Katherine Sampson opened burger joint Hello Sam on Chapel Street in 2013 after selling 43-store-strong sandwich chain Healthy Habits. Now she’s opened vegetarian Little Green directly over the road.
“Most of the people only come in [to Hello Sam] on a Saturday or a Sunday. It’s their cheat day,” Sampson says. “But all the other days of the week they’re eating healthy.”
Little Green is chef Stewart Anderson’s first foray into meat-free dining. He’s worked at Sydney fine diner Quay, and at Chur Burger. Most recently he headed up the kitchen at Hello Sam. Little Green is a major shift.
The menu is vegetarian but peppered with vegan options and substitutes. A hefty jaffle selection includes three cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, tasty); vegan cheesymite; vegan cheese and baked beans; and peanut butter, Nutella and berry.
The Mexican Bowl comes loaded with vegan chilli, brown rice, guac and corn chips. There are Acai and bircher bowls too, but the smoothies are the standout. Pineapple, coconut, almond milk and frozen coconut yogurt make up the Pina Colada (sans booze), and a lemon meringue version sits precariously on the fence between sweet and sour. It’s made with lemon juice, almond milk, coconut milk, oats, banana and passionfruit. Coffee is by Industry Beans.
Melbourne-based Fretard Design fitted out the compact 31-square-metre space. Inside, there are just five seats (outside, about a dozen), but the set-up here is for people on the move. Convenience is front of mind for Sampson, so the shop is well stocked with Who Gives A Crap toilet paper; organic dog treats; and reusable straws, coffee cups and shopping bags.
“It’s not so much giftware, it’s stuff that people need,” Sampson says. “I really wanted it to be almost like your local milk bar.”
When ordering, a donation can be made to buy a meal or hamper for underprivileged locals via Hartley’s Community Dining Room at Prahran Mission.
“Every day I watch people going past, rummaging through the rubbish bin out the front of [Hello Sam],” Sampson says. “That’s what prompted me.”
667 Chapel Street, South Yarra
(03) 7012 3969
(03) 7012 3969
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on October 9, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.