It’s hard to beat the feeling of eating a delicious meal while feeling virtuous at the same time. What’s more it’s easier than ever before to achieve this dining nirvana with a slew of social enterprise restaurant and cafes opening up in Melbourne.
One of the best of the bunch is Feast of Merit in Richmond. Exposed brick walls, mismatched furniture and dangling naked light bulbs give the place an industrial feel but the addition of lots of greenery keeps things feeling cosy. It’s a stylish and seriously photogenic fit out.
Coffee is by St Ali and my latte ($3.80) was sharp and delivered a heart starting caffeine hit. The juices at Feast of Merit are also well worth ordering with the apple, red grape and strawberry juice ($7) tasting sweet while not being saccharine.
The food at Feast of Merit highlights local and sustainable produce. There is meat on the menu here but I think Feast of Merit’s strength is in its vego dishes – so good that the typically carnivorous MTV husband even ordered one. Two huge Portobello mushrooms ($15) were smoky and almost meaty in flavour and came teamed with poached egg dribbling runny yolk on the plate.
Another hit was the quinoa salad topped with roasted vegies and chopped up almonds to add crunch. But the most memorable dish I tried was the roasted seasonal vegetables ($16.50) featuring charred baby carrots and almost an entire cauliflower head creamy and crunchy from its time in the oven. Adding some charred flat bread ($3.50) really does make it a feast rather than just a meal.
The best part is that the profits here go to YGAP (Y generation against poverty) a charity focused on youth education and leadership in Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Australia. Any excuse to consume more for a cause!
Details: Feast of Merit, 117 Swan St, Richmond (Ph 03 9428 8480)