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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True North Cafe, Coburg

It is not unusual to find myself out of the office around lunch time, despite efforts to avoid letting anything get in between me and my lunch. At the worst of times, it can mean struggling to think of a suitable place to grab something to eat. At the best, it can mean this – a quick drop in to True North in Coburg.

Prior to starting my current job, I did not often head out to Coburg and could only dream about these illusive places people talked about. But now that I’m out and about, that’s all changed. I finally got to visit Half Moon Cafe. And then I visited again and again and again. For a while, we were actually coordinating client visits out that way pre or post lunch so that we could schedule some falafel time. If colleagues were lucky, we would return triumphantly to the office with armfuls of caulibaba wraps. Anyway, this post is not supposed to be about Half Moon…

True North have been open about a year, and they caught my attention last year after seeing visits from Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe,  Faye at Veganopoulous and Cindy and Michael at Where’s the Beef? The menu is short and sweet, consisting of a handful of brekkie options and a bunch of sandwiches for lunch, most of which can be made vegan. Never having had a Reuben sandwich before, I grabbed one to go.

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Firstly, I love the pickle and corn chips. I love any extras! The sandwich, a combination of vegan pastrami, sauerkraut, mustard, mayo and cheese on toasted sourdough, was deliciously tangy.

20150115_112939Not the most appealing looking sandwich, but tasty nonetheless.

True North Cafe
2A Munro St, Coburg
Mon – Fri – 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun – 8am – 4pm

The Bear Cafe, Fitzroy

Given the namesake of my blog, I can’t believe how long it took us to pop in for lunch at the Bear. It’s one of those things we had talked about doing for ages, but it kept slipping our minds – perhaps due to it being right up near the end of the Brunswick St shopping strip, towards Alexandra parade.

Anyhow, one morning we woke up and decided to fulfill our mission to visit the Bear. And boy are these bears glad they did.

The cafe has a warm homely feel to it – as soon as we sat down I felt like I was in somebody’s loungeroom, surrounded by books and mismatched furniture.

Everything on the menu is vegan, though there is also cow’s milk as an option for coffees.

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We grabbed a few coffees and took a quick peruse of the menu, which consisted of a variety of toasties as well as a bunch of different brekkie items and a soup of the day. I was immediately drawn to the roasted vegetable and pesto toastie, and added some soy cheese for an extra dollar or so.

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Such a great sandwich, and billy-bear had toastie envy as soon as it appeared. It was everything you could ask for in a toastie – crispy bread (extra points for the grill grooves!) gooey, and delicious filling, plus a lovely little fresh salad side. Simple food, done well. Total winner.

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Bear went for the double decker sammich – basically a big breakfast in a sandwich. This is a photo of the remaining half. This was good, but nowhere near as good as mine. I’m more about the filling than the bread, so I ain’t be needing an inner piece.

The Bear is cute and cosy, and I loved the details like the little fabric embroidered napkins, the op shop plates and the jam jar water glasses. The staff were charming, the food was cheap and it was an all-round lovely place to be. Oh, did I mention there are sweets too? Get on down to the Bear! I will definitely be returning soon.


The Bear Cafe
439 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Mon – Fri – 8.30am – 6pm
Sat – 9am – 6pm
Sun – 10am – 5pm

Eat at Martins

Yikes, I am so far behind that it’s not even funny.

I have one more post from our time in Darwin – just a quick mention of another place we stopped in at for lunch which was around the corner from where we were getting the van serviced.

Eat at Martins is a small vegetarian café, tucked away in the back streets of Coconut Grove. They have a few vegan items on the menu. We got there only half an hour before close, and they had one vegan pie left, which we decided to order and share.

This was the potato pie, which had a mix of lentils, potatoes and mashed pumpkins to create a creamy filling, in a muffin sized pastry. Both the filling and the pastry tasted quite nice – not outstanding, but not unenjoyable. However, I felt that it (along with the other dishes at Eat at Martins) were overpriced, particularly given the size. The small pie on it’s own was around $10 (which gets you a pie, salad and potato salad at Funky Pies in Bondi!), and to add salad brought it to $15. The salad was nothing more than a few chopped up bits of iceberg lettuce, three slices of cucumber, two slices of red capsicum and a couple of bits of tomato. Really not worth it at all. The sauce was a kind of homemade mayonnaise, with a strong mustard flavour.

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I also got a juice with apple, carrot, beetroot, ginger and turmeric for around $7. This was pretty standard – juice is juice! I usually like mine a bit zingier with more ginger, but can’t complain.

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It’s nice to have the option of a completely vegetarian café, but all in all we found better and more reasonably priced food elsewhere in our time in Darwin. The food is not bad, but quite basic and it was definitely not good value for money. I don’t think I’d eat there again unless the quality of the food or the price was altered.

Eat at Martins
6 Caryota Court, Coconut Grove, NT
Mon-Fri – 8 – 3.30pm
Sat – 8 – 12pm