Vegan Black Metal Chef, Isa Chandra M, Terry Hope R and dinner at the Corner Hotel in Richmond!

Plenty of vegans around the country are super pleased right now because we have just been bombarded with vegan chef amazingness.  All in the form of Vegan Black Metal Chef, Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  In fact, some interstate vegans are super pleased enough that they traveled to Melbourne for tonight’s vegan cooking demonstration and Q&A, held at the Corner Hotel in Richmond.

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I rocked up on my own and because I was way early, I decided to get a meal there at the Corner Hotel.  To be honest nothing on their online menu really appealed to me but I grabbed a menu from the bar anyway.  I’m so glad I did (I had been thinking of walking around a bit to find something), because there was this fantastic vegan menu for the night (I think it was just for tonight, that’s what I overheard someone saying).

Straight away, one meal jumped out at me: the roast vegetable soba bowl.  The description to me seemed like they were making Isa’s exact recipe from Isa Does It.  This really appealed to me because I have made it before but mixed up ingredients and it didn’t turn out like I’d hoped.  Purely my fault of course.  Anyway, I figured that if this indeed was Isa’s recipe, then I best try it because it was made by a real live proper chef person.  The other options were a black eyed pea burger with mango salsa and wedges; vegan Southern style fried chicken and a vegan shepherd’s pie.

You guys.  I am SO GLAD I chose this.  The dressing sauce was fantastic and I think… I think I now love the miso-tahini combination.  I neverrrr thought I’d be saying that, not this year at least. Previously, the miso-tahini combination kinda brought on the vommies a little. As soon as I go and buy some cauliflower, I’ll be making this following Isa Does It exactly:

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After hanging out taking my time reading newspapers and stuff, I noticed people going up to Isa and Terry to sign their books.  Isa and Terry were a few tables away and I talked myself out of asking them to sign.  Because having social anxiety can really suck.  But I had taken along Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, hoping to get them signed for DeeW and Arthur respectively seeing as they looove those books.  When I finally did go up, Terry wasn’t there but Isa kindly signed the books for my vegan cupcake lovin’ cookie scoffin’ kids.  My claim to fame for the night is that I was the only person in the audience to have visited Omaha, where Isa now lives and will be opening her restaurant.

 

Once inside, the stage was set up for Black Metal Chef who was up first.  I feel like such a dork now, because I’m not sure if I correctly remember what everyone cooked!  Black Metal Chef made a spinach potato curry, followed by a dish with udon noodles, seitan, mushrooms and capsicum:

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Yes, he really does cut with this:

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Please forgive the crappy quality of my photos, by the way.

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VBMC signed my guitar pick and took a photo with me.  The photo was for Arthur, he really likes watching VBMC’s videos.  Then Arthur walks around in a deep scary voice saying stuff like “Mummy… cook the tofu… be careful not to burn it…”:

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Terry Hope Romero was up next, making a lovely sounding cashew dressing for her to-be-released-soon cookbook called Salad Samurai.  She also cooked up some tofu which smelled amazing.  I had a seat front and centre, best spot in the house:

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Isa made her red pepper Mac and Cheese recipe, one I am determined to make very very soon.  She also made some breaded tofu which was torture, because by that time I was getting hungry again and the divine smells weren’t helping:

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I had a great night, got that ooooh lovely bass-pumping-out-of-your-chest from the live music, and of course I got to meet Isa and Black Metal Chef (not Terry, waaaah).  I’d say I did pretty well!

 

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Sliiiight skinnying of the arms…

A really lazy ‘what I ate’ plus a return to Gong de Lin

Again I’ve fallen behind with making notes of what I’ve been eating.  I’ve been kinda sorta ‘good’, and having some raw stuff but mostly in the form of smoothies and juices.  I’ve found that when I make things that are a little more time consuming, I’m the only one that ends up eating them which is not exactly ideal if there are a lot of nuts involved.  Plus once the cooler weather hits I turn in to one of those people who don’t like eating raw in cold weather!

One of my favourite smoothies is the Cake Batter Smoothie from Eat Raw Eat Well.  It’s made with cashew milk, avocado, date, orange, lemon.  I love this smoothie so much:

cakebattersmoothieHusband and I were near Richmond again so we dropped in to Loving Hut for our usual.  Husband gets the spring rolls.  You can see in the photo they look like regular spring rolls, whereas our previous visits gave us the more puffed up lumpy bumpy pastry:

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I was determined to try another dish but in the end I just felt like the tofu puff-veg curry again.  I’ll get something different next time…

tofu puff veg curry Loving Hut

I made the cheesy-onion raw cauliflower popcorn in the dehydrator using this recipe at Little Vegan Bear.  Caeli is right when she says these feel junky but without the junk!  I just wish my family ate it but I’m not complaining that I get it all to myself:

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My mum made a nice roasted eggplant dip and green beans with potato and carrot.  Yes, that’s a chores list that says scrub toilets:

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Mum also gave me some of the burghul she made and this made another hearty meal served up with grilled mushrooms:

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I made up some lentil and bean ‘meat’ based on a recipe from Isa Does It though I added in some mushrooms.  I had this during the week rolled up and pressed in my sandwich grill press thingy, or in a tortilla.  I made Johanna’s Cauliflower Cheese Sauce with some minor modifications (like veg broth instead of soy milk, and I used nooch instead of tahini).  I ended up putting more sauce on my plate so I could use the tortilla as a mop because this cauliflower sauce is yumz:

taco meat cauliflower cheeze sauce

I made Moroccan Chickpea Burgers from Holy Cow! I liked them but the family are really, really fussy when it comes to burgers.  As in, they don’t really eat them:

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March 14th was Pi Day.  I didn’t make anything on the day, but the day before I made a sortof pie in the form of an apple rhubarb crumble.  I believe North American peeps call this a crisp:

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I was mostly happy with the two person banquet at Gong de Lin recently (we were not served the baby corn soup) so when I got home I’d purchased another two person Scoopon.  I took my sister to Gong de Lin last week and the soup came out straight away.  We had the same entree of steamed dumplings and spring rolls, but these dumplings had a different filling than last time and were bigger too.

For our two main meals the sweet and sour mock pork came out but instead of the spicy mock chicken, we had a mushroom dish.  I thought it was good taste wise but anything other than button shaped mushies make me nervous.  My sister is braver than me in this respect and polished it off. The downside here is that we waited for rice to come out but none appeared.  Flagging down the waitress was pointless because other tables were getting really impatient and beginning to call out.  Besides, my sis and I were really full by this point that we said mehhh don’t worry about the rice:

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I had talked up the dessert course T and I had last time.  This time however, we were given the same ‘dumplings in clear broth’ though the broth again seemed to be water with sugar.  As for the marble sized dumplings, I must report these were a massive let down.  They were plain balls of unsweetened dough with no flavour.  We ate one each then pushed it aside.  Mega disappointing:

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My sister and I walked around a bit to ease our full stomachs.  We stopped in at the Organic Food and Wine Deli in Degraves Street for some cake.  The vegan options were lemon poppyseed (my sister got  that).  I went for the chocolate cherry cake.  Both tasted nice but were a little on the dry side.  I took a photo of my sister’s slice of cake but it was too blurry (this photo isn’t much better):

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I should point out The System my sister and I use.  When we go out to eat, we never order the same thing.  We pick two menu items we both like and we share.  Husband doesn’t get this.  He belongs to the school of “if you want something, just order it”.  Alas, he hates it when I pick from his plate.  In my defence though I must state that this ‘picking’ is always me taking a sample from his plate before I’ve used my cutlery and he’s welcome to try some of my meal.  Ditto for my sister or others who follow The System.  You don’t double dip of course.  But Husband does not understand this amazing System.

My sister and I had gone in to the Manchester Unity building:

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We got in the lift and were snapping photos of ceilings and so on then got told off by the people from some of the businesses there.  Had we seen a ‘no photography’ sign we would have respected it.  It’s silly they don’t have signs up, I know people who go around to old buildings like this snapping pics of the interiors.

Husband and I have been enjoying watching Veronica Mars.  We had the final tv season put aside years ago and have just watched them all.  We’re definitely going to watch the movie.  I never thought I would enjoy a program set in high school (then college) but it’s a great show.  I especially love the interaction between Veronica and her Dad, always fantastically played:

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Another show we’re loving right now is Outrageous Fortune.  OF is a show produced in New Zealand about ten years ago.  I would love to work as a set or wardrobe stylist on a show like this.  I burst out laughing when Pascalle wore the trashy white boots with her bridesmaid dress:

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I swore I wouldn’t buy any more cookbooks… a blog I follow is Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows.  Angela has just released her Oh She Glows cookbook and my copy arrived today.  Wheeee!  I really liked her introduction and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the recipes as they all look brilliant. Each recipe has a photo and it’s a pleasure to read through. Another book that arrived is Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen.  I’ve had my eye on this one for ages but always said no because I wanted to avoid eating bread.  But the truth is I do love a good sandwich and I’m not very creative when it comes to my own sandwiches.  Plus some of the recipes in this book look fab.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from when I was young.  One year in the early 80s, probably 1982, I received my first record: one of those compilation albums with a bunch of hits from that year.  May I present Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five for your viewing pleasure!

The National Hotel, Richmond

Today Husband and I met an old friend for lunch at the National Hotel in Richmond.  As there were quite a few people in the party, a venue was chosen to suit everyone.  I had looked at the menu online and quite a few things seemed suitable.  The actual menu only seemed to listed one vegan option (as in, the word ‘vegan’ was printed) so that’s what I went for: the Thai veg green curry:

the national hotel thai green curry

This was nice and spicy, with a smaller bowl of rice on the side.  Now, as I’m watching my portion sizes this smaller bowl of rice was fine.  But when I’m in my non-portion-size-watching mindset, I’d think more rice was needed.

The National, or the ‘Nash’ as my dad would say– he used to work nearby and he and his colleagues would go to the Nash often.  Dad even found rabbit poos in his salad, but that was twenty years ago– is quite spacious with tables set well apart.  There’s an outdoor undercover area and the old school style toilet blocks are outside. Staff were friendly and I think everyone enjoyed their meals (vegetarian and omni).  All in all, a good option for a nice Sunday lunch.

The National Hotel is located at 344 Victoria Street, Richmond. We ordered our food at the bar and paid straight away.

* Now for a note on the raw eating/how I felt side of things, as a follow on from previous posts.  I was anticipating feeling quite heavy after having eaten mostly raw for the past five days.  I felt okay, though I was pretty hungry when I ordered my meal.  I had a healthy smoothie earlier in the day for breakfast and decided I’d have a green juice for dinner… until we had a last minute change of plans and I went out for dinner.  That post will follow!

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:

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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/

Loving Hut, Richmond and a slightly infuriating Ikea trip

Ah, Loving Hut!  I love being able to eat out somewhere and know that everything on the menu is vegan!

A newsflash! is in order: Linda from The Lentil Institution reports seeing a new Loving Hut opening in Northcote!!!

Husband and I were in Richmond recently and I wanted to have a meal at Loving Hut.  Previously I’d dropped in to get a dessert to eat in the car but this time I wanted to sit down and not risk slopping trifle all over myself and the car seat (again).

There were so many things I wanted to try but for the entree I settled on the Lucky Rainbow Pockets, and not just because it’s a great name.  These were full of crunchy goodness with a sweet dressing.  I’m determined to start using beancurd pockets now:

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Husband ordered the fried spring rolls and said they were good.  Oh okay, they were good.  I had a little taste:

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For my main meal I ordered the Royal Rendang which was made with sliced soy fillets and veg.  Rendang is one of my favourite meals and this was one had different flavours than all the other rendang dishes I have ever tried.  The meal was nice however I kept biting in to little chunks of hard stuff, which I assume is bark of some sort.  At least I knew it wasn’t animal gristle! Then there was a really big piece, about the size of a ten cent coin and after that I decided to call it quits as I was quite full by that point anyway:

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The big positive was the service.  The lovely lady that served us asked if our food was okay and if there was anything they could improve on.  Now that’s service!  I mentioned the bits of bark and it was taken very well.  I will definitely go back to Loving Hut (many times)  and I look forward to working my way through their menu  🙂

Loving Hut is located at Shop 10/242 Victoria Street, Richmond. http://www.lovinghutmelbourne.com.au/

Now where does one go when they’re on Victoria Street in Richmond?  IKEA!  I have a love-hate relationship with this place.  Love, because, well it’s Ikea.  But yet AGAIN I got lost and went in circles when I backtracked, trying in vain to find the kids section.  That’s what you get for thinking you’re a rebel by defying those direction arrows on the floor.

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I had a very quick browse through the food section to see if there were any vegan goodies.  These look vegan but I’d have to confirm it:

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If you know anything about vegan goodies at Ikea, please leave a comment!