Iku Wholefoods Sydney
Recently, I read a travel blog post that nearly had me having a conniption.
It said that Sydney had no vegan food.
I nearly spat my tea out over my keyboard reading this. Not only does Sydney have prolific vegan options, it has some of the best vegan food I’ve had across the Western world.
But then I figured out what the blogger really meant.
Reading a bit more of her blog, this blogger from America was focused on budget travel.
In fairness, Sydney is an expensive city. Rent, entertainment, food and alcohol seems on par from my visits to San Francisco, another expensive city. But Sydney also has a minimum wage almost double that of many states in America (including San Francisco).
So while there is plenty of vegan food in Sydney, it may not appear this way to a budget traveller from a country where the minimum wage is half of the minimum wage in the country they are visiting.
In case you’re a vegan planning on travelling to Sydney, let me reassure you, there is plenty of tasty vegan food. Bodhi in the Park for a nice (albeit a little pricey) dinner, BBC for beachside burritos, and for food court days in Sydney’s CBD you can’t miss Iku.
When I worked in Sydney, Iku was my default food court lunch. Having two Ikus on my walk to work in the morning (Waverley and Oxford Street), and two either side of my office (MLC food court and Westfield Pitt St Mall food court), it was the easiest and tastiest option vegan option around.
In Japanese, Iku means going somewhere, roughly translated.
If you want the more “adult” version of how Iku is used in slang, you might want to check out Urban Dicitionary’s definition!
Australia’s Iku Wholefoods makes food as close as possible to its natural state, using organic and local produce where possible.
All of the meals at Iku are dairy free, animal byproduct free, GMO free, and additive and preservative free. Many of their meals are also what and gluten free, and clearly marked as such. All of its food is prepared daily in the central kitchen at Marrickville.
The Iku menu is large and varied:
- For breakfast there’s muffins, puddings, sago, and miso soup. If you’re a traditional cereal type, there’s the berry blend and amaranth museli, woodfired spelt maple and almond granola, and spicy orange oats. All of these are served with fruit, soy cream and soy milk.
- For lunches and dinners, there’s a choice of casseroles, curries, laksas, lasagnas, minestrone, soups, burgers, wraps, salads, and pies.
- There’s also a range of savoury snacks and sauces, sweet treats, and desserts.
On our last visit to Australia, I made a bee-line for Iku to grab my old favourites: the savoury snacks and a fritter wrap.
My wrap uses the same tofu-based fritter from the macroburgers. It’s topped with a delicious tahini dressing, and a generous serving of leafy green salad. The burgers are enormous, and I find the wraps a little easier to negotiate when I’m wearing a nice outfit and don’t want to worry about getting burger all over me.
The savoury snacks can be bought individually, but I like to wait until the end of the day just before Iku closes, and pick up a box of the leftovers to take home for dinner. I like getting a sample of all of the snacks with all of the dipping sauces.
In my snack box on this occasion, I get half a rice paper roll, a polenta slice, a nori roll, half a tofu fritter, half a millet ball, half a rice ball, with some greens and pickled cabbage.
It also comes with a trio of dipping sauces: tamari, tahini, and chilli sauce. Each of these are delicious – my only complaint is that there is never enough of the sauce because I use so much of it!
I’m yet to try Iku’s desserts, and I’m already planning on it for my next trip to Sydney.
Costs: Wraps $7.20, Casseroles $10.50, Pies $7.20, Salads $6 – $14.50