6

Vegan: It’s Not Rabbit Food And Here’s Some Proof!

I thought I’d grab a bunch of photos of some fantastic vegan meals I’ve had around town. The belief many hold that vegan/plant based food is ‘rabbit food’ (or bird food) is of course untrue but so many people seem to think you’d be missing out on tasty, gourmet style meals. So here I present many exhibits of (I hope) drool worthy meals.

There are way way waaay more great options than I’ve included here. If I included everything that’s fab, it would be an incredibly long and image heavy blog post. So consider these photos an idea of what is out there. Please note some of the meals shown may no longer be available as restaurants change their menus frequently!

Good Days in Brunswick make the best (IMO) spring roll noodle salad. This is one I keep going back for. Their mushroom pho is my favourite pho anywhere too.Good Days Brunswick Good Days Brunswick vegan mushroom pho

Loving Hut Northcote is my family’s number one restaurant. Here’s the lemon chicken. This tastes *exactly* like the not-vegan version, texture and all, and has fooled many a lemon chicken eater:

Loving Hut Northcote Lemon Chicken

Ray in Brunswick have a great vegan menu. Shown here is the Beast of Brunswick fried chicken burger with miso cheese, pickle aioli and more:Ray Brunswick vegan fried chicken burger

Another excellent burger option is the chickpea burger with chipotle mayonnaise and more from Power Plant Cafe in Templestowe:Power Plant Cafe Templestowe

Shop 225 in Pascoe Vale South have your vegan Napoli style pizzas wishes granted:Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

Vegan ramen needs can be met at Misoya Sake Bar in Brunswick:Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

Small Axe Kitchen in Brunswick have an excellent smoky eggplant with pomegranate, almond hummus and tahini mayo:Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

Krishna on Barkly in Footscray is my number one choice for great Indian food and fantastic service:Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Sister of Soul in St. Kilda have a number of great vegan dishes, like this big breakfast style meal:Sister of Soul St Kilda

The vegan options at Trippy Taco (Fitzroy and St. Kilda) are so good. Love the smoky fries:Trippy Taco Fitzroy

The extensive sandwich menu at Smith & Deli in Fitzroy might overwhelm you at first but the Rubenstein is a good choice:Smith & Deli Reuben

I loved this Japanese katsu tofu dish from Day Kitty in Warrnambool. It was on the specials board, but one of the nicest meals I’ve had:Day Kitty Warrnambool

Dumplings from ShanDong Mama in the city:

ShanDong MaMa

Going plant based/vegan means you don’t have to miss out on hot jam donuts from a van! The van at Preston Market makes vegan donuts. LIFE IS AWESOME:Preston Market hot jam donuts

Pancakes from True North in Coburg:True North Coburg vegan cherry pancakes

The excellent tiramisu hotcakes from The Glass Den in Coburg:Glass Den tiramisu hotcakes1

Raw Trader in the city are incredibly creative with their cakes flavour combinations, all of which are raw. The cappuccino cheesecake is one of my favourites, but I’ve loved everything:

Raw Trader Melbourne

Miinot Gelato in Pascoe Vale South create marvellous gelato onsite, using fresh and local ingredients. The vegan flavours are excellent, particularly the fruit flavours and the dark chocolate varieties:

miinot14

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in Ascot Vale is a long standing favourite in my house. Lots of decadent treats, make sure you try the peanut bronuts if they’re available:Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

 

I hope this gives you an idea of how creative, delicious and inspiring vegan/plant based foods can be. Don’t think that vegan food is all about being super duper healthy, or restrictive or rabbity-birdy! If you want healthy whole foods or deep fried crispy, vegan foods can cover all that!

6

Cheap Lunches At Divine Realm Vegie Delight In The City

Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Divine Realm Vegie Delight is one of those places that has been around for a while now, but quite a few veg*ns express surprise when they hear about it. Things like “no way, I work near there and had no idea!” kinda sentiments.

It’s located in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it dingy divey looking mini food court on Little Collins Street. On my most recent visit, a few of the other stalls were closed either for good or some renovation work. There’s a board outside advertising Divine Realm but it’s not really obvious and even though I was looking for the place, I ended up walking right past it, despite having been there before.

Still, it’s a pretty good option for cheap and cheerful takeaway/food court food that I used to enjoy before I was vegan. Every now and then I get a craving for this kind of food, with the fried rice and all. For $7.50 you get the large serve, which is made up of rice (possibly noodles as the alternative) and three of the main dishes on offer. Shown here are the tofu veg curry (quite nice, I always enjoy this but I wish they’d dish up more tofu), black bean chicken and veg and the roast duck (bean curd) with sweet sauce.Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Be sure to take note of opening times. Divine Realm is open during business hours for the lunch period and close around 3pm. Any leftover food is put in to containers and sold for a few bucks. I’m not sure if the menu rotates according to days of the week but I’ve seen photos of different meals such as the vegan chicken and rice special, or some house made sweets. On my last visit, a long time ago, I had the same roast duck and the tofu veg curry. There are also made to order items, with pictures up on display but I’ve never ordered those.Divine Realm Vegie Delight MelbourneDivine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Service is always friendly and the Facebook page description says “the humble take-away vegan cafe in town! We are freshly open every day and we serve vegan Singapore recipes from our hearts. Burp with safisfaction!” The food court area may be a candidate for an extreme food court makeover, but for these low prices and tasty food, I’m happy to go back.Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Divine Realm Vegie Delight

422 Little Collins Street (go through the big doors in to the food court area and walk through)

Melbourne CBD

http://www.facebook.com/Divinerealmvegiedelight/?fref=ts

5

Brunch At Sister Of Soul In St Kilda

Sister of Soul St Kilda

I’ve been to Sister Of Soul a few times now and I’ve previously blogged about a lunch visit. This time, I was in the area around brunch time so my son and I decided to go in to check out the morning menu. The vegetarian/vegan menu for the morning hours looked just as good as the lunch/dinner menu.

After a little stress trying to navigate Acland Street by foot with the current roadworks going on, we nabbed a window seat (that’s my doing, light for photos and all). I’m on a bit of a mission now to try all the different flavoured lattes around town (you know… beetroot, blue algae, etc) and so I ordered the Spiced Carrot Latte with almond milk (around $6.50 from memory). I couldn’t take a photo of the carrotyness, but I did pick up a carroty flavour and will try to replicate this at home cos it was pretty good.

Sister of Soul St Kilda

Arthur will get pancakes anywhere anytime so he got the Buckwheat and Banana Pancake ($16.50) which was topped with strawberries, banana, poached pear, nut crumble and a chocolate sauce. He pretty much scraped off the nut crumble and pear (they’re not his thing) so of course I ate those for him.  It was nice, not very sweet (which is my preference) but a little pricey for a single pancake in my humble opin’ despite being slightly larger than the average size pancakes most places serve.

Sister of Soul St Kilda

The Big Vegan ($17.50) stood out for me: smashed avocado, marinated tofu topped with a tomato, corn and coriander salsa, wilted spinach, rosemary potato rosti, plum dipping sauce and multigrain toast. There was a decent amount of avocado for both pieces of toast and overall I enjoyed everything on the plate.

Sister of Soul St Kilda

Service was fast and friendly as with previous visits. There are a few more nice looking meals on the menu I’d like to try. St. Kilda isn’t an area I visit often but when I do, it involves a bit of public transport adventuring. So it’s pretty nice to be confident that if I end up at Sister of Soul, I can unwind a bit and enjoy a good meal (and people watch by the window).

Sister Of Soul

73 Ackland Street, St. Kilda

http://www.sisterofsoul.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/sisterofsoulstkilda

 

Sister of Soul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

12

Lunch At World Vegetarian Cafe in Elsternwick

World Vegetarian Cafe Elsternwick

So far, my blog has been heavily skewed towards vegan/vegan options places closer to where I live, or easily and quickly accessible for me by public transport. I don’t drive and this has been holding me back from giving some blog love to the many awesome places that are located in areas I rarely need to go to.

I wanted to rectify this as soon as I could as I’ve been asked a few times if I can review places in the eastern and south eastern suburbs. And funnily enough, the day after I received a message suggesting I review World Vegetarian Cafe in Elsternwick, it turned out I had to go to a nearby suburb to drop something off! WIN!

World Vegetarian Cafe has been open for around six months and I’ve heard some pretty good reviews in vegan circles, especially about the BLAT (veggie bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) burger on a Turkish pide. It was hard work deciding what to get but I also heard good things about the masala dosa (which is gluten free, $13.95), so I opted for that.

The dosa was perfect with crispy edges and the spiced potato and pea filling was really good, ditto for the coconut chutney. I didn’t get a nice photo of the filling because I made a big mess by this time:

World Vegetarian Cafe Elsternwick

The real surprise though was the side of lentil soup that comes with the dosa. I never order soup and for me the stars of a meal are the non-soup elements. But this soup was excellent and as good as the dosa (and I loved the dosa):

World Vegetarian Cafe Elsternwick

My son ordered the cardamom pancakes ($15.50) which were also gluten free. Made with buckwheat and topped with berry compote, maple syrup and coconut yoghurt I was half tempted to get these myself but I pulled parental rank and tried some of Arthur’s. I had thought perhaps the cardamom wouldn’t appeal to him as I’m sure I made something with cardamom in the past and he wasn’t a fan, but he loved these. The amount of cardamom was just right, nice and subtle and not overpowering at all:

World Vegetarian Cafe Elsternwick

DeeW was very happy with her vegetarian cheese pizza (staff were very good about adding pineapple to the pizza) and iced chocolate. Arthur also ordered a hot chocolate and gave it a thumbs up.

Be sure to check out the specials board too, I liked the sound of the wild mushroom arancini with the minted pea puree and pomegranate salad. Sweet treats are in a display but we were too full to get something.

Service was great and our meals came out quickly, always handy when you have kids! The cafe is family friendly (there’s a kids menu with four options), spacious and has a kids area. World Vegetarian Cafe also provide catering services and host private functions. They’re now open for dinner on Friday and Saturdays until 9pm.

I saw lots of good looking dishes going past me and I’m planning on going back for sure, now that I’ve discovered I just need to catch two trams for a nice easy journey! When I left I was feeling pretty bummed that I don’t live closer as this is a place I’d easily return to, but it’s certainly worth many return trips.

World Vegetarian Cafe Elsternwick

World Vegetarian Cafe

452 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

http://www.worldvegetarian.com.au/

For updates and photos, check out https://www.facebook.com/worldvegetariancafe/
World Vegetarian Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10

Return To Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant, Footscray

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Since my first visit to Krishna On Barkly a few months ago, I have been waiting impatiently to go back. Fortunately we were passing through Footscray around dinner time so Arthur and I headed in for what we were certain would be an awesome feast. And it was– Krishna On Barkly are hands down my favourite Indian restaurant. They’re a family business of twenty years who have recently removed all meat from their menu and they’re incredibly helpful when discussing changing up meals with you. There are many vegan dishes on the menu, or the vegetarian options can easily be made vegan.

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

My first visit in July was for takeaway food and my poor photos of takeaway containers didn’t do Krishna On Barkly any justice! Their food really is fantastic and the family team so friendly and welcoming and supportive of the vegan community that I armed myself with my good camera this time and snapped away at everything, because I want to encourage everyone to go and visit. There are many Indian restaurants in Footscray and Krishna On Barkly have broken away from the heavy meat offerings, making them unique and absolutely worth trying out.

I forgot to confirm the name properly! The Facebook page for the restaurant says Krishna On Barkly, though the menu and website say Krishna Pait Pooja. Please bear that in mind if you’re Googling!

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

If you’re not able to get to Footscray, Krishna On Barkly will be at World Vegan Day and yes, they’ll be serving their superb vegan gulab jamun! In equally better news, they’re also planning a seven days of buffet service in the lead-up to Christmas!

We ordered the mixed vegetable pakora (five pieces, $5.50) for our entree which came with a tamarind dipping sauce. Made with spinach, potato, onion and lentil flour these were really tasty and not as heavy as other pakora I’ve tried elsewhere:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Okay yes, we ordered a lot of food but the plan was to take enough leftovers home for a couple more meals. It’s hard for me to resist eggplant dishes in Indian restaurants so I had to get the Baingan Bhaji ($9.50). Cooked with potatoes, peas, onion and capsicum, this was a winner:Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

The second main was the Veg Kofta ($9.95), made with a mix of mashed vegetables and cooked in a nutty sauce. The kofta are quite sizeable and mildly spiced. I never order the same dish twice (usually) but I think I’ll get this again next time. For now, I’m pleased I have the leftovers in the fridge:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

We ordered the Lemon Coconut rice ($6.50) which we both enjoyed. Arthur chose the Bread Basket ($10.00) and I expected a couple of pieces of each style of the four included breads to come out in one basket. Boy, what a nice surprise to get everything on its own plate because this way, they kept on coming! Arthur and I loved the Kashmiri Naan, stuffed with dried fruits and nuts so it’s on the sweeter side. The Kashmiri Naan is on the left of the photo following. Also included in the Bread Basket were plain naan, garlic naan and masala kulcha, the latter stuffed with onions and potatoes. All so good:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

We were kindly treated to the entree of Stuffed Mushrooms (not sure of the price). I admit mushroom dishes are probably the last thing I would order in a restaurant anywhere, even though I like mushrooms. But wow, what a nice surprise these were! The stuffed mushrooms were battered and fried with a nice crisp shell in a pool of a very tasty sauce (which I forgot to ask about, sorry!). The stuffed mushrooms are on the left, below:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Of course, no matter how stuffed I am, I’m not ever going to pass on vegan Gulab Jamun. I loved these so much last time but chose to get one each along with a serve of Carrot Halva. The halwa was pretty good– not too sweet as I anticipated which I appreciated because by this point I was so full and wouldn’t have been able to finish off something really sweet. The Gulab Jamun was sweeter but as I dove in to that first, it didn’t matter (and it’s not too-sweet for me anyway, it’s just right). I am definitely buying these from World Vegan Day:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

[Added October 25th, 2015] Here’s another serve of the stuffed mushroom pakora. These are just fantastic:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

I’ve since tried the Vegetables Manchurian. These are veggie balls in a sort of sweet and sour sauce. Absolutely delicious, if you prefer to add in a sweeter dish:

Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Since visiting in July, I’ve been hearing more positive reviews about Krishna On Barkly from others and there have been some vegan get-togethers there. If I drove, I’d be there more for sure! Unfortunately I live way out of the delivery zone. You can order online (if you live in the surrounding suburbs) from menu websites like Menulog. The owners of the restaurant also own the imports and wholesale store next door, something I’d really like to check out one day.

The staff are very happy to help you with any questions about the meal preparation. If you’re vegan or have dietary requirements, please let them know and they will gladly accommodate you or offer suggestions and alternatives.

All up, a great second visit and I’m already looking forward to a third and more!

Krishna Indian Restaurant also provide catering, delivery (fee is $4) and ordering online for the immedate surrounding suburbs. The restaurant is BYO (wine only) and have some meal deal specials listed on their website and menu.

Krishna On Barkly

Shop 3/578 Barkly Street

West Footscray

Closed Monday

http://www.krishnapaitpooja.com.au/
Krishna Pait Pooja Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato