Clare Hu already owned three cafes before opening her lunch spot V. in South Yarra in 2017. After dropping meat and dairy from her the previous year, she was inspired to put together a menu with tight dietary restrictions, and found inspiration looking overseas.
Her two favourite dishes at V. are Japanese: a sushi roll and a vegan ramen that took chef Darius Sun a month to perfect. He uses a soybean base, mushrooms and a mixture of vegetables to make a rich broth.
The sushi roll uses a unique mixture of enoki and shiitake mushrooms, black rice and barley, and a shitake teriyaki sauce. There are also jaffles, burgers, and rice paper rolls, with much of the produce sourced from Peninsula Fresh Organics in Mornington.
For something sweet, there’s a dessert jar filled with silken tofu, peanut butter, raspberry and mango puree.
The compact space designed by Blair Cooper of Noise, Noise, Noise is contained in what is essentially a glass box, with concrete, blonde wood and lots of indoor plants inside the tiny interior. It’s about 27 square metres all up.
Although primarily a take-out spot there's room to dine in, with bleacher-style seating to the left of the door.