Garden of Vegan - The business of being Green

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Publishedon 16/07/2015 - 07:42 pm


Garden of Vegan 1Do not be alarmed. This eatery in Launceston’s CBD may not have milk, eggs, cheese or meat but you can be sure to leave satisfied and even a little enlightened.

“We’ve had a few people go, wow this is vegan?! I think it’s given them a totally different perspective about what vegan food is,” says owner Katherine Moran.

She says common myths of vegans as carrot munching, mung bean boiling herbivores have been largely dispelled since the business kicked off a couple of years ago.

“Many people have this really poor mindset about it so it was always my idea to tell and teach people how it is we eat – it’s not boring, it’s not plain, it’s not just tofu!”

Katherine and husband Hoang Nguyen moved from Sydney to Tasmania a few years ago in search of a change. The vegan pair hadn’t planned on making a living from food but Katherine says it all just fell into place. After a brief stint in Hobart, they moved north, started selling rice paper rolls and raw cheesecake at Launceston’s Harvest Market then in 2013 opened a tiny café on Charles Street that (gasp) was free of animal product.

The lunchtime queue stretching around the block quickly suggested more space was needed and so, a new site was sought. Part of the iconic pub, Batman Fawkner Inn on Cameron Street was chosen to serve locals their usual helping of plant-based tucker. The place was quickly transformed by Katherine and graphic designer Hoang into a light-filled oasis of succulents, raw timber and recycled furniture.

The clean, conscious way of eating offered by GOV has been abruptly seized upon by Launceston. But Katherine plays the business’ success down – it seems she’s just stoked to share her often-misinterpreted way of eating.

“We could say we’re creating something but I feel at the same time, the people wanted it,” says Katherine.

Garden of Vegan 2The lunch menu varies everyday, offering just a few choices: on Tuesdays there’s Rendang Curry and Bun Bi Cha Gio, on Thursdays it’s Laksa and Rainbow Rice Bowl with Organic Greens and Tempeh. Hoang’s Vietnamese background is evident throughout the fresh, seasonal, flavour-packed menu. Naturally, most dishes are also free of gluten, dairy, sugar and nuts.

On offer every day is the usual crowd favourite, rice paper rolls plus a fridge full of green juice, chia parfait plus kombucha and a range from The Tasmanian Juice Press. Then there’s breakfast from 7:30 daily. Our pick is the silken tofu omelet topped with tomato salsa, avocado and various sprouts and leaves. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel fuelled for the day.

Locally roasted Ritual Coffee is served but don’t expect an extra hot muggaccino: it’s soy, almond, rice, oat or coconut milk only. Try the latter – it’s creamy and sweet but subtle.

On a continued mission to educate, Katherine says her and Hoang are cooking up plans to share the GOV love a little more.

“Our goal is to create workshops in reference to food and other levels of well- being.”

We dare you not to be tempted by the Garden of Vegan.

Image Credits : Garden of Vegan Facebook Page

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