Transformer, Fitzroy

Arrogant service with ridiculous portion sizes to boot. $16 for three pieces of lukewarm cauliflower. Three pieces. Absolute glacial pace of food being sent out. The restaurant was most appropriately named as expectations of vegetarian culinary excellence are transmogrified into complete and utter disbelief. We ended up cutting the sitting short and heading to Trippy Taco for a ten dollar feed that tasted and felt better.

The venue itself is amazingly slick and stylish, with some of the finest touches you’ll find in Melbourne-land, with a booking key for a busy night. Those finest touches come at the expense in portion size. One of our party happen to know the designer of the interior and you can bet they got sent an email about our opinions of everything else at Transformer.

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Things go array in the food, which arrive so, so, tantalising slow. I don’t fault the quality of everything, but as a sharing menu three pieces of lukewarm baked cauliflower, nine raisins and eight chickpeas is not going to fill me up nor is it sharing. My ¾ of a single floret of cauliflower was tasty with the two sultanas bringing up a delightful sweetness to the dish. With sizes like this we were getting hungrier than we were getting fed.

Like any good vegetarians (and meat people like me who like to pretend), we went for some fried cheese in the form of the halloumi salad, which was more garnish than sharing main with three slices of the stuff with fightable slices of other things. It became extremely comical how teensy everything came and we scoffed it down like it was air. The menu recommends two to three plates per person and that takes a grand suspension of disbelief that anyone could be full on that.

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The rice pilaf was pretty with pomegranate and a seed mix making for a lovely little cloud for us to enjoy the other dishes. We each managed to get a spoon so that was better for some sustenance. The grilled mushrooms ($18) were as stated. The snail pace and outputs of the kitchen started to send us in a downward spiral so we decided to leave it at that. We calculated it would be another hour if we ordered more food now and each new arrival bought such disappointment and shame, so better to not drag it out longer.

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Transformer was my choice for the group, so I take full responsibility that it wasn’t to our expectations, and I’m not sure what crowd could really enjoy it. Perhaps the “feed me” option may have lived up to it’s moniker, perhaps this is more fine than I can handle, perhaps the kitchen accidentally installed a shrink ray that night. Anyway, best to avoid as the only thing that got transformed in the end was my belief that I could pick a good restaurant.

5/10

Transformer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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