A few months ago I attended a Meetup event at Dandylion – a new hip vegan friendly restaurant situated in North Bondi. There were about 20 of us and we had the 6-course vegan degustation menu. I can’t remember the last time I had a degustation dinner as a vegan so I was pretty excited, to say the least.
Cucumber and seitan
We had two antipasti dishes: (1) Cucumber and seitan (cucumber half filled with bbq-flavoured seitan and sesame seeds) which was fresh and flavourful; and (2) Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse – crunchy, creamy mousse which was delicious. The dishes were great but unfortunately they were only bite-size pieces… I wish I could have had seconds!
Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse
I forgot (or more accurately, was too hungry to wait) to take pictures of the second dish – Beetroot Carpaccio with wild rocket, walnut, piquant vegan cheese & aged balsamic dressing. I recognised the piquant cheese used for this dish: the Vegusto No Muh Piquant cheese. The salad was seriously good! Fresh, slightly tangy, mildly sweet and just yum!
Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce was the next course. This was my favourite dish. Even though I found the dumpling skin a tad undercooked for my liking, the filling was very delicious. It had a nice balance of salt, sweets and spices and it was full of ‘umami’ taste. I just couldn’t get enough of it.
Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce
Next up: Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce. The shell pasta was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato sauce makes you forget that it’s dairy-free. It’s so creamy and rich. A generous sprinkle of coconut ‘bacon’ bits doesn’t hurt either.
Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce
The second last dish was Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce. Soft pillows of gnocchi with rich and ‘meaty’ sauce.
Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce
And dessert comprised of Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry. It was a lovely dessert to cap off things – mildly sweet, rich and nutty. I loved the whipped coconut cream.
Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry
It was a delightful degustation meal. And the best thing was how easy it was to forget that they were ‘vegan’ dishes, which is always an indication of great cooking.
The Meetup event was a success, I met lots of friendly vegan foodies and had great time talking about veganism, food (mostly food) and how good the food is at Dandylion. As vegans and vegetarians, we are so used to putting up with served sub-standard meals at restaurants which often have no clue how cook delicious food without animal products. It was a real treat to experience something of this quality.
Dandylion has certainly lived up to its vision to present vegetarian food that is full of flavor, hearty, and delicious. Combined with great drink selections and a hip interior, it’s definitely going to be one of my favourite places to go to in the Eastern Suburbs.