2

Lunch at Lankan Tucker in Brunswick West

Lankan Tucker is tucked away in a strip of cafe restaurants in Albion Street, Brunswick West. I’ve tried their food before at a night market stall and loved it, so I was keen to try out the cafe version.

I had planned on visiting a couple more times to show you more photos and meal variety but I won’t be able to return for another couple months (doing a nutrition experiment which eliminates eating out, arghghgh) so here’s a brief review.

I ordered the Sri Lankan Staple ($17) which was ‘rice OR house made Red Rice Flour Stringhoppers served w Pineapple Curry, Mung Beans, Coconut Sambol, Lentils and Spinach, Apricot Chutney & Pappadums’. This was a pretty filling meal with a little spice– just right for me. 

Service was friendly and knowledgeable about vegan requirements and the menu is marked with vegan options/what can be made vegan. I really want to go back but given the nature of this nutrition experiment I’m doing, it rules out eating away from home. Argh!

The menu can be found at

http://www.lankantucker.com/menu/

Lankan Tucker

486 Albion Street

Brunswick West

 

4

Many Visits to Handsome Her in Brunswick

I’ve been to Handsome Her on Sydney Road a few times now so it’s time to blog about it! I kept going back to get ‘one more photo’ for the blog.

This is old news now in the Melbourne food scene but for the benefit of non-local readers, Handsome Her burst on to the scene with a bit of ‘controversy’. I put that in quotes because it was all pretty ridiculous the way some people reacted and left fake negative reviews everywhere (feel free to safely ignore those).

So, Handsome Her is not just a fully vegan cafe. It’s also a space by women for women and, to quote the Facebook page, is a ‘community based cafe focusing on female empowerment, social responsibility and environmental justice’.

The bit that got everyone talking (and leaving negative reviews) is that men are invited to pay an 18% surcharge to reflect the gender pay gap. This surcharge is voluntary and goes straight to a women’s service. It resulted in a bunch of clearly fake negative reviews which, funnily enough, backfired a bit as I spoke to quite a few people who  saw all this complaining and went to Handsome Her to check it out (and loved it).

I really like the vibe at Handsome Her. It’s a safe space for women and is laid back with friendly staff. The menu is pretty amazing though and I always have a hard time deciding what to get. On my first visit I got the Michelle Obama brownie hotcakes ($20) with peanut butter mousse, salted caramel brittle, strawberry baobab icecream (pictured at the top). Quite nice, and I’m not really a brownies fan.

For my second lunch visit I met up with Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe and after some deliberation, we both ordered the special which was the Kelis jackfruit burger. This was a winner for me:

I also got a warm peanut butter chocolate brownie slice which was so good. I mean look at all the peanut butter!

My son and I went on another visit. I got the peanut butter chocolate cake pop (cakesicle I think) and my son got the cheesecake slice. Both were great:

I went back today as the new summer menu is out. Again, I had a hard time deciding what to get but I knew I wanted savoury. I ordered the Frida Kahlo which was a most excellent cheese and bacon bagel with beetroot and edamame and was just so.fricken.good:

I apologise for not taking better photos of everything (I only had my good camera on the first visit, all the rest are phone pics) or better note of the prices but they’re around/above the $20 mark. Gluten free options are clearly labelled.

The meals are just beautifully presented each time. As for coffee, there are no environmentally unfriendly takeaway cups– you either bring your own cup, or you’re given a mug from the stash hanging on the wall.

For more pics of meals, check out Where’s the Beef? here and here, as well as Quinces and Kale.

Handsome Her
206 Sydney Roadd, Brunswick
http://www.handsomeher.com.au/

4

Vegan Burgers And Fries at The B.East in East Brunswick

B.East in Brunswick has been mentioned often in vegan circles, and the reports I’d heard were pretty complimentary about the vegan burgers and fries. I’m hit and miss with burgers and really have to be in a burger mood, but I’m always interested to see how not-vegan places do vegan burgers. When patties are made in-house, I’m more interested!

And so, some of the fam and I headed along to B.East in Brunswick East recently. The outside tables were full because it was a nice day, and I was happy to sit inside because of the blaring old school G’n’R soundtrack (though the noise level made it hard to talk, still, You Could Be Mine is one of my favourite songs so no way am I going to complain because she’s not my mother TODD and I didn’t have a mulleted friend with me and I can’t do pull-ups Sarah Connor style or any style but anyway, moving ON).

Okay, so the vegan burgers are the Neil (smoky BBQ bean and red lentil burger, vegan cheddar, caramelised jalapenos, crispy sweet potato fries (in the burger), cos lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli, $15) and the Morrissey (southern fried mock chicken, sweet corn relish, cos lettuce, tomato and jalapeno salsa, $13). I figured the southern fried chicken might be the sort used at other places for the ‘fried chicken’ dishes so I went for the Neil. Picture at the top there.

In short, it was a pretty good burger. The patty was a little soft and kinda mooshed everywhere but it wasn’t a big deal, plus it was a big generous sized patty and nicely flavoured. I recall I wasn’t really in a burger mood when we went, but I was glad I had it.

We ordered a side of sweet potato fries (gluten free, menu says $5/$8.50  but I can’t remember what we paid) with vegan lime chipotle aioli ($1) which were very well done:

We also ordered the beer battered fries ($4/$7) with BBQ seasoning (not GF unfortunately) and agreed these were some of the best fries we’ve eaten:

I would happily go back to try any new vegan burgers or special I hear about. I’m guessing the lunch and dinner times are really busy, we went well after lunch and had no problem with a table inside though outside was full. My dining buddies said the music was way too loud but ehhh, depending on what’s playing, I don’t mind so much.

The B.East has been visited by Where’s the Beef? a few times, you can read about their most recent visit here which links to their previous two visits.

The B.East

80 Lygon Street

Brunswick East

http://www.theb-east.com/

6

The Snug Public House in Brunswick

Since my first visit to The Snug Public House in St Kilda, the vegan menu options at The Snug (both St Kilda and Brunswick) have really kicked off. I missed the vegan night back in November, where diners were stuffed with samples of the upcoming menu.

I’ve been to The Snug in Brunswick twice now. Both times I wanted to try the mushroom stout pie but it wasn’t available and doesn’t appear on the Brunswick menu, so perhaps it’s just a St Kilda thing. No problem though because there’s always a shepherd’s pie AS BIG AS YOUR FACE.

But first, an entree! I knew the main meal would defeat me if we shared an entree but I wanted to try the pulled jackfruit bbq ‘pork’. Usually I avoid ordering bbq-anything because bbq sauces are always so sweet for me and if I follow a bbq-something recipe at home I always cut the sugar waaay down. The Snug’s bbq pulled pork was pretty nice, sweet without being unbearably sweet and I was happy-surprised to see it sitting on top of hummus. There were a couple of flatbreads on the side and some pickles. I’d order this again with a group as it was a great sharing dish. I can’t make out the price on the menu photo I’ve found online:

I’ve said it before and others have said it before: the servings at The Snug are HUGE. The shepherd’s pie (about $23), shown up the top and just below is a big, big bowl of tasty gravy and veg (with TVP I believe), topped with a big pile of crispy mash. Hand cut chips were on the side, as well as some slaw and salad. The salad was really good, with a taste cumin dressing and I tried to eat as much of it as I could. But as always, defeated by the sheer enormity of the portion size.

Even without having had the entree, there’s no way I could have finished it:

Okay, here’s where the phone photos come in. On a previous visit with my son (and without my camera), he ordered the battered sausages. The kitchen had run out of sausages and so this was a half serve as it’s all they had left (our bill was reduced accordingly). The sausages are one of the vegan brands available, not sure which but my son enjoyed it regardless (mainly because there weren’t any vegetables):

The chips are the cheesy gravy chips (gluten free, $12). I really liked these and again would order them as part of a group to share:

The most massive meal I have ever been served is this Irish stew ($23). You know a regular size loaf of bread? This loaf was about 3/4 the size of a regular loaf. Jackfruit was used in place of meat, though it was pretty sparse compared to the mountain of veg. I swear, this was so huge that everyone who saw it come out just stopped and gaped. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has eaten the whole thing. Probably a superhero of some sort:

I don’t think I could ever face dessert at The Snug if I’ve eaten a main. Perhaps I should go just for a dessert– banoffles chocolate waffle ($12, gluten free) and the Guiness chocolate mousse with honeycomb and fennel biscotti ($12, gluten free) both sounded great and I’m curious to see if they’re massive serves too.

For the bbq pulled pork entree, a second entree and three mains (not all vegan) without drinks, we paid just under $100.

The Snug have about a million vegan options now. The pub is small compared to St Kilda’s Snug, but that’s really not a problem for me. Service and staff all great and you can see a lot of effort has been made with the vegan menu.

Since that first visit to The Snug in St Kilda, I’ve been impressed with the ever growing vegan options on the menu. Brunswick is closer to me so I don’t anticipate heading down to St Kilda Snug any time soon, but Brunswick’s Snug more than compensates.

14

What I Ate Over The Past Month

Late again with the ah, weekly What I Ate. Sometimes I just forget, other times I think I’ll take photos of the leftovers tomorrow (then forget) etc etc…

I’ve been having some tummy troubles in recent times that seem to be getting worse and I’ve booked in to see a vegan dietitian in a few weeks. I’ll have to go on one of those four to six week low FODMAPs diets which I’m actually looking forward to because plenty of times I might be eating a meal, like at a restaurant, then by the time the meal is over my stomach has blown up to about four times its normal size and I can barely get in the car (and when I do, I need to unbutton my jeans and I swear it’s like an airbag just explodes everywhere). Not to mention other stuff. If I do Vegan Mofo I might have a vegan low FODMAPs diet as my theme. Not very exciting but I think it could be helpful to others! In the meantime though, I’m back to WFPB (whole foods plant based) as much as possible with lots of raw veggies and turning down offers of going places for lunch/dinner (which kinda sucks). And November is the month where lots of places seem to hold their vegan degustations like Maha *cry*  But I need to work out these health issues and try to lower my cholesterol even more.

Speaking of cholesterol, mine was super high before I was vegan. It was about 8.9 (which in Australia is really high and doctors tell you to take medication for it. I’m not sure how numbers work in other countries). Three years in to being vegan I had another blood test, all confident my cholesterol would have dropped way down. I was shocked to see it was about 8.8! Around that time I had read a comment by a vegan dietitian talking about the links between cholesterol in vegans and consumption of oils like olive oil and coconut oil. Also at that time I started a HCLF (high carb low fat) meal plan, and I had the absolute minimum amount of oil in my food after that, often no oil at all when I cooked at home. A year and a half or so later, my cholesterol dropped to 6.7. Which is still considered high, in fact my doctor said “we need to talk about your cholesterol” and when she told me the number I was really happy! After telling her how high it used to be, she was happy too. Having a vegan friendly doctor is such a relief. So that’s another goal for me, to get my cholesterol down even more to the recommended range of below 5.5.

Enough waffle (waaah WAFFLES!). One of my latest favourite cookbooks is Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan! which I borrowed from the library (but have ordered my own copy because it’s a great cookbook). This is the Red Velvet Beet Smoothie, minus the cashew cream topping:beet cacao smoothie

Another recipe from the cookbook is the Eggplant Meatball Sub. I loved the eggplant balls though I used quinoa instead of amaranth. Actually, I made this recipe before I started back on WFPB which is why there’s bread, but the eggplant balls and sauce are something I’d still have: eggplant meatball sub

Lunch pretty much looks like this now, a raw veggie bowl with some protein and a little avocado fat thrown in. Avocados are cheaper here now:healthy vegan bowl

Another veggie bowl lunch, same as above but with a garlic lemon zaatar dressing and a rice-lentil mix:zaatar veg bowl

Dinner is something like this, baked tofu with roast sweet potato and veggies. Token carrot there is a leftover from the day before:tofu veg healthy

Breakfast is always a smoothie. This one has some leftover broccoli, peas and carrot in it. With a banana and Prana On protein, you can’t tell (from the taste!) there’s veg:leftover veg smoothie

Last week I made a lentil veg curry and some green curry paste marinated tofu. The tofu was leftover from another meal so I just mixed it all up:lentil veg curry with tofu

…and I’ll finish up with snaps of one of my favourite places to be, Sydney Road in Brunswick.sydney road sydney road sydney roadsydney road