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

The Groove

In the midst of our market weekend, we headed over to Nightcliff to go to the Sunday morning markets there. A lot of the stalls were the same as had been at other markets, and we didn’t find anything that won us over in terms of brunch. On the way out, we noticed a funky little café with a large outdoor deck and seating. We popped over to take a look and to my surprise, they actually had multiple vegan options on the menu.

Not only did they have make a make your own sandwich option (with a variety of breads including GF), with an extensive list of items you could add, from artichoke to pineapple, but they had a vegan breakfast listed which included toast, avocado, baked beans, spinach, mushrooms, roasted red capsicum and tomatoes. Yum!

Their lunch menu included a vegan roasted stack, and cous cous stuffed tomatoes. Pretty good for an omni café! What caught my eye though was the delicious looking lentil patties that you could get on their own or in a burger. Billy and I decided to split one over coffee for an early brunch.

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The burger was awesome! The pattie was coated in sesame seeds and was packed with flavour. It was noticeably spicy, which I always love and was accompanied by salad and what appeared to be a homemade tomato relish in soft Turkish bread. Beautiful!

I would go as far as to say that the lentil pattie was one of the best ‘veggie burgers’ that I’ve tasted (and there’s been a few!). I’m going to have to try and recreate this one.

Also worth mentioning – though it was very busy due to the markets, our food arrived with about five minutes which was pretty impressive. The staff obviously know what they’re doing! The Groove is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. Lots of veg options, friendly staff and a good atmosphere.

The Groove
Shop 4, 35 Progress Drive
Nightcliff, Northern Territory
Mon-Sat – 7.30 – 6pm
Sun – 7.30 – 2pm

The incident

So I was really excited to share a post about our time in Darwin (and all the delicious things we ate at the markets there!), but instead I’m a little bummed out as we had a bit of an incident. While staying in Broome over the weekend, our van was broken into while we were asleep inside it. Crazy, I know.

They didn’t get much as most of our valuables were in the back with us, but they managed to steal my handbag from the front seat, which had my wallet, car keys, ipod, and all my usbs with the past year of travel photos on it, as well as some other bits and pieces – notebook, shells, etc. I am most disappointed about the loss of the usbs, as I have lost a lot of photos, as well as various documents from my uni life. Some photos are online, so I’m grateful to have those still, but a bit upset about the rest. We have spare keys, and I can get all the cards replaced (as annoying as it is).

When something like this happens, we often get fired up and hope for retribution. While I certainly feel unsettled that somebody came into our personal space while we were sleeping just inches away and stole personal items from us, I also feel frustrated that we live in a society that has vast inequalities, ranging from (but not limited to) access to decent health and education to disparities in employment opportunities and discrimination based on race, class, gender and sexuality. These inequalities can sometimes lead people down a path in which they feel that they need to commit acts such as theft to get by. Sometimes getting by may be feeding the family or paying the rent, and sometimes it also includes sourcing alcohol or drugs to feed addictions. 

It seems to me that we have a big problem in our attitudes towards these situations, particularly when we can palm offenders of with labels such as ‘junkies’, ‘druggies’ or ‘drunks’, believing that ‘they’ve brought it upon themselves’ or that ‘they don’t want to change’ and that people always have a choice when it comes to the position they find themselves in. That we are all born into equal opportunities with equal resources available to us. This is not the case. I am aware that I am very lucky to have been raised by a loving family who had the means to take care of and provide for me financially as well as in terms of love, health, education, and so on…but everyone is so lucky.

I would love to have not been robbed, or to get some of my stuff back, but what I would love more is for us to work harder on finding solutions to the problems that are driving people to theft and petty crime in the first place.  I am not trying to justify crime or theft, but I really think that we need to divert some more of our attention to the underlying causes of it in order to do our best to prevent it. Punishment is not prevention. Phew.

As for our time in Darwin, we spent most of it market hopping, as we explored EVERY market available to us in a weekend. That included The Mindil Beach night markets, the Parap, Nightcliffe, Rapid Creek, Palmerston and Coolalinga markets. It was a big weekend! The Mindil Beach markets probably had the best atmosphere, with busking and fire twirling as the sun set over the beach. There were lots of delicious treats at the various markets, we managed to find some vegan food at most of them, including some awesome rice paper rolls and delicious dragonfruit sorbet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my bag gets found and I might get my usbs back (often bags get ditched once any valuables are retrieved from it) so in the event that that happens, I’ll share some lovely photos from our time in Darwin.

In the mean time, I’ve got a couple of snaps on my phone from some of the places we ate in Darwin (after it recovered from the Y2K bug), so I’ll be able to do a little review of those shortly. Until then…!