Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Genesis in the Hills - delightful vegetarian food

Last Sunday, my sister and I took our mother to lunch at Genesis in the Hills, a vegetarian restaurant located 50 minutes east of Perth. It is just down the road from the botanical gardens where Mr Bite and I were married, and I actually looked into the restaurant as a possible wedding food venue. As we decided to have catering within the gardens instead, Sunday was the first time I ate at the restaurant. I wish I hadn't waited so long!

Genesis in the Hills - tucked into trees with indoor and outdoor seating

The menu is fully vegetarian and most of the dishes are vegan or can be made vegan. It is the sort of restaurant that would appeal to non-vegetarian eaters too, as the dishes are varied and the ingredients 'normal'. The focus is on fresh, real food, prepared well. They have quinoa and kale, but they also have eggs and cheese.

Quinoa open burger

We took a little while to decide on our orders, thanks to the appealing menu. My sister chose the quinoa open burger, which was one of the meals on my short list. It consisted of "spiced fala patties on sourdough bread with Genesis aioli sauce, kale salad and fresh salsa" ($18; vegan and gluten free possible). She rated it highly, and I liked that the kale salad was piled on the burger rather than relegated to the side.

My Mum had the delightfully titled fiesta plate, including "Mexican style black beans with fresh salsa, pea guacamole, roasted vegetables and cauliflower rice with lime and herbs" ($26; vegan and gluten free). The cauliflower rice was more rice-like than any equivalent I'd seen before, and was served slightly warm with just the right amount of lime (yes, I tried a bit!).

Fiesta plate

As for my order? I went for the tofu rice bowl, consisting of a gorgeous mix of "seared, marinated tofu served on an Indian rice pilaff, with fresh herbs and spice-roasted vegetables" ($18, vegan and gluten free). The dish came with (soy) yoghurt raita and mango chutney, and a scattering of pomegranate seeds. It was delicious.

Tofu rice bowl

Despite being satisfied by our main meals, we were keen to fit in dessert and ordered a cake to share. There were two vegan cakes on offer on Sunday, and happily for me, my Mum and sister were drawn to one of them. We split a very generous slice of the Mexican chocolate cake ($7, vegan), which blended chocolate, orange and spices to excellent effect. The spices came through as an afterglow, giving a lingering (but mild) burst of heat after the chocolate-orange flavours faded away. It was an incredible chocolate cake.

Mexican chocolate cake

We also ordered chai lattes, which were made the way I like them best. I think I horrified a few of you when I mentioned, in my ginger spiced latte post, that I rarely order chai lattes when out. It isn't that I don't like them, but rather than I don't like them made with sickly syrups, or commercial powders that are as much sugar as tea. Genesis uses Fiori chai tea and served the chai with warm milk in a tea pot. We had three chai lattes made with three different milks (almond for me, soy for my Mum, dairy for my sister!) and they were the perfect finishing touches to our meal.

In all, it was a really lovely outing. My visit benefited from the company of my Mum and sister, but the food would make any visit enjoyable. The venue, shown in the top picture, is also lovely, with the restaurant overlooking trees and an on-site vegetable garden.

If you find yourself in Perth, and feel like driving into the hills region, Genesis in the Hills has a lot to recommend it.

Genesis in the Hills is located at 124 Croyden Road in Roleystone, Western Australia. They can be contacted on (08) 9397 7799 or at genesis.in.the.hills@gmail.com, and are open from 10.30am to 5pm on Thursdays, and from 8.30am to 5pm Friday through Sunday.

Genesis in the Hills on Urbanspoon

How do your local cafes make a chai latte? I'd like to make fresh leaves and a tea pot compulsory!


  1. Wow that looks like an amazing place - I really want to try making a pea guacamole - what a great idea - and all the dishes sound fantastic - but I am often swayed by a place with good chocolate cake - it isn't as common as you might expect. As for chai lattes I don't think I have ever ordered one at a cafe in my life - someone gave me a taste of one as a student with soy because I didn't like dairy and it confirmed that I just don't like milk a lot.

    1. I think you would have loved it Johanna - it was a really great setting with a really great menu. I thought pea guacamole was a great idea too.

      I have to say that chai lattes are the milkiest drink I have, so they may not be your thing :)

  2. Wow what a stunning place! All the food sounds utterly delicious ♥ If I ever make it to Perth, I'll definitely be looking up this place. What a beautiful way to spend quality time with your sister and mum xx

  3. This does look like a fantastic restaurant. I love the look of the dish your mother ordered - the fiesta plate. It looks like it's full of taste and flavour. It looks like the restaurant is in a beautiful setting xx

    1. The plate was beautiful Charlie - so many flavours and components, all done really well.

  4. What terrific looking food! It is a bit of a hike from your place, but it looks like the effort was worth it.

    1. It was a bit of a trip, but you're right - absolutely worth it :)

  5. This restaurant sounds amazing! I want to order everything you guys did!!

  6. Such sweet siblings! Your mum surely loved the place. Even carnivores will turn vegetarians at first sight of the food there!

    Gourmet Getaways

    1. I thought so too - my Mum plans to go back with my Dad, which will be a good test ;)

  7. Looks wonderful - both the gardens and the food!


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