Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Press Club II

Last night Greg & I went to The Press Club for a belated anniversary date.  We decided to go there since I had enjoyed the lunch that I had there so much & Greg was keen to go after hearing me raving about it.  Since we were having an expensive meal anyway we decided to go for the degustation menu.  I love a good degustation menu, I think because I decide what we eat every night I love that someone just brings me lots of food & I don't have to think about what I want to eat.

To start with, we were given complimentary pickled vegetables, Dench olive bread & Dench sourdough bread (not pictured).  The olive bread is so good & the breads were served with kalamata olive oil & organic black salt.  Greg says that I always use too much salt but he even loved the black salt.

Our first course was 3 salads, they were a dried tomato salad, a skewer with watermelon & roasted capsicum & olive bread salad - all deliciousness.  The dried tomato salad was particularly good - it was really intensely flavoured & I loved it.  Although at this point Greg was concerned that he was going to be hungry which he really should not have been worried about.  It is a terrible photo, but you get the general idea.

Next course was supposed to be "fish and chips", they normally serve chips with taramasalata, but for us they did chips & hommous with olive oil couscous.  The olive oil couscous is olive oil that has been frozen in liquid nitrogen so it looks super impressive when it is served up & also looks like couscous, but melts into delicious liquid olive oil on the hommous.  Our lovely waitress instructed us to dip the chips into hommous & eat which we did & it was really, really good.  The chips were quite possibly the best chips ever.

Next course was steamed Zucchini flowers, watermelon, pickled watermelon rind and daikon.

Next up was pasta with lemon, olive oil & fresh herbs with shaved Tasmanian truffles - simple & ridiculously good, although by this stage I was getting pretty full!

Then came out baby vegetables with celery gel, crumbled carrot cake & sunflower seeds.  Again it was another course of deliciousness.  I am not sure but I think there are purple carrots in there which were my favourite.

Then came dessert & I was really, really full but could not say no when presented with vanilla rice pudding with candied walnuts - I would like to eat this every day it was so good!

At this stage I was really hoping that the meal was over because I had eaten way too much, but we were then presented with our final course - poached pear with orange gel & pistachio praline with blackberry sorbet on crumbled pistachios. The blackberry sorbet was amazing!!  I am not a huge fan of sorbets but this was incredible!

It is certainly not a cheap meal at $125 each, but we were there for 3 hours, had amazing food with impeccable presentation & fantastic service - I think it is great for a special occassion.  And I am still full this morning!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Roast Capsicum Soup

We recently had a couple of cold days which made me think about making soup for dinner as soup is only something that I want to eat when it is really cold.  So when Animals Australia posted some Australia Day receipes on their website, I decided to make roasted capsicum soup - perfect since I felt like soup & roasted capsicum is one of my favourite foods.  In true Melbourne style though, the weather had completely changed from a cold, grey morning to a sunny evening on the day that I made this, but it was still good!

You Will Need:

  • 4 red capsicums
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 6 tomatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 red chilli
  • 250–500 ml (1–2 cups) vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Rub capsicums with oil. Place in a baking tray and roast until skins blister, approx 30 minutes.
  • Put tomatoes, onion, chilli and garlic in another baking tray, toss with oil, salt and pepper and roast at the same temperature until soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove and discard seeds and skins from tomatoes and capsicum.
  • Puree the tomato, capsicum, onion, garlic and chilli with cooking juices. Pass through a sieve.
  • Place puree into a saucepan and add enough stock to bring soup to a good consistency.
  • Bring soup to the boil. Check seasoning.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
I didn't sieve the soup & it was fine, I also added in a tin of brown lentils right at the end to make it more of a substantial meal.  I really liked this soup & plan on making it again when the cold weather really hits.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We are pretty fond of pies in my household, particularly Greg - although strangely he does not really like Funky Pies whereas I really like them. Recently I was at Radical Grocery at around lunchtime & decided to get myself a Funky Pie, I had the Chic n Cheezy (I think that is what it is called as it isn't on the website). It is filled with a thick cheesy sauce with 'chickeny' soy protein chunks & broccoli - delicious!!!

Greg is more of a fan of La Panella mushroom pies & we had some for dinner recently with a salad with a delicious dressing made from roasted capsicum & mayo. La Panella pies are super cheap & easy when you don't really want to cook.


I love dumplings, these were filled with spinach, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts & a bit of ginger & were delicious. I served them on top of a simple stir fry of rice noodles, red capsicum & carrot with mint & dark soy sauce tossed through it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eat Pizza

I had read about Eat Pizza ages ago in a number of blogs when a pizza party had been held & had filed it away in my mind fr if I happened to ever be in Maribyrnong & needing a meal. Then I discovered recently that there is an Eat Pizza in Glenroy - yay for vegan pizza not too far from my neighbourhood!! So on Wednesday night we had an ultrasound (I am having a baby girl!) & were driving home late-ish when we decided to give Eat Pizza ago - best decision ever!!!!

It is not cheap, we got a large Vegie Delight pizza which had big chunks of eggplant, roasted capsicum, roasted pumpkin & semi dried tomato ($15) with vegan cheese ($3) & vegan salami ($3). When we ordered we thought that $21 it was a bit expensive but we were hungry & wanted pizza, so went with it. It was so, so good!! They are surprisingly generous with the cheezly & it was cheezy & delicious!! I don't think that I ever need to make pizza again.

Eat Pizza
1/749 Pascoe Vale Road
9304 4040

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Veggie Pies

When Greg's mum was staying with us over Christmas I was trying to make very omni friendly food every day for her. She is very much a meat & 3 veg eater so we didn't want to give her tofu or lentils or anything that she would think was weird hippy food. I also made lots of cake to try to win her over! One of the meals I made which I will definitely make again was veggie pies from Rose's blog. I only had one sheet of puff pustry so I made little pies in a muffin tray. These were really delicious, I am not completely sold on polenta but I really liked it in this. The leftover filling was also really nice just on its own with tomato chutney.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wood Spoon Kitchen

After reading about Wood Spoon Kitchen in the 2009 wrap ups from both Toby & Lisa I decided that I really wanted to go there so when I planned to go out to dinner with 2 of my favourite people last night - Wood Spoon Kitchen it was. There was a bit of confusion to start with because my friend Anthony beat Greg & I there & said that there was no booking & we would have to sit with other people, but then I found him sitting in Wabi Sabi. Once we got to Wood Spoon Kitchen they had my booking & we had a table to ourselves.

For entree we shared edamame which I love

And Agedashi Tofu - yum!!

For main I had Dengaku Don which was big chunks of super soft & delicious eggplant with other vegies & chunks of tofu in a miso-y sauce on rice - delicious, I absolutely love eggplant like this.

Greg had the vego miso soup with noodles which he liked but didn't love.

And my friend Anthony is omni so he ate something chicken-y which he liked.

I decided to get dessert, mostly because there was a vegan dessert on the menu. I ordered the Pumpkin Dango in Coconut Milk. I wasn't expecting much but this was my highlight, I absolutely loved it. It was little balls of super smooth pumpkin (like gnocchi) in a really sweet & creamy coconut milk topped with red beans - it was really, really tasty.

It is a really nice little restaurant, fairly quiet so you can chat easily & really friendly but unobtrusive service, we were there for a few hours & it was really relaxed & we never felt rushed.

Wood Spoon Kitchen
88 Smith Street

Saturday, January 9, 2010


After eating & very much enjoying Lisa's version of Steph's hedgehog recently I decided that I had to make my own. I didn't have sultanas so I used a mix of raisins & dried cranberries which was really nice. This is delicious but super rich so I cut it into little pieces & it lasted really well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I lived in St Kilda for a few years quite awhile ago & lived around the corner from Bala's. I was omni back then & think I would have got take away from there at least once a week & loved it. Recently I decided to stop in for lunch because I was around St Kilda. It is quick, cheap bain marie food. It is really well labelled & there were only 2 vegan options, red curry pumpkin & yellow curry with tofu, sadly, most of the stir fries which looked veg*n had oyster sauce in them, including the black bean tofu which I used to eat every week. I had the red curry pumpkin, it was ok & really creamy with little peanutty bits, but I think that I wanted more vegies, it was just cubes of pumpkin with a couple of strips of red capsicum & a teeny bit of spinach.

I did take a dodgy pic on my phone, but have lost the cable to connect it to my computer.

1d Shakespeare Gr
St Kilda 3182 VIC

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Automatic Cafe

Greg & I found ourselves at the Casino with some time to kill & in need of lunch recently & we ended up at Automatic which has 2 items on the menu marked as vegan. One is a breakfast which is baked beans & the other is yellow lentil dahl with warm oven bread and tomato kusundi. We both decided on the dahl. This was $11.90 & huge!! It was a big bowl of bowl with a small bowl of tomato kusundi & an enormous pile of pizza bread which would be the equivalent of a large pizza. The pizza bread was a bit weird with the dahl but it was still quite nice. We could only manage to eat half each so it would have been a super cheap meal if we had got one serve & shared. I actually really liked the dahl so it is a decent option if you happen to be over that side of the city & Elightened Cuisine isn't open.

Automatic Cafe
8 Whiteman Street
South Melbourne

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have been dying to go to a potluck forever so was very excited to be invited by Cindy to a potluck in Princes Park. I wanted to make something very picnicky & had no idea, so did a bit of googling & came across great advise such as "don't wear a fur coat to a vegan potluck" (seriously!) & in the end decided to make a muffaletta.

I bought an enormous loaf of bread from La Panella, in hindsight I brought the wrong bread because it was quite chewy, but it still tasted ok. I filled the loaf with:

  • homemade basil & cashew pesto (spread on one side)
  • roasted red capsicum
  • grileld eggplant
  • artichoke hearts
  • kalamata olives
  • baby spinach & rocket
  • tofutti cream cheese with semi dried tomatoes mixed in (spread on the other side)
I made it the night before, wrapped it tightly in cling wrap & weighed it down with a big wooden chopping board & a baking dish.