Admiral Cheng-Ho, Nourished: 385 and Natural Tucker Bakery

I’m going to do a bit of a dump, as charming as that sounds, as despite my best efforts I have not been posting as regularly as I had hoped. In a bid to clear some of my backlog, I’m going to summarise a few recent (or not so recent) eats.

admiralchenghoFirst up, a long overdue follow up visit to Admiral Cheng Ho in Abbotsford for a catch up with some old school friends. There’s been a change in menu since my last time there, with all dishes now completely vegan with the optional extras of cow’s milk, feta, yoghurt etc. It’s nice to be the ‘norm’ and not have to pay extra for the vegan option for a chance. A winning move in my books.

I went with the ‘Crazy Jimbo’ – polenta bread with almond feta, sauteed kale and seasonal veggies with tangy beetroot relish and basil cashew cream. Funnily enough, it was basically the same dish that I had last time, though with polenta bread replacing zucchini fritters and the addition of almond feta. I recognised this before ordering, but just like last time the idea of all the different components – especially tangy relish and smooth cashew cream – won me over. I was not disappointed, enjoying each mouthful to the very end. I could honestly eat this every morning.

nourished385

One sunny weekend, I went for a family catch up lunch to Nourished: 385 in Prahran. A relatively new cafe on the scene, it’s shtick is “clean eating” – whatever that means. The thing I like about all this new super clean wonder health eating hoo-ha, is how it is easier to find vegan meals in a wider variety of places. With that in mind, we went along. Nourished:385 is pleasantly located next to the shady Victoria Gardens, and as we sat out in the back courtyard we were able to overlook the greenery, where babies and dogs ran wild.

Unfortunately, the vegan brekkie item I had seen in my quick internet search prior to choosing the place was no longer on offer, and the only items I could have were smashed avocado minus the egg or a quinoa salad. Not wanting to be overcharged again for some avo on toast, I went with the salad.

Unfortunately, I can’t say this was a winner. For $18, I expect more than some mixed salad leaves, a sprinkling of quinoa, corn, beetroot and tasteless ‘marinated’ tofu – expensive and thoughtless. The dish I had above at Admiral Cheng-Ho was $16.50 for comparison’s sake. Others enjoyed their meals more, but I was disappointed.

Going way back now, I was driving back through Carlton North and decided to stop at Natural Tucker Bakery to pick up some lunch.

naturaltucker1 I grabbed a few wholemeal vegan pies for the bear and myself, and heated them up at home with a side of salad and ajvar. The pies were pretty rustic, full of hearty chunks of veggies and lentils.

naturaltucker2Mmm…pie.

naturaltucker3And when I saw there were vegan lamingtons on offer, how could I not? Because vegan lamingtons. I particularly enjoyed the toasted shredded coconut coating the outside.

Phew, and that’ll do me for today! Tune in next time for more eats from this little vegan bear. Roar.

Admiral Cheng-Ho
325 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Mon – Fri – 6am – 4pm
Sat, Sun & PH – 8am – 5pm

Nourished: 385
385 High St, Prahran
Tues – Wed – 7.30am – 4.30pm
Thurs – Sat – 7.30am – 10pm
Sun – 7.30am – 6pm
Natural Tucker Bakery
809 Nicholson St, Carlton North
Mon – Fri – 8am – 5.30pm
Sat – 8am – 3pm

A day of deliciousness: Admiral Cheng-Ho, Gelato Messina and Reverence Hotel

Yesterday was a good day. Not only did I get to have hangs with Billy and family and see some bands, we also got to eat some really delicious food. What more could I ask for? Good company + good music + good food = happy.

While trying to decide on somewhere to eat, my mum suggested Admiral Cheng-Ho, which she had read about online. I was only too happy with this decision as it was definitely on my ‘to-do’ list after reading about Cindy and Michael’s visit there a couple of weeks ago.

We wandered in for a late-ish lunch and were greeted and seated by the friendly staff there. Looking over the menu there was plenty of deliciousness, and the majority of it was already vegan (with much of the remainder having the option to be). They do an all-day breakfast (yay!) as well as a selection of sandwiches and salads for lunch.

I was pretty sold on the breakfast menu, and though I loved the sound of the quinoa pancakes I was definitely in the mood for something savoury. I (along with most of our party) went with ‘The Admiral’ – zucchini fritters with sauteed kale, seasonal vegetables, tangy beetroot relish and basil cashew cream.

ImageThis was exactly what I could have hoped for. The fritters were light and fluffy, and while they weren’t bursting with flavour on their own, the sides and balsamic drizzle were the perfect accompaniment, offering beautiful zestiness and creaminess. I was slightly apprehensive of the beetroot relish, seeing as though it is not my my most loved vegetable, however the tanginess did a great job at neutralising the sweetness – which is what I think I don’t like about beetroot in the first place. And oh my goodness, the basil cashew cream…whaaaaaat?! This is AMAZING. I need a tub of this to dip everything in. Seriously.

I didn’t grab snaps of the other dishes – the other two both went for the Umami mushrooms on pumpkin, spinach and sundried tomato polenta bread. They had the non-vegan option, which included goats cheese as well as thyme and red chili oil. It looked delicious and had a good reception from both.

While I would have loved to grab a coffee, I just couldn’t face it in the heat. Billy and Ellen had the guys whip them up a specialty iced chai, which was lovely and refreshing, and mum and dad both went for a glass of coconut water. We were all very happy customers, and I’ll no doubt be returning to give the rest of the menu a good try.

After lunch, we went over to Gelato Messina, which mum had been hanging out to go to for some time. There was a bit of a line when we arrived, but it moved fairly quickly and actually gave us a chance to look over the menu which was quite extensive. They had some really interesting flavour combinations, and while the vegan selection was limited to the sorbets, they had some flavours that were far from ordinary.

ImageI couldn’t resist getting three flavours to try, and I went with blood orange, salted coconut with mango salsa, and pear and white balsamic. The flavours were all beautiful, the salted coconut being a stand-out favourite. The balsamic pear was awesome too, tangy and packed with a pear punch.

ImageBilly went with a combo of the salted coconut, passionfruit and chocolate. The chocolate was amazingly rich, and the fruity passionfruit balanced it out nicely. Billy was stoked, claiming it to be the best gelato of his life and then declaring that it would be the last ice-cream he would ever eat, as there would be nowhere to go but down from there. We’ll see about that….

After wandering Smith St for a while, we headed over west to Footscray, as we were going to a show later in the evening. To kill some time, we headed over to the Reverence for a beer and to get out of the sun for a while. After our late lunch, we weren’t super hungry but looking over the menu we thought we had best sample at least something while we were on this side of the city. I am totally loving the surge of vegan pub food available in Melbourne right now. So many options! The menu at the Rev is Mexican-inspired, with a bunch of snack/small plates and larger meals, as well as a selection of pizzas (and a few desserts).

ImageWe went with some taquitos, which were stuffed with vegan chorizo, sweet potato and refried beans and topped with guacamole, lime and tomatillo sauce with a side of chipotle mayo. HOLY MOLY. These were SO FREAKING GOOD. It was like an explosion of delicious in my mouth. Neither of us had ever had a taquito before, but this will definitely not be the last. We raved about these allllll night. And even today. All we have been doing is planning our next feasible time to visit the Rev for more food.

ImageObviously we couldn’t have bar snacks without the spicy shoestring fries (with chipotle lime mayo). To be honest, neither of us could detect much chipotle or lime in the mayo, but we enjoyed the creaminess nonetheless. The fries were generously seasoned which I love. They were gone in a flash.

And so ends our day of delicious eats!


Admiral Cheng-Ho
325 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Mon-Fri – 6am – 4pm
Sat-Sun – 8am – 5pm

Gelato Messina
237 Smith St, Fitzroy
Sun-Thurs – 12pm – 11pm
Fri-Sat- 12pm – 11.30pm

Reverence Hotel
28 Napier St, Footscray
Kitchen Hours:
Mon – CLOSED
Tues – $3 Tacos only, from 6pm
Wed-Sat – 6pm – 10pm
Sun – from 3pm