Las Vegan (Nirvana) Cafe

22 Smith St, Collingwood
Phone: 9415 9001

I wonder sometimes about becoming a vegetarian. Even just for a short while. I went ‘vegequarian’ for a few months back in 2007, but I soon backslid and added chicken to my diet, and then I moved to Viet Nam, and well, that was the end of that. But funnily, Ms K, whom I met in Viet Nam actually, remains one of the few people who I see (and therefore eat with) on a regular basis who’s a vegetarian.

Last week, we were arranging to meet up for dinner with another friend, Ms N. Ms K suggested Trippy Taco, and I suggested no, on account of the tragic hipster quotient – that place is fixie bike central.

We settled upon Las Vegan, which she likes to call Nirvana, and which I had lived around the corner from for a year and had never visited. I’ll file that one under Baden Powell and Prince Patrick. Las Vegan has won awards, but call me a rampant omnivore, I still wasn’t that excited by the prospect of a vegan restaurant. I was soon to be pleasantly surprised.

The girls started in on their self-serve ‘bottomless chai’, and I had a large glass of apple juice. Because I hate chai. Hate it. We were all a little famished, so we ordered the ‘big bowl of chips’ to share.

Thick chips with skins on, these had a wonderful flavour, though they could’ve been a little more crisp, I feel. The came with sweet chilli sauce, a vegan mayonnaise (a reason in itself why I will never become a vegan) and an interesting, if somewhat bland, satay sauce.

Ms K ordered the chilli ‘non’ carne, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I snuck a quick bite of the beans, which were quite flavoursome.

Ms N opted for the nasi goreng-style rice balls, which came with a satay sauce and a heavily bean-shooted salad. She also let me sneak a bite. The rice balls were good – nice crispy outside, with well seasoned rice. I thought to myself I would’ve needed three of these for dinner, but Ms N was satisfied with two.
I thought I’d try the lentil burger, because, well, a Vegan place must knock up a pretty decent lentil burger, right?
It came out and was one of those burgers that is taller than it is wide. The salad was a little tokenistic, because this was one hearty burger. So very tasty, it totally hit the spot. So much so that I didn’t even miss the idea of cheese (I’m a big fan of cheese on my burgers).

I probably should try to reduce the amount of meat in my diet, if I’m being honest. I eat a lot of meat. Not as much as my brother-in-law, who was aghast at the idea I would make a sweet potato curry: “Yeah, but what meat are you putting in it?” but I probably don’t need to be eating it two meals a day. Penny’s managed to curb her meat consumption so by instituting meatless Mondays. Maybe I’ll try that in my new life as a homo-wner. Yes dear readers, expect posts about my new kitchen in the coming months.

In the mean time, Las Vegan is an easy and cheap way to have more vegetarian meals, if you’re in and around Collingwood.

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2 Replies to “Las Vegan (Nirvana) Cafe”

  1. Uh-oh, I went to Trippy Taco on the weekend for breakfast burrito research. More on that soon.

    I'd never even heard of Las Vegan, might give it a shot, because unlike you, I'm a fan of chai :p (though yes, will never give up my omnivore ways).

  2. I was vego for most of my teens, except I would eat meat at yum cha. All those dumplings were my undoing! I'm a happy omnivore now although I do feel guilty about eating factory-farmed meat.

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