Archives for posts with tag: Collingwood vegan

I have been meaning to blog a review of Collingwood’s Shu Restaurant for a very long time. I have been twice now and have been completely wooed by Shu’s Sichuan flare. But I have been a total photogaffer. In both cases I forgot my SLR, a cardinal sin in food blogging, especially in a dimly lit, stainless steel furnished restaurant such as Shu. My hopes of returning to fill my tummy with more fiery delights and nab some blog-worthy pics have not been realised unfortunately. So, here we go. Forgive the images friends. Won’t cha? Diamond geezers you lot, I tells ya.

Despite never feeling confident about which way to spell it, Sichuan is one of my favourite Asian cuisines. The flavours are fresh and intense — not all of the dishes are spicy either but I must admit I quite fancy a good sinus clearing with my tofu. Shu delivers delicious Sichuan dishes with a modern twist and very vegan-friendly service in a quirky, industrial setting reminiscent of the kind of joint you’d find New York fashionistas posing in — complete with sculptures and red LED lighting. It’s all a bit glamorous really.

But the best thing about Shu is Shu. It’s his restaurant and his food and you can tell he is passionate about his baby. On both occasions he went out of his way to ensure my vegan version of the Shu experience was one to remember. He’s an affable chap and he is happy to explain the composition of dishes and offer suggestions based on your tastes — and when he asks how you are enjoying your meals he is genuinely interested in the answer. The other highlight is their focus on using seasonal and mostly organic produce, meaning the menu is no longer fixed but you can be sure you’re getting dishes designed with the best local produce in mind.

For my second round of Shu I enjoyed a fresh and tangy Asian herb salad, intensely flavoured enoki mushrooms with loads of chilli and spring onions, cooling lightly pickled vegetables and my favourite, crispy kipfler potatoes with garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. The meal was balanced, it was exotic and it was all washed down with a vegan-friendly wine. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. Totally undeserving of the dodgy iPhone documentation below.

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Vegan options: Shu is happy to suggest a number of vegan options or vegetarian dishes that he can veganise for you
The wet stuff: there was one bottle of vegan-friendly white when I went but apparently he has lengthened the cruelty free tipple list since then
Moola: the food and wine came to around $50 per head
Ear candy: I can’t remember but I feel like anything other than house would feel out of place

Have you checked out Shu yet? Any other great vegan-friendly Sichuan spots?

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Merry Christmas blog buddies!

I hope the week ahead is full of cruelty-free Christmas fun for y’all.
I have been busy putting together home-made, compassionate Chrissie gifts for friends and family — and preparing for a vegan feast this weekend. Once the Christmas chaos fades to leftover mock turkey sandwiches in front of my parent’s tele, I’ll be sure to blog about my silly season. But for now, here’s a quick little vegan product review.

I’ve taken a wee break from present wrapping to wrap my laughing gear around a spoonful (or seven) of CocoLuscious Ice Cream’s special limited edition ‘Christmas’ flavour.

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This does, indeed, taste like Christmas. And Christmas is delicious folks.

Brandy-infused dried cherries and dried canberries, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes are mixed through CocoLuscious’s creamy, organic, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and palm oil free ice cream.

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Check out the chunkiness! No, really, check it out. Grab a tub while you can. Yum!

Where it at? I got my tub at Organic Wholefoods on Smith Street, Collingwood
What’s the damage? $15 for half a litre

What’s your favourite vegan ice cream?

You know those advertisements that sell flights or alcohol or perfume by painting a picture of the most perfectly exotic location where everything is just sexier, even sweat-soaked people? The kind that draw you right in because you know that things as dull as loan repayments and finding gym motivation just wouldn’t exist in a place so exciting and exotic. You find yourself wishing for a teleportation device.

That is what eating Lebanese food does for me. And that is why it is one of my favourite cuisines. The food is fresh and flavoursome and very vegan-friendly.

Collingwood’s Bayte provides the brunch-hunters of Melbourne with Middle Eastern tastes to kickstart the day’s eatin’— bringing something different to the city’s café scene.

And it seems chef, Julie Touma doesn’t mind whipping up something delicious for us cruelty-free crew either. While there was nothing vegan-ready on the menu, our friendly waitress returned from the kitchen with the news that the chef was happy to put something together for me.

Every mouthful of my breakfast was a wee trip to Lebanon and was followed with exclamations like,”oh my god, so smokey,” “oh my god, so tangy,” “pomegranate is definitely underrated,” and, “no you cannot have a second try of that one” (this was directed at Captain Someone).

The freshly baked flatbread was warm and soft and the babaganoush rich and smokey. These were paired with pumpkin kibbeh (a warm slice made with pumpkin, pine nuts, burghal, onion and spices) and nestled next to a zingy Mograbieh salad (the giant chewy Lebanese version of cous cous, with pomegranate, red onion, pine nuts, dill and roasted zucchini). I loved it. For a breakfast spot with a difference you have to check out Bayte.

Vegan options: While there are no vegan-ready dishes on the menu, Julie was only too happy to whip something up. I recommend asking for exactly what I had.
Coffee: A very good kiwi drop, Allpress
Soy: Bonsoy
Moola: Very fair for this kind of fare, $18.50 for breaky and a coffee
Ear candy: I enjoyed the fact that they were playing the lovely Beirut in a Lebanese café

Where’s your favourite place to brunch in Collingwood?