This weekend we tried another ‘vegan friendly’ cafe, Hansell and Gretel Espresso Bar at Gaythorne. This place is was only newly opened this year and has lots of glowing reviews on Urbanspoon. I couldn’t find their menu online, so I thought we would be surprise when we got there.
When we arrived I could not believe how busy it was. We ended up having to wait for a table. This gave me some time to appreciate the decor. I especially loved the mural above the kitchen and the old tea sets along the walls. They really did an excellent job of setting themselves apart from other regular breakfast and lunch cafes. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for a table. We spotted a couple of free seats on a shared table that we slipped into.
The menu also carried on with the fairy tale theme, with names like The Step Mother and the Woodchopper’s Breakfast. I only found one dish that specifically had a vegan option, Persian Veg Fritters. They also offered a couple of vegetarian dishes and some side dishes to complement. In regards to sweets, they didn’t offer anything vegan. However they did have a couple dairy free, which had eggs or honey, such as the Cherry ripe quinoa pudding, Choc Quinoa Muffin and Carrot Cake. They also offered a range of House Specialties cappuccinos, fresh juices and teas.
I decided to go with the vegan Persian Veg Fritters. These fritters had 15 ingredients including sweet potato, zucchini, raisins, carrot, ginger, garlic, and cumin. They were served with beetroot coulis and a herb salad. All that was omitted was the tatziki. I also ordered the Avocado smash with coriander, lime juice chives. Marco ordered the Steak & Philly 12 inch sub.
My dish was nice. The fritters were small, but had flavor. However they really did need the beetroot coulis to complement it. I was happy I also ordered the avocado on the side, as the meal would of been a bit small without it. As much as I love avocado, there wasn’t really much punch of flavor from the lime. The salad was just a bit of baby spinach, onion and some parsley. Compared to Marcos dish, mine was a little average. He was really enjoying his sub with hickey smoked beef, gherkins and cheese.
Since I still had room I decided to order coffee and dessert. I ordered the Cherry ripe quinoa pudding for dessert. This was not vegan as it had honey. I still do eat honey, but a lot less then I use to. I know this is a very controversial topic with vegans though. My sweet coffee on the other hand was vegan. I ordered a Soy Queenslander, which was a cappuccino with macadamia inside and macadamia praline on top. The dessert was ok, but I couldn’t eat much of it. I guess it tasted more like breakfast then dessert for me, as the quinoa had a bit of a bite and it was a little heavy. Marco really didn’t like it. I think their other desserts would of tasted a lot better. The coffee on the other hand was really nice and very sweet. To be honest I am not sure the coffee it was worth the price in comparison to other cafes I’ve been to recently.
So the verdict? I was happy I tried this place and I think they have some great ideas. Its great they offer a vegan option on their menu, unlike other cafes. However I wasn’t blow away by my meal. For a vegan meal I am not sure I would be in a hurry to go back to Gaythorne. However if I was to go back with friends I would be happy to know I wouldn’t go hungry. They staff were really nice and helpful in helping me make my choices. They menu caters really well for vegetarians and omnivores, so hopefully their vegan options will improve in the future.