14

Lunch at Blue Buddha Cafe, North Melbourne

Blue Buddha Cafe

Blue Buddha Cafe has very recently opened right near the Queen Vic Market. Naturally, it went straight to the top of my To Do list. I’m still blown away by the ever increasing vegan friendly (or vegan specific) food places that are popping up in Melbourne. Ditto for raw vegan, especially desserts!

Blue Buddha is not a big place but it’s chilled out and unpretentious. While I waited for my meal it was a nice space to hang out in. There are books along the walls you can browse through and shelving at the back stocking a number of items:

Blue Buddha Cafe

There’s a larger table and seating on benches along the walls. There are a few milk crates with cushions along the window, presumably for people waiting for a takeaway order. Blue Buddha’s Facebook page says they use recycled chairs, tables and crockery.

A blackboard presented me with three very tempting offers. There was a tofu udon miso dish with shiitake bacon ($12) and a Mexican beans with avocado, cashew cheese, capsicum spread with corn chips (I think it was also $12). I settled for the chickpea and sweet potato ‘Kormalicious’ on GMO-free Himalayan rice ($12). This is vegan or you can order it with the optional dollop of dairy yoghurt. I had to give points for the decent amount of coriander.I’m a coriander fiend and always feel a bit bummed when some places serve you those wee bits of chopped fresh coriander or a few artfully placed leaves. Pile on the coriander, and I’m happy (though if it’s not your thing, you can obviously not eat it, which is why you might be glad that Blue Buddha don’t chop it up):

Blue Buddha Cafe

My meal was very tasty and filling, with nice mellow spices. Nothing was overpowering. Yep, I ate all the coriander.

The raw desserts looked and sounded fab. I thought I’d have a tough time choosing but the raw peanut butter and chocolate cake ($6) was the winner. This was amazingly good. . Anyway, you know how when something is so good, you sit and savour every mouthful slowly? HA. Not me. I just shove it all in. I even sat there spending some brain processing time working out how I could eat as much of the sauce as possible without licking the plate:

Blue Buddha Cafe

Blue Buddha Cafe

Blue Buddha also have smoothies and toasties. Organic and Fair Trade coffee too. I felt that everything on offer was very well thought out.

The meals up on the board are seasonal so I’m keen to see what else will be available in the future! For a first visit, I was pretty impressed. Service was great and I like it when I can walk in to a place and feel relaxed.

To get there, walk down Victoria Street with the Vic Market on your right. Turn left on O’Connell Street (at the pub) and look out for the Blue Buddha mural: it’s right there near the corner. I never know if this is West Melbourne or North Melbourne!

Blue Buddha Cafe
Blue Buddha Café on Urbanspoon

 

Blue Buddha Cafe

30/1 O’Connell Street

West Melbourne

8395 0699
Facebook page for Blue Buddha Cafe

8

Lunch Today at Invita Living Food at the Queen Victoria Market

Yay for haircuts!  Especially when you haven’t had one in over a year.  Today I headed down to North Melbourne to get about two hundred kilograms worth of boofy hair cut off (more like six inches but boy my head feels lighter).  After that I went for a short walk down to the Queen Vic Market to pick up a bunch of coriander.  I also thought I’d go and check out Invita Living Food, as I’ve been past it many times without realising I could actually find healthy vegan food in there.

Initially, I was just going to browse and not buy anything but one of the menu items caught my eye: the rice ball.  The description on the menu board (which is different to the description on the website) was ‘rice balls, corn carrot, zucchini, coriander, sea weed, tamari, ginger juice, lemon juice, olive oil, rice crumbs, tapioca starch’.  Gluten free, vegan, full of good healthy stuff.  I think it cost $14.60.   I asked if it was fried in oil and the staff person told me it was baked. The rice ball sure sounded better than my plain bean and veggie soup that was waiting at home!  My stomach was growling, it was another half hour before I’d be home and so I thought why not?  It’s a beautiful day!  Phone photos, sorry!

invita3

The rice ball was pretty big though I was a bit surprised the inside was quite mooshy and for a while I wondered if it was undercooked but I guess with those ingredients, it’s a mooshy ball.  I took a pic but you can’t really make it out:

invita2

I figured I’d eat it, blog about it and see what readers think!  I liked it regardless of the mooshy factor but my favourite part of the meal was the eggplant chickpea salad on the side.  This was really tasty. The serving of quinoa with some veg and lentils mixed through was okay.  There was a little bit of chutney too, I tried it and it was a peanut satay kind of flavour.  It was sweet though and as I’ve cut out sugars/sweet food (apart from fruit), I put this to the side.  Only after I’d emptied a sachet of sugar over it to stop me being tempted to eat a bit more…

There were vegan desserts on display, alas I took a photo that didn’t turn out.  Plus I didn’t want to linger too much around the dessert display, seeing as I’m not eating sweet stuff!  Invita also serve juices, shepherd’s pie, lasagna, a tofu burger (no bun is mentioned) and other savoury breakfast and lunch items.  I very much enjoyed sitting under the marquee listening to the hustle-bustle market sounds and the ding dings of the trams!  All while flipping my new ‘do around.

farah

invita1

Invita Living Food is located at 76 Therry Street, near the Vic Market jam donut van and the organic fruit and veg section.

2

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, West Melbourne

I had things to do in North Melbourne/West Melbourne this week and finished up at 6pm.  Which was perfect timing because I was standing outside White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant when I was done    🙂

Everything on the menu is vegan and White Lotus do not use onions or garlic.  I had a tough time deciding what to get and in the end I settled for the curry clay pot (with a side of plain rice) as I’d heard people recommend it.  When my clay pot arrived there were a few big pieces of tofu and some mock meat pieces as well as potato, eggplant, sweet potato and carrot.  The serving was just right, though the meal didn’t exactly blow me away like I was hoping and dare I say it was a little on the bland side (though I’m a big garlic fan!).  I would still go back as the service was friendly, the place is completely unpretentious and it’s super easy for me to get to (yeah, I only just worked that one out the day I went there):

claypot

The waitress told me the mock fish is one of their more popular dishes, especially with groups.  The couple next to me ordered the lemon chicken and it looked great.  I might try the fish on a return visit as it is made with soy and not wheat.

whitelotus

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 185 Victoria Street, West Melbourne.  They accept cash only.

9

Crumbs Bakery North Melbourne and a Visit to Beautiful l’uccello

Today I started my errands in North Melbourne:

northmelb

I hadn’t had breakfast so at 11:15 I went to Crumbs Organic Bakehouse on Errol Street to try their pizza.  The window display had the usual delicious looking treats and I settled for a pizza slice with tomato, capsicum and mushroom.  Yum!

crumbspizza

Well.  This was the week I was supposed to stop eating desserty things and sugar.  I sort of forgot about that:

crumbsdonut

From North Melbourne I hopped on the tram and headed in to the city to meet up with my buddy J.  While I was waiting for her, I hung around the Block Arcade.  Here’s the mosaic, complete with a stranger’s manky shoe:

blockarcade1

blockarcade2

blockarcade3

blockarcade4

I didn’t need an excuse to listen to this guy outside play:

pianoman

When I met up with J, we went to l’uccello, supplier of vintage haberdashery materials.  What a beautiful shop!  From the windows and wood panelling, to the displays and just all kinds of beautiful awesome.  See for yourself!

luccello

luccello3

luccello4

luccello5

luccello6

luccello7

luccello8

luccello9

luccello10

luccello11

luccello13

lucello2

l’uccello is located in the old Nicholas Building in Melbourne.  I was all oohing and ahhing over the little doors:

littleolddoor

I would love a letterbox like this:

letterbox

Some of the shop windows in the Nicholas Building:

window

Here are some more snaps I took when out in the city today, before it started bucketing down and made my Lord of the Fries burger go all soggy while I was trying to eat it when hurrying to my tram stop:

city1

city4

city2

The view from the Lord of the Fries stand at Flinders Street station:

flindersstview

Hope you enjoyed that little tour 🙂

3

Mothers Day Treats from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop

It feels like we haven’t been to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in aaages.  That’s probably because we haven’t been in aaages.  Arthur had requested I make pancakes for Mothers Day (as in, Mother does all the work) and I said think again buddy cos I’m not going near a frying pan.  We decided on treats from Mister Nice Guy to take to my Mum’s house for afternoon tea.

As usual, there were lots of lovely treats at the bake shop:

mng1

mng3

mng5

mng6

mng7

mng2

mng4

My sister and I were pitching in for afternoon tea so got some cake (yum!) and a piece of the grasshopper cheezecake which is mint flavoured.  As it was brunch time when I visited the bake shop and I hadn’t had breakfast, I decided to try the ‘BLT’ bagel.  Oh my, it was delicious:

bltbagel

Part of our day today involved passing through the suburb of North Melbourne, a lovely part of town:

nthmelb1

nthmelb2

nthmelb3

nthmelb4

nthmelb5

nthmelb6

nthmelb7

nthmelb8

I love this old lettering on a store right near Mister Nice Guy’s:

oldlettering

… it matches this stove someone put out on the nature strip (grassed areas outside homes):

stove2

stove1

Best Mothers Day present: my legs look long and skinny!
shadow

Best wishes for a fantastic Mothers Day, to all you mums out there!

rose