We had a night off and very empty stomachs on Tuesday, so at 6pm, I decided it would be time to finally make the 5k trek over to Bridge Road Richmond to experience (and attempt to savour) a veritable Melbourne institution: Tofu Shop International.
These guys have been making tofu since the early 80′s, way back before vego had left the teepee villages. They still make all their tofu fresh on-site, and even have their own brand of the creamy-white gold called “Five Seasons” (oh yeah, we absolutely had to buy some to take home with us).
I’d been to Tofu Shop a few times before, but years and years ago, and never at peak hour, so my memory of the atmosphere was a little different to Tuesday evening’s experience (it was crazy-busy) – but not the food – the food was… how can I put it? Earth-shatteringly moreish. As expected.
We ordered a “large” eat-in plate and asked the lovely person serving us to make the combo up herself. We were spoiled rotten with a mountain of different delights, including a braised ginger tofu, a deep fried tofu curry, a zucchini curry, two deliciously different bean-y stews, red cabbage salad, and a pickled carrot salad, topped off with their famous creamy tofu dip and two wickedly addictive hash-brown-style potato balls. We enjoyed all three condiments: pickled ginger, olives, and chilli paste.
We were also given little gifts of both freshly brewed genmai cha and their own in-house, Spirulina Soy Soft-Serve ice cream. Don’t laugh. This shit’s to die for. The flavour was a kind of cross between green tea and red-bean ice cream – sweet, musky and earthy all at once. If it’s on when you’re there, don’t hold back for a second. Green superfood in an ice cream – it can be done folks, and Tofu Shop have done it well, indeed.
Now, just for the record, we weren’t still hungry, but we were being gutsas because the food was so incredible, so we grabbed a takeaway of salads for seconds, and one of their signature tofu slices (this one, coconut and mango with toasted coconut threads on top – yum!). By 8.30pm we were home, on the couch in front of some good, decent veg-out TV with our veg-out veggie treats, happy, relaxed and incredibly well fed.
- Ming-Zhu. x
Tofu Shop International is located at 78 Bridge Road Richmond, Victoria. They’re open Monday – Friday 12-8pm & Saturday 12-5pm.