3

Dinner At Smith and Bellas

Last week, a group of vegan food enthusiasts met up for dinner at Smith & Daughters (currently a.k.a. Smith & Bellas), to try out the new winter menu which is all Italian themed. Now I’ll admit when I first heard the menu was Italian I felt disappointed. I love Italian food, but I’m very used to it either with what I make at home, and that there a million Italian restaurants in Melbourne.

Well, I should have just done a Bon Jovi and kept the faith because some of the dishes I tried were excellent and I’d go back to have them again, despite my personal rule of never ordering the same thing twice when there’s more on the menu to try.

We each paid $55 (or was it $58?) excluding drinks for these plates-to-share. The menu also boasts a number of gluten free options.

First up, the meatballs ($12 for three). I loved these and counted them as an excellent start. I don’t know what’s in them but I would love these on top of spaghetti. The texture was quite meatbally and the napoli sauce lovely.  Low light photos with my phone sorry, I decided to leave the camera at home because I wanted to enjoy the food and not have the hassle of trying to take great pics:

Next was the garlic bread ($8, has a gluten free option), which reminded me there’s standard okay garlic bread but also, like this, bloody good garlic bread:

Next, the carpaccio ($18). House made thin slices of mock meat, topped with horseradish cream, figs, fried capers, shaved parmessan and a mountain of rocket. Another standout for me:

Now moving in to the Big Plates and Pasta section of the menu, we had the gnocchi ($22) with broccoli rabe pesto, cream, chilli and lemon. Gnocchi done perfectly:

I was especially looking forward to trying the ragu on polenta ($24, gluten free), as I’d heard so many positive comments about it. I’m not really in to polenta, but as a shared plate arrangement it’s fine. I agreed with the positive comments on the ragu and it was my favourite of the night. The slow-cooked texture and appearance was wonderful and I loved the red wine flavour. The polenta was very good too. I want to return just to have this again:

From here we had a couple of sides come out. First up the creamed silverbeet with chilli and preserved lemon ($10, gluten free). I liked the flavours but as silverbeet is one of my least favourite veggies, I just had a little sample and passed on the rest. Others at the table loved it:

I’m also not that keen on Jerusalem artichokes, so the slow braised artichoke-leek-fennel Cheesy Gratin ($14) was something else I had a little sample of and left for others:

The silverbeet and artichoke sides came out at the same time as the Milanese schnitzel in a parmesan lemon herbed crumb ($25). The menu says it’s big. I say it’s massive. I wouldn’t recommend getting it for less than three people sharing and even then I’d say it’s perhaps better for four people sharing a number of dishes. While I really liked this, and it was very chicken-schnitzely, there was a bit of a general agreement that it needed something to go with it like a sauce. It’s essentially a huge tasty slab of mock meat, though the sides of silverbeet and cheesy gratin could have added that little something:

Then we were on to dessert. I loved the tiramisu ($16), which is the closest-to-dairy-tiramisu vegan tiramisu I’ve had to date:

Finally, the bomb Alaska style Baked Vesuvius ($15). This was a lovely mix of chocolate sable and ganache, spiced quinces and black pepper ice cream smothered in a quince and amaretto Italian meringue and torched in front of us. Very nice:

I really enjoyed this meal and had my initial disappointment of a new Italian menu totally, and rightfully, obliterated. I’m trying to find an opportunity to go back now because there’s more on the menu that looks great: the braised broccoli crostini, baked eggplant involtini, rigatoni napolitani caponata, cacio e pepe, tubetti in brodo and the limoncello rice pudding.

Cindy and Michael over at Where’s the Beef? have a great writeup on Smith & Bella’s here.

 

Smith & Daughters

175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

http://www.smithanddaughters.com/

5

Girls And Boys in Fitzroy

Girls and Boys is the latest venture from the owners of The Vegie Bar and Transformer. Located right next to The Vegie Bar, Fitzroy has scored yet another all-vegan affair.

The pictures I’d seen online certainly looked good enough and there were some great reviews about the soft serve ice cream, so on a hot day I dropped in and ordered the Baklava Pimped Out soft serve ($12).

It was way bigger than I’d anticipated and I wasn’t able to finish it so next time I’d share. But this was really good soft serve icecream– I’ve never had a vegan soft serve and I’m fussy about ice cream in general. The filo sheets were nice and crunchy and there was a sweet lemony sauce with pistachios and walnuts. Close up!

There’s also a selection of beautiful looking/sounding small cakes (with unrefined sugars), smoothies, housemade gelato, lattes, coffees and juices. There are gluten free options though I’m not exactly sure which are GF:

You can also grab some Vegie Bar take away from the next counter and fridge.

There’s a flavour-of-the-day special for the Pimped Out soft serve, and on the day I went it was a mango-something.

Having a 100% plant based dessert bar is a great addition to Melbourne and although Fitzroy is a bit of a public transport hike for me, I’d make the effort to go and try some of the cakes and another soft serve.

You can read another review over at Where’s The Beef?

Girls & Boys

382 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

http://girlsandboysfitzroy.com/

 

 

4

Vegan Eats At Fatto A Mano In Fitzroy

Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

Fatto A Mano Organic Bakery was initially a happy accidental discovery for me. My son and I had gone to lunch a few doors up, and met my husband and daughter in the car. My daughter was eating a croissant and said it was vegan. Which of course meant I was like WHERE FROM. Actually that might have come after GIVE ME SOME NEEEOOW CHILD. We were parked right opposite Fatto A Mano, it was a freezing day and the rain was bucketing down but I did my vegan duty and got drenched in pursuit of croissants. Though there were quite a few great vegan options, I ended up buying a peanut butter choc ball along with a croissant  and planned to go back as soon as I could. The croissant was lovely toasted at home later on and the peanut butter ball was peanutty chocolately crispy goodness:

Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

On my second visit, I bought more croissants. These are quite nice, not just bread shaped like croissants. There were also chocolate filled croissants and some apple pies (which I was sorely tempted to get):Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

There was a chocolate cake and this lovely looking pie:Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

I couldn’t resist another of the crispy lovely peanut butter balls:Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

I had a great chat with the staff about aquafaba– gotta love spreading the word!

As well as these goods mentioned above, there were also loaves of bread. You can see the display in the front window. I’ll be heading back for those apple pies 😀

Fatto A Mano Fitzroy

Fatto A Mano

228 Gertrude Street

Fitzroy

https://www.facebook.com/Fatto-a-Mano-Organic-Bakery-415863978501518/

http://fattoamano.com.au/

 

Fatto a Mano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

15

What I Ate: Kitchen Cleanout Edition

gigantes sourdough

This What I Ate post is really the past fortnight. I’ve been doing a kitchen cleanout and have vowed to use up ingredients I’ve found before going shopping for other stuffz. We’ve also cleared out our little upright freezer, so I had even more stuff that needed to be used.

We had family over and for lunch I put out a bunch of sandwich fillings, condiments and spreads then we plopped it all on sourdough and put our sandwiches in the panini press. Up the top there is rocket (aragula), baby spinach and some canned gigantes (Greek giant baked beans). This next sandwich was a mix of roast sweet potato, balsamic red onions, thyme mushrooms, avocado, tomato relish and salad greens: grilled veg sourdough sandwich

My son has been requesting kritharaki, which (in this house) is the ultimate comfort food in cold weather despite being rather bland. My dad rates it as one of his favourite meals:

vegan kritharaki

I made a lasagna with other ingredients that had to be used up: textured veg protein (TVP), the last bits of shredded Daiya cheddar and a box of frozen spinach:vegan lasagna

Breakfast most days is a smoothie straight from the blender. I usually make a smoothie with a plant milk, Prana On protein, a banana, a five grain cereal mix and some blackstrap molasses, sometimes with ginger and cinnamon. Lazy shot here, usually I’d put it in a glass for a pretty photo but our dishwasher isn’t working and well, I wanted to save washing an extra glass:breakfast smoothie

This gross looking meal in hideous lighting conditions was actually pretty good. In the back of the freezer I found some miso tahini dressing, probably from an Isa Does It recipe. I noticed the dressing was quite grainy after being defrosted but tossed through tofu and green tea noodles, it was good enough:

miso tahini tofu

More tofu and green tea noodles but this time with red curry paste and a little coconut milk:tofu green tea noodles

There weren’t many veggies in those tofu meals but I was drinking veg instead. Here’s a kale, beetroot and carrot juice:beet carrot kale juice

And this is the Mean Green Juice from the Reboot With Joe website:mean green juice

I prefer to make juices with the whole fruit and veg wherever possible in my blender, because there’s way too much pulp left when juicing. When kale is $4 a bunch and you only get a wee amount of juice, wellll it makes more sense to me to blend the leaves rather than juice. I keep the pulp though when I use the juicer and this time I made it in to a healthier cake with wholemeal spelt flour and golden sultanas, using carrot, beetroot and pear pulp. It was a good snack food for the kids (despite the squishy layer at the bottom, hence no recipe for the blog!), along with banana dusted with cinnamon and powdered peanut butter:

pb banana pulp cake

I’ve already blogged about our meal at Trippy Taco in Fitzroy, so I’ll leave you with another shot of the vegan option sweet corn tamale with banana and maple syrup. This is soooo good:

Trippy Taco vegan sweetcorn tamale

It was pouring the day we went to Trippy’s, so all I could manage was this one photo before my camera started getting too wet!gertrude street fitzroy

 

12

Trippy Taco Lunch In Fitzroy

Trippy Taco Fitzroy

Trippy Taco is one of those dependable places for me, where I know I will enjoy my food and walk out happy. I’ve reviewed Trippy Taco’s Fitzroy outlet long in the past but thought I better do it again because I really like this place and my past reviews and photos are pretty piss-poor.

Trippy Taco Fitzroy

We always get the Trippy Fries, no matter what. I love the smoky seasoning on these. A small is $4.50 (but quite a good size) and large is $6.50:Trippy Taco Fitzroy

Today I was in a taco kinda mood and ordered the Mixed Taco Meal ($13.50) which was one tofu asada and one black bean:Trippy Taco Fitzroy

Trippy Fries get my vote for my favourite fries anywhere:

Trippy Taco Fitzroy

My son loves the sweet corn tamale, served with banana, maple syrup and vegan-option ice cream ($12.00 on the website menu but the vegan ice cream option might be more). I pulled parental rank and insisted I have some. I love this too and every time I have some I regret not ordering one for myself:Trippy Taco Fitzroy

SEE WHAT I MEAN. HNNGGGGHHHHHHH:

Trippy Taco Fitzroy

Trippy Taco recently-ish opened a second outlet in St. Kilda at 6 Acland Street. I haven’t been to that one, as Fitzroy is more convenient for me. Service is always friendly at Fitzroy and I’m always happy to return, grab a bench seat and enjoy good food.

Trippy Taco Fitzroy

Trippy Taco

234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

http://www.trippytaco.com.au/
Trippy Taco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato