As we entered the gully, strings of lights beckoned us, and as we got closer, we spotted a striped loaf of feline guarding the entrance to the cafe. We learned, later on, that this cat’s name is MoMo, and he’s the house charmer. That part, we figured easily.
We parked ourselves on one of the tables outdoors, with MoMo for company, and got talking to the owner, Sadaa. She went vegan two years ago, and noticed a severe dearth of vegan options in the city, when it comes to eating outside. She opened Earthlings up last year, and it’s changing perceptions about veganism across the suburb.
While flipping through the menu, we expected the scales to tip towards "healthy" and "gluten-free", but we were pleasantly surprised to find unapologetic comfort food that had been veganized. So we started off on an indulgent note - with the vegan Strawberry Milkshake. It arrived quickly enough, and as it was presented to us, we were taken aback by the generous dose of whipped cream that graced the top of the tall glass.
Vegan whipped cream? We were sold before the first sip. Sadaa assured us it's made of soy milk, and as we sipped away, we noticed NONE of that saccharine strawberry-syrup-esque taste we've accustomed ourselves to. This seasonal offering is fresh, and about as healthy as any milkshake can get. This one was pretty photogenic, too.
The Chilli Cheese Toast arrived next. Served with ketchup, this came with the thick layer of cheese we all love… Except this stuff is cashew-based. The first bite had us wanting to ask Sadaa if this is really vegan, but that wasn't a possibility because the subsequent bites followed far too soon. We're not sure how Earthlings achieved the umami depth of cheese (and the soul-satiating joy) without a lick of dairy in the recipe, but we're glad they did.
The Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta followed. Another dish that basically had us flabbergasted by the lack of dairy, we wolfed this one down in minutes, and we've gotta say, we're gonna be going back to Earthlings for this one. This one was so creamy, it's almost a little bit suspicious. This tastes just like your favourite Creamy Pesto, albeit infinitely healthier, and no ethical guilt. What more could we ask for?
We couldn't have missed the pizza, so that had to be our next order. We had the Veggie Medley. Again, this is about as healthy as a pizza could possibly get, and we ain't complaining. We didn't miss the traditional cheese pull we expect from a pizza, but the traditional pizza can't really give you a great bill of health, and takes eons of running to burn off.
We concluded the courses with a warm, winter-friendly Apple Cinnamon cake. A generous slice arrived at the table, perfect for a date when you're expected to split the portion in half. Our dessert spoons cut through it with finesse (which is indicative of how fresh it is, BTW), and we were (unsurprisingly) floored by this one, too. Pure soul food, this one was the perfect dessert, and didn't have us feeling low-key sick after eating it, like the average dessert which is usually a sugar overkill.
Earthlings is unmissable for the reformed non-vegetarian who's been rethinking their food choices, the ethical vegetarian who's ready to make steps towards veganism, and for the fitness buff who's fresh off of watching Game Changers. It's also perfect for a non-pretentious date, and for a comforting family dinner loaded with conversation. Don't forget to give MoMo several loving pets while you're here!