Loving Hut in Northcote

Today I met up with my buddy T and we headed off for lunch at the new Loving Hut in Northcote.  Wheee!

Loving Hut Northcote is very spacious with lots of room for prams:

Loving Hut Northcote

There are fridges and freezers stocking lots of Asian vegan products like mock meats:

Loving Hut Northcote

For our entree we shared the crumbed prawns and money bag dumplings:

Loving Hut crumbed prawns

Loving Hut money bag dumplings

T got the tofu and veg curry with brown rice.  I had a bit and I think this is what I’ll order next time though to be honest we both kinda felt it was a little light on the veg for a $15 dish:

Loving Hut veg tofu curry

I got the southern fried chicken after I’d read one or two great reviews about it.  It did not disappoint, though being a dry dish there was no sauce for the rice.  Just a mayo dipping sauce.  It wasn’t an issue for me because the ‘chicken’ itself was really good, but usually I’m disappointed when I order something with rice that then turns out to be a dry dish so I end up eating plain rice.  I put some of T’s curry on my rice:

Loving Hut southern fried chicken

Service was efficient and friendly and I will definitely be going back there the very next chance I get.  I can’t remember the exact prices of everything, I think my dish (with three pieces of chicken) was $12 and the bill total was $40.

Now we just need a Loving Hut around Brunswick so I don’t have to travel to Northcote or Richmond!

This Loving Hut is located at 377 High Street in Northcote.  Their Facebook page is here.

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Back to Loving Hut in Richmond

Husband and I had stuff to do in East Melbourne so when we were done, we headed over to Loving Hut which was a five minute drive away.  I was starving and my eyes proved to be too greedy for my stomach.  Husband ordered two serves of the spring rolls.  Previously, the spring rolls looked like regular spring rolls.  This time, they were all bubbly-puffy looking but still tasty:

Loving Hut spring rolls

I decided to get the entree of Crispy Delight for $8, which were described as “taro and enoki mushrooms wrapped in a battered seaweed & beancurd skin providing a taste sensation”.  My word, these were stuffed full.  I could only manage two, as they were a little on the oily side and I needed room for my main.  Usually I ask to take food home but I didn’t think these would be nice reheated (and I wasn’t crazy about the oilyness, but I should have realised that when I ordered something battered!) so I left them on my plate:

lovinghutcrispydelight

For my main I got the vegetable curry with tofu puffs and a side of rice.  I really like this nice simple dish:

Loving Hut veg curry

Service was friendly and efficient as always.  Next stop: the new Loving Hut in Northcote!

I previously blogged about a visit to Loving Hut in Richmond hereLoving Hut is located at Shop 10/242 Victoria Street, Richmond. http://www.lovinghutmelbourne.com.au/

New Places and Random Stuff

I’ve taken pics over the past few months but never blogged about where I went, what I did, what products I received for Christmas and so on.  I always meant to write up stuff but time got away from me so now I must lump it all in to one blog post.

Okay, new places!  In Melbourne we have a new vegan store in town called Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery in Preston.  The Facebook page for Mad Cowgirls has more info so check there first. I visited back in December but a lot of stuff had sold out and not able to be ordered back in for a while as suppliers were closed for Christmas.  Compared to a place like Radical, Mad Cowgirls is much smaller in size and naturally, the selection of products wasn’t as extensive but the business is still in its early days.  I asked about a couple of things and the owners said they would look in to stocking it, which was much appreciated!  Service was friendly too, always a plus!

Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery

Aaaages ago, I went to Shokuiku on High Street in Northcote.  It was a quick visit more to see what they had in there, as Husband and the kids were waiting in the car.  I’m a bit on the fence about my experience.  The place was not busy at all (one table had a couple seated, after I placed my order two more customers arrived for a take away order, so not busy at all).  I asked for a piece of the raw mocha choc cake in the fridge display to take away, paid, and then proceeded to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  There was absolutely no reason for the delay apart from the staff person just taking their time… which ended up being eleven minutes.  Eleven minutes of me standing there as useful as a half sucked jellybean as my mate T would say, with the cake right between myself and the staff member, who took her sweet time serving others after me instead of just taking twenty seconds to put my cake in the box. Just as I was about to ask if she could please do it now (instead of wiping down the counter area!) she decided it was time to get my cake.  I’ve since had people tell me how painfully slow the service was for them too, so yep… not really a place I’d go to again, despite being a fan of what they had on offer.  The cake was great though:

Shokuiku cake

shokuiku1

Now for gift ideas!  When my sister asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said a 1kg tub of tahini.  I use it all the time and I love it, so to me it was the perfect present:

1kg tahini

I love Botanical Cuisine’s products and I bought the Lemon & Dill raw vegan Cheese from Mad Cowgirls.  Oh my goodness.  You know how there are some foods that make your eyes roll back with how good they are?  For me it was THIS:

Botanical Cuisine lemon dill cheese

When browsing those specials aisles in Aldi, for things I never really need, I saw these fruit jellies.  Husband likes them so I bought a packet.  Got home and realised they’re vegan!  No gelatin!  Well… I’m hoping they’re vegan.  The ingredients list looked completely vegan:

fruitjellies

I went to a real deal op shop recently.  Real deal as in cramped, over crowded, dirt cheap and musty smelling.  Look at this amazing score for ONE DOLLAR:

icecubetraysI looooove cutesy ice cube trays, that can double as chocolate moulds, and these are divine!

I also loooove the green tea flavour of Nushie’s ice cream.  My sister bought this for me and kept it in mum’s freezer for my next visit:

nushiegreentea
I’m really pleased at how vegan offerings in Melbourne seem to be increasing all the time, ditto for raw food.  I think I’m more pleased about those ice cube trays though!

Meal Planning Week 4: The Hideous Food Photography version

I was incredibly lazy last week when it came to food.  I didn’t plan a full menu again which of course meant our meals were nowhere near as vegietastic as I’d hoped!

One smoothie I like is made with banana, plant milk, oats, cinnamon and hemp protein.  This fills me up for a while.  I call it my ‘porridge smoothie’:

oat porridge banana smoothie

I made the Cauli-power Alfredo pasta sauce from Oh She Glows.  It was quite tasty, though I should have added more plant milk as it was far too thick (I didn’t follow the recipe thoroughly).  Or perhaps I could have added some vegetable stock.  Anyway, I was thinking that if it was really thick, perhaps it could serve as a kind of bechamel layer on a baked pasta or moussaka.  I’ll have to try that one day:

caulipower alfredo

I found a packet of vegan rendang in the back of the pantry and cooked it up with some peas and coconut rice:

vegan rendang

I made some filo parcels with a filling of chickpeas, walnuts and cooked brown rice.  The kids weren’t crazy about them but the next day Arthur asked for leftovers so I’d say they ended up being a winner for one child at least!

chickpea  walnut rice filo parcels

Quite a bit of fruit:

fruit salad

Husband had gone out to a shopping centre and called to ask if I wanted anything from the food court.  It was a hot day, I wasn’t in the mood to cook so I requested some Indian food.  The Indian food outlets at shopping centres often have a few vegan dishes.  My photo does not do it justice.  My photo does not do the plastic bag justice:

indian takeaway

Arthur and I baked the Sweet Potato Blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  As always, I significantly reduce the amount of sugar used:

sweet potato blondies

Sunday was Australia Day.  Originally I had plans to take the family out to some of the free events going on, like the Government House Open Day.  But we had a late change of plans, a really late night and when Husband and I woke up we were way too tired.  We did stop at Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop on the way to visit my parents:

Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop music

Mister Nice Guy’s made awesome Australia Day themed cupcakes (here are last year’s).  I got the Golden Gaytime, which the Bake Shop described as a “vanilla toffee swirl cake with caramel frosting, topped with chocolate and caramel ganache and sprinkled with honeycomb”.  Golden Gaytime is an icecream that has been around since I was a little girl and it was probably my favourite icecream-on-a-stick before I went vegan. So if something is ‘Golden Gaytime inspired’ I am THERE.  We also got the ANZAC biscuit inspired cupcake and a donut. Arthur got his usual cinnamon bun:

Mr Nice Guy's Bake Shop selection

To finish off the week, Husband and I went out to dinner at Magic Mint Cafe in Moonee Ponds.  I got my usual veggie pakora for entree and the mixed vegetable curry for my main.  YUMZ:

Magic Mint Cafe veg curry

It’s Wednesday here and I haven’t used a meal plan this week either! The weather has been urgh-hot again, though today is lovely so I might get some baking done, or meals that can last a few days.

Fingers crossed I’ll get back to meal planning for next week…

Eat Fresh Pizza, Maribyrnong

Vegan pizza is one of those things where I’d probably only ever eat it as a gourmet style pizza in a vegan establishment, or at home, because I can be pretty much assured that either of those options would be really tasty and full of flavour.  In my experience, the vegan (well, vegetarian-minus-cheese) pizzas at regular pizza joints are bland and blergh.

A vegan friend recently recommended Eat Fresh Pizza in Maribyrnong.  Now, when a regular suburban kind of pizza joint is advertising vegan pizza in addition to regular omni pizzas, that’s one place I want to check out.  And so we checked it out for dinner tonight.  After ordering my ‘vegetarian pizza minus cheese’ without looking at the menu, I browsed the menu and saw they have options for vegan ham and salami, which like the vegan cheese, incur an extra charge.  Doh!  I could have ordered something more omnivore style, with the vegan hams instead.  Live and learn!  I had just assumed the only vegan option would be whatever comes on a vegetarian pizza.

Still, my pizza was quite nice and definitely not bland.  I bought enough so I could have leftovers as tomorrow is a busy day and I’d like something I can quickly heat up for lunch.  Okay, breakfast:

Eat Fresh Pizza Maribyrnong vegan pizza

There were a few tables inside and a window bench. Naturally, I forgot to take a photo of the outside.  It’s a white shop front with a car parking lot next to it (that’s where we parked).

Eat Fresh Pizza is located at 44 Raleigh Road, Maribyrnong.  Not too far from Highpoint shopping centre.  http://www.eatfreshpizza.com.au/index.html  Their Facebook page is here. If you’re not familiar with Maribyrnong, it’s about a five minute drive from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop 🙂