THE last time I went to Juicy Beetroot I was a poor student.
I would go there with my friends after class, just before the vegetarian cafe closed, and nab a half-price curry.
This time, courtesy of the Chook, I had the budget to order anything I wanted.
My dining partner “Hungry Hannah” is a fellow vegetarian, so we decided to share two meals and try a bit of everything.
She ordered the veggie lasagna with mixed vegetable curry, dahl and rice ($15), and I got the mix salad with tofu, potato, pasta and mushrooms ($15).
I normally feel a bit “meh” after eating a salad, but hands down this was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Hannah slammed her hands down on the table, startling the stray dog that was hanging around for scraps: “It’s overpowering, the freshness of this salad,” she said.
Her favourite part of the dish was the tofu: “You put it into your mouth, it literally melts.”
After the flavour-packed salads, the dahl and curry tasted a bit bland, but it could have been a different story if we had eaten them first.
After years of comparing bought lasagnas to my mum’s amazing homemade version, I like to think of myself as a bit of a Garfield lasagna expert.
Since turning vegetarian, finding a satisfying veggie lasagna has been hard, but Juicy Beetroot nailed it.
The béchamel sauce (often not creamy enough) was just right and the pièce de résistance, the crispy layer of pasta and cheese, kept me going back for more.
We both ate, until we couldn’t eat any more and crammed the leftover booty into takeaway containers.
While we pondered dessert, Hannah’s old high school footy coach wandered over and offered some words of wisdom: “Life isn’t about some day, life is today, we have a full-time job to be kind to ourselves.”
As he sauntered out the door, we decided to follow his advice and ordered the gluten free chocolate hazelnut cake ($5.50), a soy flat white ($3.50), and Buddha’s tears tea ($5 a pot).
Hannah, who likes Buddha’s tears (a green tea with jasmine aromas), said it was superior to the store variety.
The chocolate cake wasn’t too sweet and melted in my mouth, leaving me wanting more.
by KORO BROWN
Juicy Beetroot Cafe
132 High Street
open 10am to 4pm