Petite & Minimal

Brisbane Vegan Eats Part 1

February 3rd, 2018 | 6 minutes to read

Brisbane is a lovely city. Although we don't have that many vegan options as we did in Sydney, we still managed fine with a few options. In this post I am going to cover the Chinese restaurant Tea Master that caters lighter food and tea, as well as Botanical Real Food, a takeaway that has various salads and delicious bakery. By the way, their website is really nice too! (As a developer I can't help when I see a beautifully done site, heehee.) You might be interested in the part 2.

Tea Master

Tea Master, as the name indicated, is a casual Chinese tea-house (or cafe) that features drinks and some quick meals. They have various hot tea, iced tea, milk tea, milk shakes, smoothies and fresh juices to choose from. There are also quick meal sets (usually a dish served with rice) and small side dishes you can order.

Brisbane Tea Master

The cafe is located very close to China town in Fortitude Valley. The interior is simple and clean, although not particularly themed. The dishes were cooked quickly and served after order was placed. All dishes are vegetarian, and many of which are vegan or gluten-free, if not, many can be made vegan upon request as well. The menu is available in both Chinese and English, although the translation isn’t always right. For instance, the desserts were actually Chinese style cold sweet treats featuring shaved ice, red beans, mung beans, jelly or sticky rice balls, not really the “ice-cream” as you would expect normally.

Brisbane Tea Master

We tried those following:

Dumplings made of carrot, cabbage and vegan minced meat, seasoned with salt and white pepper, served with vinegar and soy sauce. It’s yummy!

Deep-fried vegan faux chicken chunks with salt and pepper. It’s very tasty and crunchy, and the texture is quite meaty.

Deep-fried vegan squid rings, probably made of mushrooms. Honey said it’s quite similar to the original ones when it comes to texture. It’s white, a bit smooth yet meaty. It doesn’t have any sea-food smell though.

Brisbane Tea Master

Sweet and sour vegan pork with rice. This is an ok dish, the sauce is overly too sweet. Although I am a sweet and sour food fan, I prefer the ones that have more balanced of the two flavors. Perhaps they used canned pineapple which added too much sugar into the dish?

Deep-fried vegan prawn sticks, made of carrot, yam (not sure), shiitake mushrooms wrapped in tofu skin and coated with crispy crust. The crust is a bit too hard, but over all it still tastes yummy with the sweet and sour sauce. Although I wouldn’t associate it with anything prawn, lol.

Sweet and sour vegan pork with rice. This is an ok dish, the sauce is overly too sweet. Although I am a sweet and sour food fan, I prefer the ones that have more balanced of the two flavors. Perhaps they used canned pineapple which added too much sugar into the dish?

Last but not least we also ordered Pu’er Tea, as Honey is a tea maniac. Pu’er is a fermented tea from Yunnan province in China, which is black in color although mild in the taste. We were provided with mini tea pot and tea cups, plus a small thermos of hot water, so we could make our own tea and drink slowly while eating our food. A tea filter was also provided, which was a nice gesture.

Overall we like the quick service and think this place is nice for something casual before you stroll around for a night walk around the town, or head to your favorite bar.

Brisbane Tea Master

  • Address: 8/115 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia

Botanical Real Food

Our first apartment in Brisbane was located in New Farm, so naturally when we strolled around in our neighborhood in a casual afternoon, we would like to try something here.

Brisbane Botanical Real Food

Botanica Real Food is a perfect little place here. It’s basically a small store where you can buy take-away salad of your choice. Of course, they also have a few chairs and a long table along the wall. If you’re too hungry to take the food away, you can just eat it right away here. That’s what we did.

The store is nicely decorated with flowers, plants, books and blue floral wall paper. It’s clean and fresh. They make creative salads, many of which gluten-free and dairy-free from time to time throughout the day, as well as some nice home-made bakeries with authentic and quality ingredients. So if you walk into the store at different hours, you get different types of food. I found it a great idea! The girl working there also said we could call them to inquire if our favorite types were serving at the hour, if we plan to take them.

Brisbane Botanical Real Food

We were there a bit late so we had six choices of vegan salads, and we tried five of them. Unfortunately none of the bakeries available was vegan, otherwise I was eager to try some as I haven’t eaten any vegan bakeries for days! (I miss my home-made cookies and cakes…) So we tried: (from left to right on the picture 1,lunch box in the middle)

  1. Barley and roasted pumpkin with nigella seeds, parsley and whole lemon dressing. This is the first time ever I tried nigella seeds (black cumin), very interesting ingredient!
  2. Freekeh with eggplant, prunes, almonds, mint and turmeric cashew cream dressing Freekeh is a cereal that is made from green durum wheat, which is roasted and rubbed. The eggplant pieces tasted so good with the turmeric dressing! I think this one was our absolute favorite of the day!
  3. Red cabbage & Savoy cabbage with herbs and fennel seed dressing Simply good as they are!
  4. Israeli cous cous with vegan pesto, roasted sweet potato, roasted red onion and baby spinach I love the roasted sweet potato and red onion here! Vegan pesto is a rare find as most products contain dairy cheese. So I was so happy to eat that again here.
  5. Potato and pea with dill and parsley tahini dressing I am generally not a fan of dill, but this combination tastes surprisingly good. I immediately fell in love with it and would definitely love to try it at home.

UPDATE: here is another box we tried on another day. (lunch box on the right, in picture 1)

  1. Kale and quinoa tabouleh with sumac, parsely, lemon and cherry tomatoes This makes me a fan of kale again! Sumac is a very exotic spice, and this is the first time I tried that. I am not sure what it tastes like exactly though it blends very well with the salad. 3 & 2
  2. Tomato, paprika, basil leaves and croûtons Lovely combination, if olives are added I would consider it a very Italian style salad.

We ordered a medium box for two and were surprisingly full after eating it up. It’s well valued for its price. Although we had wished there were more vegan options that contain more vegetables for us as we consumed a lot of grains and potatoes. Perhaps we would get more of those at a different time?

Brisbane Botanical Real Food

In a word Botanica Real Food is such a gem that uses fresh and quality ingredients to create salads in an interesting and innovative way, making them taste all so good and filling. You won’t be disappointed if you want a simple and tasty lunch or light dinner. I highly recommend this place if you’re after some healthy vegan food in Brisbane!

  • Address: 29 Doggett St, Newstead QLD 4006, Australia
  • Address 2: 9/1 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill QLD 4059, Australia
  • Website: http://botanicarealfood.com.au/