Friday, July 23, 2010

Atomica and vegan love

Did you see that post on Eat More Vegies about shoddy customer service?

It reminded me that I did have a lovely experience at Atomica that I better tell everyone because this particular nicety never happens!

Aside from the fact that their coffee rules, they had a few yummy veganiseable options on the menu for brekkie - and I opted for the mushrooms on sourdough toast, minus the feta and cooked without butter.

Brace yourself.

Upon serving me, the waitress told me she had taken the feta off the price of my meal. Voluntarily!

Amazing. After getting used to the fact that you always pay the same price no matter what you remove from the dish, and quite often then pay more on top to replace it with something veg I fell a little bit in love with her.

Yeah, they don't have a huge selection of vegan options, but if that extra bit of attention isn't good vegan-friendly service, I don't know what is!

268 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Popped in for my first meal at Cavallero last night. Having checked the breakfast menu before and finding it free of vegan options I have never really made it into the place despite living in Collingwood for 18 months.

Anyway, I had an idea it was a bit too cool for school. But I had no idea it was so pricey. Yeah it's nice, but, well, isn't it really just another cafe/bar/restaurant on Smith St with nothing, personally, that elevates it much beyond that...? To the point of spending $108 on a small veggie dinner for two?

My date and I shared some olives to start, followed by her main of overly salty Zucchini fritters with cavolo nero and something cheesey (goats cheese?), and my main of mushroom, leek and watercress soup which was delicious and the only vegan main available. A side of roast potatoes, and 3 glasses of red (we couldn't afford the cheapest bottle at $42!) brought the bill to $80! Our two average cocktails brought the bill to $108.

Is it me or is that pretty bloody obscene? Shared olives, two pretty simple veggie dishes and a side of potatoes, no desserts - which part of those ingredients or techniques cost so much?

Can you tell the gratuitous pricing irked me?

That aside, the food was fine, the wine was fine, the lighting and ambience fine, service fine... but in Melbourne there is a glut of places to go that are more than reasonably priced and better than fine.

300 Smith St
Collingwood VIC 3066

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nutritional Yeast, you rule.

I love this stuff - this must be my one 'freaky vegan' staple that I always keep a few packets of in my pantry.

For those not in the know: Nutritional yeast (also called Savoury yeast flakes, or 'nooch') is deactivated yeast flakes - a great source of B complex vitamins and complete protein. Many are fortified with Vitamin B12 (produced by bacteria just as the B12 in meat and dairy is) and you only need around a tablespoon or two to get a full whack of vitamins.

I only discovered yeast flakes when trying out Vegan Dad's Mac N Cheese recipe. And since then I have found it is awesome in adding a little cheesy creamy flavour to so many things. And then there's the 'superfood' health benefits to boot!

Also, being low on sodium I find it a great way to add a little more flavour without using salt. And, in my opinion at least, I find the flavour pretty mild - I was hesitant at first thinking it would be as strong as salt, herbs or spices where you would never add half a cup of it to your cooking. Being so mild I find I don't have to measure it or worry about how much I'm adding - I have never eaten anything where I thought I have overdone it.

I'm pretty generous with adding it to my cooking, adding anywhere from a tablespoon to half a cup of it to things like cheesy or tomatoey pasta sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, gravy, pizza topping, tofu scramble, marinades, french toast.. basically my rule of thumb is if cheese or salt would taste good in it, so would this.

I'm always interested to see what other things nutritional yeast is great in!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dried bean curd knots

Do you think that sounds vile and vomitous to non-veg*ns?  I thought it sounded fascinating and delicious until I typed it.

Anyway, I'm getting my mitts on some from the Asian grocer on Brunswick St, Fitzroy. From what I hear, you soak them for 20mins in stock then cook 'em up as a meat substitute, maybe in a stirfry or curry. Ideas??

BUT that's not the exciting thing - apparently they have that yummy stringy faux chicken texture you get in restaurants and never at supermarkets as they are made of lots of thin layers of beancurd skin.

Healthy people: these are meant to be not nearly as processed as other faux meaty things made from soy, woo!