Vegans are vogue – why you’ll be eating more vegetables in 2017

4 February 2017

LOOK out carnivores, as vegetarian and vegan food is set to take over restaurant menus.

With more than one in 10 Australians now vegetarian and that number rising, restaurants are upping their meatless offerings to cater to the growing group.

Damon Amos, owner and head chef at new Woolloongabba eatery Detour, has dedicated half his menu to vegan food with no meat, dairy or eggs.

"If anything, it's the customer that's dictating it," Mr Amos said.

"More people are eating less meat … and this is the service industry and we need to provide service to them."

Mr Amos offers dishes such as Hawaiian potato curry, potatoes cooked in sea water, smoked pumpkin and coal-roasted broccoli with seaweed, alongside carnivorous plates such as pork belly and brisket, and said most diners ordered a mixture of both.

With the price of protein, particularly beef, skyrocketing, for restaurants, which only run on a profit margin of 2 per cent to 4 per cent, it also makes good business sense to add more vegetables to menus, said food and beverage manager David Stossel of the Solotel Group which operates Brisbane's Aria and Riverbar & Kitchen.

Vegetables are also considered a more sustainable and ethical food choice.

The newly opened The Collective at Palm Beach is another eatery dedicated to catering to vegetarians and vegans, with their five restaurants and two bars offering lengthy meat-free menus, covering Asian, modern Australian, American, Mexican and Italian dishes.

"Each kitchen has at least two options that are vegan-friendly and a separate menu for any dietary requirements makes it easy for them and an enjoyable experience," said co-owner Jeremy Davidson.

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