Some eats of late (and not so late)

Yes, I’ve done it again. It seems my posts are running on somewhat of a bi-monthly schedule at the moment, even with the best of intentions. Shout out to those of you who are still here reading, thanks for sticking around!

Today is just a jumble of recent and not so recent eats…photos that have been sitting unlabelled (‘cos I like to test my memory) on my lappy, waiting for their time to shine.

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First up – some sweet treats from Cupcake Central. The Bear sat in on a seminar through his uni with the lady who started Cupcake Central as a guest speaker. He came home raving about what an entrepreneur she is, and so I felt particularly inclined to taste some of her goods, having been aware that they offer vegan options.

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Cupcake Central run one or two vegan flavours per day, as well as a GF option. You can check their baking schedule online and look up which flavours will feature on each day. These also change seasonally so you will never get tired of eating the cupcakes (as if you ever would, eye roll). These were chocolate peanut butter bad boys, and they were freakin’ tasty.

WARNING: The rest of the photos in this post will be from my on it’s last legs phone’s camera, as I do not frequently have my camera with me. Apologies for quality, but I want to share the eats with you anyway, ’cause that’s what it’s all about.

powerplant
This is Power Plant Cafe’s avocado on toast with lemon, coriander, chili, tomatoes and walnut and truffle spread. It is highly recommended. The presentation was on point and while at first I was worried that there wasn’t going to be enough avo to cover my two delicious pieces of toast, I needn’t have worried. I try to avoid avo on toast when I go to places where I have lots of options, but I couldn’t look past it with the twist of walnut truffle spread. Just too good. I also had a coffee, a strawberry milkshake, and a raw PB cup.  Not to mention our table got some chips to share – the chips here are on form – covered in smoked paprika and with a thick and creamy aioli, though unfortunately the milkshake was far too sweet for me.

This was my second visit to Power Plant, the first I enjoyed an equally well presented and delicious macro bowl and took some cupcakes home with me. The menu is fairly small but I’m keen to work my way through it. The cafe itself is light, spacious and calm, with two outdoor sitting areas for those sunny days.

theglassden

My housemate and I finally checked out the Glass Den after rave reviews. We were not disappointed. I got the breakfast soba noodle salad with polenta crumbed mushrooms, pine nuts, smoked coconut, kale sesame crumble and a side of almond feta. I kid you not, this was so good that a lady from another table came over and asked what I was eating. “I’ll have what she’s having”

I’m so keen to go back and try the Tiramisu Hotcakes I’ve been seeing pop up all over Instagram. I’m not usually a sweet breakfast kind of girl when I’m eating out, but I need to have them…they are a work of art.

beangreencafe
We were heading past the Prahran Market a while back and I was ravenous, so we stopped at Beangreen Cafe for a quick bite. I got some chickpea fritters, three salads and some hummus. Everything at Beangreen is super reasonable in price – I think I paid around $9 for this plate. Simple, wholesome and tasty.

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The Bear got this giant cookie – we can’t remember now what it was. I want to say it was ginger, the Bear thinks it may have been macadamia.

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A colleague and I recently popped up around the corner to the relatively newly opened Neko Neko near the corner of Gertrude and Smith streets. I ordered the Agedashi tofu. This delicious plate of red rice and various veggies and pickles is just what comes with most of the main dishes. AMAZING. How did they know I love lots of little individual piles of things to enjoy?!

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This is the Agedashi tofu itself. Full of little goodies like pepitas and hemp seeds (I think? I can’t remember now – am just assuming from the picture).

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My colleague and I shared the tofu as well as this raw okonomiyaki. Now this didn’t have a huge resemblance to the traditional okonomiyaki, but it was certainly delicious – dense and creamy. It came with it’s own little piles of veggies and some miso eggplant macadamia sushi. At $18, it’s more than I’d usually spend on a work day lunch, but we wanted to treat ourselves and we felt we got our money’s worth with these delightfully presented, healthy meals. They do have sushi rolls and mini bento boxes ready to go if you prefer a cheaper and faster lunch – I will be back to investigate this further.

donuttime
And last, but not least – my housemates surprised me by splitting two vegan donuts from Doughnut Time – one was chocolate with strawberries and pistachios on top, and the other was matcha. The latter was my favourite, while it didn’t taste particularly strongly of matcha, I enjoyed the tanginess of what I assume is freeze-dried raspberry on top. Delicious.

Cupcake Central
7/672 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
Mon – Fri – 7.30am – 6.30pm
Sat – 10.30am – 5.30pm
Sun – CLOSED
(Check other locations for their hours)

Power Plant Cafe
2-6 Swilk St, Templestowe
Mon & Tues – CLOSED
Wed – Sun – 8am – 3.30pm

The Glass Den
15 Urquhart St, Coburg
Open 7 days, 8am – 4pm

Beangreen Vegetarian Cafe
Prahran Market
163 Commercial Rd, Sth Yarra
Mon & Wed – CLOSED
Tues & Thurs – 7am – 5pm
Fri – 7am – 6pm
Sat – 7am – 5pm
Sun – 10am – 3pm
CASH ONLY

Neko Neko83 Smith St, Fitzroy
Mon – Fri – 12pm – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10pm
Sat – 5.30 – 10pm
Sun – CLOSED

Doughnut Time
5 Degraves St, Melbourne
Mon – Fri – 7am – 11pm
Sat – Sun – 8am – 11pm
And various locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast (check each for opening hours)

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New bloginnings and Pana Cafe

You may have noticed something different around the little vegan bear neck of the woods (ha, bear…woods….yep), we’ve had a bit of a makeover! I am now a dot com! After much time feeling overwhelmed and technologically incapable, and then a little time with my brother and his girlfriend doing the majority of the legwork (thanks guys) I am here. Thank goodness for the technical knowledge of others.

These parts will remain pretty basic for the time being while I work out how to do a little more, which will most likely be a bit further down the track as I am aware that MoFo is fast approaching – if I’m going to participate this year I need to spend a bit of time planning. While I recall the stress of last MoFo like it were yesterday (has it really been a year?!) it was also a whole heap of fun and with the new structure I am hoping it will take some of the pressure off (no matter how self-imposed said pressure may have been). Nevertheless, a bit of forethought can’t hurt.

I’m doing my best to update all links, and I’m hoping that the transfer of subscribers went down successfully. Please let me know if you have any issues viewing, commenting, or anything else while on the blog and I’ll try to amend it.

Oh, and while I remember – I am officially getting ‘social’. I’m now on instagram as littleveganbear_ and you can link up with me through the button on the right side bar. Oooh look at me go!

Just for kicks, here are some snaps from a recent trip to Pana Cafe in Richmond with some girlfriends. For those who aren’t aware, Pana are a Melbourne business who deal in the trade of delicious raw chocolate. You may have seen their bars stocked in shops around the place – they are recognisable by the cute little alien looking dudes on the front of the box. Pana use all vegan, organic ingredients and are refined sugar free.

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Apart from their classic bars sold through various stockists, Pana also have a cafe on Church street in Richmond where they serve up an array of slices, cakes and other raw treats which look almost too good to eat. Seriously, I reckon we spent more time ooh-ing and aah-ing over everything than we did actually eating, they are so gosh darn beautiful.

We couldn’t help but be pulled by the allure of the larger ‘surprise cake’, which we were pretty sure we had pegged as choc-mint. We also got a slice of what I think was spicy apple slice, if my memory serves me correct.

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Well we sure were surprised, because there was not a hint of mint in this baby. Instead we found berries and a delicious lime tasting cream on top. Rich, silky smooth and delicious the whole way through. I was keen for something less chocolate-y with the slice, and it didn’t disappoint. I felt our eyes were a little too big for our tummies though, as I was feeling pretty stuffed by the end.

Shout out to my pal Steph for the photos which I have borrowed. Also shout out to the lovely lady who did an excellent job at slicing the goodies into thirds for us. It is worth noting that while it is called the Pana Cafe, there really are only a couple of stools (3 or 4) and a bench at the front of the shop, so if you aren’t lucky enough to nab them you might have to take away.

Speaking of take aways, I took a few choccies home to share with the bear. I can’t remember what they all were – oh deary me, how many times do I swear I’ll start taking notes for occasions like this? One was sesame, I feel like one might have been lemonade, maybe lavender and rose? Whatever the case – they were all incredible. I would even go so far as to say that I enjoyed them more than the cakes – perhaps being bite sized there was less chance of being overcome by the richness.


Apologies for the shitty late night camera phone job, but these darlings couldn’t wait any longer!

Pana Cafe
491 Church St, Richmond
Mon – Fri – 10am – 5pm
Sat – 10am – 4pm
Sun – 11am – 3pm

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

Smith & Deli, Fitzroy

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the hot new place in town – vegans and non-vegans alike are buzzing with the news. Yep, those awesome folk over at Smith & Daughters have opened up their own deli, just around the corner on Moor St, aptly named Smith & Deli and stocking everything you could possibly need, from sandwiches to salads, premade pizzas to hot soup, coffees to herbs and spices. I’m yet to step inside yet, but Faye at Veganopoulous and Cindy and Michael at Where’s the Beef? have taken some great photos of the snazzy interior.

While I have not had the opportunity to visit them in person as of yet, I am lucky enough that my bear had a free day and offered to pop by Smith & Deli and meet me on my lunch break with some (read: LOTS) of their goods to share. You can imagine my excitement when I was greeted with this:

smithdeli1At first the bear apologised for getting all “his type” of foods, but I was pretty sure any food from Smith & Deli was going to be my type of food so I was not too worried.

smithdeli3First up, we split a “Rubenstein” sandwich – pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing on rye bread. This is my second reuben style sandwich ever, and I’m loving them more with each try. Everything about this was perfect, from the thickness of the bread to the tanginess of the generous filling.

smithdeli2Next up, the kim chi and cheese scroll. Are you kidding me?!

smithdeli4Seriously. So de-freaking-licious I can’t even. The bread was so soft and while I thought the kim chi might be a bit too mild in amongst all the dough, it had an excellent kick.

smithdeli5Our last savoury course consisted of a steak and curry pie. This probably wouldn’t have been my first pick, though at the same time I want to eat EVERYTHING on offer, so how could I not be happy with this?

smithdeli7At first we were not blown away by the pie, as we were still coming down off the awesomeness of the last two things. It’s a steak and curry pie. However the more we ate into it, the more we realised that it was a bloody good pie – if we hadn’t already stuffed ourselves with goods beforehand, we probably would have rated it higher to begin with. The pastry was good, there was a strong curry flavour and a generous amount of melt-in-your-mouth ‘steak’ interspersed with chunks of vegetables. Nothing to scoff at!

smithdeli8Oh you thought it was over? Nohohohohooo.

As if there wouldn’t be sweets! Bear brought this doughnut – I’m not actually sure what it was and neither was he – he said he was so overwhelmed he just pointed at things. It had kind of brownie chunks on top? Sweet, delicious, and almost enough to tip us over the edge.

We had to go for an ambulate so we didn’t go into a food coma. While walking, the bear (after previously professing his love for Smith & Daughters by declaring we must eat there weekly) announced that this was his new place, and he was “a deli boy” now. Fine by me. I have a whole deli of treats to work my way through!

Smith & Deli
111 Moor St, Fitzroy
Tues – Sat – 8am – 7pm

Trang Bakery, Collingwood

Ever since I was alerted to the fact that there was a new Vietnamese place on Smith St serving vegan bahn mi’s by Cindy and Michael of Where’s the Beef, I have been an eager regular of Trang Bakery. Being quite north of Johnston st, Trang is a little out of the way of the regular hubbub of Smith St, however it doesn’t stop them attracting a line out the door each lunch time, and going the extra distance is definitely worth it.

With a huge range of vegan options including mock duck, chicken, fish, pork, lemongrass tofu, tempura eggplant, chicken burger, prawn (and possibly more), they really are my new best friend. At $5 (or $5.50 for eggplant) they are a great cheap and filling eat.

trangeggplantEggplant is my most commonly ordered – especially since they have changed the way they’ve cut the eggplant to better fit the roll. I guess it’s probably my favourite as I always feel a pang of disappointment if I get there later in the day and there’s no eggplant in the tray.

trangtofuThis is the lemongrass tofu – it’s between this and duck for my second place. You have the option of peanuts and chili (yes and hell yes), wholemeal of white bread, and an array of fresh veggies. They also put some kind of paste on the bottom – Michael and Cindy describe it as a roasted eggplant relish, and some special sauce and shallots on top. Heaven!

trangchicken This is the last one I have a decent photo of – I think it is the roast chicken, but could be duck – I can’t remember. I haven’t forayed into the seafood options as have never been a fan of real or mock seafood – too fishy (unless you batter some tofu, deep fry it and call it fish a la Cornish Arms) so can’t vouch for them, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had here.

There are also some donuts and sweets that I’ve just discovered are vegan (though haven’t tried) and they have other options like noodles and rice paper rolls, however I can never resist the bahn mi. Trang have expanded and opened up a second shop in Hardware lane in the CBD. Let’s hear it for our vegan-friendly friends!

Trang Bakery and Cafe
382 Smith Street, Collingwood
Open 7 days, 8.30am – 4pm

Admiral Cheng-Ho, Nourished: 385 and Natural Tucker Bakery

I’m going to do a bit of a dump, as charming as that sounds, as despite my best efforts I have not been posting as regularly as I had hoped. In a bid to clear some of my backlog, I’m going to summarise a few recent (or not so recent) eats.

admiralchenghoFirst up, a long overdue follow up visit to Admiral Cheng Ho in Abbotsford for a catch up with some old school friends. There’s been a change in menu since my last time there, with all dishes now completely vegan with the optional extras of cow’s milk, feta, yoghurt etc. It’s nice to be the ‘norm’ and not have to pay extra for the vegan option for a chance. A winning move in my books.

I went with the ‘Crazy Jimbo’ – polenta bread with almond feta, sauteed kale and seasonal veggies with tangy beetroot relish and basil cashew cream. Funnily enough, it was basically the same dish that I had last time, though with polenta bread replacing zucchini fritters and the addition of almond feta. I recognised this before ordering, but just like last time the idea of all the different components – especially tangy relish and smooth cashew cream – won me over. I was not disappointed, enjoying each mouthful to the very end. I could honestly eat this every morning.

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One sunny weekend, I went for a family catch up lunch to Nourished: 385 in Prahran. A relatively new cafe on the scene, it’s shtick is “clean eating” – whatever that means. The thing I like about all this new super clean wonder health eating hoo-ha, is how it is easier to find vegan meals in a wider variety of places. With that in mind, we went along. Nourished:385 is pleasantly located next to the shady Victoria Gardens, and as we sat out in the back courtyard we were able to overlook the greenery, where babies and dogs ran wild.

Unfortunately, the vegan brekkie item I had seen in my quick internet search prior to choosing the place was no longer on offer, and the only items I could have were smashed avocado minus the egg or a quinoa salad. Not wanting to be overcharged again for some avo on toast, I went with the salad.

Unfortunately, I can’t say this was a winner. For $18, I expect more than some mixed salad leaves, a sprinkling of quinoa, corn, beetroot and tasteless ‘marinated’ tofu – expensive and thoughtless. The dish I had above at Admiral Cheng-Ho was $16.50 for comparison’s sake. Others enjoyed their meals more, but I was disappointed.

Going way back now, I was driving back through Carlton North and decided to stop at Natural Tucker Bakery to pick up some lunch.

naturaltucker1 I grabbed a few wholemeal vegan pies for the bear and myself, and heated them up at home with a side of salad and ajvar. The pies were pretty rustic, full of hearty chunks of veggies and lentils.

naturaltucker2Mmm…pie.

naturaltucker3And when I saw there were vegan lamingtons on offer, how could I not? Because vegan lamingtons. I particularly enjoyed the toasted shredded coconut coating the outside.

Phew, and that’ll do me for today! Tune in next time for more eats from this little vegan bear. Roar.

Admiral Cheng-Ho
325 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Mon – Fri – 6am – 4pm
Sat, Sun & PH – 8am – 5pm

Nourished: 385
385 High St, Prahran
Tues – Wed – 7.30am – 4.30pm
Thurs – Sat – 7.30am – 10pm
Sun – 7.30am – 6pm
Natural Tucker Bakery
809 Nicholson St, Carlton North
Mon – Fri – 8am – 5.30pm
Sat – 8am – 3pm

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.

20150115_112926Excuse the lap shot.

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

Vegie Bar and Three One 2 One

Walking up and down Brunswick street always gets my tummy rumbling. I recently popped into Vegie Bar with my mum for a quick snack in between some seriously successful browsing.

vegbar2“This is not the time for dumplings” said nobody ever. Quite thick skins on these ones, I can’t remember what the filling was made of, it wasn’t remarkably tasty but nothing a good dunking of sauce cant fix.

vegbar3Along the same vein, I will never pass on wontons. I really liked the broth these were in – gingery, garlicky with some fresh coriander…heavenly match.

vegbar1To top it off, I had a matcha milkshake. I have not forayed very far into the world of matcha, so the taste is quite unusual to me still. I did enjoy this, but perhaps not quite what I was craving at the time (read: ice coffee).

This next visit goes back some time. As in possibly last year. Three One 2 One is a little cafe on Bridge road in Richmond, with a funky rhino on the side of the wall.

threeone2one2Upon first glance at the menu, it is not super vegan friendly. There are plenty of cheesy and eggy vegetarian options, though nothing strikes my eye. The lunch menu is mostly paninis and sandwiches, and after asking the waitress, she pointed a few things that they could alter for me. I went with the pumpkin and gruere sandwich with candied walnuts, caramelised onion and rocket (minus the gruere), which came with a side of “chubby chips”.

threeone2oneThe chips were yum! The sandwich was a little strange – the candied walnuts making for a very sweet addition. I found them quite hard little nuggets in the sandwich, providing an almost tooth breaking crunch. With pumpkin not being my top choice of vegetables to put in a sandwich, this didn’t really impress. I did however enjoy the experience and the service, which led me to go back two more times since then, however unfortunately it just hasn’t quite cut it on the follow up visits. Once for brekkie I had quite a plain avo on toast, and the next time I tried to customise my own vegan sandwich, and despite the girl acknowledging and trying to advise what I could eat (though appearing confused at what vegan actually means), my sandwich came out with mayonnaise and most likely butter-cooked mushrooms. Despite my average experiences, my non-vegan dining companions really enjoyed their meals.

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

Three One 2 One
424 Bridge Road, Richmond
Open every day 8am – 4pm

CBD Eats: Supercharger and Raw Trader

The Emporium kind of terrifies me. I have been in there three times now – once to check it out, and twice to eat at Supercharger. Each time I have been in, I feel disoriented and unable to find my way out. One of the times I was there, the alarms went off and I was worried I would not be able to get out (particularly with the lack of panicked people running for the door. Seriously, what is going on people? Alarms mean GET OUT!!). Regardless of the fear I feel from the Emporium experience, I find myself returning, simply because I know I can get a filling and nutritious vegan lunch at a reasonable price.

The deal is this: a whole array of vegan options that you can piece together to make your perfect bowl (and side bowls). It’s canteen-style ordering which makes it simple for them as well as gives you time to co-ordinate your meal (trust me, you’ll need it with all the options!) This style of eating really appeals to my love of bits and pieces, mix and match, fresh and cooked, texture extravaganzas and wanting to have it all.

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So you can choose a base with 4-6 items. Of course I had to try one thing from each section, so went with the base + 6 option. Here I have a ‘base’ of steamed quinoa and fresh baby spinach, a ‘smash’ of green pea and avocado with coconut oil and mint, a ‘raw’ of shredded beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger with apple cider vinegar (I know, I CHOSE beetroot – WHAAAAT?), a ‘ferment’ of red cabbage and caraway kraut, a ‘simmer’ of mild eggplant and potato curry with tomato ginger and lime leaf, a ‘protein’ of fresh tofu in tom yum broth and finally a ‘sauce’ of fresh tomato and chili salsa with red onion and coriander. All that for a very reasonable $14. And look at all that colour, heck yessss! Don’t you feel good just looking at it?

Supercharger also have a bunch of delicious looking smoothies, juices and raw desserts that I would love to give a try, however my dining companion and I had earlier visited Raw Trader and felt we could not face any more sweets.

Raw Trader is a tiny cafe tucked away in a little CBD street. It has a huge array of raw cakes, slices, balls and more, as well as coffee, tea and smoothies. It’s kind of overwhelming seeing the display of pretty treats, they look almost too good to eat and near impossible to choose.

rawtrader1
We took a painstakingly long time to pick two desserts to share. This is the cappuccino cake. It had a lovely creamy texture, and I love the white layer like froth on top of a capp. I would have liked a stronger coffee flavour, as I found it a bit mild, with the rich nuttiness and coconut flavour coming through more prominently.

rawtrader2
A small dense piece of lemon slice – I actually preferred this one, as the zestiness of the lemon really shone through. I guess the trouble with raw desserts becoming so popular is that they have to be pretty special to impress me now. I would like to go back and try some of the other desserts that took my fancy like ice creams and mousses, as I feel that there is definitely potential, but I just wasn’t blown away with the options that I chose. Regardless, Raw Trader is a great place to meet a mate for a coffee and cake if you’re in the CBD area.

Supercharger
Level 3, Emporium
287 Lonsdale st, Melbourne
Sun – Thurs – 11am – 7pm
Fri – Sat – 11am – 9pm
Raw Trader
10 Sutherland st, Melbourne
Mon – CLOSED
Tues – Thurs – 7.30am – 8.30pm
Fri – 7.30am – 10pm
Sat – 10am – 10pm
Sun – 10am – 4pm

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew

Woah, hey! I have been slowly going through the annual motions of new-year cleaning, decluttering and organising, enjoying starting afresh. I spent today cleaning, clearing, packing away physical things, and I this evening I have moved on to the dreaded computer clean up. My usual attitude is one of ‘if I just don’t look at it, I won’t know how bad it is, and therefore it is fine”, but enough is enough. It’s time to back up, clear up and speed up the old lappytop.

In doing this, I have discovered more photos of places visited that I have NOT shared with y’all than I ever realised. As a result, I’m going to try and bang out some short sharp posts, clear this clutter and move on with my life. Stop weighing me down, maaaaan.

This piccy is from December – the bear and I had been running errands and getting shiz done when we started getting peckish. We were just across the road from Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew – the name is a bit of a mouthful, but I kind of like the fairy-tale feel of it. It is what it sounds like – a burger bar – with a fair choice of burgers (including two vegetarian options), as well as a few sandwiches and salads. One of the burgers is listed as vegan, and there is also a menu of mix and match-ers that you can customise your own burger with. The drink list has plenty, from shakes to teas to cocktails and wines, and there is apparently a whole separate menu for beers. We bypassed the drinks and went straight to burgerville. I went the easy option and chose the vegan burger – a mung bean sprout and kidney bean pattie, lettuce, asian slaw, pickled onions and chili jam. Bear went with the magic mushie (not vegan), and we ordered some french fries (there are also fat chips and onion rings on offer). After taking the order, the friendly girl came back and advised that the bun on the vegan burger is not in fact vegan, but can be exchanged for the GF bun, which is. Strange that the vegan bun is not the standard on the vegan burger, but anyway…I guess it’s a good excuse to make an extra $3 on the bun.

brotherburger

I was pleasantly surprised by the bun – I didn’t even notice the gluten-freeness of it! The pattie was solid and filling, with distinguishable veggies and bits in it – yaaaay (down with mush!) and it was overall decent. Unfortunately, the burger was a little dry and there wasn’t a huge flavour punch, something that a heavier serve of pickled onions and chili jam might have remedied – I am a condiment fanatic though. Regardless, it filled the hole alongside the salty french fries. Bear raved about his burger, which you can just catch in the background, the dollop of cheese and juicy mushroom really hit the spot for him.

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew
Side of 413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Sun – Thurs – 12pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat – 12pm – 11pm