Friday, 27 May 2022

a post about getting food delivered

My housemate has covid! My other housemate maybe has long covid! I do not (currently) have either of these things, but being the only fully functioning adult in the house is not enjoyable. so we have been getting a food delivery every week or so, and I want to recommend to you the following shortcuts to eating well when you don't have the energy for fully cooking and when you can afford it (I am now cash poor until pay day). 

Fair feed: Fair feed is a St-Kilda organisation that is trying to bring the community nourishing meals whilst also providing fair employment. During covid, when lots of cooks etc were out of work, they pivoted to this model and it is still going. You order before Monday 6pm for a Wednesday delivery or before Tuesday 4pm for a Thursday delivery. The food can all be frozen, and it comes in 1-2 portions. So far my favourite dishes have been the silky eggplant noods and the 1kg of bolognaise sauce. Yesterday I used a coles-bought flavoured tofu to zhush up the noods. This is $10.50 for delivery. 

ASRC Catering: ASRC Catering is an offshoot of the ASRC, it is a social enterprise that creates pathways to employment for people seeking asylum. Their delivery slots are often filled up heaps in advance but they are a short drive for me so I have picked up from here once or twice. My favourite dish from here is the spicy Ethiopian berbere lentils. 

Mr Nice Guy's Bakeshop: A regular old vegan bakery in Ascot Vale, you can order before 11:30am for same day delivery and trust me, I do. This is less 'nourishing' and more good old carbs. I am about to eat an apple cinnamon scroll and yesterday's morning snack was a cheesymite scroll. The delivery fee for me is $15 and the minimum order is $20, which with three carb-loving adults in the house is an easy meet. 

We have used Milk Run for emergency groceries, which has worked exactly as advertised. Variety is limited but we got everything we needed. 

I haven't used, but have heard good things about the Dinner Ladies

Wish me luck not getting covid in my infected house xxx 

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

a post about my friend, catherine


My friend Catherine passed away two weeks ago. Maybe she was your friend, too. She was friends with so many people. Today was her funeral. I wasn't able to attend in person, but there was a live stream and so there I was, sobbing from 3000 kilometres away. 

I met Catherine somewhere between 11 and 13 years ago, in the summer. I was going to the cricket with her brother and, despite having never met me, she made sure I was fully catered for. All I remember was these amazing vegan jellies, and her late arrival because of complications. Veganism 12 years ago was still not mainstream, and I hadn't had jelly lollies in forever and I was so, so blown away by her generosity and thoughtfulness. Savouries, sure. Some fruit? Definitely. But bloody vegan jelly lollies? 

Two other things I have definitely eaten that Catherine made for me were: 

The vegan cheeseburger cupcakes that I screamed about to her face - W I L D, so much effort for so little payback! Of course I ate several of them, but I remember telling her that I would have been happy with something so much less intricate and involved. 

Cupcakes at this wedding 

The last thing she made for me were lemon and passionfruit cupcakes, on the Saturday before she died. I was sitting on the train, tired, and I was a bit reluctant to travel all the way to Coburg; but it was lunar new year, and she'd made me a crochet dragon and i DEFINITELY wanted it, and it's always nice to see Catherine. So she decided to make cupcakes. They were still warm when I arrived; they were so fresh out of the oven that they fell apart when she decided to move them by grabbing the tops of them. I took half a dozen away; I didn't want to take that many, but she'd made a flavour that her husband Andrew didn't even like! So I ate two even just waiting for the bus (the bus! the things I have done for you, Catherine). 

I have played with many of Catherine's recipes over the years; she was one of the first omnivorous melbunnies I knew who would so enthusiastically cater to peoples' different dietary needs. 

Reflecting on my life, and having had her in it, as one is wont to do after a funeral, I think I'm going to be cooking some of Catherine's recipes in the near future. I will modify them all, as she would have wanted, and maybe I will tell you about them. Probably I would cook them for you. In fact, today I'm cooking two cheesecakes, recipe testing for a friend - I definitely would have told Catherine about them, I think she would have been interested in them. 

Here are some other words about Catherine: in memoriam by someone who has known her half her life; in loving memory from the smart bitches.

On this day, and every day, may we be generous with our spirits, and our skills, and leave the world a more full, happy place when we waddle off. 

My love to you all 

Sunday, 9 January 2022

a cuminy sabzi

Sometimes you are making a dal and you are like, I need to eat something green. And you rummage around and you find in your fridge: 
- 2 very small heads of broccoli 
- half a red capsicum 
- two small white potatoes 

and you think, I can make a little side dish out of this. 

a very easy cumin and mustard sabzi, to go with your dal

2 small heads of broccoli, or one regular broccoli 
half a red capsicum, or whatever capsicum you prefer
2 middling potatoes 
1 tablespoon ground cumin (ish - I was too lazy to get out a spoon) 
Equal amounts of minced ginger and minced garlic 
1 teaspoon mustard seeds 
a stick of curry leaves 
some garam masala (but not much) 

cook this in a fry pan or a wok, not a pot! 

dice the potato, the broccoli and capsicum. boil the potato until it is almost cooked in some salty water; add the broccoli for the last three minutes. drain. 

in a little bit of oil, fry the garlic, ginger, cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves. (remove the curry leaves from the branch) after about a minute, add all the vegies, and coat them in the spices. add a pinch or two of garam masala. fry this all together until it is starting to look a little dry and concerning, then add a splash or three of water. put a lid on the fry pan. let it steam until all the water is gone and the potato is starting to get a bit mushy. whip off the lid and serve. 

Thursday, 30 September 2021


Look, every day as a species we move further back along the wheel, and having a restaurant named Burgatory where the meals are named after archangels and deadly sins is no exception to that movement. But, having cycled (and driven) past a bunch of these places when they were closed, and having had a pretty hectic work day in the hospital mines, I decided a weird new burger was the correct mid-week dinner choice. 

And it was! Featured here is the 'envy', without onion and with a side of chips. The chips were excellent, highly rate. The burger was good but not $24 worth of good. The bun was not at all kale-y (good in my book of burgers) but it was a good texture. 

This was a perfectly serviceable fancy burger. On the fancy burger scale it probably rates somewhere above Grill'd but below the Cornish. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

di san xian 地三鲜 / three earth treasures

hey quokkas 

inspired by a fairly disappointing 'chinese' meal i had recently delivered, this weekend i made the northern chinese classic disanxian. it was easier than i expected, taking about 45 minutes to prep and cook. traditionally you fry each element seperately in your wok and then wok hei them all together with the sauce at the end. this uses a lot of oil and means your housemates complain about it a bit, so next time i think i'm going to only fry the eggplant and the capsicum and roast the potato separately before wokking them all together, to see how that works. so stay tuned. 

can you believe it's been all these years and the blogspot method of embedding photos is still exactly the same, and you can't edit the photo on the page. classic. 

di san xian / 地三鲜

serves 4

1 large western eggplant / 2 asian eggplants (about 450g)
approx 500g of potato 
1 large capsicum (i forgot to weigh) 
some garlic 
dark soy sauce
light soy sauce
peanut oil (or other light vegetable oil for frying) 

dice eggplant into bite size pieces. soak in slightly salty water for 20 minutes. mine were bobbing around barely covered. 
meanwhile dice the potato and capsicum into similar sized pieces. 

drain the eggplant and stir through some cornflour so all the pieces are lightly coated. this will both soak up the excess water so your eggplants don't explode at you in the oil, and make them CRISPY. 

pour a lot of oil into your wok. a lot a lot. like, 3cm covering the bottom of your wok. when it is ready to fry, add the potato. fry until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes this was really difficult for me because i've never fried potato from raw before. 

pull the potato out and put aside. now fry the eggplant. this took about 8-10 minutes. when i tested one it literally deliquesced under my spoon which is usually a disgusting image but was so so good. pull out the eggplant, fry the capsicum for about 30 seconds. 

somewhere in here, mix together the sauce ingredients. the only time i ever premix sauce is when it has cornstarch in it, because otherwise it goes glumpy. actually don't tell my mum i added cornstarch to a sauce, she will be like, if you cook it properly you don't need to thicken it with cornstarch. and honestly probably i didn't need it. 

so the sauce: a teaspoon size of minced garlic (fry it if it's fresh, but you can mix into the sauce if it's bottled). equal amounts dark and light soy, and a teaspoon each of salt, sugar and cornstarch. you will also want a few tablespoons of water, but you can add that direct into the wok. so you mix the sauce ingredients together until the bits that can dissolve dissolve. 

so anyway, back to the wok. you've removed the capsicum. remove most of the remaining oil. in fact, just remove all of it, but keep the heat on and don't wipe the wok, so you can use up the oil that just doesn't pour out. 

throw in the sauce and some splashes of water, then all of the veggies you've just fried. swoosh them quickly, and then serve. it is very important that you serve this meal over rice! i recommend you accompany it with a beautiful wok fried gailan with garlic, and maybe some sort of protein. enjoy your meal of fried earthly treasures. 

remember not to pour the oil into the sink! this is BAD FOR EVERYONE, including our sewerage system. if it's not full of vegetable bits, you can save it for tomorrow! if it is full of vegetable bits, pour it into your compost. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

fishie curry

This fish curry is so good I both started and ended my CNY with it: I made it for reunion dinner in the hometown with the fam; and I made it today for the last day of CNY with some friends.

This is actually a recipe from a friend's stepparent, and the only modification I've made is to make the fish vegan and add chilli and some lime kaffir leaves because I'm Malaysian, it's a sickness and I have my own tree now.

Anyway, when I invite you to dinner, definitely feel free to demand I make this curry.

200-300 grams vegan fish
1 inch knob ginger (minced finely)
1 - 2 cloves garlic (minced finely)
1/2 onion, leek, etc, sliced finely
fish curry powder (a Malaysian curry powder is fine)
cumin powder
turmeric powder
whole lot of chilli flakes or oil or something
1 large ripe tomato (grind, slice, dice as you choose. sometimes I use cherry tomatoes cut in half if I don't have bigger tomatoes)
3 - 4 curry leaves
2 lime kaffir leaves
200ml (ish) coconut milk or fresh milk or whichever vegan substitute your soul desires

If you have some snake or french beans you can feel free to chop them into 8cm pieces and add them at a time I will indicate. 

Fry onion thing in oil over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and ginger and fry lightly, stirring all the time. Add water, curry powder, turmeric and cumin, curry leaves. Bring to the boil, simmer until gravy thickens and spices have mixed well. Add tomato mix and fish and cook for 5-10 minutes (until fish looks cooked through).

Add milky product, lime kaffir leaves, and any beans you might be using, bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes.

Turn off the heat and go eat it all up.

Friday, 25 November 2016

[singapore] Gokul [little india]

Gokul is probably my favourite Indian vegetarian restaurant in Singapore. It's got a very handy two locations (one in the Fortune Centre and one in Little India), an excellent menu, and is fast service and I love it.

It's really hard for me to go to Gokul and not order the chicken rice, mostly because it's always been one of my favourite dishes and it's so hard for me to get a good one in Australia. Gokul's chicken rice comes with fried chicken AND pandan chicken (aaah), a lovely ginger soup, ginger rice, some veggies, and some chili. It's so good. Look at that picture. Imagine angels singing as you eat it. Ahhhh.

The menu has a variety of bread sets, curry dishes, and local foods like char kway teow and chicken rice. They also have an excellently spicy murtabak and a good dosa, and they don't mind when one of your group brings in a frozen vegan cheezecake to eat for dessert.

The menu at the Fortune Centre location isn't as extensive as the Little India location, but I go to it more often due to its convenient location, so you can tell that I don't mind.

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant
19 Upper Dickson Road
Fortune Centre
190 Middle Road

Get there on the MRT, mostly. There's a step to enter the Little India location, and ordering happens at the table; at Fortune Centre, ordering happens at a high counter. Cards are accepted. There's an awkward toilet in the Little India Building; Fortune Centre has a toilet down a twisty hallway.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

[singapore] nomVnom [clarke quay]

I took my sister to nomVnom, and she declared it better than Lord of the Fries. I know. I KNOW.

Here's the deal. nomVnom is an all-vegan burger joint in the basement at The Central at Clarke Quay. They have a huge roster of 21 burgers and 20 plus sides, and 2 pastas. They make basically everything in house, including these beautiful soft steamed buns of just amazing deliciousness.

My favourite burger is WITHOUT A DOUBT the Temptation Satay, which is a marinated tempeh patty, housemade satay sauce, lettuce and cucumber. I eat this burger at least once a fortnight, and I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when I return to Melbourne next week. Attempt to replicate the burger, for sure. Beg Wai Lek (the owner) to take pity on me and tell me the sauce recipe, probably.

Others of my favourites are the Dhall Fusion (a crunchy soy-based patty, a thick dhall curry sauce, and sweet corn, to which I like to add cucumber pieces like a monster) and the Nom Nom (soy patty, tartar sauce, tomato, lettuce). The sides are mostly deep fried and delicious, including battered and deep fried mushies and battered and deep fried banana pieces.

They do a cold matcha and a hot matcha, as well as an amazing passionfruit and lemon tea (see: other things I'll be recreating at home) and an amazing cold cinnamon cocoa drink.

Look, I love Lord of the Fries, and I'm definitely going to be eating a parma burger within about 48 hours of touchdown in Melbourne, and I'm defo devo that I missed the HSP that ran for two months exactly when I was out of the country. But nomVnom is so good that one of my meat-eating Perth friends ate there twice during three days, and I can't fault that decision.

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street

Get there on the MRT (Clarke Quay MRT Station exits directly into the basement) or a zillion buses (there are 3 buses that take me directly from my house to The Central).

nomVnom accepts a variety of credit cards, including my Visa. Ordering happens at a high counter. The tables are crowded together but well lit, and seating is a combination of stools, chairs and couches.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

[singapore] well dressed salad bar [chinatown]

I'm in Singapore at the moment, on a three month residency. I've totally been failing at keeping you updated, but I promise I have been eating a lot of amazing vegan food.

Well Dressed Salad Bar is an all vegetarian, mostly vegan cafe on South Bridge Street, down near Kreta Ayer end. It specialises in salads, of which I've had zero. It is, however, about half an hour walk from where I'm based, so I've been going there a bit.

On my first visit, I was all by myself. I chose the curry with rice and 'chips'. The curry was spicy and excellent. The rice was fine (I smushed it all into that bowl of curry). The chips are nori strips coated in what I think is besan, and then fried. I must eat them all, immediately, and plan on making them ASAP (ie, as soon as I get to my kitchen in Australia). I had with this a fresh watermelon juice, and I took home a slice of chocolate brownie cake. They have a window of cakes at the entry, and it's full of terrible temptations that I can never move past.

On my second visit I brought a friend. I was feeling under nourished, mostly due to the large amount of stir fried noodles I tend to eat for breakfast and lunch (more on that in a subsequent post about my love of hawker centres and the fact that Singaporeans don't use their kitchens), so I had the udon noodle bowl. This was a really simple bowl of udon noodles with fresh soy beans, purple cabbage, carrot, lettuce and shredded nori. To go with this I had a juice that contained beetroot. Long time friends (and new friends, in fact), will note that I loathe beetroot, but I talked myself into this juice and it was actually really beautiful, a combination of apple, beetroot, carrot and something else that I can't quite recall at the moment.

I finished the meal off with this AMAZING avocado, brownie and choc chip ice cream cake, which was served with a chocolate sauce and a few small pieces of fruit. When this ice cream was described to me, I was expecting more of a chocolate thing, and so when it came out I was very worried about it. Whenever I hear about ice cream with avocado in it, I think about that time Cindy and Michael made avocado ice cream and I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to . So I was concerned! However it turns out I needn't have worried, as this was delicious and I would DEFINITELY eat it again. My only wish is that there'd been more fruit to go with it.

On this occasion I took home a slice of passionfruit cake, which was light and lovely with a tart passionfruit syrup on the top. A++ would eat again.

On my third visit it was specifically to pick up a box of donuts. Once a month Zenna takes orders (over instagram) for donuts. They're six to a box, minimum six for an order, $2 per donut. The flavours vary every month. I went for 2 x dark chocolate almond, 2 x oreo, 1 x blueberry and 1 x dark chocolate cranberry. Every mouthful was a delight! I hope I'm here still for my final order. Because they're mini donuts, it was no trouble for me to polish them all off, and they made up slightly for missing World Vegan Day in Melbourne over the weekend.

Since I was there anyway, and I'd been tortured by two hours of family time with no actual food I can eat (My Auntie told another vego the popiah were vegetarian; spoilers, he spat it into the bin cos there was prawns IN POPIAH), I paused for dinner. The all day breakfast comes with coconut waffles, housemade sausages (containing rosemary), housemade vegan feta, avocado, tomatoes, AMAZING mushrooms, and totally unnecessary alfalfa. It's accompanied by a juice or soup. Obviously I went with juice, because it's the best, and obviously I chose watermelon, because watermelon juice, freshly squeezed, in Southeast Asia, is one of life's true joys. The waffles were savoury, the feta was pleasantly salty, and the mushrooms were juicy, pan-fried portabellos, and oh how I have missed them. So that was very nice, too.

Well Dressed is a little pricy by Singapore standards, but the service is fast, everyone is friendly, and there's lots of vegetables served in raw and interesting ways, which is not necessarily how you get vegetables in Singapore. I probably shouldn't eat there twice a week, but it is very nice.

Well Dressed Salad Bar
282 South Bridge Road
Chinatown (South of Sri Mariamman Temple)

There are a variety of buses that stop on North Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, or the Chinatown MRT is about a 7 minute walk. There's a step to enter the shop. The unisex toilet is down the back of the shop but from memory it's accessible. Takes credit card yay.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

[canberra] a bite to eat

I was skeptical about the menu at A Bite To Eat, until I got to the little bit about almost all dishes being able to be made vegan on request, and I decided to take them up on that offer.

I ordered the Raja, a mild coconut curry, eggplant, broccoli, sticky rice, with chilli, coriander and crispy onion. It comes with poached eggs but I don't remember what they replaced it with, in part because I was so distracted by the rice - it's a crispy sticky rice. It's sticky rice that I think has been compressed and lightly fried, and it is the greatest rice side I have ever experienced, please let me eat it again immediately.

The hash brown on the side is house made and vegan, which is so unusual and also delightful and delicious.

The coffee (2 x soy flatties) was smooth and delicious and perfectly warmed (not burnt), and the service was lovely, and my friends enjoyed their meals (meaty, both), and we sat in the winter sun for three hours and didn't get kicked out, and everything was delightful.

A Bite To Eat
Shop 8, Eggleston Crescent, Chifley
Our Nation's Fair Capital

I was driven there by a friend
Ramp to enter
Eftpos available
I didn't check the toilets

Saturday, 6 August 2016

[Maylands] Little Shop of Plenty

This is my first ever entry in Maylands! That's because there's never been really great vego options in the area, though, so I'm super excited that I can make this post!

This afternoon I met my cousin near his house and we ventured in the rain to the Little Shop of Plenty, this lovely-sized cafe on Railway Parade directly opposite from Maylands station.

The Little Shop of Plenty is vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. The menu is very paleo and raw heavy, which is fine but it was raining and the weather made me want something more hearty and warm. So I was excited to discover Huevos Mk II ($18.50) on the menu. This defaults to egg, but the staff told me that the specials are almost always veganisable. So my huevos rancheros featured tempeh (to replace the eggs), spiced corn meal hash, black beans, corn, tomato salsa, avocado cashew cream sauce, fresh chilli, fresh coriander, and it was so delicious I ate all the coriander despite hating coriander. It was so good. SO GOOD. I only wish there was more avocado cream, but I suppose I can't have everything I ever want.

I also drank a beautiful almond matcha latte ($6.50, I'm in Perth, that's totally reasonable). I don't think they were using a whisk, but it still had a beautiful smooth flavour.

The staff was really lovely and friendly and delightful; the cafe sells metal and glass straws about which I am chuffed; and I will definitely meander back through on my visits to Perth.

The Little Shop of Plenty
217 Railway Parade, Maylands

Get there on the Midland Line to Maylands Station
Ramp is default entry
Eftpos available
Didn't check the toilets
Well lit (day visit only)

Sunday, 15 May 2016


I'm a little bit obsessed with this jambalaya that I modded from The Gumbo Pages. No photo because it's not attractive, but it's so tasty and not that involved and makes heaps and it's so good. SO GOOD. Being Azn-Australian I dunno how proper/right my version ended up being, but it was really tasty so here's hoping.

Vegan Jambalaya
modified from Creole-style vegetarian jambalaya at The Gumbo Pages

Takes just over an hour; serves 8-10 portions.

half cup olive oil
1 brown onion, diced small
1 red onion, diced small
1 red capsicum, diced small
half butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed
2 carrots, diced small
2 cups worth of sweet potato, washed but not peeled, cubed
1 zucchini, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tins crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chilli paste (or MORE if you think your housies won't notice)
some paprika
some salt
half teaspoon dried thyme
half teaspoon oregano
4 cups jasmine rice
several cups vegetable stock (6-8)
half cup tomato paste
300 g soft tofu, cubed
3 vege sausages, chopped

Heat the oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic and saute for five in SO MUCH OIL; then add capsicum, pumpkin, carrot, potato, zucchini for another five. Then add all the spices and the bayleaves, fry up, then add the tomato paste, followed by a bit of stock to deglaze. Add all the tomatoes, bring to a boil, then add the stock and the rice and the tofu and the vege sausages.

If you don't have a pot big enough to contain ALL OF THIS DELIGHT, leave the rice out, and just add as much stock as needed to cover what's in the pot. When you're prepping your rice in your rice cooker, add a scoop from your cooking pot to the rice water. This will help carry some of the flavour across.

Cook the mix for about 35 minutes, without stirring (this is especially important if the rice is in the pot!).

Remove from the heat and let sit for five minutes before serving.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

kylie kwong's cripsy skin duck (for cny)

For the end of the Chinese New Year festivities, I wanted to go fancy and ridiculous, so I veganised Crispy Skin Duck with Blood Plum Sauce from Kylie Kwong's heart and soul book. It was so good. SO GOOD.

I especially wanted to go duck because CNY isn't the same without duck. When I went home for the first night of CNY this year, my fam and all the meat-eating family friends got to eat duck, and I don't want to miss out on that luck! (In CNY symbolism, duck means fidelity, but also duck in Australia is expensive so sometimes it's wealth via showing off)

I made a bunch of modifications, mostly because a) the shape of vegan cake, and b) I couldn't find blood plums anywhere that day. But I will definitely be making this again and again and again. I want to try it with a bit less liquid and turned into duck pancakes, and I want to eat it on its own, just like this again.

Also at this party: Cindy and Michael made lo bak go and peanut cookies.


a vegan duck (i used a 800g one from the cruelty free shop)
1 tablespoon sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons salt
a bunch of plain flour
veggie oil

the sauce!
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
250g ripe blood plums (I used oranges - kylie says the order is blood plums, blood oranges, oranges)
2/3 cup fish sauce (I use Vincent's vegan fish sauce) (I would use less of this next time - too liquidy)
6 whole star anise
2 cinnamon quills
juice of 2 squished limes

what to do

Grind together sichuan peppers and salt until it becomes a 麻辣 salt. Rub the salt into the duck, and leave to marinade in it for a few hours.

Bring water and sugar to the boil, reduce to simmer for five minutes. After it's reduced a little, add plums/oranges (quartered if plums, eighths if oranges), fish sauce, and spices and simmer for a few more minutes. Kylie says just to simmer for one minute but I wanted to reduce it a little more. Stir through the lime juice and take the whole thing off the heat.

Slice your duckie into fingers, and toss in flour. Heat vegetable oil in wok until a clean chopstick pressed to the bottom starts to bubble. (This is a family trick to tell if the oil is hot enough) Deep fry a few pieces at a time until they're crispy and looking good, then drain a little. Arrange prettily and spoon the sauce over it. Don't through it over in an ugly mess because you're in a hurry, as I was.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

[fitzroy] pavlov's duck

Just a quick one before I mosey on off through to Singapore for family time. Visited Pavlov's Duck for a quick breakfast on Sunday. I'd forgotten that PD does hoppers on weekends and public holidays, so this was a delightful and fairly straightforward order.

Crisp hoppers (3) with beautiful squishy base, a lovely and slightly spicy dahl, marinated and caramelised onions (chilled). The hoppers are cooked at the front of the cafe, so you pass them as you come in, and how can you resist their charms? (You can't.)

A delicious addition to my South Asian weekends (dosa at Mukka). All I need now is for someone to make idli and I'll be content.

Previous visit: the pol roti

Pavlov's Duck
401 Smith Street

Entry is via a little step, ordering occurs at a high counter. Eftpos available. We didn't check out the toilets.
Get there on the 86 tram (not an accessible stop), the Rose Street stop.
The website is hard to read

Friday, 6 November 2015

[fitzroy] mukka indian restaurant

I can't even be reasonable in this review, for tonight I did the thing Australia so often fails to give me:

Dosa a short walk from house. Look at that beautiful thing. Crispy all the way, a heavy and spiced masala aloo, and a dal sambar that was so good I kept eating after all the dosa was gone - which I never do!

And the mark of a good dosa is how sad I am when I'm finished it and there's no more, though I'm full to bursting and shouldn't eat anything else. (I was sad indeed)

Housemates Bella and Alex were first time dosa eaters, and were both very happy with their dosa. Bella had the masala dosa also (listed on the menu as the 'classic'); Alex had the eggplant and pea dosa, which I briefly sampled and had a very mild smokey flavour.

Our eyes were massive, so I insisted on ordering the vegetable biryani and a dish of momo for sharing also. The biryani was excellent, interestingly minty but very moreish. The momo were also excellent and I will eat them again for sure.

I also had a mango and pistachio cooler, which is basically a lassi but with almond milk. I chose to have mine with added coconut rum. It was good but it wasted precious tummy space. Maybe on a beautiful summer evening.

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free are all clearly labeled on the menu. The staff are really friendly, and as Mukka just opened, they're having a discount until 12 November. I plan to eat there this Sunday lunch time, not cos there's a special but because dosa for lunch is one of the greatest reasons to exist on this planet.

I just made my mum jealous on the phone by describing to her in loving detail the distance between my house and this dosa. (Always remember that the way to make a Malaysian mother annoyed is to tell her you're having better food than her)

My only complaint is that I wish the biryani was a little spicier. D:

Mukka Indian Restaurant
365 Brunswick Street

Totally failing at remembering if there's a step to get in. Low tables, mixture of stools and chairs with back. Inside is well lit, ordering happens at the table. Payment over a high counter. Toilet is down a dark narrow path. Takes cards and cash.

Get there on the 96 or the 12 tram. Please don't bring a car into Fitzroy if you can help it, it's so annoying.