Any vegetarian or vegan can tell you just how difficult it can be to find affordable, convenient and delicious food to fit their diet. Laurie's ticks all of those boxes, earning it a religious following in Bondi. The menu consistently features six hot dishes and five salads, which you can mix-and-match to take away or to dine on at one of the limited in-house tables.
Though the venue is tiny, Laurie's retains a community feel. One whole wall is plastered in community event posters, and the fact that the majority of customers are regulars is immediately evident. Today's hot dishes (which rarely vary) include lasagne, pasta, mild chickpea curry, Mexican beans, lentil casserole and roast veggies. The salad list is comprised of cajun tofu, persian rice, two green salads and a cous cous salad. All of the options are vegetarian and all but two (the lasagne and pasta) are vegan. Other available dishes on the menu include vego burgers, empanadas, pies, baked potatoes...the list goes on.
I decide to go for a take-away combination of the chickpea curry, roast veggies and cous cous salad. I try the curry dish first, and am pleased by the homemade, soul-food flavour. It's a combination of spicy and sweet - delicious, but not to be outdone by the roast vegetables. These taste as though they just came out of my home oven, savoury and filling. The cous cous isn't necessarily a stand-out dish, but tasty nonetheless.
Eating all of this on the lawn by Bondi Beach, I am struck by just how convenient Laurie's has made good, vegetarian food. The restaurant fare itself isn't particularly earth-shattering but it is indeed delicious. And who can argue with a solid, take-away meal for next to nothing? Move over, McDonald's.