Elizabeth Usher reviews the Newtown store famous for their succulent, all-vegan souvlakia.
With the ‘puntastic’ name I Should Be Souvlaki and an all-vegan menu, how could I not already be endeared to this brand before even considering what the food is like? Thankfully though, the souvlakia stands up to taste bud scrutiny with no issues at all.
These were available as a regular offering at the Sydney Vegan Market prior to the Covid-induced shutdown in March, so I was already a fan and indeed had been missing the tasty wraps over 2020’s winter months. It’s very exciting that a new physical outlet is now operating as a part-time takeaway in Newtown, as well as base products being available as frozen take-home and delivery options.
The ‘Signature Souvlaki’ is available in ‘chick’n’, ‘lamb’ or a mix of both. I already knew that my favourite of the two was the ‘chick’n’ option, but this time I decided to try out the ‘Souvlaki Snack Plate’ ($18) – although I’m too much of a wuss to go for the chipotle mayo and luckily, they were happy to swap that out for regular mayo for me. I really enjoyed the mix of this with the homemade tzatziki sauce.
It was a very generous serving size, and the ‘souvlaki protein’ was as moist, tender and flavoursome as usual. This is achieved through a 60-hour marination process. I’m drooling again now even thinking about those tasty chunks!
The chips were well seasoned, but not quite as crunchy as I prefer them to be – although I’m not sure whether that was due to softening on the 15 minute trip home before we ate them, or whether that’s just the way they come. In any case, desirable crunch level for hot chips is a very personal preference, and I’m sure these would have been spot-on for many!
My partner was very happy with his ‘lamb’ Signature Souvlaki ($15 – gluten-free is available for an extra dollar), which includes the tzatziki sauce and salad wrapped in hot pita bread. I can also say from past experience that the souvlakia travel really well and are still delicious eaten cold on a picnic!
This visit was also the first time I tried one of their two shakes ($6), choosing ‘Birthday Cake’ over ‘Chocolate and Cookies’. This was probably the best vanilla milkshake I’ve had for years in terms of the actual shake part – smooth, creamy, and with a rich vanilla flavour. It also looked really fun, with colourful sprinkles, however in future I’ll be asking for those to be left off because although the burst of colour was nice to look at, I wasn’t keen on crunching down on them at the end of a slurp.
To finish this meal with a third item I hadn’t tried here previously, I picked the Vanilla Slice, which turned out to have a more solid custard filling than I enjoy for this dessert. Again, though, as with the chip-crunch-meter, this is an individual taste preference, and I’m thinking in particular of one of my friends who loves a vanilla slice with a very low wobble factor – she would go to town on this offering!
For me, though, I’ll be returning regularly for my stand-out favourites: the very moreish ‘chick’n’ Signature Souvlaki and (a customised sprinkles-free) Birthday Cake Milkshake.
I Should Be Souvlaki offers delivery across Sydney or pick-up from the Newtown store at 7/292 King Street, Newtown (entry at cnr Erskineville Rd & Wilson St) during takeaway hours: Thursday–Friday 5pm to 9.30pm, and Saturday–Sunday 11am to 8pm. Additionally, they can be found at the Sydney Vegan Market on the third Sunday of each month. They also sometimes have pop-up events with vegan chocolate shop, Treat Dreams.
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