Located in the 19th century, gothic sandstone gatehouse by the pond in Victoria Park is Gardener’s Lodge. A sun-drenched, tree-lined cottage where you can enjoy plant-based southern-Italian food, including creamy lasagnes and blistered calzones by Marco Matino – the pizza maestro at Newtown vegan joint, Gigi’s Pizzeria
The lasagne has the same texture and umami-loaded richness of a meaty version – if you didn’t know it was made without meat and dairy, you’d never pick it. The calzone is made with expertly smoky, blistered and elastic dough, which envelop a fresh mix of San Marzano tomatoes, spinach and a creamy ricotta substitute.
There’s also a lunchtime roster of paninis and salads that incorporate the latest dairy and meat replacements for schnitzel, mozzarella and even blue cheese (the latter confuses cheese eaters at Gigi’s, too).
The breakfast list is shorter, including a not-ham-and-cheese toastie, zucchini fritters and avo bruschetta.
The milk for the coffee here is all plant-based too, with neutral-flavoured oat and soy milks on offer, a nutty almond variety and a macadamia milk that is perfect for your flat white.