Monday, May 10, 2010

Animals Australia dinner at Zen Zero Blu

Because I'm a moron I somehow confused ALV with Animals Australia as I am a member of both. So it turned out that I only realised I was at an Animals Australia dinner when I sat down and read the stuff on my table. Oops.

Anyway, the place was booked out with about 80 people. Turned out that everyone was an activist and everyone knew everyone except me who knew no one and I was thankful I brought two mates along for the ride.

Food was great, with a number of the 8 courses as shared plates. Starting with olives, bread and dips, and a divine potato and leek soup with truffle oil as the best finishing touch ever. Truffle oil = magic. I wasn't privy to this information before. Followed by potato wedges with fennel and rosemary, baked eggplant stuffed with rice - unfortunately the rice was about all you could taste - and some delicious mushroom risotto balls.  The only dish that I wasn't keen on was the apple, cabbage and walnut coleslaw. In fact, I don't think there is any vegan food I have tried and not liked and I found this coleslaw inedible along with my mates who also didn't eat theirs. Which was fine really considering we were already bloated from the other courses. And that Dave the Duck Rescue dude at our table was happy to eat our leftovers...

And finished off with a beautiful berry sorbet with fresh mint, the sorbet so creamy it was almost like icecream.

I had no idea what to expect from one of these dinner gathering thingamies, but I did have a moment of panic when Roy, an Animals Australia volunteer, got up to talk about activist stuff. I'm all fine with it, but neither of my mates are vegan or animal rights type people so I had that horrible feeling of "Oh god, they are going to think I am an extremist and I have lured them into a trap and am secretly trying to convert them." I worried unnecessarily, particularly as I appeared to be the only person there who didn't do anything except donate, so really I looked pretty tame. In fact, I am such a poor activist that I made the terrible faux pas of wearing leather boots to the dinner (purchased pre-vegan days!).

FYI - Zen Zero Blu do an 8 course vegetarian degustation for $32 which is standard on the menu. If you want the vegan degustation you need a minimum of 20 people plus letting them know well in advance.


  1. Hi there,

    This is Linda and I would like to invite you to our upcoming Buddha's Day Festival at Federation Square this w'end 15th - 16th of May.

    In 2010, we celebrate our 15th consecutive Festival….see the website for a full program of events – we thought we might give you a heads up again for the return of Vegi-licious: The Karma of Being Vegetarian @ the Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival

    Details are as follows – we’ve quite a line up this year!

    Vegi-licious: The Karma of Being Vegetarian

    DATES: Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 May

    TIMES: 11am-5pm (SAT) AND 12.30pm-5pm (SUN)

    WHERE: Buddha’s Day Miele Australia Kitchen

    ADDRESS: River Terrace, Federation Square

    DETAILS: As part of the 15th annual Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival, Buddha’s Light International Association of Victoria is proud announce the third instalment of the ever popular Vegi-licious: The Karma of Being Vegetarian, vegetarian cooking demonstrations with chefs and cooks from some of Melbourne’s finest establishments and renowned vegetarian eateries.

    Guest presenters for 2010 include: Andy Harmer, Vue de Monde; Lentil as Anything; Naomi Douglas and Carter Lawrence (Trainees) and David Kapay of Fifteen Melbourne & Fifteen Foundation; Angela Nicolettou of CAE & The Green Grocer; Tony Lew of Enlightened Cuisine; Josh James, The Vegie Bar and Dylan Roberts of St Jude’s Cellars (

    Any questions, just email me at