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Week In Review

This is a many-weeks-in-review as I’ve slacked off a bit with these. I had planned on a weekly series but with Mofo especially for all of last month, I just kinda kept forgetting about it!

First up, enter my giveaways! Australian readers, you have a couple days left to enter my giveaway (four packets of awesome vegan chocolate!) from Nestar and Miss Sweetie!

Readers in the US and Canada, enter my book giveaway for Lani Muelrath’s The Plant-Based Journey. Makes a perfect gift for someone you know who may be thinking of moving to a plant based lifestyle! Or if you have a vegan outreach centre or library setup, this is a great resource.

ACE STUFF HAPPENING IN MELBOURNE SOON!

Big Sky Sanctuary are holding a mega raffle with amazing prizes (helicopter flight!).

Melbourne Pig Save Rally on October 31st.

Black Cat Charity Ball to benefit Maneki Neko Cat Rescue on October 31st.

World Vegan Day on November 1st! Read my recap from last year.

Cocktails and Whiskers fund raising event for Cheltenham Cat Rescue on November 7th.

World Event To End Animal Cruelty (WEEAC) on November 15th at CERES in Brunswick.

A t-shirt fund raiser for animal sanctuaries. I love the t-shirt design and can’t wait to receive mine (and see what number I am!) Photo below is from www.1mvegans.com (click on the photo or text link to go straight to the 1mvegans.com site):

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STUFF I’VE BEEN UP TO

I saw the Masterpieces From the Hermitage: The Legacy Of Catherine The Great exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. There was much more there than I had anticipated. If you go, wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be there a while! These are some of my favourites (you can take photos at the exhibition, but no flash):

NGV Hermitage Exhibition

Some scenes around the Melbourne CBD area. It wouldn’t be Melbourne if there wasn’t a milk crate left somewhere for no obvious reason:

Melbourne scenes

We’ve had beautiful spring weather (and some hot days) so I like to take my camera on walks. Some scenes from my neighbourhood and a couple from Fitzroy (the white house with window and the fancy house). Aaaand my cat’s favourite place to sit when the washing machine is on, he always cocks his head from side to side (which is really funny for us):

scenes around home

INTERESTING ARTICLES, SOME GEEKY STUFF

The Chef and the Genomicist: Imagining a Food System Without Animals (letter written by Miyoko Schinner, there are more letters in the series).

Popular pizzeria Gigi in Sydney has gone completely vegan. Guess where I’m going when I’m next in Sydney?

Hog-Nosed Rat: Scientists discover new mammal species in remote Indonesia

Pamela Anderson launches two new lines of vegan footwear and accessories

SBS will be launching a 24 hour food channel. Would be awesome to see vegan shows on tv!

 

Have a fabulous week, wherever you are!

 

8

A Bus Tour Around Melbourne

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This past weekend, the family and I went on a double decker bus tour of Melbourne. Yes, our home town! Husband had bought some cheap discounted tickets and we figured this would be a good educational activity on a pleasant day where we could pretty much sit down the whole time. We took two tours, the first around Melbourne and the second down to St. Kilda.

It was educational for all of us but by far the best fact we learned was that Melbourne could very well have been called Batmania. Missed it by that much!

This post is a little photo heavy so I’ll keep the text to a minimum. Here are images from around Melbourne and down to St. Kilda, taken from the top deck of the bus. While I would recommend the bus tours, especially if you find Groupon or Scoopon discounts, please I beg tourists not to believe that all Australians talk with ‘Aussie slang’ like the tour commentary may make you believe! Plenty of us say ‘wine’, not ‘bottle of plonk’!

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There are quite a few bus tours around Melbourne, as well as the Melbourne visitor shuttle bus. There’s also the free Melbourne City Circle tram. If you’re visiting our city there will be loads of family friendly options for bus tours, though we all found the speakers on the bus to be unbearably loud and lots of children were covering their ears!

8

Lunch at Wagamama, Rocky Horror in Melbourne

On Saturday, I met my mum and sister in the city for lunch and a casual stroll around before heading to the Comedy Theatre to watch the 2pm session of The Rocky Horror Show. We started off with lunch at Wagamama on Flinders Lane.  We ordered a bowl of salted edamame and I went for my Wagamama usual, which was the ‘spicy yasai itame’: tofu, mushroom and veg with chili, ginger, garlic and lemongrass on rice:

Wagamama spicy yasai itame

My sister ordered a vegan udon noodle dish, though I can’t see it on the menu.  I tried some and really liked it:

Wagamama udon noodles

My mum ordered a non-vegan meal so I won’t mention it here, but she kindly treated my sister and I to lunch so I don’t know how much the dishes cost.  As always, the service was fast, friendly and knowledgeable with our waiter being very clued up about which bits of a meal were vegan. I note that there are a large number of negative reviews on Urbanspoon.  All I can say is that my mum, sister and I expect good meals when we go out to eat and we got them at Wagamama.  Spicy, tasty, filling portion sizes and definitely not bland. My mum especially is always happy to chat about what was missing, this could have done with more garlic, that could have done with less cooking and so on but she was very pleased with her meal and would order it again.

Wagamama in the city is located at 83 Flinders Lane (the Southbank restaurant has closed). Toilets are near the cash register. Mum paid with plastic so that, along with cash, is accepted. The restaurant itself has long table seating indoors and seating outdoors.  The long tables are well suited to groups. http://www.wagamama.com.au/restaurants/flinders-lane-melbourne

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

 

After lunch (and before, actually) we had some time to kill so we walked around the city for a bit.  My sister and I both love older buildings with the gorgeous wood work and tiling, so when we noticed the stairwell at the Presbyterian Church of Victoria Offices, we had to go inside and snoop:

Presbyterian Church of Vic Offices

I WANT:

Presbyterian Church of Vic Offices

Presbyterian Church of Vic Offices

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The Manchester Unity Building.  I wish they’d get rid of those barnacles:

Manchester Unity Building

We looked around the Royal Arcade and went in to the Babushka store:

Babushka Shop Melbourne

Babushka Shop Melbourne

Babushka Shop Melbourne

Finally, on to the Comedy Theatre for the Rocky Horror Show.  The cast were great, my favourite parts were when the actors had to pause before delivering lines because they were trying not to laugh. Of course, I was taking photos (before the show!) of the wood panelling.  Nitpick time: perhaps someone would consider fixing the curtains, they were awfully torn in some areas:

Comedy Theatre Melbourne
A fun day out in my fab city 🙂

9

Panzerotti Shop, Melbourne

Today I discovered what I think could easily be my favourite quick vegan meal in the city.  From  here:

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Behold, the Panzerotti Shop! I only very recently heard about this shop and as I was in the city today I knew I had to try it and report back here.  The panzerotti are savoury filled pastries (there are a couple of sweet ones available too) catering to omnis, vegetarians and vegans.  Vegans are extremely well looked after!  There was a list of ingredients on the counter for the vegan panzerotti and I had one custom made.  I went for (let’s see if I remember) olives, spinach, vegan sausage, vegan cheese, onions… and I can’t remember what else, for $6.50.  Other fillings included tofu, corn, lentils and even more I can’t remember. Anyway, this was one of the most delicious (even the most delicious) savoury pastries I have ever had. I even held it up to get a bit of Melbourne in the background. Passers by were treated to a crazy woman holding a pastry up in the air with one hand and trying to take photos with her phone on the other:

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This was so good I didn’t bother walking around finding somewhere to sit and eat.  I stood there near some milk crates and went for it. I might have airbrushed this photo to remove the hideous half-disappeared manicure:

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My panzerotti was so good that I was very tempted to go back and try another, even though one is enough.  You know that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie finds a coin in the snow and goes to buy some chocolate and the shop keeper says “careful sonny, you’ll give yourself a stomach ache”?  I think that’s what it would have been like if I went back in.

Service was great and very helpful.  I love that vegans have a specific listing of ingredients and that we’re not made to feel like we’re a nuisance.  Quite the opposite really, you’ll see what I mean when you read the menu page on Panzerotti Shop’s website!

The Panzerotti Shop is located at 289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. It’s a small shop with no seating– just order at the counter and wait for your pastry delight!

My day also involved a short stroll through the Fitzroy Gardens:

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Then a walk down Collins Street on the way home:

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I’m now trying to find an excuse to go back in to the city and try another panzerotti.  Fellow vegans, have you tried it?  I love hearing about city food places that aren’t your more well known vegan haunts!

Panzerotti on Urbanspoon

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:

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

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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:

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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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