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Health Food

Mahalo PokÉ

Although I’m not 100% sure about the poké bandwagon, I have to admit to feeling a little tug of curiosity every time I walk past a new specialty poké store. I mean, fresh fish and other titbits on rice? What’s not to like? So it was with that mentality that I decided to try out Mahalo Poké, just a few doors down from its older sibling, Brotherambo. It’s a sweet little place, the pink pastel walls dotted with tropical-themed prints and fronds of greenery. But it’s not all breezy health food here. Alongside a menu of poké bowls and organic smoothies, there’s also waffles fries, burgers, and fried chicken. The Hawaiian-themed brunch also looks rather interesting.

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Laneway Greens

I must’ve walked past Laneway Greens half a dozen times by now, yet I’ve never thought to actually stop and take a look at it. I guess I just assumed, based on the tiny space (with no kitchen in sight) and the clean, fresh interior, that it’s some kind of juice or smoothie shop. With that said though, I was at least partially right. But Laneway Greens does so much more than just smoothies and smoothie bowls. They also specialise in huge, delicious bowls filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients in tantalising combinations. And as it turns out, the kitchen is cleverly hidden behind screens, with a window that opens up to pass the food through.

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Spiral Beans

I’ve heard it told that being a vegetarian in Japan is hard business, and being vegan almost impossible. As sad as that may be for some travellers, this lack of dietary flexibility is also fairly understandable. Given that Japan is comprised of thousands of mountainous islands, it is reasonable that the diet there comprises mostly of grains, meat, and seafood. In fact, one thing I noticed when I was over there was that on average, dishes with fresh veggies cost more than their meat-based counterpart! And just to top it all off, most meat-free dishes are also very likely to have some sort of seafood stock in it. In short, I hear that if you’re not at least a little…

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Very Good Falafel

Very Good Falafel opened on Sydney Road about 6 months ago, and it sells – you guessed it, falafel. But is there a market in Brunswick/Coburg for expensive (read: $12pp as opposed to $7pp) Middle Eastern vegetarian food? There sure is, and here’s why: If you go back to the beginning, Very Good Falafel actually had nothing to do with falafel at all. Instead, it started out as a dip stall at the local market in 2013, which became very popular, very quickly. The business partners (and bffs) Shuki and Louisa soon expanded their business into a falafel truck, which had the students lining up every time they rocked up at Melbourne Uni. Eventually the demand for a permanent store…

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PokÉd

I admit it – Buzzfeed is a guilty pleasure of mine. I just find their listicles to be perfect bite-sized pieces of entertainment; kind of like Maltesers – once you pop, you can’t stop! And one section I’m especially fond of aside from the quizzes – this magical test will give you your food patronus! – is the food section. It is positively a buffet of recipes, lists, and yes, food-related quizzes! One food that’s come up repeatedly on Buzzfeed is poké – a traditional Hawaiian dish of raw and seasoned seafood, chopped into bite-sized pieces and usually served on rice. Unfortunately I didn’t know a single place in Melbourne where I could give this dish a try... until the…

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Yong Green Food

Yong Green Food, along with places like Vegie Bar and Lentil As Anything, are amongst the oldest, and most stalwart of vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne. They were around back when it wasn’t yet fashionable to eat gluten-free and plant-based, and remain popular to this day. And with a rating of 4.3/5 on Zomato (beating out the amazing Smith and Daughters!), it was about time I went to see what the fuss was.

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