Are Australians Ready For Vegetarian Fine Dining?

Roughly 2.5 million Australians (12.1% of the population) are consuming plant-based diets; this figure has grown in recent years, with only 9.7% of the population identifying as a vegetarian in 2012.

While the global roots of vegetarianism go back thousands of years, locally, here in Australia, it’s a movement that dates back a couple of centuries. With growth stats indicating that, on average, 1 Australian decided to become vegetarian every 5 Minutes, it’s time to assess the impact this trend will have on food manufacturing and distribution in the country.

Vegetarian fine dining is on the rise, with most restaurants adding plant-based options and alternatives to their menu – largely due to the versatility and innovation that plant-based diets offer.

What Are The Benefits Of Plant-Based Cuisine?

In this day and age, the benefits of eating seasonal and local plant-based foods are no secret in terms of emotional and physical well-being and environmental impact. In addition, it’s a far more health-conscious and sustainable approach to food consumption.

The scope of creativity that can be implemented is astounding – a combination of modern innovations and traditional cooking techniques bringing to life dishes of exciting textures and contrasting colours, for cuisine that is not only delicious but a delight to the eyes and palate as well.

According to Mintel, the country is also seeing an increase in the manufacture of products with a plant-based label – approximately 8% of new food products are labelled as vegan and vegetarian friendly. Local supermarkets have also jumped on board – making it easier for vegetarians to source meat-free options for everyday dining.

The impact on sustainability as Australians turn to plant-based diets is extraordinary. Every year 11 million farm animals are spared from slaughter, the knock-on effect being that 760 million litres of water – used in meat farming is saved per day.

What Are The Challenges Of Plant-Based Dining?

One of the biggest challenges facing the restaurant industry in terms of serving vegetarian dishes – is the cost implication. Labour costs are often higher when sourcing ingredients resulting in higher prices.

There is also a reluctance from some diners who assume that entirely vegetarian and vegan dishes will not leave them feeling full after a night of fine dining. However, this is not the case; vegetarian meals, particularly traditional Indian cuisine, are rich in flavour and fragrance. Often come in multiple courses, bulking up meals with chickpeas, lentils and ancient grains, using thickening agents like coconut milk, making for a healthy and hearty dining option.

One of the best ways to overcome these challenges is for diners to simply try it for themselves to realise the actual value of what plant-based dining has to offer.

Useful Apps And Websites For Vegetarian Dining

Happy Cow is a website that lists all of the plant-based restaurants around the world. Veg-out is affiliated with and powered by Happy Cow powered – software that presents all vegan and vegetarian-friendly eateries in one place. Another popular platform for vegans and vegetarians to locate eateries that fit their nutritional needs is Vegaman. Finally, Vegan Australia is a non-profit organisation that promotes a plant-based lifestyle in Australia. They also provide a wealth of information, publications and host events.

With more and more Australians pledging to go vegan, vegetarian or at least cut down on their consumption of meat every year, the food industry has met the demand in an array of colourful and exciting ways.

For a taste of vegetarian fine dining, authentic Indian cuisine with a modern twist – book a table at Jai Ho Indian Restaurant. We have locations in Richmond, Barwick and Hoppers Crossing.