Grill’d makes plant-based protein the order of the day with new veggie venues
Australian burger chain Grill’d just got even more veg-friendly, converting two of its restaurants to meat-free zones.
As of 7 February, customers in Sydney and Melbourne can explore an entirely meat-free menu at two exclusive ‘Impossibly Grill’d’ restaurants. Located in Darlinghurst NSW and Collingwood VIC, the newly converted venues feature leafy interiors to match their plant-based, eco-friendly ethos, and an extensive menu of 23 burgers, alongside a range of salads, sides and drinks.
The new openings are the latest in a series of moves by Grill’d to cater to an increasingly plant-hungry public. Last August, they brought in a range of mushroom-meat burgers by Fable Foods throughout their 142 restaurants nationally. Soon after, in November, they made a splash by being the first Aussie chain to introduce US brand Impossible Foods.
Grill’d Founder and Managing Director Simon Crowe said, “We’re thrilled to open the doors of Impossibly Grill’d, an entirely new healthy, sustainable plant-based restaurant concept where guests can enjoy the tastiest meat-free burgers in Australia. Whether you’re vegetarian-ish, plant-based or experimenting with going meat-free, Grill’d is a progressive brand that supports all food tribes.”
Diving into the menu
True to the naming of the new restaurants, the menu is centred on an extensive range of Impossible’s beefless burgers, famed for their ultra-realistic meaty taste and texture. Among the new options are the Impossible Summer Sunset that includes crispy facon and charred pineapple, and the Impossible Chilli Addict, featuring roasted peppers, jalapeños, vegan sour cream and chilli relish. Diners can also enjoy the popular Grill’d Fable Burger range, a number of new options featuring Plantein plant-based chick’n, as well as the classic Grill’d Garden Goodness veggie burger.
The whole menu is vegetarian, and many items are also free from dairy, eggs and honey, or easily adapted to make them completely plant-based. As the menu says: “Want it vegan? Just ask”. For example, there’s an ‘HFC Flat’ burger featuring Plantein cooked in extra virgin olive oil, with vegan facon, cos lettuce, avo, tomato and herbed mayo. This can be veganised by simply switching the herbed mayo for the house-made Grill’d vegan mayo, at no extra cost.
Like the regular Grill’d menu, there are plenty of options for people with non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity, including a vegan gluten-free bun, and there’s detailed allergen info available on the Grill’d website to help everyone see what’s suited to their dietary requirements.
Fitted with leafy green interiors and eye-catching pops of colour, the Impossibly Grill’d venues are a top-to-toe revamp of the traditional Grill’d restaurant.
Helping Aussies embrace plant-based
To mark the opening of the new green concept restaurants, Grill’d is bringing back its Meat-Free Mondays deal, first launched in 2019, to encourage Australians to switch things up and go meat-free for one day a week. For a limited time starting on 7 February, members of the Grill’d Relish membership program can access a free plant-based burger for every plant-based burger purchased on Mondays.
Recent survey data reflects declining meat consumption and rising popularity of plant-based alternatives in Australia and New Zealand, with around one in four respondents already eating less meat and similar numbers exploring plant-based meats. A brand new study into attitudes to plant-based foods is currently underway, led by Griffith University and supported by Nourish. Learn more and have your say until 20 March 2021.
Update 16 March: Nourish has established that these two venues have now been reverted to regular Grill’d outlets. A spokesperson from the company provided us with the following statement:
“We received positive feedback from our plant based, flexitarian and walk-in guests on the store experience and the new menu items which has given us valuable insights. Obviously with any new concept, there are a number of variables to take into consideration such as regular customers that can’t experience their favourite menu items – so we’re taking the key learnings from this initiative, and implementing these into our planning for our future sustainability projects. In the meantime, all guests nationally can experience the quality of our plant-based offer in every Grill’d, including our famous Meat-Free Mondays promotion of a free plant-based burger for every plant-based burger purchased on Mondays.”
The spokesperson advised that Grill’d will be exploring opening new meat-free locations in the future, and are contemplating introducing further plant-based menu items that were trialled at the temporary Impossibly Grill’d venues, including those featuring chicken-style Plantein products. In the meantime, they have confirmed that their 2-for-1 plant-based Mondays promotion will continue at all outlets nationally until October 2022.