HEAVENLY PLATE, Applecross
by JENNY D’ANGER:
Heavenly Plate’s decor is a cross between a genteel bordello and a Las Vegas wedding chapel but where the food is all vegetarian, even the chicken schnitzel and steak burgers, making it an intriguing dining experience.
We’d come for lunch and walked into a Barbara Cartland romance novel, noting the soft pastel-coloured walls, abundance of floral motifs, high-backed white chairs and crystal chandeliers.
I’d phoned ahead because the menu promised vegetarian but sounded very meaty.
“Oh yes,” I was assured, “No meat.”
“What, even the chicken satay?” I asked, incredulous.
“All substitute, no meat,” was the response, but we double-checked upon arrival and after a very warm welcome.
Reassured everything is soy-based we relaxed over a fresh orange juice ($5.50) and some absolutely stupendous mango and lychee smoothies ($5.90)
A shared entree of mini chicken martabaks ($6.50) had a V next to it—for vegan, not vegetarian.
“chicken” was soy/tofu, coriander, herbs and spices and wrapped in spring roll skins…
Of course the “chicken” was soy/tofu, coriander, herbs and spices and wrapped in spring roll skins. Very moreish was the verdict on these crisp savoury morsels.
With a growing sense of the surreal two of our party ordered the vegan black pepper chicken pie ($12.90).
The taste was mostly spicy vegetable, overlaid with a slight sweetness that could have been chicken, with a bit of a stretch of the imagination. But hey, it tasted good.
D’Angerous Dave bravely ordered the Japanese burger ($17.90). The marinated teriyaki “steak” sat between “burgers” of Japanese rice.
It looked a bit too much like a meat pattie comfort food, although the texture was more stringy than you’d expect from a dead-cow version.
I have to say the taste was a good approximation, from what I remember from my red-meat eating days.
More importantly D’Angerous was very happy with the moist and tasty meal, and even enjoyed the rice burger “bun”.
We couldn’t resist trying the cakes, which are made in-house.
I shared a coconut and mango tart ($5.50), which had a rich coconut taste, but needed a vegan version of cream as it was a bit dry. D’Angerous’ non-cheesecake on the other hand was moist and delicious, topped with flame-grilled pineapple and flavoured with passionfruit.
Heavenly Plate is a Georgian romance come to life, and the perfect location for high teas, which are available Friday–Sunday 10.30–12.30 and 2.30–4.30pm.
899 Canning Hwy,