Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CNY pineapple tarts

February 7-11, 2017


This Chinese New Year, I graduated from peanut cookies to pineapple tarts. Thankfully I had our host Steph's guidance in the process; she'd already veganised this delicacy and blogged it in three parts. I spliced these with another non-vegan recipe for open tarts to try something that worked for me.

I perceived all my challenges as being about textures: was the jam too runny to hold itself up? what thickness and how crispy or tender should the pastry be? I haven't eaten quite enough pineapple tarts in my life to know exactly what I should be aiming for. (For the to-do list: eat diverse and numerous pineapple tarts!)


The materials to hand made some of those decisions for me. My pastry dough was quite soft and sticky, even from the fridge, so spreading it thinly wasn't really an option. I rolled some of it into 'thumbprint cookie' balls to support the maybe-too-runny jam, and then pressed others with a fork for more decorative, flatter tarts. The jam supported itself through the baking better than I expected, and I double-baked many tarts with an extra dollop on top.

I suspect the pastry was my shortcoming - Steph describes fondness for dry crumbling, while mine were more like soft cookies. I might try for more flour in any future doughs, so that I can roll the pastry more thinly, perhaps use cookie cutters, and then bake it more crisply. My glaze was unwieldy too, and I might just prefer plain soymilk.

Conversely, I loved the pineapple jam. It was sweet, pulpy sunshine with hints of the cloves and star anise I'd infused. It's the reason I came back repeatedly to the snack plate on Saturday night, and why I'll come back to this recipe to try, try again.



Pineapple tarts
(adapted slightly from Vegan About Town,
taking jammy inspiration from Loving Baking)

jam
1 fresh pineapple
70g castor sugar
6 cloves
1 star anise

pastry
120g cup apple puree
220g margarine, cold
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon icing sugar
3 teaspoons soy flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 shakes salt
1 tablespoon soy milk


Cut the skin off the pineapple, trim out the tough spiny bits, and cut away the core. Chop up the pineapple flesh and puree it in a blender with the sugar. Transfer the puree to a large saucepan and add the cloves and star anise. Simmer the jam over low heat for 30-60 minutes, until it becomes a thick paste. Refrigerate the jam for at least a few days (I stored mine for a few days).

Pour most of the apple puree in a medium bowl, leaving 1 tablespoon aside for a glaze. Add the margarine to the bowl and beat it into the apple puree with a fork. Sift in the plain flour, icing sugar, soy flour, cornflour and salt; stir until just combined. Refrigerate the biscuit dough for at least an hour (I left mine overnight).

Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with paper. Whisk together the remaining apple puree and soy milk.

Roll generous teaspoons of the biscuit dough into balls and place them on the tray. Use a wooden spoon handle or similar to imprint a little round groove into each biscuit. Use a teeny teaspoon to drop pineapple jam into the groove. Use a fork to imprint lines in the dough, radiating out from the jam in the centre. Brush each biscuit with the apple-milk mixture.

Bake the tarts until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to bring them to room temperature.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spring onion pancakes

February 11, 2017


Steph has developed a semi-annual potluck tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year - we've had a lot of fun trying out thematically appropriate recipes like peanut cookies, turnip cake, (failed) dumplings, orange szechuan ice cream and more. Cindy was organised this year and had pineapple tarts on the go early in the week (recipe to follow soon), but I left myself only a small window on Saturday afternoon to pull something together. 

Luckily, I had just the thing - this recipe by Andrew McConnell caught my eye in The Saturday Paper way back in October and it seemed like the perfect contribution to our potluck feast. I'm not super experienced at making my own dough-based products, so I was a bit apprehensive that I'd make a mess of it, but McConnell's instructions are clear and easy to follow and these worked out an absolute treat. Cindy insisted they were as good as versions she's had in restaurants and they were met with universal acclaim at the picnic (going particularly well in combination with Steph's excellent mock fish curry). A couple of tips: 1) be heavy-handed with the salt, it really pays off in the final result and 2) you can fry these with just a spray of oil, but they're more golden and delicious if you put a decent splash in the pan. 


Spring onion pancakes
(based on Andrew McConnell's recipe in The Saturday Paper)

300g plain flour
2/3 cup water
salt
Chinese five-spice
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
vegetable oil for frying

Mix the flour and water together in a bowl until it comes together into a firm, dry dough. 

Dust a bench lightly with flour and tip your dough onto it. Knead it for five minutes or so until it's nice and smooth. Pop it back into the bowl and cover it with cling wrap, leaving it to rest for 20 minutes or so.

Pop the dough back onto your bench and roll it out into a long sausage. Divide the dough up into 8 equal pieces - these will become your pancakes!

Roll each piece into a disc with a diameter of about 20 centimetres and lay them out somewhere convenient (we just popped them on a couple of cutting boards).

Take one disc at a time and get them ready for frying - start by lightly brushing one side with oil and then scatter shallots evenly across it, plus a generous pinch of five-spice and a good sprinkle of salt. Roll the circle of dough into a tight tube and then coil them into a circle, tucking the end of the coil underneath. Roll the coils back out so that they're flat again, taking care to avoid any gaps.

I did the above for all eight pancakes first so that I could concentrate properly on the frying once they were all ready. Put a decent splash of oil into a hot pan and then fry each pancake for about 2 minutes on each side, until they're nice and golden (top the oil up if and when you need to). 

They're best served immediately, but they're so good that they're crowd-pleasers even once they've cooled.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Grilled corn on the cob with spicy garlic-miso dressing

February 6, 2017


We've recently invested in a cast iron pan for the first time; we're rather pleased with it so far. It's got a grill insert that had me thinking of marinated tofu with blackened stripes and charred corn on the cob. Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen had a couple of promising options for trying the latter.

The recipe's main feature is a very tangy dressing with the heat of fresh jalapeno, which the grilled corn cobs are liberally doused in just before serving. But its real charm is sweet, juicy, well-grilled corn. Terry has us soak still-in-the-husk cobs in brine for a couple of hours, before grilling them husk-on for around 25 minutes. I played things a little differently, possibly to my detriment.

For whatever reason, I wasn't all that psyched about grilling my cobs in their husks. (Perhaps I thought the husks would be difficult to remove while hot, or that the kernels wouldn't char.) So I cut away the husks and silk threads after the brining and let my corn kernels hit the grill directly. Without the husk, the brine moisture couldn't steam my corn. It probably only took 10 minutes to get a handsome char going. The corn kernels remained pretty crunchy - I really liked 'em this way, but they might not have been what Terry originally intended.

The sprinkle of paprika atop the corn cobs ended up being the boldest colour on our dinner plates - we chose Quorn schnitzels, a wedge of lemon, and Bryant Terry's fabulous mashed potato as supports.



Grilled corn on the cob with spicy garlic-miso dressing
(slightly adapted from a recipe in Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen)

2 tablespoons + a pinch of salt
2 whole corn cobs, still in their husk
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of agave nectar
1/2 fresh jalapeno
2 teaspoons garlic powder
shake of cayenne
shake of white pepper
two shakes smoked paprika

Submerge the corn cobs in a large container full of water. Stir in the salt and allow the cobs to soak for at least two hours. Remove the husks and silk threads; cut the cobs down into manageable lengths.

Heat up a cast-iron grill pan. Place the corn cobs onto it and cook them for about 25 minutes, turning them occasionally and allowing a bit of a char to build up.

While the corn is cooking, blend together the lemon juice, vinegar, miso, olive oil, agave nectar, jalapeno, garlic, cayenne and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Pour the dressing into a bowl.

When the corn is ready, roll each piece through the dressing. Serve, sprinkled with salt, white pepper and paprika.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Reverence Hotel III

February 4, 2017


We're thrilled to see the AFLW burst onto the sporting calendar, and made our way west for the Bulldogs-Dockers game with some friends. It was a great excuse to stop by the Rev for dinner. We really haven't made it here as often as this veg-friendly pub deserves - and with a big for-sale sign visible out front, our days to make the most of it might be numbered.

The menu is four pages of deep-fried snacks, Mexican-style mains, burgers and pizzas, with a couple of desserts snuck at the end. While it's an omni spread, almost every item has a vegan option on it using mock meat and dairy; there are a respectable range of gluten-free versions too.


We were in the mood for burgers! Michael took on the Big Rev Burger ($18) and was impressed by mock-beef patty. It was further layered up with vegan cheese and bacon, beetroot relish, jalapeno mustard, chipotle lime mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and a pickle garnish. It comes with a hefty serve of spicy fries, too.


I tested out the Reverence Chicken Burger ($18), after dredging half of my chips through the chipotle aioli. It's an enormous, fatty mock fillet with a crunchy coating, stacked with mock bacon, the requisite salad, and a smear of guacamole. It was my kinda flavour combination, but I just couldn't get more than half-way through this thick, junky burger.


Our intended popcorn chicken appetiser ($9) arrived long after our mains. The Rev mean the descriptor literally, tossing popcorn kernels through the fried mock-nuggets. The lime-flecked sauce was the highest point of our meal, and revived our appetites for a bit of snacking mid-main.


The vegan burgers, pizzas and grungy atmosphere of the Rev remind me of the closer-to-home Cornish Arms, right down to the jumbo serving sizes. But the Cornish doesn't have such an extensive Mexican menu, or the chocolate nachos that stretch 'Mexican' to its culinary limits (confession: I'd eat 'em). It's unfortunate that we probably have limited days to explore these parts of the menu!

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You can also read about one, two of our previous visits to the Rev. Since that last post it's had positive reviews on veg blogs Chef John SmithFire & Tea and The Rose & Bean. There are also complimentary reviews on Consider the SauceFoodcrazyNot My Bread and Butter (twice), and Eat Like Ushi.
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The Reverence Hotel
28 Napier St, Footscray
9687 2111
snacks, Mexican mains, burgers, pizza, dessert
http://www.reverencehotel.com


Accessibility: There's a small step at the (narrowish) front door, but the side door is flat and wide. Inside things are fairly spread out, with at most small steps between the bar, side-room and courtyard. We ordered and paid at the bar, and didn't visit the toilets.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Carlton Club

January 31, 2017


We scheduled our February book club meeting at The Carlton Club, hoping to take advantage of its somewhat surprising switch to an all vegan menu. Sadly, between us picking the venue in late January and the date of our dinner they'd changed things up again and shifted back to an omni menu. Still, a good number of vegan options survived the menu change, so we persisted. We didn't venture up to the well known rooftop bar, instead settling into the dining room, which had an odd vibe - part opulent ballroom, part suburban RSL. If nothing else it provided a relatively quiet and spacious setting for our book-club to discuss Swing Time.

The new menu is pretty classic pub food - burgers and parmas make up the mains, with a selection of starters and salads to complement them. They've kept it about half vegetarian and there's a decent array of vegan stuff to choose from. We split a pile of vegan dishes three ways to give us the best chance to sample everything.

First up were a couple of starters - macaroni and cashew cheese croquettes with a porcini mayo (top, $8) and field mushroom and kale meatballs baked in a napoli sauce with almond parmesan (bottom, $7).


This was a spectacular start - the croquettes in particular were fantastic, combining fried carbs and creamy sauce to good effect. I really liked the mushroom meatballs as well - they were dense, hearty and well seasoned.

Next up was a flurry of mains and sides - a beetroot, black bean and quinoa burger with lettuce, vegan cheese, sriracha mayo, jalapenos and fried onion (left, $12) and fries with cajun salt (right, $8). 


They were accompanied by a sub based on the mushroom and kale meatballs with vegan cheese and pesto (left, $12) and a chopped kale salad, with avocado, shaved fennel, crispy chickpeas and a creamy vegan Caesar dressing (right, $14).


Again, these were all pretty great. The beetroot burger patty was maybe a little dry, but it went down a treat slathered in spicy mayo and mock cheese. The mushroom meatballs worked well as a sub filling, although they went a little over the top with the gooey toppings, which made it tricky to split three ways. The kale salad was excellent - it'd be a boring meal on its own, but it was the perfect way to accompany our other heavily fried selections. Most importantly, The Carlton Club does a damn good chip - it's such an important thing for a pub to do well.

We were a bit disappointed when we arrived to find that we'd missed The Carlton Club's short time as a wholly veggie place, but they turned our frowns upside-down with an excellent selection of vegan dishes, efficient service and some cheesy backing tunes for our intellectual book discussions. It's not a venue I can imagine visiting on a busy night, but if you're after vegan-friendly pub food in the CBD you could do an awful lot worse.


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There are surprisingly few blog reviews of the Carlton Club - I could only find Parma Daze and Words and Flavours, both of which are from the days before things turned vegan-friendly.

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The Carlton Club
193 Bourke St, Melbourne
9663 3246
food
http://www.thecarlton.com.au/

Accessibility: Entry is up a long flight of stairs - I didn't see an elevator anywhere. There's full table service in the dining room except that payment takes place at a high bar. We didn't visit the toilets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Barbecued peaches with ginger-coconut sauce

January 22, 2017


We've been having a fabulous summer of picnics... of dips and chips, and rolls and salads, noodles and cakes and fruit. (And we can always trust Steph to bring one-to-three flavours of iced tea). For this one in late January I did something new and got a public barbecue involved. It opened us up to veggie sausages, marinated tofu, 'pulled' jackfruit and seitan ribs. The fellows flipping meat on the adjacent grill hadn't seen anything like it in their lives.

This simple dessert is handy with a hotplate, too. It's just peaches, barbecued until they're juicy and lightly charred, served with a spoonful of sauce. It's too bad the sauce looks like Clag glue, because it's an actually-rather-fetching mix of coconut milk, minced ginger and caramelised sugar. Once I'd persuaded two people to dig in, their enthusiastic murmurs lured in a few more, and so on. By the time I got back from the playground with the kids there was just one warm peach half left and two or three people eyeing it off.


This recipe comes with a handy tip from its creator, Isa Chandra Moskowitz - peaches are most easily halved 'around the waist', not top to bottom! The pits often pop out with little more than a twist, too.

The original recipe features elegant home-kitchen grill lines on the fruit, some discreetly-hidden served-warm sauce, and a generous scoop of non-dairy icecream. I'd like that version very much, too, but Tupperware-stored sauce is enough when you're several kilometres from your freezer and already stuffed with potato salad.



Barbecued peaches with ginger-coconut sauce
(a recipe published online by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cornflour
165mL can coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
a few shakes of salt
6-8 peaches
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a medium-large saucepan, stir together the sugar, 3 tablespoons of the water and maple syrup. Set them over medium heat and stir regularly until the sugar is dissolved. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. A bit of bubbling around the edges is fine, but turn down the heat if it's any more than that. The mixture should turn a few shades browner.

In a mug, whisk together the cornflour and last tablespoon of water. When it's smooth, gradually whisk in the coconut milk. Slowly whisk the cornflour-coconut milk into the saucepan. Stir in the coconut oil, ginger and salt. Continue cooking and regularly stirring the sauce for up to 7 minutes, until slightly thickened. Serve warm, or cool to room temperature and store until you're ready.

Halve the peaches by slicing them 'around the waist', not top to bottom. Twist and/or cut out their pits. Place the peach halves in a large bowl; toss through the lemon juice and oil.

Heat up a barbecue or grill pan and cook the peaches - about 7 minutes on their flat sides, followed by 2 on their round side. They should be more tender but still holding their shape, with a light surface char. Serve with the sauce poured over or on the side.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chocolate, rose & walnut icecream

January 21, 2017


It's becoming a fairly predictable cross-over for me: Ottolenghi club x ice cream. I've done chocolate halva sundaes, strawberry-rose sundaes and even green herb sundaes; for the latest club gathering I dialed back to a more accessible Turkish delight-&-chocolate theme. This recipe has a rocky road feel too it - chocolate icecream with a touch of rosewater, studded with toasted walnuts and biscuit pieces, scattered prettily with Turkish delight cubes and rose petals. (I'm always happy for an excuse to use up some of my rose petals.)

It seemed impossible to mess up, though I tried my darnedest. Usually I'd pop my icecream maker in the freezer 24-48 hours before serving time.... this time I forgot until 6 short hours before the event. My freezer raced against the clock, and managed to turn up something near-solid and scoopable. No-one need have known.

The original recipe includes a chocolate sauce (actually the same one from the chocolate halva sundae), but I reckon this is just fine without it. The icecream base is already darkly rich, its stir-ins are crunchy, the Turkish delight is sugary and chewy, the petals are delicate and fragrant. We didn't want for anything... not even a second scoop.



Chocolate, rose & walnut icecream
(a recipe from Ottolenghi's Guardian column)

350mL milk
300mL cream
1 tablespoon cocoa
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, broken up
1 tablespoon espresso
2 teaspoons rose water
65g walnuts, broken up and toasted
3 plain biscuits, broken up
120g rose-flavoured Turkish delight, chopped into 1cm cubes
2 teaspoons dried rose petals

Stir the milk and cream together in a medium-large saucepan and set it over medium heat. Once it's almost simmering, take it off the heat.

Pour a little of the hot milk into a mug and whisk the cocoa into it. Once it's a smooth, even mix, pour it back into the saucepan and stir it through.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Gradually whisk in a little of a warm milk, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir it through. Set it all back on low-medium heat. Stir in the chocolate and coffee, until the chocolate is melted. Keep stirring until the custard thickens, then turn off the heat. Refrigerate the custard for at least a couple of hours, ideally overnight.

Whisk the rosewater into the custard, then strain the custard. Churn it in an icecream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir in the walnuts and biscuit pieces at the last moment, and freeze the icecream in a container for at least 4 hours.

To serve, scoop the icecream into bowls and scatter with the Turkish delight pieces and rose petals.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Eggplant kataifi nests

January 21, 2017


January saw the long-awaited return of Ottolenghi club, our semi-regular potluck-style assault on Yotam's greatest hits. We had an empty day before the dinner, so I decided to take on something a bit more challenging than my usual fancy salad and dove head-first into these eggplant nests. These were an outstanding success - the choice dish in a meal loaded up with excellence and one that we made again before we even managed to get this blog post written. The crispy nests are wrapped around a smooth, smoky eggplant filling and served with a tangy and spicy dipping sauce - they're great straight out of the oven and nearly as good at room temperature. 

The key ingredient is kataifi pastry - we found some at A1 Grocery on Sydney Road, and I imagine any decent Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food-store will come through for you. I've read that you can substitute shredded filo pastry, but I reckon you're better off making the effort to track this down - it's really worth it. Once you've got the pastry it's just a matter of working your way through the recipe - the roasting of the eggplants, capsicum, chilli and garlic stretches out over a few hours and the assembly of the little nests takes a bit of time, but the pay-off is really, really worth it. These will definitely be on our where's the best? list the next time we update it.



Eggplant kataifi nests
(adapted very slightly from a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty More)

4 eggplants (about 1.2kg)
200g ricotta
65g pecorino, roughly grated
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
100g ghee
80ml sunflower oil
340g packet kataifi pastry (thawed)
salt and pepper

capsicum & tomato salsa
1 medium capsicum
1 red chilli
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
200g crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
50ml olive oil
salt

Preheat the oven to 250°C.

Pierce the eggplants a few times with a knife and lay them out on a baking tray. Roast them in the oven for 90 minutes, turning every 20 minutes or so to make sure they all get nice and blackened. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before scooping out the flesh and leaving it to drain in a colander for half an hour.

While the eggplants are roasting you can get to work on the salsa. Put the capsicum, chilli and garlic on another oven tray and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes. Take the chilli and garlic out and turn the capsicum, roasting for another 20 minutes or so until its skin is all blistered. Remove the capsicum and pop it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to cool (this makes the skin easier to peel off). Peel and deseed the capsicum and chilli and peel the garlic.

Pop the roasted capsicum, chilli and garlic into a small food processor and whizz to a paste. Add the vinegar, oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt and and the crushed tomatoes and whizz some more until you've got a smooth sauce.

Melt the ghee in a small saucepan and combine it with the sunflower oil.

Once all the veggies have been roasted drop the oven temperature down to 200°C and get ready to make the nests. First up, make the filling - mix the eggplant flesh together with the ricotta, pecorino, parsley, egg and generous amounts of salt and pepper.

Now it's time to build the nests! Lightly grease a baking tray - we started with a 30cm x 20cm tray but overflowed and had to use a small square tray as well. Pull out about 25g of the kataifi pastry (I weighed the first couple before I got into a rhythm). Stir a tablespoon of the butter mix into the pastry parcel and then spread it out on a cutting board until you have a rectangle about 15cm x 5cm. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the mix onto one end of the rectangle and then roll the pastry loosely around the filling. 

Lay the rolled up pastry in the baking tray and then repeat - you can squish them up right against each other. Once you've made all the rolls, drizzle whatever oil/butter mix you have leftover on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops go nice and golden.

Serve, with the sauce on the side.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Gazi

January 16, 2017


I had a bunch of family in town for the tennis in January and we were tasked with coming up with a 'Melbourne' dining experience. We've had good luck with Hellenic Republic in the past, so we decided to give one of George Calombaris' other places a shot - his casual Greek place in the city, Gazi. The fit-out is lovely - upside-down terracotta pots hang from the ceiling, big windows let light flood in and the open kitchen is buzzing with activity.


We had an early booking, but so did everyone with tennis tickets, so Gazi was heaving with people. It's not the best place for a group catch-up: it's super loud, with music pumping and conversation echoing off the walls. We were struggling to even make ourselves heard by the staff. Luckily, we came up with the ordering option that required the least conversation - for $49 they'll put on a seven dish sharing menu, catering to whatever dietary requirements you have. So much easier than working your way through all the options on the menu.

Cindy kicked things off with a white-peach soda from the house-made sodas selection ($7), while the rest of us got boozy. Food-wise we started out with dips: a beetroot dip with feta and walnut praline and a tzatziki (the non-vegos got taramasalata). The beetroot dip was wonderful - especially with the sweet/crunchy walnut praline on top.


The dips were closely followed by a few serves of the saganaki with preserved cherry glyko on top. This was very reminiscent of the peppered fig version served at Hellenic Republic and is just as good - fried cheese with something sweet on top is a pretty sure-fire dish.


Next up were big serves of tiganites patates (fries with feta and oregano) and lahanosalata (cabbage, kefalograviera, honey and yoghurt dressing). These were both excellent, relying on their respective cheeses to elevate them beyond their humble bases, but there was way too much of both.  


The vego dishes came thick and fast after the chips. We got kolokitha (roast pumpkin with creme fraiche, seeds, nuts and spring onions), grilled corn with with crushed popcorn, and horta (wild greens, tomato paste and a fried egg). I was super impressed by all of these - even the simple greens were superb, with the rich tomato paste and egg turning a side dish into something much more. 


We'd lost count of our dishes up to this point and nobody could figure out whether or not our seven dishes was going to include dessert or not. We were all stuffed, but there were still some happy faces around the table when this plate of loukoumades - honey-Nutella slathered doughnuts sprinkled with nuts. They were excellent, and the perfect way to finish an excellent meal.


Our Gazi meal was pretty great - every dish hit the mark and at $50 a head it seemed like pretty good value to me. The menu is well stocked with vego dishes, but most of them relied on cheesiness to really fly, so I'm not sure how the vegan version would turn out. For all its casualness, Gazi's not really a relaxing place to eat - it's super loud and things are a bit rushed. The staff are efficient though and they whipped us through the meal effortlessly. I'm not sure the two of us will rush back for another round, but it could be a good option to take visitors when you're showing off the city.

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Gazi has met with almost universal blog praise, including a couple of vego reviews on Ebezilla and I Spy Plum Pie, plus tons of omni reviews - see A Table for Two, Gourmanda, A Food Fable, For Food's Sake, Hungry and Fussy, Capital Food Journal, Chasing a Plate, Lisa Eats World, The Foodie World, The Epicurean of Southbank, A Chronicle of Gastronomy, Olive Sundays, The City Gourmand, Foodie & Fabulous, Confessions of a Little Piggy, The Brick Kitchen, Perth Food Reviews, DonutSam, Adventures in Winterland, The Epicurist, Little Caps, Lips Temptations, The Food Joy, The Blue Macaron, Far Fetched and Fanciful, Kit and Kafoodle, Melbourne Vita, Sweet and Sour Fork, It's an Expensive but Delicious Habit, Meghanism, I Only Eat Desserts, Roaming Potato, Curious Charlie, Gracious Expedition, Gastronomic Gems, Dumpling Love, The Food Society, Jordan's Food Baby, Eat Like Ushi, Gastronomical Ramblings, Jar Fed, Imelda Eats, Dammit Janet I Love Food, Sarah Cooks, Missy Ness' Food Train of Thought, Yellow Yellow Eggs, Pigging Out Around the World, MEL: HOT OR NOT, Suburban Culinary Adventures and Barley Blog,

There are just a couple of people less impressed with it - both 15,000kms of food and One Fat Cow were a bit underwhelmed.

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Gazi
2 Exhibition St, Melbourne
9207 7444
food, dessert, drinks
http://gazirestaurant.com.au/

Accessibility: Entry is flat. The interior and most of the tables are on the same level, but the booths are raised. There's a mix of bar stools and regular tables - it's all pretty crowded. We ordered and paid at the table. We didn't visit the toilets.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Girls & Boys

January 8, 2017


The Vegie Bar family has added another new member since Transformer. It's called Girls & Boys, and it's located right next door to the Vegie Bar on Brunswick St. Instead of smashing the gender binary, they've focused their efforts on sweet vegan snacks - the fanciest of raw cakes, a case of gelato, coconut-based soft-serve icecream, smoothies & thickshakes. They've got also a coffee machine and a selection of the latest lattes (turmeric, beetroot, etc), and the natural conclusion: a vegan affogato.


We stopped by after a hot night at the Tote and ordered this choc-raspberry soft-serve explosion ($12) to share. The texture is bona fide and I liked the light, sweet coconut flavour of the icecream. The vegan meringue shards and freeze-dried raspberries were ideal crunchy-tangy counterpoints, but unfortunately the chocolate components were a let-down - the brownie squares were tasteless and the sauce dulled in the cold.

It's awfully exciting to see a cheery, all-vegan sweet spot set up. I reckon I'll be sneaking in for a few more treats before summer's done.
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Girls & Boys has also had positive coverage on The Rose & Bean.
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Girls & Boys
382A Brunswick St, Fitzroy
9417 6766
menu
facebook page

Accessibility: Entry is flat and there's a lot of open flat space inside. Tables and chairs are low and sparsely distributed. We ordered and paid at a low counter. We didn't visit the toilets.