Apparently, the highest day for gym attendance is Monday. It makes sense – after a weekend of excess you wake up vowing that the beginning of a new week means the beginning of the new, healthier you.

I wonder if the same trend applies to vegetarian restaurants? Because certainly on my lunch visit to Munsterhaus the place was surprisingly full for a Monday.

It probably helps that the cafe is located in the gentrified hipster enclave of North Fitzroy, that the food is fresh and flavoursome, the portions are generous and the staff are friendly. The handsome interior is fitted out like a retro Art Deco cafeteria, with functional laminate topped wooden tables parked with classroom chairs, window seats for singles and an expanse of glassed-in wooden bench which showcases a smorgasbord of vegetarian and vegan dishes, mostly with Asian flavours.

You then select the plate size you want – small, medium, large – and the server will pile up your plate with as many items as you can cram in (one size takeaway is also available). Or you can choose to have a whole bowl of brussels sprouts if you like!

My choices included a too-dry brown rice slice, honey/soy/sesame tempeh crisps with broccoli, a mildy spicy chilli jam fried tofu, some quinoa salad, a chickpea, cucumber, spinach and feta salad which I’m going to try and replicate at home and my favourite, an Asian sweet potato noodle salad bouncing with peanuts, carrots, bean sprouts and shiitake. You can also select some home made dips to top off your plate and the waitress recommended the tofu dip which was similar to a cream cheese in flavour.

As you can see, even the $10 small plate/bowl is generously proportioned so I recommend that size unless you’re sharing with someone else. Fill your stomach with that much tofu, quinoa and brown rice, wash it down with help-yourself filtered water, and I guarantee that you’ll be rolling out the door.

However, in the name of research I also tried the poached pear and raspberry tart ($6) which came with a dollop of yoghurt or commercial vanilla icecream. There was a very faint hint of an undefinable spice which lifted it beyond a standard cake, and certainly after such a large slice I was ready to loosen my belt.

I’ll definitely return to Munsterhaus – can’t go wrong with a place that serves fresh, healthy food in whatever combination you like, in whatever quantities you like. For vegetarian/vegan food served with a similar concept, try The Tofu Shop International in Richmond.

Munsterhaus, 371 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North +61 3 9489 4420
Mon-Thu 9am-4.30pm
Fri-Sat 9am-8pm

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