Purple Peanuts reminds me of two places. 1: the ball restaurant. This was an eatery that my friend urged me to try when I was in Barcelona. Sure enough, he called it the ball restaurant because all the nutritious food was made in balls. 2: an onsen restaurant in Tokyo. This seems more related, as the food is at least similarly healthy and Japanese.
Purple Peanuts has the backing of simple, healthy Japanese food that has somehow been twisted into coolness. The walls of this casual dining space are similarly ‘coolerised’ with Japanese cat figurines, a Beatles poster in Katakana and trendy shapes on the side. Chilled music, funky décor, staff with accents – this place is trying hard.
The eclectic personality still produces some good stuff and some of this is vegetarian. There is a tofu burger, curry tofu, curry soba and a veggie salad. I ordered the burger, my friend the salad.
The burger patty was freshly made with a combination of tofu, beans, carrot, egg, oats, onion, sake, sesame and ginger (according to its signed description). It was served with salad and teriyaki sauce in a Turkish roll.
The patty was slightly fried so that the outside was nicely crispy and the middle warm. The resounding flavour was, of course, the sauce. It was Japanese-inspired, rather than true Japanese, but it retained the Japanese essence of light and healthy eating with care.
The salad that my friend ordered was pleasant. She does not eat chilli so the noodles seemed a little bland and the salad was not dressed.
We also had miso. This was done slightly sweet with chunks of veggies. I really liked the presentation of the bowls and spoons, but the later gave a woody taste, like sucking on magnum stick to get all the chocolate off (what? who would do that?).
I liked the meal. It was pleasant, different food and the atmosphere matched. After an intense gym work-out I was still hungry afterwards, but maybe I just need to try and eat less. Food blogging does not seem to help.
As we ate, others continued coming in and out for take-away. Yes, this café has already taken-off.
620 Collins Street
03 9620 9548