East Sydney hotel goes vegan and launches full vegan menu

Read Time:   |  5th April 2017

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The East Sydney Hotel, which has been situated in the heart of Woolloomooloo since the 1800s, has gone vegan, introducing a menu full of meat and dairy-free options after 90 years of traditional fare.

Deep fried mac & cheese with bush tomato chutney, pulled jackfruit burger with slaw, aioli, hot sauce and chips; and hot dog with fresh tomato salsa, guacamole and chips. Picture: John Appleyard

After 90 years of serving up traditional fare, the East Sydney Hotel has decided to introduce a full menu of “approachable” vegan food under than hands of chef and long-time vegan Sini Kiialainen.

Ms Kiialainen said she first transitioned to vegetarianism and then veganism because she “couldn’t ignore the truth anymore”, pointing to the holy trinity of veganism — environmental impact, animals rights and the health benefits — as her motivations for choosing to lead a more ethical lifestyle.

However, she soon found that the decision had an impact on her ability to find venues which catered to her.

“I felt like when I went vegetarian I found it hard to eat out, but when I became a vegan it was almost impossible,” Ms Kiialainen said.

Chef Sini Kiialainen at the East Sydney Hotel which has launched a new vegan menu. Photo: John Appleyard

So when she joined the East Sydney Hotel, she slowly “tried to sneak” in vegetarian and vegan dishes onto the menu. Encouragingly, the small change became so popular that “running my own vegan bistro seemed like the right thing to do,” Ms Kiialainen said.

“It’s a little bit selfish of course because the cafe is for vegans but I wanted to show non-vegans how well you can eat this way, it’s not just about being healthy and boring, it’s versatile and fresh,” she said.

While the menu marks a change for the venue, commonly known as the ‘last country pub’ in the CBD, the reaction has been pretty overwhelming.

Deep fried mac & cheese with bush tomato chutney. Picture: John Appleyard

What’s on the menu?

Guests can choose from a wide range of delicious dishes, including the beefless cheeseburger, made with matchmeat and a special seasoning, the snake bean and mock duck stir-fry, and of course the deep fried mac and cheese made with a cashew-based sauce and served with bush tomato. All of the dishes include a gluten-free option too.

  • Cous Cous Salad with Roasted Kumara, Harissa, Coriander & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds on Baby Gem Lettuce
  • Mini Deep Fried Mushroom, Vegetable & Pearl Barley Pasty with Tomato Sauce
  • Nachos with Cheese Sauce, Guacamole, Fresh Tomato Salsa & Jalapeños
  • Deep Fried Mac Cheese with Tomato Chutney
  • Hot Dog with Fresh Tomato Salsa & Guacamole
  • Fish Fingers with Chips & Tartare Sauce
  • Curried Cauliflower with Toasted Macadamias & Cardamom Yogurt
  • Kumara Chickpea Curry with Rice
  • Crumbed Veggie Slider with Tomato, Baby Cos, Harissa & Aioli
  • Pulled Jackfruit Slider with Apple & Fennel Slaw & Hot Sauce
  • Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cup
  • Coconut, Vanilla Pineapple Pudding

“It’s good for everyone, it’s not just special food for vegans. The whole point is that it’s for anyone,” Ms Kiialainen said.

“Just give it a go — I think people are going to be very surprised at how normal and tasty it is,” she said.

For more information, please visit: www.eastsydneyhotel.com

Source: Daily Telegraph

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