No meat? No problems. From picturesque winery restaurants with sprawling kitchen gardens to combined cafe-shop-yoga studio concepts, these Perth restaurants – and their repertoire of vegetarian dishes and cooking – make eating your greens anything but a chore.
Millbrook, a postcard-perfect winery restaurant in the Perth Hills, serves an omnivorous menu, yet is Western Australia’s benchmark for plant-based food. From perfect summer tomatoes courageously and simply served with salt to the edible weeds, radish tops and veggie trim resourcefully upcycled into addictive creamed greens, all the heirloom veg used on Guy Jeffreys’ seasonal menus is grown on the estate garden. Millbrook is also one of the few restaurants capable of catering for vegans and vegetarians without notice.
Old Chestnut Lane, Jarrahdale; (08) 9525 5796
Chef Kiren Mainwaring is all about imagination, both in the ingredients he sources and how they’re featured in his modern East Perth dining room. Vegetarian dishes dazzle in both flavour and ingenuity. Here’s a hollowed, raw ox-heart tomato stuffed with house crème fraiche. There’s a bowl of pristine summer veg served with rye crumbs, ricotta and duck egg yolk. Every Tuesday, the kitchen offers a vegan tasting menu.
2/11 Regal Place, East Perth; (08) 9221 0404
Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
Befriend thoughtful producers. Buy their wares. Cook them simply in a wood-burning oven. It’s the Manuka three-step road to success. High-definition vegetable dishes form much of this cosy diner’s appeal. Roasted, thick-cut cauliflower is dressed with whey and dukkah, a savoury one-two of ancho chilli and miso enlivens butternut pumpkin, and smoky babaganoush makes nice with baked-to-order flatbread.
134 High Street, Fremantle; (08) 9335 3527
Bread in Common
While the name of this converted warehouse hints at the superb loaves baked on-site, it’d be remiss not to mention Scott Brannigan’s deft hand with plant matter. Avocado and chilli lend a spicy twist to grilled corn on the cob, just as verjuice sharpens sweet potato and artichoke. The addictive white bean dip remains an essential order.
43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle; (08) 9336 1032
Indian remains a reliable option for vegetarian dining out west, particularly if veteran restaurateur Gurps Bagga is looking after your meal. His lively Northbridge small bar is the perfect place to tuck into the non-cookie-cutter likes of mountain-style grilled corn rubbed with chilli salt and lime, tandoor-hot mushrooms crunched up with roasted cashews, plus eggplant and roasted sesame curries.
200 William Street, Northbridge; (08) 9227 8682
The Raw Kitchen
Well-stocked retail store. Takeaway raw treats. On-site yoga studio. The Raw Kitchen is a one-stop-shop for mindful living. It even serves food, too. Upcycled veg is the name of the game, so pizzas are made with buckwheat, gluten-free bases, zucchini is transformed into streamers of “spaghetti” and the soup of the day might combine sweet potato with lemongrass and toasted sesame seeds.
181A High St, Fremantle; (08) 9433 4647
Annalakshmi on the Swan
“Eat to your heart’s content and pay what your heart feels.” This touching mantra paints a telling picture of this volunteer-run restaurant at the inner-city’s new waterfront precinct. Vegan, pay-by-donation Indian food (heady masala potatoes, bright turmeric-laced dhal, comforting paratha) is the name of the game while pristine views of the Swan River make for another reason to dig deep.
Barrack Square, Riverside Drive, Perth; (08) 9221 3003
Kurt Sampson is one of Australia’s canniest interpreters of Middle Eastern food, in particular the region’s bulging playbook of vegetarian dishes. Barbecued broccolini, lentils and dates are a fine pairing, while a coleslaw of finely shaved root veg is a clever remix. Meat-free pies and pides further exemplify Sampson’s knack for flavour: think Turkish fatayers cradling zucchini, roasted red onion and almonds.
222 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle; (08) 9335 9366
SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Restaurants in Perth