Saturday, 27 September 2008

dusit thai, northbridge

Having heard such good things about Dusit Thai, but having never been, I crafted an opportunity on Sunday night to visit there.

green curry at dusit thai

The vegetarian menu is located in the back of the menu book, there are quite a few options and the waitstaff assured me that the noodles and things had no egg at all, which was grand. Still, I went with a hot green curry, hoping to stay healthy in the face of my very busy week to come (it was indeed very busy, and I did not fall ill, unlike D).

The curry was indeed quite hot, as advised, and I shared it and the popiah with Grahame in exchange for some of his noodles (which were tasty, too). The curry was fantastic, and I love a good fried popiah, though steamed are still the tastiest.

The items were a tad pricy, about $20.00 for the curry, but I was very happy with the meal and the service was pretty good. I can see why I have heard a lot about Dusit Thai.


Dusit Thai Restaurant
249 James Street

Sunday, 21 September 2008

more from vegan indulgence

I thought I'd best save them up, instead of posting them one by one.

passionfruit melting moments

Tried the passionfruit melting moments (p. 34). I managed to get closer to the suggested twenty melting moments this time. I also had a surplus of filling, which I later used to pad out the topping for the orange and figsultana slice. The passionfruit filling was a lot less stiff than the chocolate one, which is something to remember for the future - it made putting the cookies together that little bit difficult. I used all gluten-free ingredients for this one, and they all subbed in just fine.

orange and sultana cake (not slice)

My parents live out in the Swan Valley, so whenever they leave their house they have to drive past orchards and fields of trees and vines and things. All year round they provide us with fruit and vegetables fresh from that morning, and I'll sometimes hold off on buying fruit and veges because the stuff they can buy is so much tastier than the stuff from Coles. Last week my parents turned up with a huge bag of oranges, the last of the season, and I started wondering what I could do with them. So I thought I'd give the orange and fig slice (p. 32) a go. Didn't have any fig, so used sultanas, and the oranges I've got right now are perfect, they're juicy with thick skin and no seeds. Fantastic! End result is this not-slice - didn't really have the heaviness of a slice, looked and felt more like a flat cake, but no complaints, because it is delicious all the same.

berry chocolate cake

Friends over for dinner last night (post to follow), so in between making the soup and starting the main course I baked the choc cherry squares (p. 16). I didn't have any cherries but I did have some fresh strawberries, so I cut them up tiny and used them instead. Similarly, had no chocolate pieces so I subbed for gigantic squares of chocolate that I'd tried to smash up, with varying success. I found that the baking time was a bit shorter than suggested, 32 minutes rather than 40. Still, end product was super tasty, we had it after we broke from playing mahjong.

I love this book, it's great. I realised I hadn't linked to it in any of my previous posts, but you can buy it online from aduki press here.

Monday, 15 September 2008

moon festival

As a child, on moon festival my house was filled with people and our tables were laden down with food. I remember our procession, a line of little children of varying heights, our tummies full and our lanterns lit and carefully held before us. We paraded around my parents’ property line, around the back and down the side until we came full circle, our lanterns held for the moon to see. Afterwards, there’d be more food, and perhaps some sulking if a lantern had caught fire. I went through so many lanterns this way, burning little holes in the cellophane of my butterfly (it was always a butterfly), but it was okay, because there would always be next year’s lantern.

lotus paste moon cake

It has been years since I celebrated Moon Festival, but I really wanted to celebrate it this year, so as the fifteen moon of the eighth lunar month approached I invited a dozen friends around and D and I spent a day in preparation, cleaning and cooking and buying new outdoor furniture.

I was rushing around, cooking things, and D was flitting about chatting with people, so neither of us had a chance to take any photos of the food. I’ll probably put up some of the recipes for these eventually. There are no specific foods that are served at Moon Festival – the emphasis is just on the having of food, its abundance, and the sharing of it with your friends.

On the table: laksa, lontong, gado gado, satay mushrooms, char kuay teow, nasi goreng, chickpea rogan josh, potato rendang, yao chao guai and gai lan in a garlic soy sauce. After dinner snacks were passion fruit melting moments, mooncake, oreos and kuih bangkit.

It was so delightful being able to share this with my friends, even though most of them only knew what google could tell them about it.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

vitamilk: not suitable for vegans

I have been drinking soy milk for quite some time. For most of my life before I became vegan, it was my milk of choice. My favourite has long been the Yeo's soy milk. I know that some people don't like how sweet it is, and that's what lead to its 'now with less sugar' rebranding, but I have quite strong brand loyalty for Yeo's, it's what my mum buys when she's buying popper packs of soy milk and chrysanthemum tea, and I love it.

My least favourite has been vitamilk, since that fateful day four years ago when I was sitting in Sparrow's, eating a perfectly delightful satay and lontong (not vegan), and it was the most disgusting soy milk I'd ever tasted. The texture was awful, the flavour was not pleasant at all, and I didn't finish it. Since then, I have been suspicious of any soy milk in a similarly shaped bottle, irrational but still a suspicion.

D and I were served vitamilk at a restaurant this evening. I frowned, but was resigned, and I had it in my mouth when D said "it has milk!" I felt disappointed and guilty and a little astonished, and my mother's displeasure at the idea of anything other than sugar and soybeans in soya milk was clear. The bottles were open, if we sent them back (we didn't, but we didn't drink them) they would be wasted but there on the front under the brand it was clearly printed, 1% whole milk solids.

At least now, my mother said, you know why it has always been your least favourite.

Friday, 12 September 2008

choc melting moments from vegan indulgence

chocolate melting moments

These are really tasty. Sadly, I didn't manage to make the batter stretch to the full twenty that I was hoping for, so I am going to try the passionfruit ones tonight, with gluten-free flour for my gluten-free friends.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

shepherd's pie

I posted the recipe for this pie some years ago in my old food blog, but I made it again last night and thought I’d post it up here.

Shepherd's Pie

shepherd's pie

This is a great pie for hiding things in. It’s so chunky, an extra ingredient is easy to slip in. It’s not necessarily going to hide the shape of the mushrooms, since mushrooms are pretty obvious, but it helps to hide the flavour and texture, if your aversion to mushrooms is, like mine was, solely texture based.

When we first went vegetarian, D declared that I had to learn to eat a lot of the dreaded mushrooms, and having recipes that made it easy to disguise the flavour really helped. And now I really like mushrooms!


1 can kidney beans (drained)
handful of mushrooms
one tomato
half cup stock or wine
one carrot
half cup of peas
half capsicum
half an onion
chilli flakes
one garlic clove
tomato sauce
four potatoes


Dice the carrot, onion, tomato and capsicum. Fry the onion in some olive oil with the chilli flakes, pepper, parsley, chives and a squirt of tomato sauce until the onion is translucent. Mince the garlic and fry, then add the carrot, capsicum and tomato, as well as the stock or wine. You may not need the whole half cup, though. After the tomato renders down a bit, add the mushrooms (diced or cut small) and the kidney beans. Allow the liquid to evaporate a little, then add the peas and heat through. Spoon filling into an oven dish.

In the meantime, prepare the potatoes for mashing. I like to boil them with some garlic, and mash with a little nuttelex. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling, then brush or drizzle a little olive oil.

Bake for ten minutes at 190C.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

raspberry choc mud cake


I got home from work on Tuesday to find Vegan Indulgence sitting atop my computer. It was published by Aduki just in August, and I only heard of it on Tuesday - it was Davyd, in this instance, whose vegan finger was on the pulse. The book looks fantastic. It's a tiny thing, $11.95 only, filled with things that look rich and delicious.

The raspberry choc mud cake was indeed, as expected, rich and delicious. I've been cutting the tiniest pieces, and still going in to some sort of temporary sugar overload.

This was my first attempt at a layered cake, and as you can see from the photo above it was a very messy experience. I think it would help if I had a spring-form pan, which I could then wrap around as I worked up the layers. But messy or not, it was still a tasty outcome (ie, cake).

Other things that look great: black forest cake, passionfruit melting moments, orange and fig slice.

adding berries

Thursday, 4 September 2008

evergreen, ee beng, and luk yea yan, penang

buffet breakfast

An Auntie took us to breakfast at Evergreen Vegetarian on Jalan Cantonment. It is a general buffet self-service style place, though it does also offer ala carte dishes and bao, and there was a whole wall of mooncakes available for purchase. I had some great noodles and a tasty potato thing, amongst other dishes. I also picked up a lotus bean mooncake for later nomming (it was nomlicious).

Ee Beng Vegetarian Restaurant is on Lebuh Dickens, and due to its location near Jalan Hutton I ate there twice recently. It's also a general buffet self-service setup, with two dozen or so dishes to choose from which you then take to the counter to be measured and paid for. The noodles were fantastic, and I missed out on what my mother described as a really fantastic mushroom and broccoli thing.

Auntie took us out to breakfast a second time, and being delightful she again took us to a vegetarian restaurant, Luk Yea Yan on Macalister. Breakfasts that are common in restaurants in Australia are tasty, hash browns and baked beans and wilted greens and things, but nothing beats soup and noodles for breakfast. It was such a delight to sit there, my hand curled around a soup spoon, chopsticks in my other hand, piling the noodles on my spoon and drinking the liquid. I had a fresh soy milk to compliment it, and when I'm in Penang, I'm not the only one drinking soy milk. My mum, my aunties, we all order soy milk, and it is fresh and so fantastic.

kuay teow soup

Evergreen Vegetarian
39A Cantonment Road

Ee Beng Vegetarian
20 Lebuh Dickens

Luk Lea Yan
148 Jalan Macalister

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

restoran wawasan mutiara, penang

After we established that we needed to stay an extra week in Georgetown, investigations began to find places to eat breakfast. The hotel breakfast is cool and all, but at 42RM is quite expensive. My parents stumbled across Restoran Wawasan Mutiara, an Indian restaurant opposite the Komtar carpark and beside Bazar Komtar. We ended up visiting it so many times that my parents gave a tip to our waiter on our last visit, so pleased were they.

dahl and biryani

I tried the vegetable biryani, which I got with dahl, cabbage and beans. They were just slightly spicy, with a really great flavour. The dosai masala was fantastic, I had one filled with onion and cabbage, and was scolded for not using my sugar appropriately (or at all).

One morning we finally made it there for breakfast, where I had roti pisang and dahl, and our waiter was shocked that I wasn't eating dosai, given it is often a breakfast food and I had ordered it several times previously for dinner. The roti pisang was amazing, and once I got used to the sensation of one bite banana, another bite spicy dahl, it was fantastic. I am eager to attempt roti pisang at home.

roti pisang

The dahl was usually room temperature, which was a bit disappointing, because dahl should be hot lah!

As always it was easy to order vegan, though that wasn't clear from the menu, I just ordered whatever I felt like and hoped for the best, which is often what I do when I'm in Malaysia.

The watermelon juice, incidentally, was pretty tasty. We'd order four glasses of it, and after taking our order the waiter would wander past the table to the kitchen, a whole watermelon in his hand.

masala dosai

Wawasan Mutiara
Lebuh Tek Soon

Monday, 1 September 2008

wandering around penang

rice and garlic choy sum

I've been away from keyboard for the last two weeks because I had to take an unplanned run up to Penang. I spent a lot of time loitering around Prangin Mall as I was staying at the Traders Hotel on Jalan Magazine. There aren't any vegetarian restaurants in there, but that's okay, because my favourite kitchen implement is the wok, and the tasty dishes that come out of it, ie, mee goreng, char kuay teow, etc, are my favourites. And that's easy to veganise, though most times it helps to speak Hokkien, Cantonese or Malay, because sometimes you have to do a fair amount of alteration.

char mee

The other thing I love, is that saying "vegetarian" leads to "do you eat egg? what about garlic?" and oh, I wish restaurants in Perth could be more accepting of that.*

nasi goreng

I know the photos all look a bit same-same, and terribly poor quality due to being taken using Toy Camera (an Ixus 55), but oh how I love these foods, and how I miss them when I am not in Malaysia.

*they are not saying 'vegetarians don't eat garlic,' they are checking that I am not Jain or have some other (religious) restrictions.

pad thai

breakfast mee