Saturday, 26 February 2011

[wa] swan valley cafe, millendon

I went to Perth recently, and stayed with my parents and my sister out in the Swan Valley. The day I arrived, really casually, as if it might not be that interesting to me, my mother mentioned that there was a vegetarian restaurant just down the highway from their house. I love the Swan Valley, especially how I get to stuff my face with grapes and watermelon picked that day, and its proximity to the Junction Icecreamery, and the six (six!) op shops in Midland, but when it comes to vegetarian food it is not that great, so I was very interested in a vegetarian restaurant close by.

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.

vegan lasagna at the swan valley cafe

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.

summer pie at the swan valley cafe

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
Millendon, 6056

Some GF available
Open Thursday through Monday


Funny Face said...

I was actually suppose to go there for breakfast with my mum the other week, but it fell through. I am a vegetarian, she isn't but was still willing to go. Thanks for the little review sounds great and looks delish. Hope your stay in Perth is wonderful.

Hannah said...

Oh, how wonderful! You're like the Swan Valley Celebrity, being catered to by all and sundry :) The raw-ish apple cake/pie looks amazing!

steph said...

@Funnyface, I am definitely interested to see what they're like for breakfast - the menu says they do vegan pancakes and a tofu scramble, which pleases me! I would be interested to hear what it's like.

@Hannah, it wasn't like that at all! But it was fun. And I'd love to try making the raw cake, it had this layer of apple slices through the middle which was pretty great.

Sarah said...

Oooh. Wonderful! I hadn't heard about this place yet.

Apparently there's also a veg place in Midland called Rasijo's soul food (30 The Crescent, Midland), but I haven't been there yet.

Eloise said...

I have to go there soon! What were the prices like?

steph said...

@Sarah yeah my sister found out about Rajoi's on my second last day, so I couldn't go! But she's promised to try it out soon and let me know how it is.

@Eloise prices were okay! Not super cheap but not exorbitant. They're probably on the website?

sara said...

that dip plate looks awesome. i could eat a whole meal of dips. i'd never heard of dukkah so i looked it up. it sounds sooo good!

Cindy said...

Aw- I don't know who is cuter out of your mum and this restaurant, based on their vegan catering efforts!

Karla (Kinder Cuisine) said...

That lasagne looks awesomely tasty and filling! Now I feel like lasagne...