Tag Archives: vegetarian food

Mission #1: Final Report

Phew! So there goes my first monthly mission and boy was it interesting choosing vegetarian. Some friends went along with me and I’m grateful they deprived themselves of meat just to eat out with me or come to my first dinner event. Continue reading

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Mission #1: Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery

Another suggestion when I embarked on my vegetarian mission was to visit “the place full of Buddhas”. After a few curious questions, I discovered it was a Buddhist art gallery and also a restaurant that serves vegetarian lunch. Continue reading

Mission #1: Yong Green Food

A restaurant recommendation that has often come up during my vegetarian mission is Yong Green Food. I made a quick stop by the other day and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test out my new Canon 600D camera. Continue reading

Mission #1: Shakahari Too (Event)

The Event
As part of my monthly mission, I decided I would also hold a monthly event to go along with it! This would allow bloggers and friends to join me, allowing some interaction and fun offline and not just online. You can imagine how nervous I was when I started inviting friends to a vegetarian event…

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Luckily, I have some amazing supporters who came to share this unique experience with me. I was after somewhere I hadn’t particularly heard of, but still sophisticated enough for my first dinner event. I came across Shakahari in Carlton and realised they had a second branch in South Melbourne, which looked worth checking out.

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It looks small from the front, but they led us to another dining area at the back. The fish on the walls and mythical creatures on the menu seemed to provide some undertones of possible spiritual influences on the type of food they serve.

20140815_190036 Entree
I found the menu quite accessible for people who aren’t vegetarian – as everything still managed to sound familiar yet delicious. Whilst we decided on our mains, we enjoyed the Avocado Magic for entree; tempura avocado wedges and capsicum rolled in eggplant, served with coriander and sesame puree.

I feel like this was quite creative for a vegetarian entree, and I particularly enjoyed the puree to provide more flavour to the batter.

My friends also ordered a few non-alcoholic drinks. The left drink tasted a bit like apple juice, whilst the right included tamarind and had a bit of a sour aftertaste. I feel that the vibe of the restaurant meant these drinks are supposed to showcase natural ingredients and provide some sort of cleansing in the body.

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Mains

  • Nonya Lodeh ($22): Basmati rice, coconut curry, pappadum (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
  • Italian Secret ($22): Spaghetti or Linguini tossed in herbal oil, fresh basil and pesto (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
  • Green, Green Laksa ($20.50): Udon noodles in Thai krachai and basil green coconut stock (Vegan, Non-dairy)
  • Croquettes Quinoa ($20.50): Patties of mashed yam, potatoes, quinoa and more (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
  • Lasagne Conchita ($22): Lasagne layered with cousous, kale, pumpkin, chia seeds and more (Dairy)

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I had the lasagne, which was so large I struggled to finish it. The layers filled with couscous really made a filling meal and The Sunday Oven beside me also couldn’t finish her’s. For the first time in my life, I would recommend making the lasagne a tad smaller and providing more of the sides and salad to balance it out!

I felt like I also had a bit of food envy for the people who ordered the laksa – it looked delicious and I usually enjoy tofu dishes.

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Desserts

  • Lemongrass Coconut Cheesecake ($15.50) (Dairy)
  • Flourless Chocolate, Cherry and Fig Pudding ($15.50) (Dairy, GF)
  • Tofu Caramel ($14.50) (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
  • Black Rice and Sago Pudding ($14.50) (Vegan, Non-dairy, GF)
  • St Ali Coffee Ice-Cream ($6.50, not pictured)

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After some talk, most of us still had room for dessert and I loved the variety in the menu that seemed to cater to all my guests’ tastes.

I had the tofu caramel, but was slightly disappointed as the caramel flavour wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped nor did there seem to be enough sauce to liven up the tofu. My friend’s black rice on the other hand was delicious. It wasn’t pretty, and looked like “cat food” according to Consider the Sauce. But warm and topped in milk, pandan and coconut caramel, the flavour truly shone.

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Some of my guests also chose the freshly made ice-cream. The coffee flavour was made with St Ali coffee and tasted stronger than your usual coffee ice-cream, but I really enjoyed it at that strength.

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Thanks to everyone who made it to this event and I hope you enjoyed the food. I’m glad everyone also enjoyed my cards and programs for the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne – the event that inspired this vegetarian theme.

There’s no mock meats here, so don’t expect that, but expect some flavoursome and creative vegetarian food. I’ll be trying more vegetarian places this month, but feel free to provide suggestions for next month’s event and theme!

Shakahari Too is located at 225 Clarendon St, South Melbourne and is open for lunch Tue-Sat 12-3pm and dinner Wed-Sat 6-10pm. They will start opening Tue-Sat 6-10pm from 2nd September.

Shakahari Too on Urbanspoon

Madame K’s Vegetarian

Sometimes spontaneity provides you with more memorable experiences, especially when out to dine. After an unfulfilling meal at Henry and the Fox (a post on this will be coming in the future), we ventured to Brunswick St for a second round.

Our initial plan was to drop by the popular vegan and organic restaurant Yong Green Food, but this plan was thwarted after their voicemail said they were closed for a break.

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Next idea was Vegie Bar, but this place is crazy-busy on weekends. But Melbourne is full of eateries and we were bound to find something else on Brunswick St – and my friend then spotted Madame K’s Vegetarian.

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It was smaller than Vegie Bar but still full of diners, and we were lucky to get a table for three.

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It was a bit cramped and the staff kept squeezing between me and another table, but I was just glad we managed to score a table on a Friday night.

We started off with some chive dumplings ($6.90, below – sorry for blurry photo). They were panfried and surprisingly full of flavour – I honestly didn’t realise these crispy vegetarian dumplings could be so tasty! I think the dipping sauce also had an attractive, strong flavour – similar to soy but a lot more compelling.

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I wasn’t entirely hungry after Henry and the Fox (how rare), thus I went for an entree of lamb sliders. I assume it was “mushroom made lamb”, as described in all their other lamb dishes on the menu. They won my curiosity as the description did not mention the common brioche buns but instead, naan bread. They were quite different but I don’t think it worked as a wrap for me.
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The doughy and thick nature of the bread means I would much prefer dipping it in some nice curry. The other ingredients reminded me of the minty flavours you would get in a Vietnamese dish. Unfortunately, I probably would have preferred these ingredients in a normal bun, as the bread is a tad chewy to bite off whilst trying to enjoy a wrap.

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My friends on the other hand, were still ready and gearing for another full dinner. They both ordered rice dishes, which were quite similar in taste.

One was a mushroom dish (above, $16.90), with various mushrooms, eggplant and Thai basil served with Jasmine rice. You have the option to choose Jasmine or brown rice. The dark sauce resembles oyster sauce, but I felt like the flavour was more interesting and intense than your average oyster sauce.

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This sauce was similar to what was used with the tofu and cashew dish (above, $16.90). And this was a good thing because we all enjoyed this flavour a lot. I think perhaps the sauce’s aroma and flavour was enhanced by the Thai influences, rather than your typical Westernised Chinese takeaway.

Whilst we enjoyed our meals, I noticed a constant stream of takeaway customers coming in and out of the restaurant. Service was quite quick – the only issue was they didn’t realise my entree was actually my meal, so they were waiting for me to finish before serving my friends’ mains. This was quickly sorted though.

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Finally, we couldn’t say no to dessert as we were enjoying a good chat and thought the banana roti ($10.90) sounded too good to pass on. I was still dreaming of Chin Chin’s amazing banana roti, but this was different and delicious in its own way. It was a bit like a crepe but with a thicker base of roti, with not only banana, but also strawberries, soy ice-cream, their homemade sauce and a bonus kiwi fruit.

Thus, I’m not ashamed to say – we ordered another one of these! I’d happily go back but I’m aiming to try Yong Green Food first. If you decide to go here, I’d suggest booking or going on a slightly quieter night during the middle of the week to get a better table.

Madame K’s Vegetarian is open for lunch Sat-Sun from 12-3.30pm and dinner every night from 5-10pm. Check out their menu here.

Madame K's Vegetarian on Urbanspoon