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Ubuntu Vegan Cafe In Hawthorn

Ubuntu Vegan Cafe is another one of Melbourne’s brand new all-vegan additions, this time on Burwood Road in Hawthorn. I’d seen a few photos of some lovely looking meals and today was the day, thanks to an Instagram photo of a hot chocolate. It’s cold and rainy today, therefore perfect for a good hot chocolate.

I was told the Wholesome French Toast ($20) wasn’t too sweet and that sounded good to me, so that’s what I went with plus the Mork hot chocolate with a house made blend of cashew and coconut milk:  

Both were excellent. The French toast is described as ‘thick cut brioche pan fried and topped with whipped mascarpone, berry compote, crushed pistachios and maple syrup’. I was tempted by the Big Breakfast ($24, ‘sunny side up or scrambled egg with smashed avo, haloumi, crispy tempeh, blanched kale, portobello mushroom stuffed with pistachio pane croccante, served with buttered sourdough’), though I’m not that keen on tempeh so French toast it was. The person next to me had the Big Breakfast and it looked beautiful.

There are gluten free options and all the desserts in the cabinet are raw and GF. The menu also boasts some Superfood Lattes such as the intriguing-sounding Butterfly Pea Flower Latte ($7, ‘butterfly pea flower (Blue Tea), maca, lucuma, monk fruit juice, natural dates, cinnamon and all spice’). Maybe next time, because today for me was all about that lovely hot chocolate.

The cafe is nice and bright with friendly and helpful staff. It’s a short walk from Glenferrie train station and the Victorian Telecommunications Museum which is open to the public on the last Wednesday of the month from 10-3. The museum is awesome, I suggest you visit then follow it up with a meal at Ubuntu for a good day out!

Ubuntu Vegan Cafe

460 Burwood Road

Hawthorn

https://www.facebook.com/ubuntuvegancafe/

http://www.ubuntuvegancafe.com

 

4

Excellent Sandwiches From Sandwitch

A couple of weeks ago I had planned to go to Coburg Farmers Market but didn’t end up going. I kicked myself later on when I saw an Instagram photo of a new stall called Sandwitch and how they had vegan options. Aaand how I had missed out because I stayed home. I checked out Sandwitch’s Facebook and Instagram: ‘enchanted plant based North African street food’ and kicked myself even more.

Well today Sandwitch were back at Coburg Farmers Market (which has now moved to the new location at Coburg Primary School on Bell Street) and I wasn’t going to miss out. The two pita-style sandwiches on display, both in ‘Moroccan style bread’ looked great and I went with the Hash-Burger ($12): ‘sliced warm eggplant and potato fritter, on a bed of slow-cooked red delish capsicum matbucha salad and fresh lettuce’, seeing as the description contained three of my favourite words (eggplant, potato and fritter).

This was fantastic and immediately rocked in to my top three favourite sandwiches/pita foods. I wish I’d taken the big camera to get better photos but I only had my phone on me today. Beautiful fresh flavours, perfect eggplant and bread. So, so good:

And because it was so good, it meant I had to go back and splurge on the Colli-sour sandwich: ‘crispy cauliflower between layers of pickles, green salad and topped with preserved lemon tahini’. Sure, it meant I ran out of money to buy, well, vegetables but hey I now have a new number one sandwich in my life. This was so freaking good:

… and while I was there, I tried the ‘sweet dessert delight ($8): coconut milk cream, flavoured with rosewater, topped with crushed nuts, coconut, 7 spices and hibiscus syrup’. Now, I don’t even like rosewater much but because the two sandwiches were so good, I wanted to try it. This was really good too, no overpowering rosewater and not too sweet either. I’m getting it again next time:

The hummus menu item ($10) is gluten free. There was some eggplant and salad sitting in the middle of a plate of hummus so perhaps it gets served with veggies like that. It looked pretty good! I also had a sample of a delicious lentil chickpea soup, which I’d like to have in the future.

Sandwitch are at farmers markets, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages to learn where they’ll be next.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Sandwitchau/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sandwitchau/

 

5

Lunch At Veggie On Board In Hawthorn

The first thing I do when I have an appointment is look up vegan food options in the area. I was in Hawthorn today and a few steps away from Veggie On Board. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of it before, there are loads of places I file away in my memory as soon as I hear of them, then I forget.

My son and I chose some sides from the menu, rather than bigger meals. They were all reasonably priced, around the $4 to $5 mark I think. First up, the popcorn mock chicken (son’s choice). This was good in that plain salty way:

Next, the (I think) deep fried bean curd which ended up being regular tofu deep fried. Which isn’t a problem but I thought it would be something else. No matter, it was still nice with the sauce and as my son has gone off tofu, I was glad to see him digging in to this:

I got the mock bbq pork mini burger. This was excellent, even if I did manage to eat all the filling in the first bite. I’d go back just for this:

And I’d also go back for this sesame sticky rice filled with mushroom. Absolutely delicious:

Of course I forgot to take a photo of the outside as usual, I was babbling on to my son about how much I enjoyed that meal and then lamenting that I’m never in this part of Melbourne.

Veggie on Board is only a few minutes walk from Glenferrie train station so at least it’s easy for me to get back to. What a gem this place is, with the vegan options clearly marked (otherwise the food is vegetarian) and not too expensive either.

Veggie On Board

397 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

https://www.facebook.com/veggieonboardmelbourne/

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Return Visits To Zagame’s

My first visit to Zagame’s in Reservoir was a bit of an accident. I’d purchased one of those Cudo discount vouchers but hadn’t read the fine print about which days the voucher was valid for. No problem, we went anyway and I was very impressed with the new vegan menu. Zagame’s is one of those big family restaurant bistro places that typically, perhaps now in days gone by, were most vegan unfriendly with so-so vegetarian options too.

Not so with Zagame’s. I enjoyed that first dinner so much that when I found myself in Caulfield for a job one day, I was thrilled to see I was around the corner from Zagame’s Caulfield. The menu is the same at the different locations.

So, at Caulfield I decided to go for two entrees. First, the crispy corn and zucchini fritters with guacamole, lime and soya emulsion ($14, not marked as GF). I loved these. Fritters done perfectly! In fact, I loved them so much that when we went back to Zagame’s in Reservoir last week with our voucher, I ordered them again:

At Caulfield, I also got the cauliflower salad (shwarma maybe?), I don’t recall the exact title but it’s not on the menu now and seems to have been replaced with spring rolls. I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower but I did enjoy this:

Back over to Resi. I was already full from the corn fritters and couldn’t finish this potati rosti with caponata ($22). I did my best because it was another good meal. The rosti was nice and crisp in parts, and the caponata was just right. A dish well done:

The only little let down was when I ordered the orange poppy seed cake at Caulfield. This came out with two warm orange poppy seed muffins on the plate and a kind of cream. The muffins were okay if you wanted muffins, but I wanted a nice piece of cake!

The service has been excellent each time. Last week my main hadn’t come out when the rest of the family got their meals and I had two wait staff come and ask me about it and chase it up. It wasn’t a big wait, only a few minutes but in those few minutes the staff were really on the ball.

Don’t let the whole family restaurant thing turn you off. Sure, it’s noisy (but so are other places that aren’t for families) and has the gambling/gaming areas and the big tv screens with bingo or whatever. But it was relatively quiet when we went and there were tables further away from the noisier areas. If you’re invited to a dinner there, don’t think gahhhhh family restaurant! The menu is pretty good and deserves a look.

 

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Intermittent Fasting Update and What I Ate Recently

Wow, I’ve neglected the blog. Busy busy busy and a combination of not making photo-worthy foods.

Intermittent fasting continues, where I fast for 16 hours then eat within an eight hour window. The results continue to be good though slow now, as I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon due to a combination of bad feet, colds and laziness. You can read about my first 40 days or so on intermittent fasting here. I’ve also stopped eating so much veg, after a while I really got sick of factoring in healthy 7-10 cups of veg a day but I’m getting back in to it again. I was feeling like I wanted to scream every time I saw veggies. Oh, and sliiightly fallen off the lower-carb wagon.

What I continue to love about intermittent fasting is how easy it is for me. I’ve stuck with it since December 23rd 2017, a major achievement for me to stick to anything ‘diet’. However that’s the important bit right there– IF is not a diet, it’s simple a schedule of when to eat.

Overall I eat ‘healthy’ but won’t say no to treats and going out, but if I know I’m having some kind of high fat/sugar/oil/whatever meal, I do factor it in to fasting and will extend the fasting period to compensate. Because my goal is to lose body fat I still have to consider the basic calories in versus calories out and be mindful of overall caloric intake.

Okay enough talk, here are some food pics. See?! I’m still eating some stuff considered no-nos on ‘diets’! Like the Belgian mayo fries from Lord of the Fries, and sharing the peanut butter milkshake with my son (always bugs me when the LotF milkshakes aren’t cold):

This is one of the more recent additions to the LotF menu: the fried ‘chicken’ maple bacon waffle. Very junky, quite tasty:

I haven’t really been taking the camera out much, so most of my photos here were taken with my phone camera. First up, the eggplant miso roll from I Dream of Sushi in Moonee Ponds:

Followed by the tofu don:

The Ishtar stall at Preston Market has quite a few vegan options, one being this delicious pumpkin pide:

More deliciousness from Loving Hut West Melbourne, right near the Queen Victoria Market. This was their nasi lemak special (yes that’s a vegan egg):

This is the Golden Gaytime (an Australian ice cream on a stick) vegan version from The Merri Clan in Preston. So good:

An excellent meal from Olivia Spring Cafe in Moonee Ponds. This is the vermicelli noodles with roast vegan pork with the optional-extra spring rolls. Make sure you get the spring rolls:

Queen Vic Market just had its 140 year birthday celebration. I went and got the cinnamon sugar loukoumathes from the Taki’s Balls stall, which is currently their vegan option:

Look, something healthy! I made this quinoa veg bean something-or-other dish with avocado lime cream:

And leaving one of the best for last: the Honeydee Loukoumathes vetella (vegan nutella) Greek donuts. I don’t often go for chocolate but these were great. Honeydee offer the best, most well thought-out vegan options out of all the loukoumathes stalls and trucks. Grab them if they’re at a market near you!