Raw food, clean eating, gluten free, vegan. Do these words sound familiar at all? They seem to be the buzzwords on the tip of everyone's tongue — the flavour of the month you could say. Fittingly, Yong Green Food on Brunswick Street has been doing raw and vegan before the gym goers even started looking for it. Fitzroy has always been ahead of the game in this department with Vegie Bar across the road pumping out vegetarian, vegan and, more recently, raw food to the masses for years.
Let's get back to Yong's. On a Friday night, the line is hanging out the door as young and old patiently put their name down and head off into the night for a drink or two. Within the hour you're back and squeezing into your table. The menu opens with the raw options. The Rawsagna ($18) looks more like a frittata than a lasagne, and it's finished with smooth cashew cream and layers of raw vegetables. The Hawaiian Live Pizza finds a macadamia-nut bread base topped with raw tomato sauce, cashew cream, pineapple and olives ($15).
As you move to the cooked part of the evening, snacks like the buckwheat crepes filled with mushrooms, vegetables and wasabi soy mayo ($12.5) and the homemade kimchi goyoza ($12) will get you started nicely. Mains, salads, noodles and wraps round out the menu. The tofu katsu sees a fried tofu patty packed with veggies and served with brown rice ($18.50), while the Macro Dragon Bowl dishes up a bowl of health and light vegetables finished with tahini ($18.50). While not so vegan or gluten free, the Chilli bean wrap served with guacamole, cheese and sour cream ($18.50) is flavoursome and really hits the spot.
Dessert feels a little like a magic show. Cashews and chia seeds are whipped into a frenzy and display themselves as cheesecakes and puddings. Don't be turned off by this though — they pull off their new role. Try the chocolate cheesecake made of cashews, coconut, agave, almonds, seeds and dried fruits ($9), or the Tiramisu ($10.50) — both of which are raw, gluten free, vegan and organic. It's quite impressive.
There are a small handful of biodynamic wines available, but, at the end of the day, you're there for the food. Go, get your health food on. We dare you not to feel a little virtuous afterwards.
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