Something Raw, Mandurah W.A.

I was in Perth a couple of months ago, staying with family. Unfortunately it wasn’t a leisure trip – my wonderful Grandad who had been unwell passed away. This was a pretty devastating experience for our family, and for this reason it is not something that I want to talk about at length with the internet, except to say that we love him and miss him more than words can express.

While there, we were able to catch up with the rest of our family which happens far too irregularly since moving to Victoria. This included spending a few nights with my Granny down in Mandurah, which of course involved a few meals out. Since I was last there, a newer cafe called Something Raw has opened up, and with a menu full of vegan options it was definitely worth a look.

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My brother and Granny both went for the Jackfruit nachos, and although I was pretty jealous when they came out, they graciously shared some with me. As the name suggests, these were loaded up with pulled jackfruit along with fresh salsa, sour lime creme, cashew cheese, guac and a side of jalapenos. Boss nachos, I really enjoyed them. At $22, they may seem pretty pricey, but to be honest W.A prices are on the whole a lot higher than we over east are used to.

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My mum went for the toasted green wrap – $16. This was packed with spinach, avo, chickpeas and olives, along with what I think was Bio cheese. Mum gave it the thumbs up, and from the mouthful I tried I could only agree.

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I had the raw taco bowl for $19. This was loaded with lettuce, corn, salsa, guac, spring onions, sour lime creme and walnut mince, alongside some dehydrated crackers. It was a pretty decent serve, and tasty but I would have liked to see a bit more walnut mince – there wasn’t quite enough to spread through the bowl so I was left with a fair bit of lettuce at the end. I would also be keen for a side of jalapenos, but I was lucky enough to score some leftovers from the others’ nachos.

There are also have a bunch of desserts and drinks on offer, though we didn’t indulge as we were pretty full. I also find it a little hard to handover $12 for a smoothie, but as I said, I think this is pretty in line with W.A prices in general and I just need to suck it up when I’m there.

Something Raw Cafe is a welcome addition to Mandurah, and I hope to see them stick around as there was a serious lack of good veg options in town last time I was there. The only bummer is that it’s not on the foreshore – cos who doesn’t like having a meal overlooking the water? Small complaint though. Check this place out!

Something Raw Cafe
6/26 George St, Mandurah
Tues – Sat – 8.30am – 4pm

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A few more W.A. eats

I am fairly certain that this is the last in the backlog of Western Australia posts that I’ve got to catch up on (then it’s on to the Melbourne backlog…). This won’t be highly detailed as it’s been a while now, but I just wanted to give a quick mention to these two places that we ate at while over that side.

Firstly, we headed down to Dunsborough for a day trip with the hopes of heading to Samudra for breakfast. I’d been to Samudra the previous time I was down and was so impressed by the quality of food, not to mention the amazing range of vegan, raw and gluten-free options that were available. On top of that, Samudra contains a yoga studio, eco-clothing store and wellness centre, all nestled in a beautiful gardened area.

Unfortunately it was not meant to be, as we arrived to find it closed for renovations. This was the second time we were turned away, as last time I had tried to share the joys of the place with Billy, we were turned away due to a private function. Sighhhh. Oh well.

We wandered around until we found a little cafe called Rabbits Surf Cafe. While there was nothing vegan on the menu, the staff there advised us that we could mix and match a few things to make up a suitable breakfast, so we decided to do that. We both went with a cooked brekkie of toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and avocado.

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Billy really enjoyed this, and demolished it in no time at all. I have to admit that I was still a little disheartened by not getting to have breakfast at Samudra and that probably affected my enjoyment of the meal. Nothing about this was bad, but I had been prepping myself for some delightful buckwheat pancakes or raw muesli or something of the sort. This was pretty much the standard breakfast you get from a place that doesn’t have vegan options.

I shouldn’t be down on it though – we were accommodated really well and it was certainly a decent and filling breakfast. Billy had a coffee on the side, and I went with a green smoothie.

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This was tasty, but I wish places wouldn’t serve drinks in plastic cups when you are eating in – it seems wasteful. A glass would have been much preferable.

While in Mandurah we also went out to dinner to a place called Catch 22, which is on one of the wharfs. It has a little bit of a ‘fancier’ vibe to it, and prices to match.

We had a really friendly girl serving us, who was very helpful, cheerful and patient with us, and explained to me what could be altered on the menu to suit my requirements (I believe she was vegan as well). It even said at the bottom of the menu in fine print to advise staff of any dietary requirements so that they could assist us to the best of their ability, which was nice. For me, the best option seemed to be the vegetable stack. It sounded pretty delicious, so I was sold easily. Here is a terrible photo of it.

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Okay, so the good…I loved the texture of the creamy potato, and the juicy flavour of the mushrooms topped with chives. I freaking love chives.

However, firstly, the dish was brought to me with feta cheese on top (as it is listed on the menu). I advised the waitress who apologised profusely and took it away. The dish came back with one mushroom removed from the top (the one with all the cheese on it). It was not replaced with another one, and there were still a few smidgens of cheese on the dish. I am not one to make a big deal, so I continued with my meal, however, if I was actually allergic…this may have been a problem.

I was one bite away from finishing what was a fairly tasty meal. I put the last mouthful in, only to chew down on a sharp piece of plastic, about 2cm long. Not the most pleasant surprise…it could have at least been a gold coin or something. This was really quite disappointing – I’ve never before found a plastic shard in a meal at a restaurant. I understand how easily this could have broken off a container, but still…not enjoyable.

Again, I advised the waitress who was even more apologetic, and came back with complimentary coffee. It was a nice gesture, and quite a decent meal, but I have to say I would probably not return. This is more to do with the fact that there was not much else suitable that appealed to me on the menu than the mistakes that were made (everybody makes mistakes!), but they definitely did impact on the experience.

Rabbits Surf Cafe
9/28 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough W.A
Mon – Sun – 8am – 8.30pm

Catch 22 Restaurant
Unit 1/4 Zephyr Mews, Mandurah W.A
Mon – 10.30am – 5pm
Tues – Sat – 10.30am – 9pm
Sun – 8am – 9pm

Bunbury eats: Natural Temptation and The Plant Organic Cafe & Market

Another blast from the past post, jumping in the time machine and rewinding a few months back to when we passed through Bunbury.

After our drive back up from Albany with our brand spanking new (second hand) engine, I was keen to stop in at a new place I’d heard about called The Plant Organic Cafe and Market. As the name suggests, The Plant is a cafe that also offers a range of organic fresh produce and grocery items. It’s a neat and inviting little set up on the corner of an arcade, and there are a couple of funky little tables outside along the arcade.

When we arrived, we found out that it had only been open a week or two, and they didn’t have any lunch items on the menu yet. Never fear though, there was a selection of raw cakes and smoothies on offer that looked and sounded incredible, so we decided to go and grab lunch elsewhere and come back for the cake.

As I had spent quite a bit of time in Bunbury one year prior to this visit (while completing my uni placement), I was fairly familiar with the town and remembered that there was a place just up the road called Natural Temptation that had several vegan options on offer.

I’m going to be honest – I was more eating lunch out of maturity than anything else, because by now I just wanted to eat cake. Nevertheless, we found some raw wraps that sounded pretty good and Billy and I got one each.

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These were listed on the menu as being filled with lime slaw, beet and greens, and dressed with capsicum avocado guacamole. It sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really determine the flavour of the lime slaw or the capsicum avocado guacamole – if they were in fact in there at all.

I enjoy raw food, but Billy usually has to be convinced by something particularly impressive, and this just didn’t make the cut. And I would have to agree that this was quite bland. Kind of the equivalent of a salad roll from the bakery. It’s salad, in a roll….not much more can be said. This was a bit of a shame, as the year before when we had visited I’m sure we had eaten something tasty.

It was also kind of disappointing to see it come out wrapped in plastic cling wrap. It kind of negates the biodegradable napkin underneath, and I don’t really think it’s a great way to serve something to customers who are dining in.

Edit 30/01/15: I was recently contacted by someone at Natural Temptation to advise that they have ditched the plastic wrapping and revised the dressings in the wrap. How good is that? I love when businesses take on board feedback from their customers, especially when it benefits the environment too. Way to go Natural Temptation 🙂

Aaanyway, after lunch we headed straight back to The Plant to get us some of that cake. There were three cakes on offer, so we immediately had to eliminate one from the mix.

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Billy immediate went for the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and can you blame him? Look at that beauty! And after much deliberation, I chose the nut free banana mousse cake.

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Now I have eaten many a raw cake in my time, but let me tell you this – these cakes have got to be some of the best. Seriously.

I was completely in love with the banana mousse…it was so light and silky for a raw dessert, and packed with banana-y goodness and flavour. Luckily for me, Billy liked his own cheesecake better and for once we didn’t end up having food envy of one another and swapping plates halfway through. That’s not to say I didn’t like the cheesecake – it was absolutely divine. But having cake so soon after lunch, the lighter banana mousse cake was just what I needed.

Billy also got a smoothie – I think of the banana description. It’s been so long I can barely remember. I remember it being good though.

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The service at the Plant was fantastic, the guys there are super friendly and willing to have a chat, and make you feel very welcome in the space. As we got up to leave, the one we had initially spoken to on the way in was packing us up a piece of the final cake (choc-coconut) for the road. He claimed it was because it was the end of the day and the cakes would get thrown out, but I suspect he is just a super nice person.

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I doubt I need to tell you how great this was, so I won’t go on….but I will tell you for your own good – if you are ever in the Bunbury area, go visit The Plant and taste their incredible cakes. You won’t be sorry!

I can’t wait to get back there and see what else they’re doing. Keep up the good work guys!

Natural Temptation
47 Stephen St, Bunbury W.A
Mon – Fri – 7.30am – 5.30pm (until 6.30pm on Thursdays)
Sat – 8am – 4pm

The Plant Organic Cafe & Market
Shop 1, 20 Stephen St, Bunbury W.A
Tues – Sat – 9am – 5pm (until 6pm on Thursdays)

Playing catch-ups: Ravens Coffee and around Denmark, W.A

I have a bunch of food slash places that I want to share with you that we ate at back in Western Australia. I know, that was sooooo last year. But I’m going to start working my way through the backlog so that I can start being in the present again.

After our van troubles and our decision to NOT drive across the Nullabor, I was a bit sad at not getting to explore the bottom part of W.A, something I was so looking forward to. Luckily for me, when we sourced a new engine for the van, it happened to be located in Albany, which I reckon is close to being one of the most southern parts of W.A.

This meant a trip down there, a short stay, and a meandering journey back. It was really cool, because we got to drive through the town my mum was born in (Mt. Barker) and also spend a little bit of time in one of the towns my dad lived in as a child (Denmark). South Western Australia is so freaking beautiful, and while I’m bummed at the lack of time we got to spend there, I know I’ll be back.

We arrived in Denmark first thing in the morning, and I’d heard rumours of a great cafe called Ravens Coffee, who specialise in raw food as well as, well, coffee. I was so excited to eat some delicious food, and let me tell you, I was not let down.

ImageRavens Coffee has a really great vibe, with plenty of indoor and limited outdoor seating. It was a beeeaauutiful morning, so we jumped at the chance to sit out in the sunshine.

First up, coffees. There are a variety of non-dairy milks on offer here, so we decided to try something a little different from the regular soy and settled on hazelnut milk. I love the combination of hazelnut and coffee…what an aroma.

ImageWhile not exclusively vegan or even vegetarian, the majority of the menu is vegan (hoorah!) and we had a hard time choosing as there were so many tempting things on offer. In the end settled on two dishes to share.

First up, the buckies – an organic superfood cereal mix of activated buckwheat, pepitas and almonds, maca, mesquite,cinnamon, cacao, white mulberries, and dried fruit, with fruit compote on top and doused in hazelnut milk.

ImageI loved the presentation of this dish, it looked so beautiful with the swirl of compote and the sprig of mint that I almost didn’t want to spoil it by eating it. Almost.

The different textures in this were amazing, the chewiness of the fruits and the crunch of the nuts and seeds were a perfect combination. Textures, flavour, aesthetics…it was all there! The mint garnish tasted so good with it all that we ripped it into tiny pieces and spread it throughout.

ImageNext up the ‘fruit and sprinkles’ – a combination of seasonal fruits topped with organic spirulina crunchies, raw organic chocolate sauce and cacao crunchies.

Oh. My. God. That chocolate sauce….you have no idea.

Billy and I were raving about it the whole time we were eating it. It was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

I loved the idea of the spirulina crunchies – I’m not sure what the deal was there – potentially dehydrated? Whatever the case, they were great, and I’m such a fan of eating with my hands that I loved grabbing and dipping the fruit chunks.

I honestly could have stayed here all day, as there was a cabinet full of delicious treats like raw pizza, wraps, desserts, etc., but alas, we had to move on. We wandered around the gorgeous little town for a while before heading up the road to Greens Pool which is a must see when visiting Denmark.

ImageThe water was crystal clear and stunning. Again, we could have spent the day here, although this time it was the weather that sent us on our way. Hard to believe from these pictures, but not long after a windy stormlet (I say stormlet as it wasn’t quite big enough to be a full blown STORM) cruised in and sent everyone on the beach running.

ImageWe wanted to do the Valley of the Giants Treetop walk, but it was too wet by the time we got there so again, we resigned to doing it some other time. We still had a look around the area while we were there.

ImageAfter heading through Walpole, we went north towards Manjimup. While we didn’t get a chance to visit THE big tree in Pemberton, we found many others along the way.

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Ooh it’s getting late so I think I’ll leave it there for today, but I’ve got some more yumminess to share with you hopefully tomorrow. Until then! X

Ravens Coffee
1/7 South Coast Highway, Denmark W.A
Open 7 days – 8am – 6pm

Taste and Graze, Mandurah

After some time spent in Perth, we scooted off down south to Mandurah to stay with my Granny for a while. I lived with Granny for about four months last year while completing my uni placement, so it felt very much like coming home. I took up residence in ‘my’ room as though I’d never been gone!

I love Mandurah and all the memories from spending time down here as I grew up – walking or driving along the foreshore always bring them flooding back, even as the town transforms. One more recent addition to the foreshore is the Taste and Graze CafĂ© and Restaurant. Well, sort of. When I enquired about how long they had been in business, I was told that prior to being Taste and Graze, they were the Stiff Chilli and only occupied half the space they take up now. The recent renovations have seen them open right up with plenty of indoor as well as on-street dining.

Mandurah has never offered a huge range of options for vegan dining, so I wasn’t getting my hopes up upon entering the cafĂ© to peruse the menu. However, I was pleasantly surprised. While there was not a HEAP, there were certainly options (and potential ones with a few adjustments). We decided to stay for lunch.

I started with a green smoothie – can’t go wrong with that. I think it may have had peach or nectarine and passionfruit, but my memory fails me (boy, I need to start taking lunch notes or something!)

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Then after confirming its suitability, I ordered the quinoa salad with raisins, avocado, celery, tomato, carrot and baby spinach.

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We had a slight miscommunication – I was brought out the chicken and quinoa salad (different item on the menu) as opposed to the veg one, but this was very quickly rectified (impressively so!) and there were no hard feelings on my part.

This was a super filling lunch, without being too heavy. There wasn’t a strong flavoured dressing on the salad, but this allowed the sweetness of the raisins and the flavours of the vegetables to shine through. Nice, fresh, wholesome and crunchy. I really enjoyed it.

So much so, that about a week later we went back for another spot of lunch. Again, I had a green smoothie – this time with banana and mango.

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I followed with a light lunch – a warm green bean, asparagus and broad bean salad with toasted walnuts (minus the crumbled feta).

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This was lovely! I could see how feta would really work with this – I’d love to do it with a tofu or cashew cheese, but honestly it was delicious without too.  I can’t really fault it.

Wow, I just noticed how green all my meals were here – yum! We did grab a few little bliss balls to take away for afternoon tea too which aren’t pictured – they were yummy with a beautiful flavor from the toasted sesame seeds they were rolled in.

Taste and Graze is certainly a welcome addition to Mandurah, offering some great food that isn’t found anywhere else in this seafood dominated town. You can definitely see the Melbourne influence in this little cafĂ© (and it’s not a bad thing). It is on the pricier side of things, but I’m not completely sure if that’s just W.A. these days as everything seems to be getting more expensive (did I mention the $12 pint of beer I had?!).

I’d love to see what they keep doing here, hopefully a few more veg items circulate the menu as I’d be happy to come back and taste them next time I’m in Mandurah.

Taste and Graze Café and Restaurant
Shop 3/16 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah WA
Wed – 9am-5pm
Thurs-Fri – 9am-late
Sat – 8am-late
Sun – 9am-5pm

Loving Hut, Victoria Park

Arghhh, just came on to do a new post and realised that this one was saved as a draft and never published. I’ll pop this up and another one will be very soon to come….

Before I continue on my backlog rampage, I just wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to all the folks who have nominated me for awards in the last couple of months. At this stage, I haven’t formally accepted any on my blog. As you can see, I’m having enough trouble just keeping up with my own posts at the moment! But I wanted to say how grateful I am to be nominated – I never thought when I started this blog earlier this year that I would have so many wonderful followerss from all over the world who would take the time to read my ramblings. <3

Onto the next eats.

We had some time to kill while we had a window seal replaced on our van, and thought – what better way to kill it than with food? Enter Loving Hut.

Loving Hut is a chain of vegan restaurants, with locations all over the world! While offering mostly Asian style cuisine, each restaurant tends to have their own style and ‘specialties’, with the common goal of serving affordable food that encourages a peaceful and harmonious lifestyle.

We visited last year and enjoyed the raw mango wraps we had so much that we wanted to go back and try something else. They have a range of hot foods (curries, veg dishes, etc) and raw foods, but this time, Billy couldn’t resist the lure of a hot pie. He went with the ‘Aussie’.

ImageThis was a good mock up of a meaty pie, with a chewy tvp based filling. The top was kind of strange – not a flaky pastry but as though it had been cooked in a sandwich press – but still delicious! We are not entirely sure what the Aussie flavour of a pie is supposed to be – I kind of pictured egg and bacon, but there was none of that in sight. Regardless, it was yum.

I resisted my urge to get a pie too, as I had my eye on a piece of quiche in the cabinet.

ImageYum! This was a lovely version of a quiche, full of kale and topped with some tomato and a slice of Notzarella. The pastry was great too, and there was the option of having a gluten free crust if desired too.

Last visit, most dishes were offered with a side salad. This time, they had introduced a salad bar to the cafe, where there were about five or six different salads that you could choose from or mix and match. I’m not sure how I felt about this. I liked having the options of different salads, though I wished you could pick some to come out on your plate with your meal. Instead, you had to purchase a salad container which you could fill up as you pleased. I suppose there needs to be some kind of portion control. It sort of felt like being in the 90’s back at Sizzler or Pizza Hut, and the salad bar was in a strange position over near the window. Anyway…

ImageI can’t remember what each salad was, I got a little of everything. There was a pumpkin quinoa one, a pineapple and tempeh one, one with tofu and eggplant and I think some sort of chickpea kale salad. Anyway, they were all nice, and I have to admit I enjoyed being able to taste so many different salads rather than just a standard side green one.

Now, the moment we had been waiting for. We had spotted the sundaes on the menu on our way in, and there was no way these were going to escape our grasp. We ordered one berry and one cookies and cream one to share.

ImageI think our eyes were a bit bigger than our tummies here, and one would have really been enough. As much as I want to say we liked the berry one better, it was all about the cookies and cream, with the layer of crushed oreos. The berry one was okay, but the berries were all frozen – I think it would have been far nicer with fresh or at least thawed ones.

The softserve was great, the sauces were that cheap sugary style, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the sweet coconut whipped cream on top. It sure satisfied some sweet cravings, but it wasn’t the greatest sundae in the world. To each their own though!

I found it disappointing that they had reduced their already tiny mini-mart to only a few shelf items and a refrigerator/freezer. I had intended to pick up a few things, including some Cheezly, but they were no longer on offer. They have quite a few cold items – their own pies, Tofutti cream cheeses and icecreams, Sweet and Sara marshmallows (which I am still yet to try) and Notzarella, but it’s definitely less than last time. They didn’t disappoint with their range of cakes at the counter though, and while we intended to take some back to Nanna and Grandads for dessert, after our sundaes we couldn’t face another sweet thing.

Loving Hut is definitely worth a visit, the food is nice and the staff are nicer. They have a restaurant nearby in Vic Park which is open for dinners too, though I’ve never been. Will have to add it to the list for next time.

Loving Hut
366 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
Mon-Fri – 11.30am-2.30pm
Sat-Sun – 10am-4.30pm

Ssss…Subiaco and Scarborough on a Saturday and Sunday

While in Perth, we stayed with my Nanna and Grandad in Claremont. It was so lovely catching up with family and just hanging out, and for me it felt as though it were just yesterday that I was there. Hard to believe it has been a whole year since I was in Perth, finishing up my uni placement.

Claremont is a stone’s throw away from Subiaco, which is the home of a weekly farmers market every Saturday morning. We took the train over one morning to check them out.  It’s a great little farmers market, with a lovely vibe. As we walked in, we were greeted by the Subiaco Ukelele Free For All (SUFFA) group playing – mad deja vu to the Cruelty Free Festival this time last year. They are fabulous and never fail to bring a smile to your face.

We wandered around the markets, picking up the odd bit of fruit and veg and browsing the different wares. We found one little stall (that I can no longer remember the name of) that was selling a range of little cakes and treats, mostly raw. Billy picked up a little pecan tart and I chose a gorgeous little blueberry cake. Billy’s was being digested before I could even reach for my camera. Mine survived long enough for this shot…

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Billy’s was a little bland, but mine was packed with flavour. It was almost just a blueberry puree, and rich like a jam. Just lovely!

After the markets we wandered around the op shops, then completed our morning with a trip to Gelare, as we had heard rumours of a couple of vegan flavours. We weren’t disappointed. Not only did they have the usual vegan sorbet flavours, but they had vegan chocolate, cappucino and coconut flavours. We shared a cup of coconut and cappucino.

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Yum! The cappucino was awesome, and for me it was necessary to balance out the coconut which I can find a bit overpowering sometimes.

The following evening, we decided to check out a place in Scarborough called the Wild Fig for dinner with my Nanna and Grandad. We had read a bit about the place (and it’s sister cafes – the Naked Fig and the Pickled Fig, in Swanbourne and Fremantle respectively). While the website declared that the menu changed seasonally, there appeared to be several delicious sounding vegan dishes. I was quite excited.

The Wild Fig is a nice open space, looking out over Scarborough beach. It was just starting to get quite busy when we arrived, as it had been a warm day, and being the weekend, many people were migrating up from their day the beach.

Looking over the menu I was surprised to find that the two main vegan options I had been eyeing off were nowhere to be seen! In fact, the only vegan dish apart from the sides was the bruschetta. I was a bit disappointed to have no choice after such a promising online menu (that included an amazing sounding lemon and thyme polenta dish and a szechuan pepper and cashew crusted tofu dish, as well as a vegan pannacotta…YUM), and was told by the waitress that they have a vegetarian night on wednesdays with plenty of veg options. I couldn’t quite understand why at least one of these was not made available on a regular basis. Aaaanyway.

We started with a trio of dips with bread, which we were assured were all vegan. You’ll have to excuse the TERRIBLE pictures, as the lighting was just starting to get dim around this time.

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These were nice, I particularly liked the centre dip – a sundried tomato based one.

Next up I got the bruschetta. As it was an entree, I decided to get a side of chickpea salad, as I thought it would be quite small.

Again, please excuse the horrible pictures here. It’s all I got.

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This wasn’t what I expected at all. The bruschetta was a mix of tomato, red onion, sweet potato, pumpkin, rocket and balsamic. This was decent, albeit a little plain compared to the other dishes I was teased with. I was disappointed by the plain toast arranged on top of the veggies, somehow I thought it should have been a nice thick slice of something rather than a flat piece of toast, particularly given the price.

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This was nice, but again, a little plain. It was dressed with olive oil and did not have a whole lot of flavour. In fairness, it was just intended as a little something on the side. It was nice and fresh though, I’ll give it that.

The service was okay, but seemed to be quite disorganised. Our dips came out quite quickly, but there was a big gap in between until a different waitress came over all of a sudden and asked if we were ready for our mains. There was also an extra main added to our bill, though the waitress noticed the mistake as she gave it to us. It wasn’t at all a bad experience, in fact, despite what I’ve just said we had a pleasant time. I just couldn’t help be disappointed by the lack of vegan options on the regular menu, after seeing so many listed. I would still love to go and try some of them on their vego night.

Subiaco Farmers Markets
Subiaco Primary School
271 Bagot Rd, Subiaco
Every Saturday – 8am-12pm

Gelare
51 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco
Mon-Sun – 9am-6pm

Wild Fig
190 The Esplanade, Scarborough
Mon-Sun – 6am-10.30pm

People and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Cafe

One sunny day in Perth (aren’t they always sunny here?), we decided to head into town to visit the PAWS (People & Animal Welfare Society) cafe to grab a spot of lunch. PAWS is a community not-for-profit organisation, which is founded upon the notion of non-violence. What I like especially about this is the incorporation of both humans and animals into this broader idea in a bid to promote a more peaceful planet for all of those who live on it.

The PAWS cafe is open for lunch seven days a week with a variety of cheap vegan dishes (as well as a little grocery with many of your frozen, refrigerated, pantry and toiletry vegan needs). There is an open area inside with couches and tables and chairs (much like a school common room, or the wholefoods at my old uni) as well as a few tables outside. As for food, they have a raw food bar, hot food box (curries, etc) and a snack bar which overall provide a great range to choose from. Last year when we visited we hit up both the hot food box and the raw bar, so this time it was all about the snack bar. That’s right, burgers baby!

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I ordered a good old fashioned cheeseburger, while Billy went for some kind of double whammy with extras. I was totally jealous of his fixings.

Now let me lay it on the table, these are no gourmet burgers – they are vegan fast food. But they do the job. I reckon you could have fooled any omni with these. The patties were of the pre-packaged variety and topped with a slice of tofutti cheese as well as some pickles and sauce for mine, and some extras like tomato and lettuce for Bears. Ooh la la! AND THEY WERE GOOD.

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And what better way to finish off our burger meal than with a vegan soft serve?! Seriously.

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I have this thing where I have to eat vegan soft serve whenever I find it. I try to walk away but the soft serve always pulls me back in. So soft and creamy. And I could get a choc-vanilla split in a waffle cone. How could any sane vegan refuse?

It was really really good, too.

Oh – I almost forgot! We also had a green juice. Just to balance out the burgers and ice cream, y’know?

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PAWS Cafe
120 Beaufort St, Perth
Open 7 days – 11am-4pm

Fremantle Eats: The Juicy Beetroot and The Raw Kitchen

As I said, I’ve got a series of eating out related posts to come from the time we’ve spent around Perth over the last week or so. I’m amazed at all the wonderful new (and old) places popping up around the place here.

I had the opportunity to visit Fremantle two days in a row during the week – once with family on an op-shopping mission, and once on my own, wandering aimlessly about.

The first day, we started with lunch at the Juicy Beetroot – a cosy little cafe tucked way down at the end of an alleyway, almost out of sight. It is 100% vegetarian (and very vegan friendly).

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I visited the Juicy Beetroot with Billy and my mum this time last year when we were here, and it concreted it’s place in my mind as a cosy little place to get wholesome, yummy food at a reasonable price. The main menu features a range of salads and a range of hot foods which you can mix and match in a bowl. I got a ‘small’ bowl for about $10 and was able to choose six different salads to squeeze in there.

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Yeah I know, not the greatest picture. But it was good. And really filling. I had a variety of different salads, from roasted mushrooms to tahini broccoli, to tofu and sprouts and more. Topped of course with some chili sauce.

You can get a huge bowl for about $13, but I wasn’t quite hungry enough for the big salad (sorry Elaine).

The following day I missioned back to Freo, spending my morning visiting the lovely Arts Centre. I remember coming here as a child, the beautiful limestone buildings and green shady gardens – it really is a charming place. Over the warmer months they hold free Sunday afternoon music sessions in the courtyard which would have been cool, but we weren’t able to make it. Next time!

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I wandered around the galleries for a while, pretty much having the whole place to myself that early in the morning (aside from an older gentleman who was super enthused about one of the exhibitions and kept making comments about the pieces as we passed each other – his happiness was infectious!)

Afterwards, I sat in the courtyard of the cafe for a coffee and a bit of quiet reading time.

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I spent the next few hours browsing the streets of Freo – shops, markets, buskers and more. Around lunch time I ducked over to the beloved Raw Kitchen for a bite to eat. I got in just before the big rush – the place is so so popular. They are in the process of relocating to a larger shop which will be really great for them, although it’s on a street rather than in an arcade/courtyard so they will lose all the outdoor seating – bit of a bummer.

Anyway…I was having some mad cravings for their raw pizza, so I ordered a piece and a chai smoothie pronto.

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(Again, not the most inspired photo).

The pizza was just as I remembered – topped with stacks of basil and big dollops of smooth delicious cashew cream, as well as olives, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and mushrooms. I wasn’t hungry enough to go for the two salads on the side (nor did my wallet want to cop that one…).

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The smoothie was a little sweet for me, and I was a bit bummed I hadn’t gone with the choc-mint or choc-chili that I’d tried before and liked. But noooo, I had to try something NEW! If they had eased up on the agave and let the lovely spices shine through, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Personal preference I guess.

On the way out, I picked up a cappucino cake to go, to share with Bear later.

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Oh. My. Gosh. Let me tell you….it was incredible.

I had tried quite a few of their desserts last time I was in Perth – namely the choc-mint slice, two different cheesecakes and a macaroon. But this one quite literally took the cake!

Well, the choc-mint slice is probably on par (I can’t go past that flavour combo!), but what I loved about the cappucino cake was the strong coffee flavour and the texture – beautiful silky smooth without being as rich and dense and the cheesecakes that I’d tried before. It was just divine.

The Raw Kitchen is a bit of a favourite amongst locals, with delicious healthy food and wonderful happy service. I was sort of disappointed to hear along the line that they didn’t necessarily use organic produce though. While they aren’t exactly marketing themselves as an exclusively organic business, for the price they charge I would kind of expect it. A single slice of pizza is around $10, or $19 with salads. Most of the mains (nachos, club sandwich, pasta, etc) are about $20 each. My smoothie was around the $9-10 mark, and the cake about $8.

It’s pricey, but there’s no denying that the food is absolutely scrumptious. Gimme some more of that caaaaaaaake.

The Juicy Beetroot
132 High St, Fremantle W.A.
Mon – Fri – 11am-4pm
Sat – Sun – CLOSED

Fremantle Arts Centre
1 Finnerty St, Fremantle W.A.
Open 7 days – 10am-5pm

The Raw Kitchen
Shop 14, Piazza Arcade
36 South Terrace, Fremantle W.A (not for much longer though..!)
Mon – Tues – CLOSED
Wed – Fri – 11am-3pm
Sat – Sun – 11am-4pm

Exmouth to Perth

WARNING! WARNING! What you are about to view is a SUPER post, jam packed with pictures. Read on at your own risk!

Heading west from Karijini, the landscape started to make some noticeable changes. The red dust faded to a pinkish orange and we started to get the distinct feeling that we were getting close to water.

Sure enough, we made it out to Exmouth and some of us were sure excited to be back by the sea.

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We drove around the peninsula to the Cape Range National Park, which borders onto the Ningaloo Reef, and also had several camp sites that we could stay at. We booked into one and then mosied over to Turquoise Bay where we went snorkeling in the beautiful clear water. We first went over to the more sheltered bay area, as it was afternoon and the open water was getting very choppy – and boy were we glad we did! We were lucky enough to see a stunning turtle swimming around gracefully as it looked for food on the ocean floor. It really was special! We swam around the big fella for a while, watching him do his thing before hopping out to hear that the people over in the open part had seen a reef shark, and in fact, a lady had been bitten by one earlier that day! Reef sharks are quite small and definitely nowhere near as dangerous as some of the sharks out there, but I was definitely stoked to be in turtle town rather than shark strip.

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We stayed overnight in a camp spot right on the beach, meaning beautiful sunset walks.

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The next morning, we had time for a quick play on the beach before heading into town to pick up our hitchhiker who was to be traveling with us for the next while.

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On our way our to Cape Range National Park, we had picked up two German backpackers, one of whom needed to make her way down to Perth in the next week or so. As it happened, that’s what we were wanting to do to so we offered her a ride with us. She gladly accepted and we picked her up in the morning and started our trip south.

Our first stop was Coral Bay to take a quick dip in more sparkling blue water (sigh…), before jumping back in the van and getting down to Carnarvon (after a minor breakdown which the Bear was able to resolve with his pocket knife and some handiwork). We stocked up on supplied and kept going south until we found a suitable camp spot.

The next morning we were up early and off on our mission for the day – Shark Bay. We drove up the peninsula, stopping at the Hamelin Pool to check out the stromatolites, which are super duper old ‘living fossils’, created by single-celled microbes called cyanobacteria. These stromatolites are thousands of years old!

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Further up the peninsula, we stopped at the aptly named Shell Beach. Rather than fine sand, the whole beach was made up of tiny white shells. It was quite incredible!

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The water was beautiful and clear, but not at all deep. We walked for a couple of hundred metres off the shore and the water level was still below our knees! We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves for most of the time we were there. The children went crazy building shell castles and throwing shells into the air.

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We continued up the peninsula, stopping at lookouts, taking selfies and spotting emus.

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Don’t be alarmed, this is not an amputee emu. It was just chilling. There were about six emus here, but I couldn’t get them all in one shot. I’ve never seen so many emus (in the wild) in the one spot!

Next up to the Francois Peron National Park at the top of the peninsula. We could barely go into this park without a 4WD, but were told we could go as far as the homestead, where there was a natural hot tub which we couldn’t miss (even though it was probably too hot to be getting in a hot tub…ah well).

It was pretty outback. Drinking beers in a corrugated hot tub drawing water from an artesian bore. Yep, pretty sweet.

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We made it off the peninsula and found a campsite to rest for the night. The next morning we were absolutely INVADED by flies. I am not kidding you, we threw all our stuff in the van without even packing properly and put the pedal to the floor to get away from them. There were like, 40 flies just in my facial region. It was such an invasion of personal space…flies just have no idea of social etiquette.

On the plus side, we arrived early to Kalbarri National Park and were able to have breakfast overlooking this beautiful gorge.

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We checked out a few different sites in Kalbarri National Park, namely ‘Nature’s Window’, which was a pretty sweet rock formation. I guess it’s sweeter after there’s been some rain and the river behind is flowing, but we weren’t going to let that ruin our photo shoot. After all, we almost murdered our van getting down the track to it – all our belongings flying around the van and our bones shuddering over the corrugated path.

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Next stop was the Principality of Hutt River – Australia’s second largest country. Yep. You heard me.

People from our generation may not be so familiar with Prince Leonard of Hutt River and his trials, as it was a bit before our time. In very VERY basic terms, this dude (Leonard) was in the wheat farming business back when they introduced wheat quotas (how much wheat they could sell). The quota they were allowed was only a small percentage of their actual crop size, so they asked for compensation for the crop that they would not be able to sell. The government refused, and from then on, Leonard used his solid knowledge of the legal system to secede from Australia and become Australia’s largest micronation. It is pretty freaking awesome.

We didn’t get to meet Prince Leonard, as he was in hospital the day we visited. We did, however, get to meet his oldest son, who happily showed us around the place and gave us lots of info (and answered our stupid questions like “what is your national food?” “is it legal to drink on the streets of Hutt River?”, etc. On grounds they have a chapel, a post office and more. They also have their own national anthem, currency, stamps, etc. It was out of this world (or country)..

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Just hanging out with royalty, don’t mind us.

We were on a bit of a high after our visit to Hutt River, so we splurged on a site at a caravan park in Geraldton and chillaxed with some ciders by the beach.

Then it was off again. Our next major stop that I recall was the Pinnacles.

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These bizarre rock formations cover the land, and are really impressive to see. It kind of feels like you’re on some strange post-apocalyptic planet as you walk amongst them.

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Oh my holy! What a post! After the Pinnacles we shot straight down to Perth, bid farewell to our hitchhiker (until later that evening, anyway) and checked in with my Nanna and Grandad in Claremont, settling down for some temporary familiarity.

I’ve got a whole heap of delicious foodie related posts to come from our time in Perth, I’ll hopefully be rattling them off over the next few days. Phew!