Thursday, 17 November 2011

Purple peanuts - modern Japanese

We finally made it to hip new city Japanese cafe with the fantastic name of Purple Peanuts.  I got off the tram, looked at the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets, couldn't find it, walked a big Docklands block with the stroller, finally looked it up at an internet cafe and found it was where I had looked at first.  It was hard to wield a stroller and read the butchers paper menu in the fast moving queue.  I would have liked more time to consider my order but instead I just went for a burger and a rice ball.  I liked the burger and loved the rice ball.

The gammodoki tofu vegie burger was written up as one of the Top 5 Vegetarian Burgers in Melbourne by The Age newspaper.  I had high expectations.  The actual burger patty was excellent - tofu, beans, carrot, onion, oats, egg, sake, sesame and ginger.  Nice, unusual, different!  It just got a little lost in the huge Turkish bread slab and among the mayo and lettuce leaves.  I would prefer half the bread, lettuce and may with the patty.  But it was not too shabby, nevertheless.

The onigiri ball on the other hand was amazing.  It would definitely make my list of Top 5 Rice Balls in Melbourne.  It was so crispy on the outside and full of subtle but interesting seasoning on the inside plus a generous amount of carrot, seaweed and other fillings.  I bought it for Sylvia but she wasn't interested so I ate it.  She had bikkies and a banana instead!

As my experience might have been affected by my circumstances, I thought it might be useful to share some choice words on the place from others:
  • "Purple Peanuts does an excellent line in fresh, healthy and cheap food - a pretty impressive combination." - Where's the Beef?
  • "This cafe is super cute with stacks of succulents and bright colours." - Easy as Vegan Pie
  • "cheerful yet charged vibe" - The Age newspaper

Despite it being in the business end of Collins Street, it also very handy for the Southern Cross station with the wonderful wavy roof, which takes me home by public transport!  I'd love to return and try out the vegie buckwheat noodle salad and vegie curries, preferably without toddler and stroller. 

Purple Peanuts
620 Collins Street (near the corner of Spencer St)
Melbourne CBD
03 9529 3988


  1. I must remember this place next time I am in Melbs!

  2. I'm with Lisa above - next trip to Melbourne I am heading here! I hope you get back yourself before long, and can try some of those other options. I suspect this would be a place where I'd have too many menu choices rather than too few.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the food, even if Sylvia wasn't so interested!

    I can only imagine how harried it must have been, trying to find the location during the lunch rush while weighed down. We had a more relaxed time buying an early dinner.

  4. I've never seen onigiri fried before? Glad at least that part was scrumptious for you :)

  5. Thanks Lisa - Cindy and Michael went there for dinner so it must be open later too

    thanks Kari - I really wanted time to think about the other foods I could eat but I went in wanting that burger and am v pleased I tasted it

    Thanks Cindy - rarely is eating relaxed while Sylvia is in tow but it is usually fun (at times anyway)

    Thanks Hannah - I went to a friend's place last year where they barbecued plain rice balls until crispy (for those with limited diets) and they were brilliant with a dipping sauce - highly recommend it

  6. Ooo that looks like such a yummy restaurant! Too bad the burger was lost in the other stuff. That rice ball looks amazing!

  7. Once again, a restaurant review that makes me want to fly to Melbourne so I can try out the place. And be in Melbourne, of course.


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