I love an excuse to go to Northcote. Any excuse, though they don’t roll my ways as often as they used to. See, I used to be a massive gig pig, going to anything that involved music. Set up a man in a sticky-carpeted room tumping on a drum and I’d be there, dancing madly. The Northcote Social Club was a particularly favoured venue, not least because it gave me an excuse to have a pre-show dinner at one of the fab restaurants along the High Street strip.
But these days I’m an old woman and don’t go to as many gigs because frankly, I’m sick of all these whipper-snapper kids annoying the hell out of me! No kidding, I was a brain snap away from beating to death with my book-filled tote bag a couple standing in front of me at the last Mountain Goats gig, who not only were watching what was happening inches in front of them through their iPhones, but were talking loudly all the way through. WHO DOES THAT? ANSWER: JERKS.
But there are always some artists I will brave rude, undeserving audience members for, and this particular evening found Muffin and I searching for a dining venue to precede us watching the delightful Darren Hanlon at the Thornbury Theatre. I had read In The Mood For Noodles’ reviews of Disco Beans and was curious, and as soon as Muffin heard the name she was in. “You just HAVE to check out a place if it’s called Disco Beans!”
We were the very first customers of the evening when we entered the bright room, which is plastered from floor to ceiling with bright pictures culled from Japanese magazines. By the time we left nearly just under two hours later, Disco Beans was heaving at the seams. And there is a very good reason for that: it is AMAZING.
After starting with an appetiser of sorts with a bowl of pod-popping fresh edemame, the main event of the sunset curry with beetroot and beans and the vegan okonomiyaki arrived. Okonomiyaki tends to be tarnished with the junk food brush in my eyes; despite them being chock-full of vegies, all the frying and sauces makes me feel that they just can’t be that good for you. But this particular example with something else: despite being HUGE and lovingly slathered in sauce, it struck me as being the healthiest version I’d yet encountered, being that it was chock-full of a variety of interesting grains as well as the standard shredded vegies. It won’t bore you at all, and tastes pretty damn awesome as well!
The sunset curry has a very apt name, being that it is possesses a bright pink hue that automatically makes you think of skies shot through with gorgeous warm colours at sunset. I was a little concerned about a curry containing beetroot, thinking that the sweetness of the vegetable might not contrast well with curry spices. However, even though it was not an overly spicy curry (I have a feeling Japanese-style ones aren’t supposed to be? This is something to research), what spice there was complemented the sweet and creamy beetroot perfectly. It’s a pretty amazing dish, and if you were to have one thing at Disco Beans I’d recommend it.
For dessert, we both went for cake, surprise! One was a kind of banana cake (I neglected to write down its proper name, apologies), which was amazingly moist and filled with thick seams of pure unadulterated banana, which when smooshed together with the soy ice-cream it was served with proved a decadently delicious mouthful. We also had the awesomely named strawberry fields forever cake, which was a kind of frozen raw cheesecake, full of vegan goodness. Despite our having to wait a little for it to thaw (pinging bits across the table while it was still ice-creamy frozen was entertaining, no doubt, but we wanted cake goodness in our mouths!), it proved the winner of the cake battle. It had that great sweet nutty taste to it, due to the cashews and coconut I suspect, and a delicate strawberry flavour that proved addictive.
We rolled out of the now full and bustling Disco Beans with contented tummies, and went off to the Thornbury Theatre absolutely gushing about our dinner (Mr Hanlon put on an utterly spellbinding show, by the way, and there were thankfully no annoying punters at all). Conclusion: Hooray for Northcote!
238 High Street, Northcote
Ph: 9077 4772