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A vegan week in Tasmania

Last week I went to Tasmania for the first time. And, it was incredible. It was like a magical fairy tale land with everything I wanted and more.

I spent 8 days in Tassie, starting in Devonport and following the east coast down to Hobart.

But that's not what you're here for. You're here for the food. Below are four of my favourite dishes that I remembered to take photos of, as well as a few extras that I was evidently too excited to eat and forgot to photograph.

The North East

Vegan pizza and salad at Food & Brew in Bicheno

Okay, admittedly, I was a little extra 'excited' about this meal due to the beverages I had just consumed. We visited the local Saturday night market for some live music and a few fresh ones. If you're interested, we enjoyed some local limoncello and beers from the local brewery - they were delicious, try the pale ale if you get the chance. In exchange of a pic of the food Ill need you to settle with this pic of my limoncello and girlfriend.

Anyway, the pizza was decent and the salad was surprisingly good.

For the pizza, having vegan cheese was a good bonus. It wasn't anything special. The only thing 'special' about the cheese was that it existed. Getting a vegan dairy replacement in a town of around 950 people is pretty cool (or, special). Aside from that, it was a standard 'chuck as many random vegetables on the pizza as you can' type of affair. Which in my books is pretty tasty and fun.

The black bean salad had a delicious dressing through it. It was full of two things that would make a nutrient conscious vegan's heart swell - heaps of spinach and heaps of beans. That means two things - iron and protein, baby. 😍

The East

Vegan pizza at Devil's Corner winery near Freycinet National Park

I know what it looks like, more drinks. But you, my friend, would be wrong! Well, mostly. Aside from the mid-strength watermelon wheat beer that I cradled (which was epic in its own right), I was totally sober here.

We chose this winery as it was the only one that had food that we thought could be made vegan (pizza). There was no mention on the menu that there would be vegan cheese, but guess what, there was! And boy was I blown away. This was by far the best vegan cheese I've had on a pizza (and I've been a regular at likes of Red Sparrow, Mr Natural, Nostralis, et, al. in Melbourne). I asked the staff at the kitchen what cheese it was, but they ... "didn't know" and "forgot" - okay ...? Anyway, it was definitely vegan as we also saw the regular cheese and this was not it. No pic here, but here's an awesome view from the vineyard.

Vegan crepes with berry compote and berry sorbet at Kate's Berry Farm near Swansea

I had to include this photo of yours truly because I honestly could not have been happier. I even made Michaela take several photos of me to show how happy I was (don't worry, I won't make you look at them). If you want to see more of the actual food, scroll up to the image at the top of this article.

This was at a place called Kate's Berry Farm, which is right near Swansea. While they didn't have many berries to buy (only two punnets of strawberries left when we got there), they were stock full of awesome jams (the whisky bourbon blueberry jam and the mindleberry jam were fantastic).

Anyway, this dish consisted of vegan crepes (yum! But a little of the thin / small side), a berry compote and an awesome berry sorbet. I'm so used to going to places like this and watching everyone around my down jam on scones while I look on in misery. Not this time! I sat there, smiled and indulged the awesome food with views of the hills that matched.

Vegan melty oat cheese from Organic Wholefoods in Swansea

We picked this up from the organic wholefoods store in Swansea. I had never eaten oat milk cheese before, and this did not let me down! Eaten straight out of the packet it was a bit of a let down. But, as soon as it melted it was just sensational. On pasta, in a toastie and even by itself. WOW.

The South

Vegan homemade baked beans at Pigeon Hole Cafe in Hobart

Being a larger city (albeit of 200,000 people) I had much higher hopes of some vegan love in Hobart. On our first morning we headed to Pidgeon Hole Cafe in Hobart, which is a farm to table producer. They have a farm and produce all of their own produce to supply the cafe.

They had a chickpea pancake, but I couldn't go past their homemade baked beans served on polenta bread. It didn't mention it on the menu but it came with a dollop of vegan butter crowning the bean pile. You can't see the bread in the photo as it was under this swarm of beans. Everything. Was. Incredible. Just delicious.

Vegan hummus and pickled zucchini bagel at Pigeon Hole Cafe in Hobart

A pet peeve of mine is that a vegan BLT or egg muffin or something of the sort just doesn't really exist. Generally, there's no good <$10 takeaway option from a cafe. Pigeon Hole's hummus and pickled zucchini bagel was delicious and filled this void perfectly. Great bread, great hummus, great zucchini, great price at $9.

Vegan bruschetta at Sonny's in Hobart

Sonny's was an awesome little wine bar in the middle of Hobart. Their menu consisted wholly of non-vegan items (a la oysters, crab, etc.). The chef kindly prepared two dishes for me which were not on the menu - a spicy as hell vegan bruschetta and a leek dish. The bruschetta was seriously awesome and the leek was okay.

The Dubsy Vegan burger at Dubsy's / MONA in Hobart

Dubsy is the nickname of David Walsh, who is the founder of MONA. At MONA, there was a burger bar named after him, called Dubsy's, and there is the first burger on the menu there also his namesake - The Dubsy. To my surprise, it is a vegetarian burger that consists of a Beyond pattie, fake bacon, caramelised onions, pickles, mustard, tomato sauce, lettuce, tomato, etc. The only this that's not vegan is the cheese, which had to be removed and not replaced as there was no vegan cheese.

Now, I thought, if the founder of MONA is happy enough to put his name to a burger, it must be bloody good. It was ... good, but not bloody good. The pattie was unfortunately overcooked, which if you know Beyond means that it was pretty dry. Couple that with no cheese and you'll start to understand that this burger struggled with the moist side of things.

Vegan aioli at Veg Bar in Hobart

After a few drinks at Sonny's (see above), I went down to Veg Bar to give my stomach the food it craved. I ordered a aioli, chips and a the Cheezburger, ordered from best to worst. It's not often that my favourite part of a meal is the sauce, but this vegan aioli was seriously phenomenal (that's why its in the front of the picture). The chips were great and the burger was decent - nice for a change away from the standard 'fake meat', coming in with a mushroom x chickpea pattie, but unfortunately the charcoal bun is a bit 'for the insta' for me.

Vegan popcorn chicken at Lotus stand at Salamanca Markets in Hobart

Alas, yet another missed opportunity for a photo! At the Salamanca markets I found a little food truck called Lotus something. They had a whole bunch of vegan options - wings, burgers, etc. - but I was most intrigued by the popcorn chicken and their satay sauce. Both were delicious and worthy of a try, but not something to go running from Mt Wellington for.

Rice paper rolls and meing ped at Lotus Thai Vegan House in Launceston

En route to Devonport we stopped by Launceston for a final vegan dinner. Let's just say that the entrees were certainly better than the mains here, so we'll focus on them.

The rice paper rolls were deliciously fresh with a nice warm tofu - the sauce (a sweet chilli) wasn't to my fancy (I'm more of a satay guy), but don't let that steer you away.

The meing ped is what the uninitiated of us (me) would call a sang choi bow. It was seriously delicious and - again - fresh. The finely chopped mix of vegan duck (I'm a sucker for vegan duck) and vegan chicken matched perfectly with the lettuce. Would go to Lotus again and would go the meing ped again.

Aside from that, the mains were a little too heavy for me, although that's just my typical displeasure with Thai - starts fresh and ends with a heavy bloat. Oh, except for that vegan duck in the main - boy was that good.

So there you have it, a week down the east coast of Tassie, filled with vegan food (mostly burgers and pizza it seems) and some lovely extras.

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