If in the past dietary requirements came with haughty put-downs and no guarantee of good food, Mother is part of the next generation. Set in a rustic brick 1920s warehouse, with steel-beamed roofs and shipping containers repurposed as dine-in lounges, this forward-thinking venue embraces the diversity and creative possibilities of a plant-based menu, adding snappy natural wines and innovative cocktails – wattleseed whiskey sour, anyone? – to the mix.
All the mindful eating buzzwords are here, too, with a sustainable mindset propped up by housemade kombucha, sugar-free, dairy-free and alcohol-free offers, and a low-waste ethos to boot. Then there’s the in-house yoga studio, the massage therapist on site and a plastic-free, zero-waste retail shop thrown in for good measure.
The best part of Mother, though, is you don’t have to be a true believer to have a rollicking good night out. And if there’s a through line, it’s simple, soul-satisfying, flavourful food that just so happens to be good for the planet, too.
The best part of Mother, though, is you don’t have to be as passionate as the true believers about a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to have a rollicking good night out. And if there’s a through line, it’s simple, soul-satisfying food that just so happens to be wipe-up-the-plate good.
Take the mushroom pâté for instance. This smooth, earthy spread defies any initial concept of dagginess in one lavish smear over crusty sourdough from nearby North Street Bakery. Charcoal-grilled eggplant is given an invigorating kick from chilli oil, with a creamy dairy-free “yoghurt” dressing and roasted almonds adding further interest.
Roasted cauliflower, a near-ubiquitous menu item nowadays, comes here as a burnished delight of contrasts, with a turmeric-tahini sauce bringing colour and a pistachio crumble bringing crunch. It finds a fine foil with any of the local pet-nats on the all-vegan wine list. Cynics may scoff at the crowds who stock up on bulk food bags and beeswax candles on the way out, but for the rest of us, Mother is a chance for good vegan cooking to take another long-overdue place at the table.