4

Return To I Dream Of Sushi In Moonee Ponds

I blogged about I Dream Of Sushi back in March 2015. I’ve been back quite a few times, always opting for the tofu don ($13.50) because I like it so much. Tofu, beans, carrots and greens all on a nice big amount of rice with a tasty sweet sauce:

The vegetable gyoza are always a winner:

The past couple of times I’ve ordered something different from the vegan menu. The veg bento (about $14.50) was really quite good, with perfectly crispy tempura veg. A bowl of rice is included:

The agedashi lemon soba ($15) is made with a tasty shiitake broth with chunks of fried tofu. Photo at the top.

A food display case contains all the hand rolls. The vegetable varieties are $6. When you eat in, they’re presented like this eggplant miso roll:

I Dream Of Sushi is still my go-to vegan place in Moonee Ponds. It’s located at one end of Puckle Street right opposite Moonee Ponds train station. The vegan menu is on separate cards.

Seating inside is on stools, with I think about 10 stools in all perhaps. There are a couple small tables on the footpath. I make sure to go at non peak times and have never had trouble getting a stool.

This is good, authentic Japanese food and definitely worth checking out if you’re around Moonee Ponds!

I Dream Of Sushi (located opposite Moonee Ponds train station)

6 Margaret Street

Moonee Ponds

http://www.idreamofsushi.com.au/

 

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’ve received confirmation from Misoya that the vegan dishes do not have bonito or egg noodles!

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

Dinner At Disco Beans, Preston

Disco Beans Preston

Disco Beans in Preston came back on my radar thanks to a recent discussion in one of the local vegan communities. It was a good reminder for me to go and check it out, something I’d been meaning to do in, oooh, forever. I love Japanese food though I haven’t had all that much in my vegan years, apart from the usual suspects like gyoza, tofu don and fresh avocado cucumber rolls.

When I checked out the menu online I was surprised to see the opening hours extend to breakfast. From Tuesday to Sunday, Disco Beans is open from 8am to 4:00pm for breakfast and lunch, then reopens for dinner from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Sweet!

The inside is bright and cheery, with a mix of colourful artwork, knick knacks and goods for sale including a small rack of clothing, pins, cards, ceramics and more. It’s not huge and I’m not sure if there are additional seating areas but we got a table without a problem at 5:30 on a Sunday. A few more diners came in after us, and others to pick up orders. There’s a couch near the counter for people to wait for their take-away meals to be prepared.

Disco Beans Preston

The menu has a lot of vegan, or vegan-option meals. We got the pan fried tofu and vegetable gyoza ($10.5). A good start! Photo up the top there.

It’s always a bit tricky working out what to get for the kids but fried mock chicken is usually a safe bet. I wondered if the mock chicken would be the same as the one used at other vegan/vegetarian restaurants with a mock chicken dish, and I suspect I was correct. The mock fried chicken ($16.50) was served on top of mixed grain rice, with vegan mayo and salad:

Disco Beans Preston

I ordered the lemongrass udon noodle ($14.50) which came with mushroom, silken tofu, salad greens and nori. The lemongrass broth was lovely and I enjoyed it:

Disco Beans Preston

You know how when you see something on a menu that says deep fried potato croquette and you’re like THAT’S IT SAY NO MORE and you decide to get it before reading the rest of the description? That’s what we did. Deep fried potato croquette with sweet rich flavour sauce, you get two on the plate for $8.50. These were nice and crispy crunchy, though the potato wasn’t heavily flavoured. They were nice with the accompanying sauce:

Disco Beans Preston

My son Arthur has always wanted to try okonomiyaki so we ordered the vegan option ($14.50, also listed as gluten free). The menu said it was made with grains, green onion, ginger and vegetables topped with homemade vegan mayo and sweet okonomiyaki sauce. The grains appeared to be the same as the grain rice mixed use for the fried chicken don and other dishes served on rice, making this seem more a rice pancake than the hefty cabbagey versions many may be more familiar with. It worked well though with the sauce and nori strips for a little extra punch:

Disco Beans Preston

By this stage we were pretty full but left room for dessert. Arthur got the black bean brownie (not sure of the price as it was displayed on the counter and not an item the printed menu). We shared this and it was beautifully soft and fudgy without a single hint of beanyness:

Disco Beans Preston

If I see green tea-anything I’m getting it, so I got the green tea cake (not sure of the price for this either). Arthur and I really liked this and it was a great ending to a really nice dinner:

Disco Beans Preston

Service was very friendly and our orders came out quickly. There’s so much more on the menu I’d love to try, especially for breakfast and lunch. I definitely see a few return visits in my future. Check out the menu online.

The designated driver for the evening dropped us off and picked us up so I don’t know anything about the parking situation, except that there’s no parking right out the front on busy Plenty Road. Tram #86 stops right outside the door though, which is super handy.

Here are some past reviews from fellow Melbourne veg*n bloggers: The Good Hearted (2014), In The Mood For Noodles (2010a and 2010b), Where’s The Beef? (2011a and 2011b), Vegan About Town (2010a and 2010b), and Ballroom Blintz (2010).

Disco Beans Preston

 

Disco Beans

539 Plenty Road

Preston (it used to be in Northcote)

http://www.discobeans.com/

https://www.facebook.com/discobeanscafe
Disco Beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

13

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

I was in Moonee Ponds today right near Puckle Street, which meant I finally got to visit I Dream Of Sushi. Whenever I’ve been in the area, it’s been after they close so today I wasn’t going to miss this lunch opportunity!

I’ve heard a few vegans saying how much they like I Dream Of Sushi. It’s quite a small place inside, with some stools along the window and side wall plus some extra seating outside on the footpath. They were full when I arrived, with a few people arriving to buy takeaway meals:

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

I asked the friendly staff for the vegan options. I was able to choose from the vegetable gyoza, tofu salad and tofu don. I didn’t ask about the ready-made fried eggplant miso handroll I saw in the display (the veggie handroll had egg). I ended up getting the gyoza (four dumplings for $6.50) and the tofu don ($12.50).

The gyoza were pretty good and I always appreciate a bit of a crunch to the base when they’re fried:

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

The tofu don was a really big serve and I couldn’t finish it. Four decent sized pieces of soft tofu (I was delighted to find the fourth piece under the veggies!), topped with a bbq sauce (not too much), carrot, beans, lettuce, spring onion and nori pieces. Plus a heap of steamed rice! I had to have mine in a takeaway (takeout) container as the family and I were on the way home. Before the lid was put on, my tofu don was really piled high and looked beautiful. I think it looked just as tasty when I ate it in the car while the fam were off getting their own lunch. Close up!

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

Husband bought some non-vegan handrolls and said they were very good. I really enjoyed my tofu don and would happily get it again. I Dream Of Sushi isn’t veg*n but this is one really tasty vegan option. When I’m around that area there aren’t many vegan options for me, so it’s good to know I now have a place where I can score a tasty Japanese meal!

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

I Dream Of Sushi (located opposite Moonee Ponds train station)

6 Margaret Street

Moonee Ponds

http://www.idreamofsushi.com.au/

I Dream of Sushi on Urbanspoon

I Dream Of Sushi, Moonee Ponds

8

Bust the Budget March and Dinner at Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square

Husband and I, along with thousands of others, attended the Bust the Budget march to show our opposition to the federal government’s proposed budget. These marches are being held around the country.  I can’t begin to describe how awful this proposed budget is and how seriously it will hurt people who are already struggling. In a nutshell, it is cruel+unfair+discriminatory+harmful. We met up with some friends and marched together.  Our friends today, and others, will be so negatively affected by this budget.  They will struggle to pay rent and put food on the table because they’re doing it tough now as it is and this budget will make things worse.  It’s that simple.

The weather was perfect:

bananaalleyvaults

The march started at the State Library and ended up at Federation Square:

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bustthebudgetmarch4

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After saying goodbye to our friends, we decided to try out Chocolate Buddha at Fed Square.  I’ve heard some vegans recommend it as a place to take both omnis and veg*ns.  The menu had the vegetarian options marked but I asked quite a few questions.  Service was great and very helpful, though I was disappointed to learn that the curry had a little cream in it.  In the end I went for the ‘Tofu Ankake Don: silken tofu simmered with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrot & ginger with shredded nori over Japanese rice’.  I enjoyed my meal and wish I could make this at home, though I probably wouldn’t return for it unless I was the only vegan in a group of people wanting to eat dinner there. Don’t get me wrong, it was good.  But not great enough to get me back there on my own.  Please forgive the awful lighting, I was using my phone to take photos:

chocolatebuddhatofubowl

Chocolate Buddha is located in Federation Square.  Head in the opposite direction from the outdoor stage area, going slightly uphill. http://chocolatebuddha.com.au/

We sat outside and it was such a beautiful night for this time of the year.  Alas, my photos of Fed Square turned out awful so I’ve cheated here and applied some ‘artistic’ filters to the images!

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