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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Loving Hut, Victoria Park

Arghhh, just came on to do a new post and realised that this one was saved as a draft and never published. I’ll pop this up and another one will be very soon to come….

Before I continue on my backlog rampage, I just wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to all the folks who have nominated me for awards in the last couple of months. At this stage, I haven’t formally accepted any on my blog. As you can see, I’m having enough trouble just keeping up with my own posts at the moment! But I wanted to say how grateful I am to be nominated – I never thought when I started this blog earlier this year that I would have so many wonderful followerss from all over the world who would take the time to read my ramblings. <3

Onto the next eats.

We had some time to kill while we had a window seal replaced on our van, and thought – what better way to kill it than with food? Enter Loving Hut.

Loving Hut is a chain of vegan restaurants, with locations all over the world! While offering mostly Asian style cuisine, each restaurant tends to have their own style and ‘specialties’, with the common goal of serving affordable food that encourages a peaceful and harmonious lifestyle.

We visited last year and enjoyed the raw mango wraps we had so much that we wanted to go back and try something else. They have a range of hot foods (curries, veg dishes, etc) and raw foods, but this time, Billy couldn’t resist the lure of a hot pie. He went with the ‘Aussie’.

ImageThis was a good mock up of a meaty pie, with a chewy tvp based filling. The top was kind of strange – not a flaky pastry but as though it had been cooked in a sandwich press – but still delicious! We are not entirely sure what the Aussie flavour of a pie is supposed to be – I kind of pictured egg and bacon, but there was none of that in sight. Regardless, it was yum.

I resisted my urge to get a pie too, as I had my eye on a piece of quiche in the cabinet.

ImageYum! This was a lovely version of a quiche, full of kale and topped with some tomato and a slice of Notzarella. The pastry was great too, and there was the option of having a gluten free crust if desired too.

Last visit, most dishes were offered with a side salad. This time, they had introduced a salad bar to the cafe, where there were about five or six different salads that you could choose from or mix and match. I’m not sure how I felt about this. I liked having the options of different salads, though I wished you could pick some to come out on your plate with your meal. Instead, you had to purchase a salad container which you could fill up as you pleased. I suppose there needs to be some kind of portion control. It sort of felt like being in the 90’s back at Sizzler or Pizza Hut, and the salad bar was in a strange position over near the window. Anyway…

ImageI can’t remember what each salad was, I got a little of everything. There was a pumpkin quinoa one, a pineapple and tempeh one, one with tofu and eggplant and I think some sort of chickpea kale salad. Anyway, they were all nice, and I have to admit I enjoyed being able to taste so many different salads rather than just a standard side green one.

Now, the moment we had been waiting for. We had spotted the sundaes on the menu on our way in, and there was no way these were going to escape our grasp. We ordered one berry and one cookies and cream one to share.

ImageI think our eyes were a bit bigger than our tummies here, and one would have really been enough. As much as I want to say we liked the berry one better, it was all about the cookies and cream, with the layer of crushed oreos. The berry one was okay, but the berries were all frozen – I think it would have been far nicer with fresh or at least thawed ones.

The softserve was great, the sauces were that cheap sugary style, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the sweet coconut whipped cream on top. It sure satisfied some sweet cravings, but it wasn’t the greatest sundae in the world. To each their own though!

I found it disappointing that they had reduced their already tiny mini-mart to only a few shelf items and a refrigerator/freezer. I had intended to pick up a few things, including some Cheezly, but they were no longer on offer. They have quite a few cold items – their own pies, Tofutti cream cheeses and icecreams, Sweet and Sara marshmallows (which I am still yet to try) and Notzarella, but it’s definitely less than last time. They didn’t disappoint with their range of cakes at the counter though, and while we intended to take some back to Nanna and Grandads for dessert, after our sundaes we couldn’t face another sweet thing.

Loving Hut is definitely worth a visit, the food is nice and the staff are nicer. They have a restaurant nearby in Vic Park which is open for dinners too, though I’ve never been. Will have to add it to the list for next time.

Loving Hut
366 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
Mon-Fri – 11.30am-2.30pm
Sat-Sun – 10am-4.30pm

People and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Cafe

One sunny day in Perth (aren’t they always sunny here?), we decided to head into town to visit the PAWS (People & Animal Welfare Society) cafe to grab a spot of lunch. PAWS is a community not-for-profit organisation, which is founded upon the notion of non-violence. What I like especially about this is the incorporation of both humans and animals into this broader idea in a bid to promote a more peaceful planet for all of those who live on it.

The PAWS cafe is open for lunch seven days a week with a variety of cheap vegan dishes (as well as a little grocery with many of your frozen, refrigerated, pantry and toiletry vegan needs). There is an open area inside with couches and tables and chairs (much like a school common room, or the wholefoods at my old uni) as well as a few tables outside. As for food, they have a raw food bar, hot food box (curries, etc) and a snack bar which overall provide a great range to choose from. Last year when we visited we hit up both the hot food box and the raw bar, so this time it was all about the snack bar. That’s right, burgers baby!

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I ordered a good old fashioned cheeseburger, while Billy went for some kind of double whammy with extras. I was totally jealous of his fixings.

Now let me lay it on the table, these are no gourmet burgers – they are vegan fast food. But they do the job. I reckon you could have fooled any omni with these. The patties were of the pre-packaged variety and topped with a slice of tofutti cheese as well as some pickles and sauce for mine, and some extras like tomato and lettuce for Bears. Ooh la la! AND THEY WERE GOOD.

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And what better way to finish off our burger meal than with a vegan soft serve?! Seriously.

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I have this thing where I have to eat vegan soft serve whenever I find it. I try to walk away but the soft serve always pulls me back in. So soft and creamy. And I could get a choc-vanilla split in a waffle cone. How could any sane vegan refuse?

It was really really good, too.

Oh – I almost forgot! We also had a green juice. Just to balance out the burgers and ice cream, y’know?

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PAWS Cafe
120 Beaufort St, Perth
Open 7 days – 11am-4pm

Exmouth to Perth

WARNING! WARNING! What you are about to view is a SUPER post, jam packed with pictures. Read on at your own risk!

Heading west from Karijini, the landscape started to make some noticeable changes. The red dust faded to a pinkish orange and we started to get the distinct feeling that we were getting close to water.

Sure enough, we made it out to Exmouth and some of us were sure excited to be back by the sea.

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We drove around the peninsula to the Cape Range National Park, which borders onto the Ningaloo Reef, and also had several camp sites that we could stay at. We booked into one and then mosied over to Turquoise Bay where we went snorkeling in the beautiful clear water. We first went over to the more sheltered bay area, as it was afternoon and the open water was getting very choppy – and boy were we glad we did! We were lucky enough to see a stunning turtle swimming around gracefully as it looked for food on the ocean floor. It really was special! We swam around the big fella for a while, watching him do his thing before hopping out to hear that the people over in the open part had seen a reef shark, and in fact, a lady had been bitten by one earlier that day! Reef sharks are quite small and definitely nowhere near as dangerous as some of the sharks out there, but I was definitely stoked to be in turtle town rather than shark strip.

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We stayed overnight in a camp spot right on the beach, meaning beautiful sunset walks.

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The next morning, we had time for a quick play on the beach before heading into town to pick up our hitchhiker who was to be traveling with us for the next while.

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On our way our to Cape Range National Park, we had picked up two German backpackers, one of whom needed to make her way down to Perth in the next week or so. As it happened, that’s what we were wanting to do to so we offered her a ride with us. She gladly accepted and we picked her up in the morning and started our trip south.

Our first stop was Coral Bay to take a quick dip in more sparkling blue water (sigh…), before jumping back in the van and getting down to Carnarvon (after a minor breakdown which the Bear was able to resolve with his pocket knife and some handiwork). We stocked up on supplied and kept going south until we found a suitable camp spot.

The next morning we were up early and off on our mission for the day – Shark Bay. We drove up the peninsula, stopping at the Hamelin Pool to check out the stromatolites, which are super duper old ‘living fossils’, created by single-celled microbes called cyanobacteria. These stromatolites are thousands of years old!

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Further up the peninsula, we stopped at the aptly named Shell Beach. Rather than fine sand, the whole beach was made up of tiny white shells. It was quite incredible!

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The water was beautiful and clear, but not at all deep. We walked for a couple of hundred metres off the shore and the water level was still below our knees! We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves for most of the time we were there. The children went crazy building shell castles and throwing shells into the air.

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We continued up the peninsula, stopping at lookouts, taking selfies and spotting emus.

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Don’t be alarmed, this is not an amputee emu. It was just chilling. There were about six emus here, but I couldn’t get them all in one shot. I’ve never seen so many emus (in the wild) in the one spot!

Next up to the Francois Peron National Park at the top of the peninsula. We could barely go into this park without a 4WD, but were told we could go as far as the homestead, where there was a natural hot tub which we couldn’t miss (even though it was probably too hot to be getting in a hot tub…ah well).

It was pretty outback. Drinking beers in a corrugated hot tub drawing water from an artesian bore. Yep, pretty sweet.

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We made it off the peninsula and found a campsite to rest for the night. The next morning we were absolutely INVADED by flies. I am not kidding you, we threw all our stuff in the van without even packing properly and put the pedal to the floor to get away from them. There were like, 40 flies just in my facial region. It was such an invasion of personal space…flies just have no idea of social etiquette.

On the plus side, we arrived early to Kalbarri National Park and were able to have breakfast overlooking this beautiful gorge.

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We checked out a few different sites in Kalbarri National Park, namely ‘Nature’s Window’, which was a pretty sweet rock formation. I guess it’s sweeter after there’s been some rain and the river behind is flowing, but we weren’t going to let that ruin our photo shoot. After all, we almost murdered our van getting down the track to it – all our belongings flying around the van and our bones shuddering over the corrugated path.

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Next stop was the Principality of Hutt River – Australia’s second largest country. Yep. You heard me.

People from our generation may not be so familiar with Prince Leonard of Hutt River and his trials, as it was a bit before our time. In very VERY basic terms, this dude (Leonard) was in the wheat farming business back when they introduced wheat quotas (how much wheat they could sell). The quota they were allowed was only a small percentage of their actual crop size, so they asked for compensation for the crop that they would not be able to sell. The government refused, and from then on, Leonard used his solid knowledge of the legal system to secede from Australia and become Australia’s largest micronation. It is pretty freaking awesome.

We didn’t get to meet Prince Leonard, as he was in hospital the day we visited. We did, however, get to meet his oldest son, who happily showed us around the place and gave us lots of info (and answered our stupid questions like “what is your national food?” “is it legal to drink on the streets of Hutt River?”, etc. On grounds they have a chapel, a post office and more. They also have their own national anthem, currency, stamps, etc. It was out of this world (or country)..

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Just hanging out with royalty, don’t mind us.

We were on a bit of a high after our visit to Hutt River, so we splurged on a site at a caravan park in Geraldton and chillaxed with some ciders by the beach.

Then it was off again. Our next major stop that I recall was the Pinnacles.

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These bizarre rock formations cover the land, and are really impressive to see. It kind of feels like you’re on some strange post-apocalyptic planet as you walk amongst them.

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Oh my holy! What a post! After the Pinnacles we shot straight down to Perth, bid farewell to our hitchhiker (until later that evening, anyway) and checked in with my Nanna and Grandad in Claremont, settling down for some temporary familiarity.

I’ve got a whole heap of delicious foodie related posts to come from our time in Perth, I’ll hopefully be rattling them off over the next few days. Phew!