It’s hard to find a place where both vegans and carnivores would be chuffed to spend a Saturday night (at least until Meatmother goes crazy and branches out into tofu steaks). But, as anyone who lives at the top end of Nicholson St knows, A Fan’s Notes manages to straddle the meat-veggie divide like an absolute champ.
Vegan and veggo options aren’t relegated to a sad green salad or coleslaw here. Nor is a golden-crisp chicken parma treated like the Devil’s food. A Fan’s Notes somehow keeps both camps happy, which is mostly down to the charm of the interior and the quality of the food. Even coeliacs have half a dozen dishes to choose from...
There’s a definite scruffy, northside feel to this place. The main room is overstacked with dog-eared paperbacks, vintage vinyl, dribbling candles and faded posters of The Chills and The Clean. There’s a ramshackle beer garden out back, overhung with branches, where you can grab $8 Coopers pints (an excellent way to spend a Sunday arvo). Brunch runs until 4pm, and nearly every dish comes with a vegan alternative. If you’re in the mood for a smackeral, go the white bean and artichoke hummus with fried haloumi and zingy harissa. But the fried tofu wrap is pretty good too, served with pumpkin seed hummus and pickled green beans.
But really, the thing that sets this place apart are the roasts. Specifically the vegan roasts. Now the idea of roast veg and tofu may not tickle everyone’s fancy, but trust us: this is some of the best we’ve ever had. The plate comes out loaded from edge to edge with spuds, blackened Brussel sprouts, pumpkin, slaw and anything else that tickled the kitchen’s fancy, topped with a crumbed and golden tofu slab. Drizzle a little vegan gravy over the top and – voila – a smashing Thursday night roast.
Keep an eye out for the specials too: $10 parmas on Saturday nights, and vegan degustations running on semi-regular rotation. Their Facebook page usually has all the info.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White