Lunch today at Invita Living Food at the Queen Victoria Market

Yay for haircuts!  Especially when you haven’t had one in over a year.  Today I headed down to North Melbourne to get about two hundred kilograms worth of boofy hair cut off (more like six inches but boy my head feels lighter).  After that I went for a short walk down to the Queen Vic Market to pick up a bunch of coriander.  I also thought I’d go and check out Invita Living Food, as I’ve been past it many times without realising I could actually find healthy vegan food in there.

Initially, I was just going to browse and not buy anything but one of the menu items caught my eye: the rice ball.  The description on the menu board (which is different to the description on the website) was ‘rice balls, corn carrot, zucchini, coriander, sea weed, tamari, ginger juice, lemon juice, olive oil, rice crumbs, tapioca starch’.  Gluten free, vegan, full of good healthy stuff.  I think it cost $14.60.   I asked if it was fried in oil and the staff person told me it was baked. The rice ball sure sounded better than my plain bean and veggie soup that was waiting at home!  My stomach was growling, it was another half hour before I’d be home and so I thought why not?  It’s a beautiful day!  Phone photos, sorry!

invita3

The rice ball was pretty big though I was a bit surprised the inside was quite mooshy and for a while I wondered if it was undercooked but I guess with those ingredients, it’s a mooshy ball.  I took a pic but you can’t really make it out:

invita2

I figured I’d eat it, blog about it and see what readers think!  I liked it regardless of the mooshy factor but my favourite part of the meal was the eggplant chickpea salad on the side.  This was really tasty. The serving of quinoa with some veg and lentils mixed through was okay.  There was a little bit of chutney too, I tried it and it was a peanut satay kind of flavour.  It was sweet though and as I’ve cut out sugars/sweet food (apart from fruit), I put this to the side.  Only after I’d emptied a sachet of sugar over it to stop me being tempted to eat a bit more…

There were vegan desserts on display, alas I took a photo that didn’t turn out.  Plus I didn’t want to linger too much around the dessert display, seeing as I’m not eating sweet stuff!  Invita also serve juices, shepherd’s pie, lasagna, a tofu burger (no bun is mentioned) and other savoury breakfast and lunch items.  I very much enjoyed sitting under the marquee listening to the hustle-bustle market sounds and the ding dings of the trams!  All while flipping my new ‘do around.

farah

invita1

Invita Living Food is located at 76 Therry Street, near the Vic Market jam donut van and the organic fruit and veg section.

Advertisements

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, West Melbourne

I had things to do in North Melbourne/West Melbourne this week and finished up at 6pm.  Which was perfect timing because I was standing outside White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant when I was done    🙂

Everything on the menu is vegan and White Lotus do not use onions or garlic.  I had a tough time deciding what to get and in the end I settled for the curry clay pot (with a side of plain rice) as I’d heard people recommend it.  When my clay pot arrived there were a few big pieces of tofu and some mock meat pieces as well as potato, eggplant, sweet potato and carrot.  The serving was just right, though the meal didn’t exactly blow me away like I was hoping and dare I say it was a little on the bland side (though I’m a big garlic fan!).  I would still go back as the service was friendly, the place is completely unpretentious and it’s super easy for me to get to (yeah, I only just worked that one out the day I went there):

claypot

The waitress told me the mock fish is one of their more popular dishes, especially with groups.  The couple next to me ordered the lemon chicken and it looked great.  I might try the fish on a return visit as it is made with soy and not wheat.

whitelotus

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 185 Victoria Street, West Melbourne.  They accept cash only.

Crumbs Bakery North Melbourne and a visit to beautiful l’uccello

Today I started my errands in North Melbourne:

northmelb

I hadn’t had breakfast so at 11:15 I went to Crumbs Organic Bakehouse on Errol Street to try their pizza.  The window display had the usual delicious looking treats and I settled for a pizza slice with tomato, capsicum and mushroom.  Yum!

crumbspizza

Well.  This was the week I was supposed to stop eating desserty things and sugar.  I sort of forgot about that:

crumbsdonut

From North Melbourne I hopped on the tram and headed in to the city to meet up with my buddy J.  While I was waiting for her, I hung around the Block Arcade.  Here’s the mosaic, complete with a stranger’s manky shoe:

blockarcade1

blockarcade2

blockarcade3

blockarcade4

I didn’t need an excuse to listen to this guy outside play:

pianoman

When I met up with J, we went to l’uccello, supplier of vintage haberdashery materials.  What a beautiful shop!  From the windows and wood panelling, to the displays and just all kinds of beautiful awesome.  See for yourself!

luccello

luccello3

luccello4

luccello5

luccello6

luccello7

luccello8

luccello9

luccello10

luccello11

luccello13

lucello2

l’uccello is located in the old Nicholas Building in Melbourne.  I was all oohing and ahhing over the little doors:

littleolddoor

I would love a letterbox like this:

letterbox

Some of the shop windows in the Nicholas Building:

window

Here are some more snaps I took when out in the city today, before it started bucketing down and made my Lord of the Fries burger go all soggy while I was trying to eat it when hurrying to my tram stop:

city1

city4

city2

The view from the Lord of the Fries stand at Flinders Street station:

flindersstview

Hope you enjoyed that little tour 🙂

Mothers Day treats from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop

It feels like we haven’t been to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in aaages.  That’s probably because we haven’t been in aaages.  Arthur had requested I make pancakes for Mothers Day (as in, Mother does all the work) and I said think again buddy cos I’m not going near a frying pan.  We decided on treats from Mister Nice Guy to take to my Mum’s house for afternoon tea.

As usual, there were lots of lovely treats at the bake shop:

mng1

mng3

mng5

mng6

mng7

mng2

mng4

My sister and I were pitching in for afternoon tea so got some cake (yum!) and a piece of the grasshopper cheezecake which is mint flavoured.  As it was brunch time when I visited the bake shop and I hadn’t had breakfast, I decided to try the ‘BLT’ bagel.  Oh my, it was delicious:

bltbagel

Part of our day today involved passing through the suburb of North Melbourne, a lovely part of town:

nthmelb1

nthmelb2

nthmelb3

nthmelb4

nthmelb5

nthmelb6

nthmelb7

nthmelb8

I love this old lettering on a store right near Mister Nice Guy’s:

oldlettering

… it matches this stove someone put out on the nature strip (grassed areas outside homes):

stove2

stove1

Best Mothers Day present: my legs look long and skinny!
shadow

Best wishes for a fantastic Mothers Day, to all you mums out there!

rose

Pizza at Rubicon Cafe

Last week I was treated to lunch at Rubicon Cafe in North Melbourne.  My dining pals and I went at a non-busy time so the place was empty.  In our group we had vegans (well, me), vegetarians and GF folk and we were happy to see there was something for everyone.

I was in the mood for pizza and the friendly guy who served us was very helpful and told me they’d make me a vegan special.  Sounds good right?  And it was.  It was also of hub cap size:

rubiconcafepizza

Vegan pizza is one of things I usually avoid because, well, the ones I’ve had are mostly crap and boring.  Not this one.  It had potato!!! And pumpkin!!!  And cherry tomatoes, capsicum, mushies, olives, spinach, red onion, broccoli WILL YOU STOP THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH.

This is the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had.  I was never much in to cheese on a pizza so the lack of vegan cheese wasn’t a problem at all and in fact if it were an option I would have said no.

It was about $16  and despite how huge it was, I managed to stuff it all down, leaving some crusts (and some dignity) behind.

Rubicon Cafe is located at 50 Errol Street, North Melbourne.