283 Rundle Street (East End)
Adelaide SA 5000
Cocolat is, without a doubt, a chocolate lover’s wet dream – however it’s a vegan’s nightmare. So what happens when you’re both a chocolate lover and a vegan? Well – you end up pretty damn disappointed.
I’m not going to lie to you guys – everything in the cabinets at Cocolat looked pretty damn spectacular and if it had been vegan, I would have sampled the lot.
About a week in advance, I emailed the store I was planning to visit but never received a reply. At first, I thought it was pretty rude – but there’s a chance my email went to their junk mail folder, so I’ll try not to hold that against them. I decided to risk making a visit there anyway and upon arriving and asking about what was dairy free, I had to wait for someone to call the manager. Admittedly, this was pretty annoying. Shouldn’t there be an ingredients list for all their items somewhere?
The guy (who was actually pretty friendly – zero complaints about the staff in that respect) came back shortly afterwards to tell me that only three items didn’t contain dairy and one of them was sold out.
I made a dramatic sad face and walked away with a dark “chocolate frog” and an “almond splinter”. The dark chocolate was pretty average/nothing to write home about. I did, however spot some sorbet in the freezer cabinet which turned out to be vegan, so I tried the lemon and the blood orange flavours which were exceptional. The blood orange was just like sherbet! Yummy.
All in all, while everything looked delicious I can’t comment on the taste of many things. If you have a special dietary requirement, Cocolat is not very accommodating. Even though soy milk was on the menu, I couldn’t even order one of their famous hot chocolates because the chocolate was pre-mixed with dairy cream.
41 George Street
Parkside SA 5063
My work dinner at Namaste (a Nepalese restaurant) was a far better experience – the menu was clearly labeled with options that were vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free. As it turns out, some of the vegetarian options are actually vegan if you ask for a tomato dipping sauce rather than a yoghurt one.
I had the “Phulaura” as an entree – they were crispy balls made from black lentils, potato, cauliflower, chickpea flour, spring onion, spinach, and coriander. They were seriously awesome even without any dipping sauce. They were pretty mild in flavour and not overpowering at all.
For my main I had the “Kwati”, which was a 9 bean curry. The serve was pretty huge and the curry was bursting with flavour. Again, it was very mild/not spicy in the slightest.
We ordered some side dishes to share among the table: “buteko vunta” (stir fried eggplant which was a little greasy but sweet and delicious), “pharsi ko tarkari” (a pureed pumpkin curry that was mildly spiced) and “rayoko saag” (stir fried mustard leaves & spinach). Even though the eggplant was my favourite, I couldn’t help but be incredibly impressed with the greens which were still bright – nothing turns me off like over cooked leafy greens.
My only disappointment at Namaste was that none of the breads were vegan so I was feeling a little left out when everyone else had the chance to mop up the sauces left on their plates. Honestly though – if that’s the only bad thing I have to say, you’ve gotta realise that this place was pretty impressive. The food was warming and hearty and the atmosphere was cosy.