They only do dinner once a week at the moment, though they do lunch and breakfast a few other days, so my mum made a booking for Friday dinner and off we went.
As I was perusing the menu, there were many things that I wasn't sure would be vegan, things that sounded cheesey, like the lasagna and the pot pie. But every time I asked, the answer was that it was vegan tonight. Upon closer questioning, it was revealed that, because when my mum had booked, she'd said 'and my daughter is vegan,' all the stuff they'd usually make with dairy cheese they'd made with a combination of vegan cheese and nutritional yeast, so just about everything on the menu was vegan especially for me. Which was a little bit exciting.
We leaped straight into the dips. The dips were amazing! The dips are made on the premises; there was a spinach dip, a capsicum dip, and a hummous, as well as some dukkah (which, side note, I think I had more dukkah in this quick Perth trip than I have in the whole twelve months previous). If you look closely at the platter, you'll see a few different types of crackers on there, some of which aren't vegan. I was really happy with the service and attentiveness that we received at Swan Valley Cafe, but for vegans I do think a bit of self-aware caution might stand. They're new to dealing with vegans, so there are a few 'wait, how is this not vegan?' issues that need to be ironed out. But when I pointed it out they were really good about it.
I went for the lasagna. Of course I did. This was delicious, filled with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum and an assortment of other vegetables, covered in a nutritional yeast and vegan cheeze sauce (I think this was creamy sheese). It was served with a garden salad with the dressing on the side (yessss) and a little salad with sesame oil dressing, featuring cabbage and carrots.
Other mains eaten (the photos were a bit blurry town) included the pot pie which smelled amazing, and which my sister was super delighted to have ordered; a Mediterranean vegetables and cous cous dish, which my mum ate all up; and a light but tasty yellow curry for my father.
For dessert, Julie went for the summer apple pie served with cashew cream. In truth this was less pie and more raw cake, but it was delicious, with lots of nuts and dried fruits and a really great fresh apple flavour. I went for the chocolate mousse, which was massive and had a hint of strawberry floating through it. It was delicious, but I wasn't able to finish it.
The grounds of Swan Valley Cafe are really delightful, and I bet it makes a lovely brunch venue. Out the back is a little plant nursery, selling a combination of natives and exotics, and offering a great view across to the river. The service was good, but as we were the only people there the fact that the sound system was insufficient was quite noticeable, I felt awkward making noise. I'd like the chef to be a little more cautious checking the non-veganness of store-bought products, but I have no complaints with food that they made on the premises, and I will almost certainly visit next time I'm in the area, if they're still around. It is in the Swan Valley, after all, and although there are many well-known restaurants out there, I wonder how much through traffic they'll get. I love Perth, but my recent trip has just reminded me how much people expect meat when they sit down at their meal.
Swan Valley Cafe
990 Great Northern Highway
Some GF available
Open Thursday through Monday