Matt McLennan wanted to combine his experience in organic wholefoods (he co-founded Taste Organic grocer) with his passion for plant-based dining. Together with partner Pim Tummasombut he founded Gathered Kitchen.
As well as being 100 per cent plant-based, most dishes are organic and loaded with vegetables instead of mock meat. Tummasombut’s Thai heritage is apparent throughout the menu – most spectacularly in a dish of pandan and lemongrass waffles – pandan-green squares layered with caramelised banana, wattleseed ice-cream and coconut syrup.
There are sliders, too, such as the pulled jackfruit burger with apple coleslaw, lime aioli and Sriracha on a brioche bun. And a quinoa-chickpea burger with Brazil-nut parmesan and wasabi mayonnaise. There’s even vegan bacon (rice paper marinated in a smoky maple sauce), which arrives in a bagel with radish, tomato, lettuce, truffle mayo and vegan haloumi made from cold-pressed coconut oil.
All the desserts are refined-sugar free. There are passionfruit palmiers; coconut and activated charcoal croissants; and matcha cruffins with blackberry filling.
Grab a table in the sunny back courtyard. Inside, a black-and-white photo of sustainable rice farming in Thailand and philosopher and animal-rights activist Peter Singer might give unsuspecting diners a clue about the food philosophy.