Sydney: the cake edition

The couple of visits to Sydney gave me ample opportunity to eat cake. And who am I to let something like that slip through my hands? On one of our trips to Newtown, Billy and I came across Vegan’s Choice, a little supermarket that stocked various pantry, refrigerated and frozen goods, as well as a large range of cakes, cupcakes, brownies and tofu ice cream.

 I think I actually cried a little the first time we walked in and looked at the cake display. Seriously. They had a great selection which included a couple of raw cheesecakes, plus about half of their cakes were gluten-free. I’m not sure what happened next – maybe I went into shock – but next thing I knew, we were walking down the street with a cupcake each. I can’t remember what the exact flavours were, but I think Billy got cookies and cream with vegan mint slice on top, and mine was along the lines of choc peanut butter with vegan tim tams. They were pretty yummy, though super sweet and almost a bit sickly by the time I’d finished it.
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The cakes and I had unfinished business, so we visited them again the next time we were in the area. This time I was able to quickly eliminate all but two cakes in my decision making process…it was either mocha or caramel cheesecake. I went with mocha, and the cheerful lady behind the counter asked if I wanted a scoop of ice cream with it. Why yes nice lady, I do. I got chocolate on the side, and Billy went with a choc walnut brownie with black sesame ice cream.
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I wish I could eat this cake forever, for it was a slice of smooth, creamy, silky choc coffee goodness. YUM. Now I had one more opportunity to visit Vegan’s Choice when I met up with a lovely friend of mine for a long awaited catch up. We ducked in for something sweet, and I was able to test the caramel cheesecake, while she went with the raw jaffa cheesecake. Both delicious, though I preferred the mocha. The raw cake was super rich and decadent, and while tasty, was difficult to finish in one sitting.
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My last Sydney cake escapade caught me by surprise. I went with Billy’s mum for a wander around the Glebe markets, when I noticed a cute little cupcake stand – Madhatter Cupcakery. I was admiring all the prettily decorated cakes when I noticed a sign saying VEGAN. Upon discovering that yes, the sign was telling the truth, we picked four little cupcakes to take home and share among us. I think these were macchiato, salted caramel popcorn, red velvet, and strawberry musk. The flavours of these were beautiful, the strawberry one being reminiscent of fairy floss, and the salted caramel had that real salty hit.
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Mmmm cake.
Vegan’s Choice
113 King st, Newtown
Open 7 days, 11.30am-late
Madhatter Cupcakery
Glebe Markets
40 Glebe Point rd, Glebe
Every Saturday 10am-4pm

Iku Wholefoods and Gelato Blue

Billy and I zipped back to Sydney on the train on Wednesday, as he had to pick up a guitar and his mum was flying up from Melbourne so we thought it would be fun to spend some time with her too. A perfect excuse to sample some more of the vegan food that Sydney has to offer.

We went for a wander around the city yesterday until our tummies started to grumble. I had heard of Iku Wholefoods before, but hadn’t come across one by chance (surprisingly – as there are about six locations in the city area alone!) so this visit I decided to seek one out. The closest one to us at our time of hunger was on Oxford st in Darlinghurst.

Iku have been around longer than I have, and are a completely vegan chain that focus on promoting good food for positive health. They not only keep their food animal-free, but also preservative, additive and GM free.

As per usual, when I come across a completely vegan eatery I become overwhelmed by all the choice and want to eat everything on the menu, so while I ummed and ahhed, Billy ordered the spicy vegetable, tofu and lime leaf laksa.

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Bit of a blurry photo, I was too busy reaching for a spoon to hold still. This was a super delicious, filling dish, with a really tangy lime kick. I loved the way the tofu was crumbled on top as opposed to the usual cubes, although Billy wasn’t really a fan of it himself.

I opted for a couple of snacking bits so that I could try different things, ordering a rice paper roll, a nori roll with brown rice and pickled vegetables, and a polenta cake with vegetables and a kind of chili glaze.

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These were all cold dishes which was awesome as I was warm from walking about. There were various dipping sauces that you could get to add to these, but I wasn’t feeling them at the time. The rice paper roll was yummy and fresh, and had a kind of satay sauce mixed through it which was unexpected but welcome. The flavour of the polenta cake was quite nice, though somehow I feel that it would have worked better as a warm dish, as serving it cold meant it had that kind of rubbery texture that polenta gets after being in the fridge – it definitely had that ‘leftovers’ kind of feeling. That being said, it was still yummy. The nori roll I bagged for later, and it was deliciously filling. The pickled vegetables gave it a nice tangy flavour, Billy and I really enjoyed it.

The dishes cost us $25 all up, and I was really satisfied, though Billy didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did. I’d love to try some of their other stuff, as they had some other yummy looking stuff – lasagne, burgers, salads, tarts, soups and a few sweeties too.

We wandered on and about the place, perusing some galleries and stuff before walking over to Newtown in search of Gelato Blue, having heard it had a case of vegan flavours. The rumours did not lie!

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YUM. Instead of just the standard sorbet flavours vegans are used to, they had things like banana split, cherry ripe and caramelised fig and cinnamon. Arghh! We both got cones with two flavours, at $7 a pop. Billy chose banana split (which freed up one of my choices, as I wanted to taste that one!) and passionfruit.

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I wanted to try the fig and cinnamon, but I couldn’t go past cherry ripe and thought chocolate would make a better flavour combination (plus – I had never tried chocolate sorbet?).

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I don’t think I need to give a detailed explanation of how delicious they were. I don’t think I could ever be unhappy with gelato. Amazing! Tummies well and truly full, we wandered back to our place of rest to recharge for our next adventures.

– x –

Iku Wholefoods
62 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
(and various other locations around Sydney)
Mon-Fri 9.30am-8.30pm
Sat 10am-5.30pm
Sunday 10.30am-5.30pm

Gelato Blue
318 King st, Newtown
Mon-Thurs 8am-11pm
Sat-Sun 11am-midnight