Monday, 27 June 2011

[wa] heavenly plate, applecross

Heavenly Plate is a new(ish) vegetarian restaurant in Applecross. I've heard a lot about it primarily from one friend, and nothing else from any other source, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I manufactured an opportunity to eat there on the weekend.

In fact, what happened was that I was so excited I started tweeting about the menu immediately (using the hashtag #heavenlyplate). Heavenly Plate is vegetarian, and mostly vegan (or vegan options); there is an entire hot chocolate menu featuring items such as 'orange and cinnamon' and 'strawberry' and entrees such as mango bruschetta and all sorts of really exciting and interesting things.

We decided to maximise our tasting opportunities by sharing three entrees (between four people), then ordering our own mains with lots of sampling.

avocado rolls japanese wedges and wasabi mayo

Our entrees were the japanese wedges and wasabi mayo; the avocado rolls; and the murtabak. I wish the murtabak photo had turned out - aside from being incredibly delicious, it was beautifully and artistically laid out. The avocado rolls were encased in spring roll wrappers and fried, then served with a light mint (?) mayonnaise which was so delicious Danni scraped the remnants up with her knife in order to eat it all up. The murtabak was filled with a 'chicken tofu' and it was light and delicious with a lovely sauce and looked delightful, too. The wedges were herbed and sprinkled with nori, and the wasabi mayo had a spicy bite to it which became less potent (but no less delicious) as you continued.

thai green curry spaghetti noodleo

Alas, my bad luck with my photos continued in to our mains, so you only get to see two. Above on the left: my Thai green curry spaghetti. This looked rich, and being Thai green curry, it certainly was; but I didn't find it overwhelming, and I loved the combination. The carrot could have done with being a little softer, but aside from that it was delicious and I thought it was great. Dr G ordered the noodles with cheese wontons (sadly the wontons are not pictured). The noodles were exactly what one expects from a chasiu wonton noodle dish (which I love); the wontons were served in a slightly salty soup. The soup was perhaps slightly too salty, and the cheese wontons were interesting. I'm not sure what was in them, but definitely a cheesy flavour, and definitely worth a try.

Gilly ordered the the Tripple C, where the mock chicken was battered in flour and Diet Coke, and deep fried, served with some lovely crisp chips and a perfectly serviceable salad. Gilly reports that she could taste a slight Coke-y flavour to the batter, but the rest of us were unsure. Danni went for the chilli chicken in red jam, a beautifully presented dish featuring rice and vegetables and mock chicken and cashews. The flavour of this dish was excellent, and not spicy (more flavoursome), with a slight sweetness which I assume was the red jam.

chocolate sundae + sprinkles apple torte (because there was no pear)

Intrigued by the desserts and chocolates menu, we decided to split two desserts and each order a hot chocolate. Due to the unavailability of the peach pie, we ordered the apple torte and the chocolate sundae. Chocolates ordered to the table were the strawberry hot chocolate and the orange + cinnamon hot chocolate.

The chocolate sundae was So Good icecream with a whole lot of chocolate syrup and sprinkles. This was very fun to eat, but nothing exciting (aside from the experience of the chocolate sundae). The apple torte had a lovely flavour but I found it a little dry; I took this opportunity to combine the two, and this was excellent.

strawberry hot chocolate

The strawberry hot chocolate had been particularly recommended to me; alas, I found it way too sweet for me, and had to keep cleansing my palate with chocolate sundae. When one needs to palate cleanse with icecream, it is perhaps too sweet! I found the orange + cinnamon hot chocolate much more to my taste, with a light tang and a lovely sweetness. Alas then that I was not the person to order that chocolate!

Total bill for all that food came to just over $130. It was slightly too much food for all of us; each of my dining companions complained of being uncomfortably full, and I was leaning towards that myself. But certainly not disappointed. In fact, I am searching for excuses to dine there again before I depart Perth.

Heavenly Plate
899 Canning Highway
Applecross (WA)

open every day

didn't ask about gluten free options

little ramp up, easily navigable with wide apart tables inside. large, unisex toilets available. get there via the train (about a 5-10 minute walk from canning bridge station on the mandurah line) or a canning highway bus. some parking available.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

oriental kitchen, melbourne cbd

After my disappointment at not getting to Oriental Teahouse in Prahran, I was super excited last week to discover that one has now opened in Melbourne Central!

Although there were four of us at dinner, two of us were vegos and two of us were not, so we decided to share in two halves. Us vegos took a delightful stroll through the menu, ordering a few dishes at a time in the way of yumcha.

We started with the spicy eggplant (pictured above), the mushroom rolls (also pictured above), the vegetarian bao and the buckwheat chilli vegetable dumplings. Having eaten these, we then decided this was insufficient, topping up with the vegetarian dumplings and a second serve of the mushroom rolls. The highlight of this meal was probably the mushroom rolls, followed by the eggplant. There was no disappointment, but the dumplings weren't as fantastic as I was hoping they would be.

cocktails in teapots!

Being a teahouse, there is also a lot of tea to be had! The cocktails in teapots ("pot tails") had been talked up quite a lot by my dinner companions (who, though they numbered only three, had already been five times previously that weekend between the three of them). We drank a whole lot of long island ice tea, and then I decided to give the Campari Treasure (a "teatail") a go. This was the worst cocktail ever, much to my chagrin. Do not like!

Overall, I had an excellent experience at the Oriental Teahouse. Service was helpful and the atmosphere was totally fun. Will definitely go again! (Hoping to try the salt + pepper tofu and the pancakes)

other reviews: Fi (Prahran Location).

Oriental Teahouse
Ground floor, above the escalators from Elizabeth St into the train station
Melbourne Central

accessibility: a step up, and kind of difficult maneuverability. well lit.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

kashmiri pie at tofwd, cbd

I have no idea why this is called kashmiri pie, the internet reveals nothing. It was also supposed to be shepherd's pie (and I was going to steal some of Emilly's kashmiri pie) so imagine my surprise!

Ooh pie

Anyway, this was a pretty great pie. Picked the pies up and took them back to where we were hanging, and they were filling and delicious. I can't actually remember what was in them! But they were a good quick lunch on the go on a public holiday Monday.

I regretted not buying a slice of cake, though.

28 Degraves St

Friday, 17 June 2011

grigons + orr iii, north melbourne

Fi and I had planned to visit the new Mister Nice Guy restaurant for brunch, on the grounds that it would probably be totally amazing! Unfortunately they've had to temporarily change their opening hours, so they are currently not doing breakfast.

Saddened but undeterred, we arranged to meet at Grigon's & Orr instead, handily located a comfortable walk away from Fi's work.

Scramble tofu is a love that both Fi and I share, and it was with great glee, following her recent disappointment at Cafe Flaunt, that we discovered the scrambled tofu was still to be found on the Grigon's & Orr menu. So we both ordered it.

Scramble it
iphone, why such a terrible photo?

The tofu scramble looks small, but those looks can be deceiving. I rolled out of there afterwards uncomfortably full; almost (ALMOST) too full for a walk and Mister Nice Guy cupcakes at Dymocks. The scramble has a sweeter flavour to it, and is served on delicious crunch bread with spinach. It is totally worth it and I love it a lot.

Post the start of the 9-5 work day, the service was friendly and prompt, and it was a lovely morning adventuring through North Melbourne.

previous visits: one, one point five, two.

Grigons & Orr
Corner of Queensberry St and Chetwynd St
North Melbourne
Open every day

gluten free available

street parking available, accessible via a 5-7 minute walk from the nearest tram stop (route 57). heaps of space to move outside, but maneuverability inside is difficult.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

potluck 2: comfort food

Oh dear patient friends, I apologise for the delay in getting this carnival up. But I promise, though it is small and slightly delayed, that it is still a good read. This time the theme was comfort food, and all of these posts are about comfort food! Delicious, comforting food.

If you are one of my usual vegan readers, please note that not all posts linked to today are vegan, but they don't really talk about food specifics and you should read the posts anyway, because they are important and amazing and good.

Oddcellist talks about comfort food:
When I talk about the things I can cook, I tend not to talk about Chinese food—because I don't cook the way my mother does, even though I hear her voice every time I cook (fry the ginger until its flavor blooms, use day-old rice to make fried rice, people here like things too sweet), because I remain incredibly recipe-bound.
Vi writes (and draws!)about small comforts: tāng yuán.

Azuire writes ٹیڑھی کھی, about comfort food that's monolingual (and not):
What I felt when I discovered that اچار was not called that by others (and I know it was اچار because I'd had an argument about it) was shock. Pure and simple. The English names of food-things that had previously existed only hypothetically were now widely accepted as the only names for things. It felt incomplete, inaccurate.
In comfort fooding, Glass_Icarus maps a history of her comfort food.
I've realized that I don't so much rely on specific foods for comfort as I do on cooking and eating with specific groups of people. 火鍋 with my immediate family is different from 火鍋 with my relatives in Taiwan is different from hotpot with all the different permutations of my "usual suspects," friends from ballroom/undergrad. Dim sum with my "American grandma" is different from dim sum with my Chinese family friends (where there's never any explanation involved but the check-grabbing fights remain the same).
Sam Miskiv writes on disordered eating and veganism (and, in a way, comfort food).

Ephemere talks Hapag-kainan, dibdib: My language is one that eats and is eaten. If one is to speak to me of comfort and discomfort -- speak to me of food. And of rice.

Linstar writes about what makes comfort food:
I’ve often been asked what my favourite food is and I have very usually replied with something along the lines of my mum’s laksa or my mum’s spring rolls or something to that effect. My mum’s cooking. It wasn’t until recently when I was sitting down talking to a work colleague that I actually realised some of my favourite comfort foods aren’t necessarily my mum’s cooking at all, but my mum’s cooking brings an association of love and comfort. I’ve actually come to realise my favourite comfort foods are anything that can be shared, and that it’s the company more than anything which makes comfort food comforting.

And a little aside: Counter Culture, a book which collected food histories from the kids that Lifting Voices works with. Their funding deadline is past but the book looks great!

And now, with my spoon in one hand and my chopsticks in the other, I am off to eat my own comfort food, though I failed to blog about it. Thank you for reading Potluck 2! Potluck is intended to be an occasional carnival for multicultural and intersectional discussions of food, including but not limited to food discussions intersecting with disability, gender, sexuality, fat, animal rights, and cultural and racial issues. If you are interested in hosting the next Potluck, please drop myself or glass icarus a line!