If you need proof of Melbourne's growing demand for fresh, wholesome vegan food, simply look towards Supercharger. Lines of hungry CBD workers linger far past lunchtime at this untraditional food court cafe.
Sitting in the far corner of Emporium's level three 'Cafe Court', sleek grey panels encase Supercharger's geometric shopfront, where fresh salads, spice-packed sauces and steaming pots can be seen lining the glass cabinets. Melburnians packing a hefty appetite can choose between ready-to-go meals or customise their own vegan super lunch.
For Supercharger novices, DIY lunches can lead to a food-inspired mental meltdown. With 24 rich menu items to choose from (and six 'super bases'), it's hard to choose, and it's far too easy to panic order and end up with either a too heavy or too light a meal, or too many spicy (or mild) sides. So consider your choices — each item is making up a meal.
If you're going the choose your own adventure route, you'll need to fill out the page-long check box ordering form — there's a bench especially for this — and don't skip their zesty avocado smash with peas, sweet corn, red peppers, tomato, chilli and lime. Creamy smashed potato with turmeric and mustard seeds paired with some seriously well-seasoned vegetables is another popular choice. DIY meals start at $13.80 for four items, $14.80 for five and $15.80 for six.
They also have four pre-designed meals: Endurance, Strength, Lightness, Immunity. These include items from each of Supercharger's core sections on their menu — bases, simples, proteins, raws, simmers, ferments and sauces — and are expertly matched for substantial, tasty lunches available at lightning speed. Plus, you'll save on menu deliberation time.
For lovers of smoothies and juices, bright super drinks are crammed with fresh produce in their natural state. Grab a plump jar filled with chopped broccoli, diced strawberries or whole grapes and the Supercharger team will blend the ingredients fresh. Since you've clearly ordered an appropriate amount of veg, we recommend the Purple Raw, which includes beetroot, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, rice milk and coconut water ($8.80).
It would be a damn shame if these hearty meals weren't followed up with dessert, and so Supercharger delivers on that front too. The raw vegan selection includes a layered cocoa mousse and vegan blueberry 'cheesecakes'.