It’s the lunchtime rush at Govindas Pure Vegetarian, Burleigh Heads, and the line runs past the counter of bain-maries to the back of the shop. We’ve heard that the food is fresh and extremely well-priced, and on a cold day we feel hungry enough to tuck into some decent vegetarian food. We’re in a group of five, a distinct disadvantage, and it looks likely that we won’t get a table together. Still, the food looks so tempting that we decide to be brave and hold out. The restaurant seats about thirty and there are a couple of tables outside, but people seem happy to share the space – it fits in with the vibe of the place. It’s casual but trendy and bright, and the line is moving quite quickly.
Our wait proves worthwhile. Some of the queue buy takeaway and go back to their offices, others wander down to the nearby park or foreshore, and we score a table. The food is well worth the short wait. Samosas are generous in size and packed with vegies, the vegetarian curry is delicious, the salad crunchy and fresh with grated beetroot, garbanzos, sunflower seeds and prunes. But the standout dish for us is the kofta balls in a tomato-based creamy sauce. It’s sensational! There’s also a mouth-watering assortment of desserts available if you have room after your main course.
All of the food is prepared on the premises and you can be sure that it will be absolutely fresh, with fruit and vegetables brought daily from the farm in Eungella. You pay according to the amount of food you want, for example two dishes and rice costs $9 or three dishes is $11. Although your food choices are limited to the dishes on display, it is all very appetising and portion sizes are generous. The food is much lighter, too, than I remember, with less fat. It’s not only vegetarian, free of eggs, garlic and onion, but also certified organic and free of pesticides.
Run by Hare Krishna volunteers, the evidence of their faith is present without making it too obvious. The restaurant’s website, however, is more blatant in its proselytising, warning of the dangers of the harmful chemicals contained in meat and its alleged links to cancer and heart disease. There’s no alcohol on the premises, but there’s a range of good juices available in the fridges. This is a great addition to the dining scene at Burleigh – fresh, tasty, generously served food at a great price.
20 James St., Burleigh Heads Ph: 07 5607 0782 Open: 11.30am – 8.00pm daily
You’ll find a full article about vegetarian and vegan restaurants here.