It’s Friday night and we’re celebrating my belated birthday. As many of us girls are approaching the big 3-0, it seems that we’re all seeking a healthy balance in work/life and have suddenly welcomed vegetarianism into our lives. Thankfully, our new meat-free diet doesn’t create much of a restriction because we’re at Yulli’s – a vegetarian bar and restaurant on Crown Street in Surry Hills.
The menu is great and offers much variety. It’s refreshing to see that the menu isn’t all about mock meats or raw veganism. I’m not particularly comfortable at either ends of the spectrum but Yulli’s menu masks the vegetarian concept well. The dishes don’t try hard to impress carnivores, instead, tofu, legumes, vegies and even pizza stand on its own. Everything is absolutely delicious. By the way, the banquet menu is fantastic value!
Yulli’s banquet menu
Steamed leek and ginger dumplings w fresh plum sauce
Pan fried haloumi
Edamame and coconut money bags
Salt and pepper tofu w green papaya salad
Porcini mushroom and haloumi pizza
Pear and orange salad
Chocolate fudge brownie
Baked New York cheesecake w rhubarb sauce
White Belgian chocolate caramel slice
The banquet menu is a no brainer for groups larger than 4. Dishes are individually priced between $10.80 and $18.50 so for 9 dishes (4 courses) at just $35 per person, we feel like we’re robbing them!
The steamed leek and ginger dumplings are an uplifting start. The dumpling skins are subtly chewy and delicate. The filling is much less brash than it sounds.
Pan-fried haloumi is always a winner, especially when served with a tomato and kiwifruit salsa, and the edamame and coconut money bags are surprisingly light and nourishing.
The falafel plate contains fragrant falafel cylinders on betel leaves with a spicy tomato chutney and a pickled ginger and pineapple salsa. Eaten as a wrap, there’s so much going on in each mouthful, it’s easy to forget we’re in vego territory.
Having eaten a fair share of salt and pepper tofu in my life, I’m also delighted by the salt and pepper tofu served with the green papaya and peanut salad. The papaya salad lacks a bit of punch, but the crisp batter and seasoning on the tofu, that is divine!
The third course continues the Modern-Asian and Mediterranean fusion fare. The eggplant involtini feature roti-wrapped grilled eggplant which are stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and spinach, and topped with a lemongrass and tomato sauce. Yes, the lemongrass and tomato sauce combo works!
The pear and orange salad consists of perfectly segmented fruit and a gorgeous mix of oak leaf lettuce, coral lettuce, tomato, cucumber, Spanish onion, avocado and a cranberry dressing. Add to that, the thin and crispy porcini mushroom and haloumi pizza with kalamata olives and roquette salad, and we’re rather quite full.
We finish with the dessert platter of bite-sized pieces of chocolate fudge brownie, cheesecake with rhubarb sauce and white Belgian chocolate caramel slice, and even make room for a surprise birthday cake!
So there you have it. A great night out with the girls and nobody left with the urge to chew down a steak. You can have your cake and eat it too! Vegetarianism, bring it on!
(Note: For those concerned, I’m just doing this vegetarian thing on a part-time basis)
417 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: (02) 9319 6609