V-Gem Vegetarian Cafe

I had high hopes for V-Gem and unfortunately V-Gem didn’t live up to my expectations. I spotted this place a few weeks ago, when stopped at the traffic lights in Market Square Mall. V-Gem is one of those rare places that does only vegetarian and vegan food, and they even include mock meats on their menu, so vegetarians aren’t missing out on their beloved lemon chicken. I had tried a similar place in Melbourne that was absolutely fantastic. It almost tricked a non vegetarian into thinking we were actually eating the real deal. I think the dish was Peking duck wraps.

Anyway, back onto the topic of V-Gem…

The menu looked pretty good – a whole front and back of an A4 sheet of paper, with entirely vegetarian food. The menu is asian based, with things like roti, curry laksa, sticky rice and fried rice. Some of the mock meat dishes included satay skewers on rice and butter chicken. Sorry for the lack of information – I was a little taken aback after eating and I forgot to take a menu.

My friend and I ended up ordering a few entrees and a main to share. The service was fine, and I can’t really complain about that. It seems like your typical family run type restaurant, complete with a kid playing with toys on the back table.

We decided on satay skewers, steamed buns and radish cake for entree and some not-so-memorable dish for main. I think it was assam chicken with rice. Our meal started off okay and then went downhill from there. The steamed buns were small and had a sauce similar to what you would find in pork steamed dumplings. They were tasty enough. The chicken skewers were overpriced at $6 for 2 small skewers and some sauce, but they were probably the most tasty thing we had all night. The radish cake ($4.50) was not something I would order again. Two words that come to mind are thick and gluggy. Then out came the main. Presentation wise, it looked pretty good. A neat bowl of steamed rice, with some vegetables on the side and the mock meat drizzled in sauce. It isn’t something I would order again. I don’t know how to describe the mock meat, but my friend described it as tasting like cat food. Each to their own I guess. I guess I’m lucky I took a very open-minded person along with me, as any other meat eater would have been put off vegetarian food for life.

I’m not sure I’ll go back to V-Gem. If I do, I’ll go alone. Perhaps it was the food we ordered. Maybe it’s a good a idea to stay clear of the mock meat at this place, and go for something without it. I am interested in finding out what the mee goreng and laksa are like, but am not in a hurry to go back. One other annoyance is that all the food, apart from the vegetables seemed like they had come out of the freezer and had been defrosted and warmed up to serve. I’m not sure if this was the case or not. But, I’ve done a lot of shopping for vegetarian food and eaten lots of it. This food really didn’t stand out as unique or delicious.

I’d love to hear what other people have to say about this place.

Details:

V-Gem Vegetarian Cafe

102B Little Malop St, Geelong
(Close to 7-11)

Open: Monday-Wednesday 9.30am – 5.30pm.
Thursday-Friday 9.30am-7.30pm.
Saturday 9.30-4.00pm

V-Gem Cafe on Urbanspoon

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8 responses to “V-Gem Vegetarian Cafe

  1. I completely disagree with you. You must’ve caught them on a bad evening. My partner and I have had nothing but positive experiences there. The staff/owners are so friendly, and the food is always excellent. If you go in and choose from the daily menu (as opposed to the evening one) the prices are really low. Where else can two people get starters, mains and coffee for about $30, safe in the knowledge the food is vegetarian (or vegan, in my case)? Vegetarians have so few options in Geelong, having V-Gem is a real bonus. Friends of mine who are meat-eaters have also been impressed with the place. You have to remember, as well, it is a cafe and not a restaurant. It has a laid back, informal atmosphere, and the prices reflect that. If you were after a “fine-dining” experience then you’d have to expect to pay more money. If you’re after a “vegetarian fine-dining” experience, then you’re completely out of luck. V-Gem is great and I hope that reviews like this don’t negatively affect a new business trying to compete in a crowded market place whilst catering for a specific clientele!

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks for commenting. From reading the comments on this blog there seem to be some mixed reviews about V-Gem. As I mentioned to Minki – perhaps it was a case of the food I ordered being not to my taste. I can only comment on what I ate and your tastes could be entirely different to mine. I guess with V-Gem being a vegetarian/vegan restaurant I was looking forward to some amazing food and set my expectations pretty high. If I was at a non-vegetarian restaurant and I got served the food that I did, then I’d probably be a lot happier than I was on that particular evening.

      A review is just a small snapshot of a restaurant/cafe on one particular day. I’m well aware service and food may vary from day-to-day, but a good restaurant should have their food and service set at a certain standard and there should not be much variation. Every customer should get the best service and best food each and every time.

      My review and comments are not intended to have a negative impact on businesses. Think of this blog as an opportunity to read and discover more about the food of Geelong, find out if the menu options sound tasty and find out how else someone felt about the food and service at a particular restaurant at a particular point in time. I guess this is where you guys come into the picture… Let me know if you think differently about a review. I always love to hear other people’s opinions and I’m sure people who read this blog do too!

      I honestly really hope that V-Gem does well. I can see by the ratings on Urbanspoon that most people are happy with the food being served, which is fantastic for a restaurant serving 100% meat-free dishes. I wish them the best of luck, and in response to people commenting positively – I might be back sooner, rather than later.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I’ve been meaning to head down here and give this place a try, fingers crossed I’ll not be disappointed. I think that the only way eateries will be successful in Geelong is by offering consistently good food. If they don’t do it for me once, I won’t waste my cash going back for a second try and I’m sure that’s the case for most other people. When I think of good vego food I always think of the Vegie Bar on Brunswick St. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been there, the food is ALWAYS consistent. Oh for a Vegie Bar in Geelong!

  3. Hi, just stumbled on your blog looking for an Asian Grocer, having just moved to Ocean Grove from Melbourne. I am a vegan working in Geelong and I was super stoked to come across this Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant by accident. Unfortunately, I too was underwhelmed by the food. I had the Lemon “Chicken” and it was soggy and a really small serve. My parents were visiting that day and my mum has the Curry Laksa which was better. In general though, so disappointing.

  4. Hello, I’m not sure if you have had radish cakes before but that’s how the texture is like. I’ve had it before and they are great! Also very popular on the menu too.

    I suggest you try something else and then decide and review. Many people who review restaurants would go at least 2 times to see differences and then review. The satay nuggets for dinner are great and so is the sweet and sour nuggets! The laska and noodle soups are great too!

    • Hi,
      I read a number of food blogs and it seems many bloggers and reviewers base their blog posts and reviews on one visit only.
      You suggest trying something else on the menu – I tried four different items that evening, and mentioned all in my review. My opinions on the food may very well vary to your opinions, which is only natural. If radish cake is traditionally thick and gluggy, then I don’t see myself ordering that again, but thanks for giving me some insight.
      I’m glad you mentioned the laksa and noodle soups, which is what I’ll probably order if I go back at some stage. I’ll make sure I review V-Gem again if I do so.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • You’re welcome. Just that I really had a great time and it was a pitty that you didn’t.

        I know food bloggers only go once. But food critics go twice.. =)

  5. Oops, had a not good time here, too. :(

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