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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A few more W.A. eats

I am fairly certain that this is the last in the backlog of Western Australia posts that I’ve got to catch up on (then it’s on to the Melbourne backlog…). This won’t be highly detailed as it’s been a while now, but I just wanted to give a quick mention to these two places that we ate at while over that side.

Firstly, we headed down to Dunsborough for a day trip with the hopes of heading to Samudra for breakfast. I’d been to Samudra the previous time I was down and was so impressed by the quality of food, not to mention the amazing range of vegan, raw and gluten-free options that were available. On top of that, Samudra contains a yoga studio, eco-clothing store and wellness centre, all nestled in a beautiful gardened area.

Unfortunately it was not meant to be, as we arrived to find it closed for renovations. This was the second time we were turned away, as last time I had tried to share the joys of the place with Billy, we were turned away due to a private function. Sighhhh. Oh well.

We wandered around until we found a little cafe called Rabbits Surf Cafe. While there was nothing vegan on the menu, the staff there advised us that we could mix and match a few things to make up a suitable breakfast, so we decided to do that. We both went with a cooked brekkie of toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and avocado.

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Billy really enjoyed this, and demolished it in no time at all. I have to admit that I was still a little disheartened by not getting to have breakfast at Samudra and that probably affected my enjoyment of the meal. Nothing about this was bad, but I had been prepping myself for some delightful buckwheat pancakes or raw muesli or something of the sort. This was pretty much the standard breakfast you get from a place that doesn’t have vegan options.

I shouldn’t be down on it though – we were accommodated really well and it was certainly a decent and filling breakfast. Billy had a coffee on the side, and I went with a green smoothie.

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This was tasty, but I wish places wouldn’t serve drinks in plastic cups when you are eating in – it seems wasteful. A glass would have been much preferable.

While in Mandurah we also went out to dinner to a place called Catch 22, which is on one of the wharfs. It has a little bit of a ‘fancier’ vibe to it, and prices to match.

We had a really friendly girl serving us, who was very helpful, cheerful and patient with us, and explained to me what could be altered on the menu to suit my requirements (I believe she was vegan as well). It even said at the bottom of the menu in fine print to advise staff of any dietary requirements so that they could assist us to the best of their ability, which was nice. For me, the best option seemed to be the vegetable stack. It sounded pretty delicious, so I was sold easily. Here is a terrible photo of it.

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Okay, so the good…I loved the texture of the creamy potato, and the juicy flavour of the mushrooms topped with chives. I freaking love chives.

However, firstly, the dish was brought to me with feta cheese on top (as it is listed on the menu). I advised the waitress who apologised profusely and took it away. The dish came back with one mushroom removed from the top (the one with all the cheese on it). It was not replaced with another one, and there were still a few smidgens of cheese on the dish. I am not one to make a big deal, so I continued with my meal, however, if I was actually allergic…this may have been a problem.

I was one bite away from finishing what was a fairly tasty meal. I put the last mouthful in, only to chew down on a sharp piece of plastic, about 2cm long. Not the most pleasant surprise…it could have at least been a gold coin or something. This was really quite disappointing – I’ve never before found a plastic shard in a meal at a restaurant. I understand how easily this could have broken off a container, but still…not enjoyable.

Again, I advised the waitress who was even more apologetic, and came back with complimentary coffee. It was a nice gesture, and quite a decent meal, but I have to say I would probably not return. This is more to do with the fact that there was not much else suitable that appealed to me on the menu than the mistakes that were made (everybody makes mistakes!), but they definitely did impact on the experience.

Rabbits Surf Cafe
9/28 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough W.A
Mon – Sun – 8am – 8.30pm

Catch 22 Restaurant
Unit 1/4 Zephyr Mews, Mandurah W.A
Mon – 10.30am – 5pm
Tues – Sat – 10.30am – 9pm
Sun – 8am – 9pm

Taste and Graze, Mandurah

After some time spent in Perth, we scooted off down south to Mandurah to stay with my Granny for a while. I lived with Granny for about four months last year while completing my uni placement, so it felt very much like coming home. I took up residence in ‘my’ room as though I’d never been gone!

I love Mandurah and all the memories from spending time down here as I grew up – walking or driving along the foreshore always bring them flooding back, even as the town transforms. One more recent addition to the foreshore is the Taste and Graze Café and Restaurant. Well, sort of. When I enquired about how long they had been in business, I was told that prior to being Taste and Graze, they were the Stiff Chilli and only occupied half the space they take up now. The recent renovations have seen them open right up with plenty of indoor as well as on-street dining.

Mandurah has never offered a huge range of options for vegan dining, so I wasn’t getting my hopes up upon entering the café to peruse the menu. However, I was pleasantly surprised. While there was not a HEAP, there were certainly options (and potential ones with a few adjustments). We decided to stay for lunch.

I started with a green smoothie – can’t go wrong with that. I think it may have had peach or nectarine and passionfruit, but my memory fails me (boy, I need to start taking lunch notes or something!)

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Then after confirming its suitability, I ordered the quinoa salad with raisins, avocado, celery, tomato, carrot and baby spinach.

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We had a slight miscommunication – I was brought out the chicken and quinoa salad (different item on the menu) as opposed to the veg one, but this was very quickly rectified (impressively so!) and there were no hard feelings on my part.

This was a super filling lunch, without being too heavy. There wasn’t a strong flavoured dressing on the salad, but this allowed the sweetness of the raisins and the flavours of the vegetables to shine through. Nice, fresh, wholesome and crunchy. I really enjoyed it.

So much so, that about a week later we went back for another spot of lunch. Again, I had a green smoothie – this time with banana and mango.

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I followed with a light lunch – a warm green bean, asparagus and broad bean salad with toasted walnuts (minus the crumbled feta).

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This was lovely! I could see how feta would really work with this – I’d love to do it with a tofu or cashew cheese, but honestly it was delicious without too.  I can’t really fault it.

Wow, I just noticed how green all my meals were here – yum! We did grab a few little bliss balls to take away for afternoon tea too which aren’t pictured – they were yummy with a beautiful flavor from the toasted sesame seeds they were rolled in.

Taste and Graze is certainly a welcome addition to Mandurah, offering some great food that isn’t found anywhere else in this seafood dominated town. You can definitely see the Melbourne influence in this little café (and it’s not a bad thing). It is on the pricier side of things, but I’m not completely sure if that’s just W.A. these days as everything seems to be getting more expensive (did I mention the $12 pint of beer I had?!).

I’d love to see what they keep doing here, hopefully a few more veg items circulate the menu as I’d be happy to come back and taste them next time I’m in Mandurah.

Taste and Graze Café and Restaurant
Shop 3/16 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah WA
Wed – 9am-5pm
Thurs-Fri – 9am-late
Sat – 8am-late
Sun – 9am-5pm