The art of reinvention has turned one of Carlton’s classic corner pubs into a haven for hungry vegetarians and their vegan splinter faction.
Serial publicans and actors Alison Whyte and Fred Whitlock have turned local icon the Astor into the Green Man’s Arms, retaining pub cred with a front bar stocked with craft beer while conjuring a meat-free dining room decorated with an array of kitschy objects d’art. The menu has a loose focus on Israeli and Mediterranean-style dishes, making heroes of the plant world wherever it goes. Falafel served with zhug (Yemeni hot sauce) tahini are fluffy champions of the genre and gently spiced fried cauliflower with chipotle mayo highlights an underrated vegetable. Larger dishes broaden the remit to twists on classic pub grub – think eggplant schnitzel with slaw and potato aïoli – while Sunday lunches are all about a not-so-traditional roast with all the trimmings.
418 Lygon Street, Carlton; (03) 9347 7419; open Friday-Sunday for lunch and seven days for dinner.