It had been some years since I’d seen Chef Jared Peck, the Versace-trained chef and restaurateur. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to pop up in a tiny vegetarian restaurant in Miami, but there you go!
He’s not the first acclaimed chef to make the change to vegetarianism but, influenced by his Taiwanese partner Chiyun Wu, the couple have opened their first vegetarian café and bar.
Doko Demo V (meaning ‘anywhere’ in Japanese, the V standing for ‘vegetarian’) is situated on the ground floor of the Burleigh Motel. The former Vietnamese restaurant has needed few cosmetic changes, the theme of casual dining amongst natural bamboo complementary to the vegetarian and vegan style of dining.
With an airy light-filled courtyard fronting the Gold Coast Highway, a perfect spot to sit mid-season, we venture inside to hide away from the summer’s sun.
The all-day breakfast menu features many favourites: Smashed Avo with feta, Eggs Bene with plant-based ham, Pittaya bowls lined with fresh fruit and French toast with berries among the extensive menu items on offer. Each dish is marked as vegan, vegan option, gluten-free or gluten-free option.
It’s on the lunch menu that we see the emergence of global flavours in the vegetarian and vegan dishes: burgers, hot dogs with sauerkraut, hearty lasagne, trios of tacos, salads and colourful poke bowls stacked with vegetables and rice, all meat-free.
The world influence is even more evident in the dinner menu (Vegetarian dishes from anywhere) divided into snacks and share food, all-day mains, Mexican, pizza and pasta that Jared excels at, and Oriental with laksa and stir fries, the sections echoing the influences of the couple’s own background and allowing their culinary skills to shine.
From the dishes we tasted, this is a ‘wholefood’ restaurant. Yes, it’s vegetarian, with a wide variety of vegan and gluten-free dishes available, but primarily it’s flavoursome, well-presented plant-based cuisine at a keen price. Our bao are filled with luscious plant-based meat substitute and veg, the ‘BBQ pork’ in the poke bowl particularly tasty and interesting to mainstream diners.
With a full bar menu or beer, wine and cocktails, local organic coffee and all meals well-priced at $18 or below, Doko Demo V has lots to offer diners happy to dine a little lighter outside the square.
1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami Ph: 0444 502 406
Open Wed – Mon 7am – 2pm; 5pm – 9pm