As a committed carnivore I have been known to wonder out loud “where is the bacon?” when I eat at vegetarian restaurants. But Transformer Fitzroy may just have converted me to the world of vegetarians, at least for a meal or two. Transformer is owned by the same team as vegetarian stalwart The Vegie Bar but while the meat free mantra is the same, chef Luke Florence delivers a more sophisticated and contemporary menu.
The restaurant is stunning. It’s housed in an old warehouse which has been transformed with polished concrete floors and trellises covered in lush tropical plants which serve to break up the space.
Adopting the philosophy of “when in Rome” I started my first visit to Transformer with a green juice. The combination of leafy greens and coconut water was refreshing and managed to avoid that “grass clippings” taste which can be an issue with these sort of virtuous brews.
Transformer is open all day and serves a completely different menu at night time but during the day there are great brunch options. The best dish I tried was the Turkish eggs. The eggs are fried with a slight char and served with a pillowy spelt and seed flat bread, tangy spiced labneh and steamed silver beet. The vibrant greens really cut through the rich runny egg yolks making this a winning breakfast combination.
If you are feeling a hankering for something more substantial, order the breakfast mushrooms. This combination of enoki and field mushrooms is so rich and “meaty” that you won’t miss actual meat at all. The mushrooms and thick sauce were filling while a tangle of fresh coriander and parsley added freshness.
The coffee at Transformer is by Industry Beans. My latte was slightly bitter but had a smooth finish. Extra ticks for the novelty tea spoons.
Transfomer Fitzroy is a vegetarian restaurant but not as you know it. Abandon all preconceptions and get ready to worship at the altar of the humble vegetable.
Details: Transformer, 99 Rose Street, Fitzroy (Ph 03 9419 2022)
Kids: No kids menu but Transformer has high chairs and there’s plenty of space for kids during the day.