Lunch at Enlightened Cuisine

Husband and I had some stuff to do in East Melbourne and the city yesterday, so I talked him in to going to lunch at Enlightened Cuisine. Beforehand though, I ducked in to this building in East Melbourne to see what it looked like inside (it was a medical suite, so I wasn’t trespassing.  I don’t think):

eastmelb1

eastmelb2

eastmelb3

We wandered along Southbank and I had to take photos of the whacky young people up a tree:

southbank1

southbank2

We arrived at Enlightened Cuisine about 1:30pm after walking around in the heat for a while.  The restaurant was completely empty– I hope it fills up during the earlier lunch hour!

ec1

I’ve only ever had Enlightened Cuisine at World Vegan Day 2012.  I had ordered the lemon chicken on one side of my rice and curried lamb (both mock meat, obviously!) on the other.  That was the first time I’d had anything remotely Chinese restauranty since going vegan.

Yesterday I chose the curry puffs for my entree.  These were nice and puffy and I was secretly pleased that Husband didn’t like them much (he’s not in to curried pastry kind of dishes):

ec2

For my main I ordered the curry vegetables with rice:

ec4

This meal tasted fine but I was a little disappointed with the mushrooms as I believe they were mushrooms from a can.  And if they weren’t, they sure tasted that way.  If you grew up in the days when there was no such things as fresh mushrooms on pizza, you know that tinned mushroom/champignon taste I’m talking about.  Actually when I was young, a relative opened a pizza shop and cooked us a pizza with real mushrooms.  We all stood there trying not to show our horror.  It was the first time we had ever seen fresh sliced mushroom on pizza.  He said he was one of the first people to use fresh mushroom and not the tinned variety.  Who knows?  What I do know is that after that, we were converted.

Back to Enlightened Cuisine.  Husband ordered two soups. These were out of his comfort zone and he liked the sweet corn soup but wasn’t keen on the three mushroom soup.  One of these soups was vegan, I don’t remember which one so I’ve put in a photo of both  🙂

ec5

ec3

The service was great and our meals arrived quick smart.  I guess it helped that we were the only people there!  Our lunch cost about $27 for the two of us.

Enlightened Cuisine is a place I’d return to again, preferably with veg*n friends so I can try some of their meals.  You know how it is  😉

We’d parked the car on St Kilda Road, right near the Victoria Police Memorial:

stkildaroad1

stkildaroad2

And that was our day. I was glad to be home out of the heat and today we’ve had plenty of rain and a lovely cool breeze.  Definitely a welcome change after a fortnight of hot weather, I might even put the oven on…

Enlightened Cuisine is located at 113 Queensbridge Road, Southbank,Melbourne. http://ecuisine.com.au/

Dinner at Warung Agus

The great thing about ‘traveling’ in veg*n blog circles is that I get to see great recommendations for places to eat.  The other day I read about the Good Hearted’s visit to Warung Agus and decided I had to visit there asap!  So tonight, my mum, sister and brother in law rocked up as soon as Warung Agus opened (with a reservation!).  We’re early dinner people.  Mum always had dinner on the table by 6pm and I freely admit that when my friends make dinner reservations for 7:30pm or later it is TORTURE.

warungagus1a

warungagus1

warungagus2

warungagus3

warungagus5

For the entree, I ordered the ‘Apokat Mebasa Santen Misi Oong-Avocado with mushroom and coconut cream sauce’. I only remembered to take a photo after I messily plopped it on to my plate:

warungagus7

My sister got the ‘Krupuk Singkong -Basket of spicy vegetarian cassava crackers and peanut sauce’:

warungagus9

Alas, I can not talk about my mum and brother in law’s meals as they weren’t vegan  🙂

For my main I got the ‘Tuung Mebasa Santen Lalah Manis- Sliced eggplant and tofu braised in coconut milk, sweet soy and spicy gravy’:

warungagus6

My sister got the ‘Toge- Traditional Balinese gado gado – Mountain of steamed vegetables and bean curd with peanut sauce and cassava crackers’:

warungagus8

My sister and I also ordered the ‘lemonade’:

warungagus10

We were all really happy with our meals.  My eggplant tofu was a little on the sweet side for me but delicious nonetheless.  Same with the lemonade which was pretty sweet indeed but I’d order it again as it was perfect for today’s hot stuffy weather.  We were way too full to eat dessert, although I didn’t see anything on the menu marked with a ‘V’ (and didn’t ask about it as we weren’t ordering anything).

I’m looking forward to visiting again as the meals and service were all great.

Warung Agus is located at 350 Victoria Street, West Melbourne.  Website is here.  Be mindful that they don’t take Eftpos!

Dinner at Lentil As Anything in Footscray

Lentil As Anything is one of those places non veg*ns know about so I’m a little embarrassed to admit that tonight was my first trip there.  It’s been on my to do list for ages but I just never seemed to get around to it. I was visiting some family nearby and we’d originally planned to go and eat dinner at one of the veg*n places in Fitzroy but we were all feeling pretty tired and preferred something closer .

This page explains how LaA operates: http://lentilasanything.com/philosophy.php

The vegan options tonight were plain rice, a dhal, pumpkin curry, a fab salad made with potato and green apple and a tomato-lettuce plain salad.  The vegetarian options were creamy pasta and rice pudding for dessert:

laA1

While we were eating, the lovely cook brought over a large bowl of her own special eggplant-tomato salad:

laA2

 She (I didn’t think to ask her name, silly me) said she is from Eritrea and this is a dish she makes all the time.  Okay so it was delicious, spicy and refreshing but the thing that moved me most was that I felt like I was being treated like a special guest in her home.  When people give you that genuine, proud smile as they bring you something they’ve made and chat excitedly to you about it, you see just how much love and thought went in to it all 🙂

Lentil As Anything have three locations: Footscray, Abbotsford Convent and St. Kilda.  The Footscray LaA is located at 233 Barkly Street, Footscray.

http://lentilasanything.com

My new addiction: chocolate tahini spread

A few weeks ago I was shopping at a larger Bigfields supermarket (some stores only carry fruit and veg but others are more a supermarket).  Then I saw THIS:

I’ve made my own chocolate hazelnut spread but thought I’d give this a go.  It was gone in three days and I ate most of it with a spoon.

I’ve received confirmation from the company that this product is vegan.  Yay!  Not so yay for my waistline, but at least this stuff is high in calcium, right?

I recommend looking in stores that stock imported Greek products.  I bought this from the Bigfields in Sunshine.  Enjoy!  With a spoon.

Valentine’s Day 2013

pepe

Ahh, Valentine’s Day!  Don’t we all want a little French skunk bouncing after us with that cute little springy sound effect?

So I did have grand plans for breakfast (pancakes in heart shapes with fresh fruit) but you know, I sort of looked at the clock and said well we all slept in and we’re planning a Mister Nice Guy’s visit today so let’s get going now.  I did manage to get some fruit in to the family (and the leftover bits got turned in to a nice juice for me).  Yes, this world map does cover our kitchen table.  We have a sheet of clear vinyl on top and you can use whiteboard textas/markers then wipe them off:

heartfruit

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop had their hearts and ribbons a-happenin’. DeeW thought it was super:

mng5

mng1

mng6

mng7

I think I just discovered my next birthday cake:

mng2

 The bake shop also had a free bottle of home made strawberry milk (rice or soy) with a purchase of a cupcake.  Husband always gets a cupcake.  I like that I’m married to a cupcake man:

mng3

Arthur and I got a cinnamon bun and a heart cookie for him to share with his sister:

mng4

mng8

All my cooking/baking plans went out the window because it’s too hot today and for the rest of the week.  So I was more than happy to go somewhere this year to buy tasty delights.

Hope you had a sunshine day!

(geez, tone it down a bit there Bobby…)

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop is located at 151 Union Road, Ascot Vale and very close to public transport.  Here is their stockists web page:

http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/stockists/