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Yavanna: On a mission to change the world one bite at a time

Above anything else, Yavanna is intended to be a welcoming space for everyone – vegan or not. And that’s the key both to the restaurant’s success and the success of the meat-free movement which continues to make a huge difference to the health of our planet.

Yavanna is a goddess, the giver of fruit and queen of the earth. So it’s fitting that this 100% vegan eatery is named after her. But Yavanna is also a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, head chef John Baker is an avid Tolkien reader and the name was his idea.

Credit: Yavanna

You can see traits of the goodness throughout the restaurant in its feminine coral-coloured wall featuring the outline of a woman and in the plants that adorn the walls and cascade from the ceiling.

Head chef, Baker co-owns Yavanna with Kate Borgo and Cale Drouin. The trio met while working for a vegan food distribution company and made their dream of opening a vegan restaurant come true in November 2017. Since then, Yavanna has cemented its place at the centre of Brisbane’s sustainable eating scene, and for good reason.

Meat-free Aussie Classics

With more people becoming aware of the difference our food choices can make to the environment, plant-based restaurants like Yavanna are playing an integral role in showing people that vegan food can be delicious and interesting as well as ethical.

Among other things, going vegan saves 4,200 litres of water every day and the chair of the UN panel on climate change, Rajendra Pachauri, says that the best thing people can do to fight against climate change is eat less meat. While becoming fully vegan might not be a reality for many, eating less meat by choosing a plant-based restaurant when eating out can also make a difference.

Credit: Yavanna

The team behind Yavanna have a passion for all things plant-based and are on a mission to change the perception of vegan food being boring. The meat alternatives are high quality and use a seitan base so customers can still enjoy dishes that typically include meat, like the Signature Fried CFC (fried chicken tenders coated with a blend of herbs and spices with a side of fries and creamy slaw) and the Farmhouse Favourite (panko crumbed chicken schnitzel on a bed of creamy mash with a side of garlic greens and rich brown gravy).

The beef burgers feature GrassFed Vegan founder Alejandro Cancino’s vEEF patties which are renowned for being particularly ‘meat-like’. As well as beef, there’s a chicken burger and a crumbed mushroom burger with house-made kimchi, Vegg and aioli on a brioche bun with a side of seasoned fries or a hearty salad.

Credit: Yavanna

There’s also a small breakfast menu accompanies by coffee from Moonshine Coffee in Byron. The bar menu features natural wines, and cocktails with Tolkien themed names, and local beers and ciders on rotation.

Where?

Address: 9/2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

Website: www.yavanna.com.au

When?

Wednesday – Friday | 11.30 – 3pm and 6pm – 9.30pm

Saturday – Sunday | 8 – 11am, 11.30 – 3pm and 6 – 9.30pm

Jennifer Gaskin
Jen is obsessed with both food and travel. She believes that the way we explore the world, and our own backyards, can have a profoundly positive effect on the planet and its people. Her favourite things to do are explore far-flung corners of the globe, eat as many different types of food as possible and work up a sweat in the boxing ring!