflower Salad, Kale Salad, Carrots and Cumin Seeds, Tempeh San Choi Bao, Dahl of 3 Types of Lentils, and Coconut Yoghurt Raita – what a mouthful! This bowl was a lot lighter and more salad-like compared to mine, and would’ve been bland had it not for the creamy raita. The dahl was once again lovely, replacing the creaminess of the split pea dahl with a spicier, more soup-like concoction. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the tempeh. Whilst it started off as a deliciously hearty and meaty-tasting stew, the earthy, fermented flavour of the tempeh eventually got the best of us, and we left about half of it uneaten.
Although I was extremely full at the end of my meal, I found that the plant-based dishes didn’t keep me satiated for as long as something with meat in it would have. Still, despite a couple of shortcomings, I was actually rather taken with Supercharger. It’s refreshing to be able to have a healthy meal that doesn’t sacrifice either taste or choice, and I can see myself returning in the future based on just that.
Rating: 13/20 – superkeen.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.