PIMP MY PLATE is my weekly series of reviews of cafés and restaurants in city and regional areas – I pop up all over over the place. My foodie challenge to find a good meal – lunch or brunch – with a limited budget of $18 or less for the main plate.
*Good Vibes has been renamed DUCK PHAT and offers a simplified quality organic Vietnamese menu
Good Vibes Organic Restaurant*
OK, I have to make a confession about this review.
All Good Vibes’ tasting plates are $16.50 each so they do meet my under $18 per plate criteria, but they are served as part of a degustation menu. There is no regimen, you simply choose as many plates as you like – but you will want to try everything on the menu.
The energetic and friendly staff suggested ordering a minimum of 3 plates to share, per couple. But once you taste the food, you know that’s madness, and you scan the menu for your next flavour hit.
I love surprises.
The exterior of this restaurant is low key and a peek through the window says friendly, organic, certified, and welcoming. It could be cosy Glebe, but it’s cosy Chatswood, just a few blocks down from the corporate towers and slick retail arena of Willoughby City.
A glance at Good Vibes’ website reveals quality, and the words Cordon Bleu and Organic meld together in symbiotic deliciousness. Modestly, they call their style ‘a modern European semi-fine dining experience’. Who knows what that means, and who really cares, when their plates are pretty, professional, and delicately assembled. The focus here is on beauty and flavour, not fussy.
Quality food and attention to detail often comes with attitude, but this is an attitude-free zone. The only attitude is dedication to the food. The night I visited, two of the three wait staff had called in sick. Young Chef and owner Huey, had no qualms about pitching in and helping the one waitress in a very busy restaurant. A chef cleaning a table is a rarity. So we’re talking soul as well as quality.
The food … Arrabiata Pasta w Lamb Stuffed Capsicum; Seared Scallops with Chilli Jam Lentils; Mixed Mushroom and Aubergine Tart; Slow cooked Scotched Fillet w Pomme Puree and Red Wine Jus; and to finish, an Orange Caramel Crème Brûlée.
Each plate was delicately executed, and full of flavour, and needs no further explanation, beyond an exclamation of ‘Yum’.
Good Vibes is BYO, and all produce is certified organic where possible. Seafood is wild caught, but due to the nature of seafood, it is not certified organic. The menu features gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan choices.
If you thought you knew the dining scene in the Chatswood area – or thought there wasn’t one – think again.
RATED: Pimped to the stars! FOOD: 5/5
VALUE: 5/5 ATMOS: 4/5 VIBE: friendly, multicultural
Good Vibes Organic Restaurant – 172 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, NSW
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All images © Awia Markey