I'll readily admit that vegan food is not at all up my alley. While I'm not the biggest carnivore anyway, cheese and eggs are two of my favourite foods that I just could never part from. But my recent encounter with The Alley's plant-based spread opened my taste buds to a whole different world of tasty.
The St Kilda Road eatery churns out their healthy, vegan menu at fast food speeds. Think bowls, burgers and smoothies at the snap of a finger; perfect for those in the area with rushed lunch breaks.
The Alley's signature macro bowl comes with a quinoa medley and the goodness of various nutritious toppings including sauteed kale, roast sweet potato and beans. The tang of the pickled veggies and creamy sweet tumeric tahini dressing ensure that the bowl is as flavoursome as it is nourishing. Given my adoration for cheese, I tentatively tested the waters with my toes when it came to the mac 'n' cheese... and ended up seriously wowed by how much I enjoyed the creamy white bean and cashew sauce blend. The coconut bacon and breadcrumbs imparted a tasty savoury crunch that elevated the overall dish. The various slider versions of their burger range looked and smelt delicious, but I unfortunately wasn't able to fit any in after finishing my bowl. And may have also went back for more than my fair share of sweet potato fries... but hey, they're air-baked so make for a great guilt-free indulgence. Be sure to save room for some soft serve; we tried the chocolate. 100% vegan and gluten free (not that I could tell) but more importantly, 100% delicious.
The Alley proves that eating healthy/vegan food does not have to be a chore. Far from it in fact when it comes to clever takes on classics like mac 'n' cheese. Be sure to check it out, even if you're not a vegan camper - you might find yourself pleasant surprised.
417 St Kilda Rd,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3004.
(03) 9820 8314
Disclosure: I attended the launch as a guest of The Alley. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.