6

Vegan Eats At Choukette In Brunswick

Choukette Brunswick

Choukette is a French cafe in Brunswick well known for their pastries and croissants since 2008. I was a regular customer before making the switch to vegan town. I love French food and French desserts and have often lamented the lack of a French place with vegan options near me in Melbourne.

Choukette Brunswick

So when I read a comment in a Facebook group that Choukette sometimes have vegan cake I planned a trip that very week. I do my shopping along there and always sadly bypassed Choukette, assuming there was no longer anything there for me. I actually walked past Choukette the day I read that Facebook comment and kicked myself (I read the comment when I was back home!).

My first veganny visit to Choukette resulted in trying these vanilla macarons with chocolate cream filling. I’ve never made the aquafaba version of these myself, instead being supremely lazy and preferring to try some one day that someone else has made. These were very good, exactly like the not-vegan versions I ate in the past. Gluten free too:

Choukette Brunswick

On my second visit, I scored the last fruit tart. Writing on the display cabinet said ‘vegan fruit cake with banana berry mousse and almond walnut date base’. I think it was also gluten free. There was a fresh berry taste in the mousse and overall this was a lovely little dessert:Choukette Brunswick

Vegan creme brulee time! Another (unless I’m remembering incorrectly) gluten free option. I think it’s made with coconut in the custard as it tasted coconutty to me (which is fine, I love coconut):

Choukette Brunswick

There’s also a rich chocolate cake with a chia seed gel layer and although the sign didn’t say gluten free, the ingredients appeared so. I’ve never had a chia layer like this in a cake and although I’m not the biggest chia fan, this was quite nice:Choukette Brunswick

Choukette also have a vegan soup (not daily) and the baguettes are vegan. There are also vegan gluten free salad options:choukettevegansalad

Choukette are open to feedback and in my correspondence with them, they encouraged me to suggest a flavour or ingredient they can make a cake with . I think I’ll take them up on that. Croquembouche for everyone!

The cakes are about $6.20 take away/$6.50 eat in. Staff have always been friendly and helpful. There’s also a weekly French conversation class.

I’m really happy to have a nice French cafe to spend some time in and I appreciate how proactive Choukette are with providing options for people with food intolerances and different dietary requirements. I looked forward to trying pretty much everything they make that is plant based 😀 Choukette Brunswick

Choukette

318 Sydney Road, Brunswick

http://www.choukette.com.au/

http://www.facebook.com/Choukette-fine-pastries-187180485699/
Choukette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

8

Vegan Eats At Preston Market: Gluten Freegan, Gringo Paella and Hot Jam Doughnuts

Gluten Freegan

A few weeks ago I visited Preston Market to do some grocery shopping, but also to go and check out the newer vegan-option stalls at PAM (Preston Artists Market) Lane. First up was Gluten Freegan. There are quite a number of vegan options such as apple custard friands, mixed berry coconut friands, little tarts with assorted fillings and a lovely pistachio raspberry cake with rosewater custard, shown at the top there.

Gluten Freegan Gluten Freegan Gluten Freegan Gluten Freegan

Gluten Freegan are at PAM Lane Preston Market during market hours on Wednesday to Saturday and at St. Andrews Market on Saturdays.

http://www.instagram.com/gluten_freegan/

* * *

Gringo Paella have a vegan paella chock full of seasonal market veggies and mushrooms. It’s sold as the vegetarian option for $12:Gringo Paella Gringo Paella Gringo Paella

Gringo Paella also operate during Preston Market hours.

http://www.instagram.com/gringopaella/

http://gringo-paella.squarespace.com/#eat-together-marquee

* * *

The donuts at the Hot Doughnuts van at Preston Market are vegan (I KNOW RIGHT??!) I seriously think that Preston Market need to put up a sign leading you to the van because I always, always get lost:

Preston Market hot jam donuts Preston Market hot jam donuts

Preston Market Hot Doughnuts operate during market hours.

http://www.facebook.com/Hot-Doughnuts-Preston-Market-1039684786061392/

* * *

Long in the past I had a vegan burrito from the Cornutopia van, but I haven’t been able to go and search it out again in recent times but keep an eye out for it in case that’s another vegan option.

Preston Market hasn’t had much in the way of vegan friendly meals (though when there are hot jam donuts, I prefer to skip looking for a meal and instead go buy a six pack of donuts), so it’s good to see we now have a few more options available.

Keep an eye out on PAM Lane’s Facebook page for updates to stalls!

http://www.facebook.com/prestonartistmarketlane

http://www.pamlane.com.au/

12

Lunch At The Snug Public House In Saint Kilda

The Snug Public House St Kilda

A couple of days ago I read a post in a vegan community on Facebook about The Snug Public House, an Irish pub that opened in July in St. Kilda, serving up vegan fare. The timing was brilliant because we had stuff to do in St. Kilda and I’d been wondering where to take the family. A quick look at the menu online and I knew we had to try it out.

The vegan options appear on the regular menu under the heading “Irish & Pub Fare… But Vegan” along with some vegan ‘V’ (for veganisable) symbols on some other menu items. The vegan options were Shepherd’s Pie; Bangers & Mash; Mushroom and Stout Pie; Irish Parma; The Snug Burger; vegan options for chips, battered sausages and beer battered onion rings. There are even vegan nachos, priced $5 less than the non-vegan option. The menu also says to ask staff about the vegan gluten free options available. Salad comes as a side with some of these items, as well as chips and a slaw with the Shepherd’s Pie. The Mushroom Stout Pie is served with mash, vegetables and a Guinness Gravy. The Guinness used is vegan as it’s made in Australia (the Guinness made in Ireland is not vegan).

It was a tough gig deciding what to get. My daughter chose the vegan option fruit toast ($6.50) described on the menu as “home made Guinness fruit bead lightly toasted and served with our house made nut butter”. Jam was on the side too. I was really surprised when this dish came out because first of all it was massive for what I assumed would be a regular kind of smaller fruit toast (my daughter often orders that and gets more toast like slices), but also because it was beautifully presented with some fruits and a cream on the plate as well. The bread was very filling and we were mercifully able to take our leftover slice home. The picture below shows half the jam gone by this point (my daughter thought chips dipped in jam was a superb combo). Breakfast is served from 7am to 2pm:The Snug Public House St Kilda

I was in a burger mood so I went for the Snug Burger ($24.00), described as “pattie, cheese, lettuce, drunken sticky onion relish, chips, onion rings, house pickles”. It turned out to be a double pattie burger with a basket of chips and stack of onion rings. Fortunately I was wearing stretchy pants. The relish and pickles in the burger were pretty good, so the burger wasn’t dry or too wet. The patties weren’t house made but they will be in future, which is something I look forward to.

The Snug Public House St Kilda

I couldn’t fault the onion rings, I’m usually fussy about my onion rings but these were just right– not greasy, not chewy:

The Snug Public House St Kilda

The chips were served with a vegan mayo and are hand cut at Snug House (not packaged pre-cut). Nice and chunky and when all our food had been brought out, I realised we ordered a biiiit too much:The Snug Public House St Kilda

We all agreed the serving sizes were pretty big!

Staff were very friendly and helpful and we had a great chat about the vegan side of things. More exciting news is that the vegan menu will be appearing in the Brunswick (Sydney Road) Snug House in a couple of months or so, so be sure to keep an eye out for that! I’m really looking forward to Irish pub food closer to home, so I know I will be heading down to Sydney Road’s Snug House when the vegan menu appears. Sydney Road scores AGAIN.

The Brunswick Snug House is smaller than St. Kilda, which we found perfectly okay for our group of four (St. Kilda, that is). There are also some tables outside.

The Snug Public House St KildaThe Snug Public House St Kilda

We were all very happy with our meals and now I’ll just wait for that Shepherd’s Pie to show up at Brunswick.

The Snug Public House

2/12 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda

http://www.thesnughouse.com

http://www.facebook.com/SNUGSTKILDA/
The Snug Public House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

9

Vegan Eats At Misoya Ramen Sake Bar In Brunswick

Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

*Update* Some people have rightfully pointed out that the ‘V’ (for vegan) symbol appears on the menu where ingredients for some dishes include bonito and egg noodles. I’m confident that meant the dish could be made vegan, as my dish had rice noodles instead of egg (pointed out by staff). However just to confirm, I have contacted Misoya but still haven’t heard back. So please be sure just to confirm with them that your meal will be totally vegan. I’m 100% certain my meal was vegan but I understand others may be concerned about the slightly confusing menu!

Sydney Road (and the side streets) seems to be exploding with more vegan friendly options in recent times. From word-on-the-street in Vegan Town to signs and blackboards on the footpaths advertising vegan fare, it’s so much easier to find something suitable for plant based eaters or a mixed group where there’s something for everyone.

A recent vegan friendly Sydney Road restaurant on my radar was Misoya Ramen Sake Bar. Misoya opened in October last year but a month or so ago I was walking past and saw a vegan option written on the blackboard outside. I hadn’t gone in to check it out because I’d just stuffed my face elsewhere. I love Japanese food and when I finally got my hands on a menu, I was happy to see a few vegan options in the starters section and a couple in the mains.

The space inside has some stools by the window, smaller tables for two or four and a larger table in the middle seating twelve. Some small tables are outside on the footpath.

Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

Staff were welcoming when I walked in and I asked about the vegan options, with staff again being very helpful in explaining what dishes are vegan (or could be made vegan, such as using rice noodles instead of egg noodles). Vegan options are marked with a V, gluten free options marked with G.

I ended up ordering the Tofu Dengaku ($5.00) which were deep fried soft tofu cubes with Misoya’s own miso sauce. I could eat so much of this, I love soft tofu prepared this way:

Misoya Ramen Sake Bar BrunswickMisoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

I can’t go to a ramen bar without ordering ramen so I got the Vege Miso Ramen with Rice Noodles ($16.00). The vegetable-miso based broth was lovely and mellow, and I chose the mild option as the menu mentions the broth is spicy but you can opt for mild. I slopped it all over myself and in my hair and on the camera but it was worth it:Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

Misoya is yet another great addition to the vegan friendly eats on Sydney Road and it’s fab to see a ramen bar in the inner north. Service was great, my food came out fast and I will be back to check out the other vegan options like the veggie tempura, atsuage (deep fried tofu with ponzu sauce) and hiyayakko (chilled tofu with ginger, onion, nori, soy sauce). I was encouraged to ask any questions I had about the vegan food too.Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

Misoya Ramen Sake Bar

165A Sydney Road, Brunswick

http://www.misoya-ramen.com.au/

http://www.facebook.com/MisoyaSakeBar/

Ramen Misoya Sake Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

8

Vegan Eats At Small Axe Kitchen In Brunswick

Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

Small Axe Kitchen has very recently opened up on Victoria Street in Brunswick, right near Sydney Road. I saw a couple of positive reviews from vegans and photos that looked pretty good so on my next Sydney Road grocery shopping trip, I checked it out.

Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

Inspired by the flavours of Sicily, the menu certainly has some good looking vegan options and it took me a while to work out what I’d get. It was down to two dishes so I went with my “when in doubt get the eggplant” strategy. Works every time! This is the smokey eggplant with pomegranate, almond hummus and tahini mayo, served with a flatbread ($18.50, can be made gluten free on request). In a word, this was excellent. The eggplant was perfectly done and there was a decent amount of it too:

Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

The internal battle I’d had was between the eggplant and the chestnut rice pudding ($15.50, gluten free), so I got this on my next visit. Another very good dish, not overwhelmingly sweet but just right– I’m the sort of person who always reduces the amount of sugar in a recipe so this pudding, while sweet, wasn’t toooo sweet for me. I loved the broken nuts, fennel pollen, prunes and figs together and sat there thinking up a version to try at home: Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

On my third visit I went with the soft polenta with broad beans, peas, nettle, mint and lemon ($17.50, gluten free). I rarely have polenta and prefer to have an expert make it for me (in other words my own efforts usually stink) and this was another pretty good dish. Lots of peas and beans with a nice bite to them:Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

It’s nice and light inside and there’s an outdoor seating area which can also be covered. There’s a room out the back which I didn’t check out but it looks good for a private function. Staff are really helpful and there was bit of a wait on my third visit, thanks to a big queue ordering takeaway coffees but staff were apologetic and got to me as soon as they could. So no problem there and my food came out quickly (like both times before).

Fitzroy is a bit of a further hike for me and that’s where I used to go to get some good vegan fare but with the vegan options in Brunswick/Coburg, I’m more than satisfied staying local. Like I’ve said before on the blog, it’s fantastic having more vegan options around Sydney Road but these options from Small Axe Kitchen aren’t hastily put together. They’re well planned and presented, showing that Small Axe Kitchen aim to provide great meals for all customers with different diet preferences and requirements. Another great addition to the Sydney Road area!Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

 

Small Axe Kitchen

281 Victoria Street, Brunswick

http://www.smallaxekitchen.com/

http://www.facebook.com/smallaxekitchen/

Catch the Sydney Road #19 tram or the 508 bus (which stops right at the door)

Small Axe Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato