07 Aug Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy
Championing the vegan scene in Melbourne, Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse’s Smith & Daughters wowed with their Latin American food that was both vegan and tasted good. Open from morning till late, Smith & Daughters serves a brunch menu before moving into a dinner menu for the evenings.
Unlike most cafes of late, it’s quite dark inside, even in the middle of the day. Quirky knick-knacks are arranged on the bar shelves, and different salt and pepper shakers can be found on each table.
The round and plump, spicy and crunchy street vendor-style Mexican corn fritters are made of jalapeno, cayenne and white cheese. Champinones al Ajillo are button mushrooms simmered in a creamy Spanish sauce of Pedro Ximenez, garlic and smoked paprika. There’s a slight sweetness to the delicious sauce, and I wish there was more bread to mop it all up.
Their Spanish-style hot chips are seasoned with paprika, herb and lemon salt, and come with aioli. Similar to, or perhaps the same as, the aioli that came with the fritters, the aioli (vegan of course) had lime and a bit of garlic, but its flavour is lacking in punch. It’s also less creamy than regular aioli, possibly due to the lack of egg, and has a texture that’s reminiscent of sour cream. Super crispy, the chips are great with the hot sauce that’s provided on the tables.
Although I’m in no way a vegan, I found Smith & Daughters to be a satisfying option that would accommodate vegans and non-vegans alike.