Tahina, Fitzroy

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MELBOURNE | Tahina is a Northcote favourite, with Tel Aviv born owner/chef Roy Sassonkin and his partner Natalie Powell creating a mouthwatering menu of Israeli street food bites that are completely vegetarian or vegan. They recently opened a second Tahina on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, and we were invited in to take a look. Being huge fans of the original, we weren’t going to say no.

The first thing you notice when you walk inside is that the space is tiny. There’s a long, narrow open kitchen with a few tables and stools. Walk to the back however, and there’s an unexpectedly spacious outdoor spot with numerous seats and tables. It’s decked out with lots of wood and greenery for a bit of an outdoor garden feel, and it’s completely covered to protect diners from the elements.

Roy’s food is inspired by the food he grew up with. Dining in casual restaurants and eating healthy, fresh food with family and friends. He learned to cook in his father’s kitchen and that translates to the food at Tahnia, which is simple, home-style, wholesome food.

Anyone who has been to the Northcote Tahina will be familiar with the options at the Fitzroy outlet. Felafel pita pockets are one of the most popular items on the menu, and a lot of people come in to grab these takeaway. The pita is filled with your choice of green or red falafel, along with house-made hummus, pickled cabbage, tahini and Israeli salad. They’re very good. That classic Israeli dish, shakshuka, is another highlight. The baked egg dish is served your choice of three ways – with spicy tomato sauce, pita, salad and pickled cabbage, with broccoli, avocado, and zucchini, or with mushrooms, fennel and Jerusalem artichokes.

The food here reminds us a lot of the sort of thing you find at Yotam Ottolenghi’s casual “Ottolenghi” restaurants in London. Like Yotam, Roy isn’t actually a vegetarian but believes strongly that we eat too much meat and not enough vegetables, and that people simply don’t use vegetables to their full potential. All the food at Tahina proves that meat free dishes can be fantastic, but the most eye opening is the vegan hot dog.

Instead of a meat sausage inside the striking black smoked bun, there’s a spiced cured carrot along with pickled cabbage, tahini amba mustard, and sweet tomato sauce. It’s topped off with a generous amount of sweet potato chips. It’s fantastic, the sort of thing that can change people’s perceptions about what vegetables can be.

Another highlight is the ‘Monkey Salad’, a mixture of quinoa, roasted sweet potato, corn, broccoli and avocado topped with spiced dukkah chickpeas and tahini dill dressing. It’s full of flavour and texture and well worth trying. In fact, everything at Tahina is worth trying as there isn’t a dud dish on the menu.

Tahina (Fitzroy)

362 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy
Victoria 3065
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9417 4510
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am to 1:00am

Tahina Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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