We’ve all been to the Vegie Bar and eaten one too many mouthfuls of the deliciously generous vegetarian serves. And we’ve all waited for a table out in the back with all the hundreds of other hungry northsiders because this stuff is good, and it’s hard to come by. But now we have options.
The Vegie Bar’s new younger sibling might just be a little more mature than the Fitzroy institution itself. After feeding the masses for years now at the well known and loved Vegie Bar, owners Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price (Panama Dining, Vegie Bar, Rice Queen) are taking what they know about vegetarian cuisine and Fitzroy to the next level in their latest venue, Transformer.
This new venue, just a stone’s throw from the Vegie Bar on Rose Street, is going all vegetarian with head chef Luke Florence behind the pots and pans. Inspiration for the dishes keeps within the family of the Vegie Bar with hints of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian influences. But rather than stir-fries and pizzas, Transformer is a little more elegant and grown up with ricotta and rye gnocchi, confit garlic and pine nut puree and smoked shallot, mulitgrain risotto, and even almond feta served with compressed and grilled watermelon, pistachio oil, and chilli. But that’s where the faux animal products stop. No fake chicken in sight. The dishes are strong enough on their own.
Cocktails go weird and wonderful with the Aperol Dill Spritz and the Daisy Cutter, which is a mix of gin, lemon, honey, orange bitters, mango, and coconut soda. Cold pressed juices, Storm in A Teacup teas and Industry Beans coffee make for good non alcoholic options.
The 100 seater space is also a little more refined than the fun and rustic Vegie Bar. With the interiors designed by Breathe Architects, there is a lot of space, exposed brick, dark metal hanging lights, wooden detail, and a serious amount of plants. Overall achieving a very cosy environment.
Who needs meat anyway?
97-99 Rose Street, Fitzroy