I have been trying to cook Italian food at home this week. I say trying not because I have trouble cooking, but because we’ve been to so many social events these last two weeks, that I have scarcely been home 2 nights in the last 14.
So, instead of hopping straight to the next country, I decided to pop in a few reviews of the places we’ve been lately. I have no photos as I only just decided to write these now 🙂
Vegie Hut – Sunday Lunch
I miss yum cha. Pre-veganism, I used to go with friends in Canberra, and it was always so very very good. We went to Vegie Hut to meet up with some friends who live over that way. The menu on Sunday includes a lot of small dishes yo would expect to find at yum cha, but diners order from the menu rather than enjoying the typical yum-cha table service.
The favorites of the day were the mock pork buns, the mock curry with roti, and the leek cakes, which were really, really yummy.
I wasn’t so keen on the gold and silver balls, the taro prawns, and the rolls (I can’t remember what they were called?) due to a texture thing – I’ve never been a big fan of the hard and chewy, fish-cakes-on-steroids texture that accompanies mock prawns.
Eat Pizza – Maribyrnong
Mr and I only discovered Eat Pizza since we got our copy of the most recent Veg Guide. OMG we’re so glad we did! Eat Pizza is the best bought pizza I have eaten since going vegan. I know there’s plenty of vegan pizza around, but if I’m buying pizza, I want it crunchy and fluffy and cheesy, and for the love of god without bean shoots.
Eat Pizza delivers exactly this. They have vegan cheese and vegan salami, and a broad range of other toppings, they are really friendly and don’t need to be told twice once you say vegan. We have tried the vegan Lot, the Americana, and another I can’t remember now, but for all the options, our favourite has been the Vegetarian with Cheezly.
Its a bit of a trip to get there, but its worth it, and if the weather cooperates you can always sit in the park and eat your pizza while watching the river. Lovely 🙂
Work Christmas Party – Sapore, St Kilda
Ah, work christmas parties. I have to say my expectations are never very high when it comes to catering at these things. I have been served flavour-free risotto, just the vegetables from the roast everyone else was having, raw capsicum sandwiches (not kidding), and one time coleslaw with egg mayo and ham in it.
This was Mr.’s work party, and we went to Sapore in St Kilda. It is completely gorgeous on the inside, and the staff were friendly and helpful. The food started out on a very promising note – to die for canapes (fried potato base with tomato and mustard cress), and very yummy tomato consommé.
Next up were the entres, and we were given ribolita with bruschetta. This was ok, but not amazing. The ribolita was very beany, which was good for the protein, but a little bit of a let down after the flavours of the canapes.
The main course was a bit of a disaster. Lots of woody steamed asparagus, some unidentified grass-like green vegetable, cooked well past its death, and some flavourless zucchini flowers, which was very sad, as zucchini flowers are usually delicious. The saving grace of the meal was the carrot puree, which was much tastier than it sounded. Overall, the main was very hard to eat, and we had to leave a fair amount of it, due to stringy issues (near choking incident).
Dessert for us and one other non-dairy consumer was home made honeycomb and some fruit. It was delicious, interesting, but unfortunatly a very small serving. That said, this is probably good, as we would have definitely gone overboard on the sugar if we were left to our own devices!
All up, I have to say that the intention and innovation was clearly there, and I have to give points to the kitchen for trying, outside of their comfort zone (the rest of the menu was Italian pastas and meat dishes, foe gras, cream and butter). Most of the food was good, and much better than the offerings at many omni restauants, but the main was a serious let down, and could have benefited from any form of protein or even just a little more flavour.
East Brunswick Club
Monday at the East Brunswick – doesn’t really require a lot of explanation for your Melbourne vegans, I’m sure.
We’ve been twice in the last short while, and between the two of us have had the parma, the cheeze and bacon burger, the chicken burger, and the peanut butter cheesecake. It was great as always, with enormous servings and lots of satisfying salt and grease. That said, is it just me, or have they changed the parma? It seemed more gluten-y than usual this time.
Tonight, after all that, we’re heading to Vegie Kitchen on St Georges Road. I’ll post and update to this with my review tomorrow.
How have other vegies been faring this silly season? Any great omni restaurant experiences? Or terrible ones?