I’m back! V Series Kew, Fritz Gelato and Gelato Messina

Oh hello (queue tumbleweed)

That seems as good a way as any to start the post after the impromptu hiatus I have been on. It was never intended, but after having a post-MoFo breather, a couple of short holidays and just general life happenings, suddenly it is three months later. And helllloooo 2016.

To be honest, I also lost a bit of my blogging enthusiasm. It’s not that I’ve got nothing to post, on the contrary there’s still recipes that I didn’t get around to posting during MoFo as well as a million other eateries. Yes, a million. But the longer I went without posting, the harder it seemed to make the time to sit down and come back to it. I’ve also been battling with technology a bit – I’m no photo editing pro – I just make it up as I go. However I’ve had some photos that I wanted to share that got drowned in a coloured light and I’ve been trying, failing, cussing at my computer and trying again to fix them but I’m just not getting anywhere. Unfortunately these photos, chronologically speaking, should be posted first as they were from my trip to Perth back in October, but as I haven’t been able to get them right I’ve just been really stuck instead of moving on and coming back to it later. Anyway, I’ve finally moved on and I’ll come back and tinker with them and hopefully share them with you all later. At least I’m back tap tap tapping away at these here keys again – it’s a start.

So today I’m going to share a bit of a riff-raff account of a few things that I have eaten around the place. Starting with an impromptu brekkie at V Series in Kew the other day.

V Series is the evolution of A Caterpillar’s Dream (which I visited once previously) – the place has had a makeover with some noticeable improvements on decor and dining ware. I particularly liked the little pots of fresh herbs decorating the tables. The menu we were given on the day had a breakfast page, drinks page as well as a 3-course lunch deal with a selection of dishes to choose from, however this differs to that available on their website where it appears you can order an individual item from the lunch menu and there are more items on offer.

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The bear and I both ordered the same dish – the crispy tofu benedict, although he added an optional egg to his. I had not been feeling particularly hungry before spontaneously deciding to stop by for breakfast, so I probably could have done with just one of these stacks. That’s not to say I didn’t finish them both of course…

I was pleased with the generous amounts of mushroom, spinach and avocado layered atop the english muffins, the crispiness of the tofu was also satisfying although most likely deep fried. I appreciated the effort of the hollandaise but this was not quite on point – it tasted too sweet and heavily reliant on mustard for flavour, I had to add plenty of salt and pepper to combat the sweetness. If V Series could perfect the sauce it would take this to the next level.

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I also ordered an iced coffee to share because you know, iced coffee is delicious, albeit filling alongside the massive brekkie.

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As if we could walk out without taking some cupcakes from the cabinet – all of which are vegan. After far too much deliberation, we selected the classic cheesecake and the salted caramel cupcakes. Both were delicious – I’m a sucker for cheesecake so this went down well, but the salted caramel sauce and toffee flake were also impressive. I’m pleased with the evolution of V Series, and will definitely be back again, particularly after realising that our energy company had sent out a card giving discounts at certain eateries with V Series included. Excellent.

I was on Bridge Road recently on a hot summer’s day and stopped in to Fritz Gelato. Fritz have a sign on the wall indicating that all their sorbets are vegan.

fritz

The entire bottom row here, aside from the yoghurt flavour on the far left, are sorbets. Unfortunately I forgot to actually get a photo of the gelato I ordered, but I got strawberry and bounty – delicious!

Speaking of gelato, I stopped by Gelato Messina on Smith Street a while back and was pleased to find this vegan coffee sorbet with hazelnut praline, which I paired with the classic chocolate sorbet. I need to go back and see if they are still serving it, as this was divine – the crunchy praline just made it next level goodness.

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When I started this post, I thought I would share some Smith & Deli treats I have enjoyed, but after sifting through my photos I think there is enough for a post of it’s own so I will just end this now before I have any more reasons to put this post off. Yeeehah!

V Series
Shop 4/26 Princess St, Kew
Mon – Fri – 8am – 4.30pm
Sat – Sun – 9am – 4.30pm

Fritz Gelato
334 Bridge Rd, Richmond
Open 7 days – noon until late

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

True North II, A Caterpillar’s Dream and Fina’s Vegetarian Cafe

Another work drive out to Coburg a while back resulted in another need for lunch. After the last pleasant experience at True North, I swung by to pick up another sammich. This time, I opted for a faux chicken deal.

truenorth21Excuse the car lap shot, I’m eating on the run (don’t worry, am still in car park).

truenorth22The make up of this one was chicken, mayo, lettuce and sprouts on sourdough bread. It was decent, though not as satisfying as the reuben I previously got there – still a respectable lunch. The bear has been asking since my previous post when I would take him out there for a reuben, I think he has been distracted by the offering of a vegan reuben a lot closer to home through Smith & Deli for now though.

Though I’ve been living a short walk away from A Caterpillar’s Dream for six months now, I’ve only made the effort to eat there once. It’s a kind of strange spot for a vegetarian cafe, nestled on the edge of a carpark shared with Leo’s Supermarket and Laurent’s Bakery, amongst other things. It’s a pretty standard cafe set up, nothing to write home about. I apologise in advance for the dodgy photos to follow.

caterpillarsdream1My mum went with a lighter option – the rice paper rolls with lemon and chili sauce. While in appearance, they did not impress, mum declared them tasty.

caterpillarsdream3Dad went with the zucchini corn fritters, with avocado, chutney and sour cream. This was a ‘vegan available’ item, though I can’t remember if dad took them up on that. Either way, he enjoyed it.

caterpillarsdream2We got some ‘sweet potato wedges’ with plum and black pepper spice to share. These were not at all what we were expecting – they were quite sweet and were reminiscent of the pumpkin cakes from chinese restaurants. A bit to dessert-y for me.

caterpillarsdream4Luckily, I had just a few salty regular fries with my meal – pie, chips and salad. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what was inside the pie – was it mushroom? That’ll teach me for leaving it for so long before sharing. A satisfying lunch, but lucky I had some others to share the chip load with.

caterpillarsdream5Mum had her eye on the cake display from the moment we walked in, and though I was getting full, who am I to deny somebody of their cake dreams? We shared this tiramisu cupcake, it was lovely and moist.

caterpillarsdream6Lastly, I had to have an iced coffee, because duh. It was good, however it was definitely enough to tip me into over-fullness. A Caterpillar’s Dream offers decent vegetarian food at a fairly reasonable price – there is nothing outstanding, but it does the trick just fine.

Another really old post is from Fina’s Vegetarian Cafe. I think this might date back to living at the old place, when we frequented Fina’s on a fairly regular basis. Though we’ve eaten there many times, I don’t think I’ve ever shared the experience.

finas1Some spring rolls to share. After living just off VIctoria St, I could never eat spring rolls without lettuce and mint again! How did I not know about this sooner?

finas2We had a habit of getting the same few dishes each visit (pancake, spicy noodle soup) so this time we were determined to try something different. The bear went with the special vegan quang noodle – a combination of noodles, veggies, paper tofu and mock bacon in a creamy broth, with fresh herbs and bean sprouts on the side. While bear enjoyed his dish, he tasted mine and immediately got food envy. Lucky we like to share.

finas3I actually can’t remember what this was – I think perhaps the bamboo soup? All I recall is the deliciously chewy bits of mock meat – either bacon or duck, and a clean and tasty broth.

We love Fina’s – the service is friendly, the meals are tasty, well portioned and reasonably priced. Since this visit, Fina’s have opened up their second restaurant – this one on Brunswick St in Fitzroy and 100% vegan. We popped by on opening night to enjoy a meal, will share our findings later.

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

A Caterpillar’s Dream
Shop 4/26 Princess St, Kew
Mon – Thurs – 8.30am – 4pm
Fri – Sat – 8.30am – 4pm & 5.30pm – 9pm
Sun – 9am – 4pm

Fina’s Vegetarian Cafe
268 Victoria St, Richmond
Mon – 10.30am – 3pm
Tues – Sun – 9.30am – 9.30pm