For my second day in Melbourne, I had put aside the whole day to go shopping in Chapel Street, around Prahan. I wasn’t expecting too much to be honest, as the last time I had visited Melbourne I had returned home with just a full belly and no shopping. But this morning, as soon as I got off the tram and spotted The Essential Ingredient store at the Prahan Markets, I went a little crazy and bought about $100 worth of small kitchen supplies (piping bags, cookie cutters, flavourings, etc). I was shopping with Fashion Obsessed Girl and for once she had to wait around patiently while I darted around the shop, near drooling at the sacks of Callebaut chocolate, tiers of Persian fairy floss and range of KitchenAid mixers.
But she had her turn with the array of boutiques lining both sides of Chapel Street, and it was around noon that we called for a pause in our mission and met up with a local friend for lunch at a place I had found nearby via Urbanspoon, called Sweetwater Inn.
Sweetwater Inn is located a little off the main Chapel Street, and is decorated in a quite an American-ranch theme. It’s quirky and kooky, with barrels for seating outside, as well as comfortable booths inside.
I also had a laugh at their enormous range of hot sauces when I came out of the restroom…
The menu is surprisingly very vegetarian and vegan friendly – in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a menu as friendly! Vegan pies, faux bacon, faux calamari and vegan prawns. It all was a bit mind-boggling. Maybe we needed a drink first.
As a cider girl, I went for the Fog City Cloudy Apple Cider ($12), which I wasn’t expecting to come in a huge 500ml bottIe:
Fashion Obsessed Girl chose the Tin Can Kel ($10): Tromba Tequila, St Germains Elderflower Liqueur, lime and soda.
She also accidentally ended up selecting the vegan option for the BBQ Prawn Skewers ($15), which were Marinated BBQ vegan prawns, served with a herb aioli, grilled lemon and a dressed salad.
What was hilarious though, was that she started eating the prawns and saying how tasty they were without realising that they weren’t real prawns – it was only until our other friend and myself tasted them that we pulled her up on it! It was a fairly light meal, although the chips were ridiculously tasty. In the end when we had finished, we had to ask the bartender to take the dishes away lest we kept snacking on the residual chips.
Our friend had the Crispy Calamari Salad ($16), which was Chilli and herb marinated calamari, lightly chargrilled, on a light seasonal salad with herbed aioli.
The calamari was probably a little on the over-cooked side, but quite smoky and charred in flavour. The salad was a bit meh for my taste, but probably because I was too happy with my own order, the Cider and Chilli Mussels ($18): Fresh mussels, cooked in a spicy chilli and cider broth and served in a billy can with a side of damper.
The mussels were tender, flavoursome and perfectly cooked and I polished off the adorable billy can of shellfish with ease. And to think I couldn’t stand the sight of mussels just last year!
Overall, quite an interesting, spacious bar a convenient distance away from the main hustle and bustle of Chapel Street. A winner for anyone looking for extensive vegan and vegetarian dining options.
60 Bray Street,
South Yarra VIC 3141
0487 916 082