Vegan Market Day

The Sunday before last, Billy and I visited the St Kilda Botanical gardens for the vegan market day organised by Animal Liberation Victoria. It was a beautiful day for it, with no better place to be than out in the sunshine in the gardens, with the smell of vegan food wafting through the air.

We had a little wander around the stalls, picking up some goodies as we went. The first we came across was a stall called ‘A Vegan Smiles’, which was doing cheese along with some other sweet treats like protein bites. By the time we had got there, they had sold out of all the cheese apart from one final pack, so we snapped it up to give it a try.

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This wasn’t bad – it was enjoyable spread on crackers. The consistency was more like a spread than a solid cheese, and it had a very nutritional yeast/garlic/oniony flavour. Because I find it quite easy to make a cheese of that description, I probably wouldn’t get this again. Great to have new local vegan products on the market though!

Next we picked up some sweeties – the lady at the stall we got this from informed us that these were the only smores supplies in Australia at the moment. How could we pass up them after hearing that information?!

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It was pretty yummy – I haven’t had marshmallow in sooooo long, and this wasn’t as sickly sweet as I had suspected it might be. I also got a bag of Dandies marshmallows, as I’ve never tried them.

mark3I know right?! What is this crazy chocolate bar I’ve never seen? I’ll tell you what it is – DELICIOUS. Lovely dark chocolate, with mini marshmallows scattered through it to give it a yummy chewy texture. How have I never seen this before?

Next we wandered over to the area where they had live music, food, and talks happening. Our intention was to get a sausage from the sausage sizzle (how often do I get to say that?) but when we got there they had run out of bread, and it was going to be half an hour until they got more. We had every intention of waiting, but then we wandered down to the other stalls and found some dosas on the go, so opted for them instead.

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These were lovely! Not quite as good as the smokey eggplant ones from Overdosa, but definitely did the job. They were filled with a lovely potato mix, and came with three different chutneys – a coconut based, a chilli, and something else that I can no longer remember (pumpkin?).

After our savoury stop-over, we were ready to tackle the bake sale.

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Unfortunately for us, it seemed that the bake sale had already been tackled – the table was almost bare! We did manage to snap up a profiterole to share, which had apparently won the bake-off. I thought the pastry was a bit heavy, but I loved the crunchy toffee bits.

While we were eating, somehow a plate of doughnuts appeared on the table. We managed to sneak one of the last ones before they disappeared (a matter of minutes)!

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It was lovely – I wish I had ten!

Our final stop was to the coconut ice-cream cart. I’d seen this cart somewhere else not too long ago, but for some reason didn’t indulge. Well I was not going to let that happen again.

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Funky packaging, with a little paddle to eat it with tucked inside the lid. The flavours all sounded amazing, and I managed to sway myself from the usual mint-choc chip (it wasn’t easy) to try something else…

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This was be-a-u-tiful! The flavour was amazing, and unlike some other coconut ice-creams i’ve tried that have been quite hard and icy, this was lovely and creamy. I will never walk past this cart without indulging again!

Finally, it was time to make our way home. The food didn’t end there though – we smooshed up on the couch with a bowl of Red Thai Tofu and Green Beans with Thai Basil from Appetite for Reduction – the perfect way to end our delicious day.

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Fitzroy eats: Overdosa and Vegie Bar

Oh my lordy….this is my second last ‘catch-up’ post, and then I will be completely UP TO DATE, for the first time in MONTHS. The excitement is killing me.

So a couple of weeks ago, Billy and I popped over to Fitzroy to visit Overdosa. While we were still traveling I had heard about this magical pop-up dosa place and I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would still be open for us when we returned. As luck would have it, it was – but not for long…this was its last day of business out of the Rose St location.

Unfortunately we weren’t as hungry as I’d hoped we would be for this adventure, but we still managed to sample some of the delights on offer.

ImageThere were three dosas to choose from – potato masala, smokey eggplant with peas and a spicy tamarind pumpkin. I was already set on the smokey eggplant, which we got with a side of coconut chutney and some carrot salad. After the first bite, I knew I’d made the right decision. The dosa was lovely and crispy, and the filling was perfect…just the right amount of smokiness.

ImageBilly ordered a serve of the lentil poppers, with some curd and dill chutney (not vegan). We also got a serve of the chilli chutney, because it was the only one we hadn’t chosen and I felt bad. And also, I love chilli.

These were crispy, fluffy, and super addictive, and perfect with a dunking of chilli.

We really enjoyed both of our choices,and we’re now pretty sold on Overdosa. As I said, unfortunately they are no longer at the Rose St location, but are frequently popping up around town at festivals and bars – keep an eye out on their facebook page to see where they’ll be next. Do yourself a favour and track them down!

Next up: Vegie Bar.

I met a couple of aunties for lunch here one day, as one of them conveniently works right on Brunswick st. We popped over to Vegie Bar to fill our tummies. It was very busy (as usual), but we managed to get a table tucked up the back in a dark little corner.

It’s been a while between visits for me, and the menu has many new and exciting offerings, while still retaining some of the old favourites like roti wraps and pizzas. We were pretty hungry, and everything was looking pretty good, so we decided to get a bunch of plates and share them all.

ImageWe started with some dim sims to snack on. These were super crispy little parcels that did a good job of warding off hunger as we waited for our mains.

ImageNext up, some black bean nachos with pine nut cream, guacamole and jalapenos. Admittedly, these don’t look amazing – but looks can be deceiving. These babies were delicious (plus, who can go past black beans in a Mexican dish…NOT ME).

ImageThis was the raw quiche, which had a really interesting crust that was surprisingly sweet – it had shredded coconut in it and was no doubt something similar to what you would use for a raw dessert. This was not at all what I was expecting, but it worked surprisingly well and it was enjoyed by all.

ImageLastly, the vegan risotto. This was made with a combination of wild and brown rice, and was packed with veggies like corn, sweet potato and red capsicum, and had a beautiful flavour from the ginger, coconut, lemongrass and kaffir lime. Delicious and very filling – I was glad to be sharing this one.

A good majority of Vegie Bar’s current menu is already vegan, with more of it able to be vegan on request. I’m loving the variety of dishes on offer now, with something for everyone. I’ll definitely be back to have a go at some more of the menu (and maybe a dessert!) soon, if I can get a seat.

Overdosa
Various locations around Melbourne – see website

Vegie Bar
380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Mon-Thurs – 11am – 10pm
Fri – 11am – 10.30pm
Sat – 9am – 10.30pm
Sun – 9am – 10pm