This new meat-free eatery has launched, promising herbivore treats that go against the grain so much that it’s approachable for even the staunchest meat eater.
This new meat-free eatery has launched, promising herbivore treats that go against the grain so much that it’s approachable for even the staunchest meat eater.

The vegan cafe luring meat eaters

IF OWNING a cafe doesn't work out for Eugenie Hows, she might want to consider a career in interior design and renovation.

Taking on what could only politely be referred to as a dark, dingy and rather rundown tenancy in Bowen Hills, in inner Brisbane, mid last year, she set about converting the neglected space into her first hospitality venture, Plant Vibes Cafe.

Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.
Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.

Gone went the rainbow-hued, peeling paint, random panels of pressed metal and dark flooring and walls, and in came a whitewashed, Scandi-style fit-out of stools, banquette seating, quirky nooks and a virtual greenhouse of hanging, potted and vased plants. It's spacious, welcoming and pretty - and even prettier if you head to the Instagram page to see the before and after snaps. But in case you didn't pick it up from the name, the cafe is vegan.

The upstairs dining space at Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.
The upstairs dining space at Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.

Hows wanted to share her passion for the herbivore life with others but make it approachable for even the staunchest meat eater. And you could say she's done it with the menu hiding its environmentally sustainable, animal welfare evangelism behind popular dishes such as waffles, burgers and even a Mexican brunch bowl.

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The idea that veganism equates to eating healthily is also challenged with an orchard of sweet dishes running from chocolate hazelnut croissants to a bagel topped with raspberry jam, chocolate and peanut mousse. Or there's the most sickly of all, deep-fried spring rolls filled with chunks of banana and melted chocolate ($13) which spills like lava from the almost blackened pastry shell.

Chocolate and banana spring rolls at Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.
Chocolate and banana spring rolls at Plant Vibes Cafe in Bowen Hills.

One of the three spring rolls in the serving is more than enough for me, making this a dish really only for the hardcore sugar fiend. Alternatively, there's the arancini ($16), which is more like a tapas dish than a breakfast item. It features three very well made pumpkin-laced Italian rice balls in a tomato and onion sauce sweeter than a lolly, and an accompanying aioli so potent with garlic you could kill the entire cast of Vampire Diaries.

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Coffee comes from nearby Industry Beans, but doesn't blend well with the almond milk used, so perhaps look to one of the other plant-based milk options available such as oat, macadamia or soy. Or better yet, skip the coffee for the cookies and cream shake blending Oreos with coconut ice cream and oat milk.

Arancini at Plant vibes cafe in Bowen Hills.
Arancini at Plant vibes cafe in Bowen Hills.

Keeping it COVID-safe, diners order and pay for their meal on their smart phones
using a QR code on the table, making service swift and efficient while minimising contact with staff.

Whether you're a plant-eater looking for a new dining destination, or a carnivore trying to find somewhere to take that vegan friend, Plant Vibes Cafe could be worth a try.

 

PLANT VIBES CAFE

52 Brookes St, Bowen Hills.

Open seven days 7am-2pm

 

VERDICT - Scores out of 5

Food 3

Ambience 3.5

Service 3

Value 4

Overall 3

Originally published as The Brisbane vegan cafe luring meat eaters



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