Tag Archives: vegetarian

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

Mission #1: Gong De Lin

Here it goes – my last post for my August mission to try vegetarian food. This was a last minute decision on Friday and a special thanks goes out to foodiepanda for suggesting this place on Instagram! 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: Choosing Vegie Meals

In line with my first mission, I thought in addition to eating at vegetarian places, that I would try opt for the vegetarian dishes at everyday restaurants. And so the challenge began at my local (near work), Miss Jackson. 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

Mission #1: Lentil As Anything

You may have heard of Lentil as Anything, as there are several branches in Melbourne. It’s known for its unique payment method – you pay however much you feel it’s worth.

20140810_174059The most popular one is located at Abbotsford Convent, and so I had this in mind for my vegetarian mission. It wasn’t until I started looking it up online that I discovered there was one much closer to home in Preston.

The interior was small and basic, which was expected for a place that runs on donations. However as we were waiting for our food, we decided to check out the courtyard at the back.
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It definitely had that grungy feel with graffiti and dreamcatchers decorating the place, but it also looked like a great spot if you were to drop in for brunch or on a sunny day.

20140810_174527As it was cold, we remained at our table inside, but we were glad we made the effort to see what was hidden at the back.

20140810_175030This branch provides table service, which was prompt. I went with the curry platter, which came with some rice, dhal, curry, salad and pappadum. It wasn’t amazing, and the curry and dhal could have been a lot hotter (temperature-wise and spiciness-wise). To be honest, I’ve tried dhal made by a film festival colleague, which tasted a lot better!
20140810_175023My friend ordered the Indian minestrone soup, which seemed to have a herbal flavour in the soup that wasn’t to my taste. A little towards the end my friend also believed he found a hair in his soup at which point we moved on to the salad…
20140810_175534The Vietnamese salad was surprisingly delicious. I was reluctant to order something Vietnamese at a place like this because, as we are both Vietnamese, I didn’t think it would be up to standard. However the tofu on top was excellent, covered in some nice, sweet sauce.

Our only gripe would be there was not enough tofu!
20140810_180135My friend enjoyed his cappuccino, whilst I ordered a hot chocolate. It looked lovely but took a little while to come out and the froth felt cold.
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And so I’m glad I got to try something out of my comfort zone, which is what the mission is all about. Unfortunately the place did not surprise me with some amazing food, but the people were lovely and attentive. I might give the Abbotsford Convent one a go in the future.

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Lentil As Anything is located at 288 High St, Preston and is open for lunch 12-3pm and dinner 5-9pm everyday. Check out their menu here.

Lentil as Anything on Urbanspoon

As always for this month’s mission, I would like to remind you I have chosen vegetarian as my first adventure to raise awareness of the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne. Our program is now live and you can watch our trailer below!