Sunday, 20 October 2013

vegie mum, doncaster

When I first went vego Lotus, the Chinese-Malaysian restaurant in Northbridge, was my life saver, giving me all the delicious comfort foods that I required without schlepping out to my parental house or cooking it myself. The biggest problem with Malaysian food is all the secretly animal stuff, the cockles in your laksa and the lard in your CKT, which requires intense questioning deng deng boring lah, so I usually just have to make it myself.

So I've always wanted to go to Vegie Mum in Doncaster, because I'd heard it was Chinese-Malaysian vego but whenever I tried to go I was prevented by things like Chinese New Year and failing to book, or the lack of PT out there and my lack of car ownership (no regrets).

Anyway now I have been twice in the last three months, and it is all Fiona's fault as she lives in the dreaded Eastern Suburbs and can't travel very far because baby. We even went there this week, which Fi has already blogged! Plus added park.

Because we are not heathens Chinese-Malaysian food is, like regular Chinese food, a sharing kind of thing, except when you are selfish like me and insist that it's very important you get char siu noodle soup because it's one of your favourite things to eat ever and you never get to eat it because you're not gonna make your own vegan char siu.

I did this, and then Fi ordered the laksa because she had never had it before quite recently and now like all good people loves it, and then I tasted her soup and I have never before experienced such regrets. Next time I am gonna eat that laksa for sure. Look at that mock prawn! The only downside of the laksa is that it contains eggplant, which is a crime against laksa. There is no downside to the char siu noodles, except a) it's not laksa and b) you have to remember to specify not wonton noodles, because wonton noodles contain secret egg.

I have previously eaten their CKT (which is excellent); their kari kapitan and roti (good); and their spring rolls (nothing special).

Vegie Mum is pretty standard suburban Chinese except for its vegetarianness; the tables are plastic and so are the chairs, it's all bright white tiles and a little dingy. There's a small step in to the restaurant, can order and pay at the table; CC is taken. There are always people in there, and the menu is in Chinese and English. The Chinese Malaysian owner doesn't seem to believe that I'm Malaysian, so one day I'm gonna take my mother in there and really pointedly talk in Hokkien or Manglish or something.

Vegie Mum
27 Village Ave
Not open Mondays

Sunday, 13 October 2013


how i spent my sunday night, by stephanie a penguinface (aged 31 and a bit)

a) cooking japchae
b) watching and writing about Serangoon Road (new blog posts on this show occur every Monday morning on my blog No Award; I live tweet my rage at @yiduiqie on Sunday nights)
c) scones (sweet scones are the best okay)

scones are easy and delicious

to make them you need: 2.5 cups of SR flour
one third of a cup of sugar (pref white)
30g marg/nuttelex/etc
half cup milk
half cup water
1tsp apple cider vinegar
half cup sultanas (optional)

extra sugar and flour

add milk + vinegar; set aside.

rub together sugar, flour and marg; add sultanas if you're adding them. make a well, pour in all liquids, mix with a knife or something but don't over mix i learnt this the hard way. flatten out to 2cm (i just pat them with my hands) on a floured surface. cut out (i use a tumbler), sprinkle with the extra sugar, bake at 220C for 15 mins or until golden brown. eat straight away plain or i guess you could use jam or something but why wait.

i've taken to taking out a cup of the flour+sugar+nuttelex mixture so i can make a non-sultana batch of about five for non sultana people eating; so this batch made in total 13.

i'm not saying i accidentally used plain flour this evening and had to desperately try and save it with baking powder but uuhhh see pt d below

d) dancing around the house to Laure Shang (visit that song, you won't regret it).

Sunday, 6 October 2013

shu restaurant [collingwood]

蜀 is a short form for Sichuan, and Shu is all about the Sichuanese food and flavours, though a little toned down for the Collingwood palate.

The dishes at Shu are seasonal and organic where possible. There is no menu, the food you're served is dependent on what's available and what the chef wishes to prepare. And every Wednesday is Vegan Wednesday at Shu, where you can get a 12 dish vegan banquet for $40; and so, having only found out of its existence less than 48 hours earlier, this is what Cindy and Michael, Hayley and myself decided to do this Wednesday past.

We started with four individual portion dishes: house made tofu with cinnamon-infused soy sauce and a rocket flower (cold); purple carrots with house made pickled chilli and borage (the purple carrot was raw and thinly sliced so it became a sort of plate) (cold); daikon roll with enoki, zucchini flower and cucumber (cold); tofu, soybean and sesame dumplings.

I was especially taken with the cinnamon-infused soy sauce and the house made tofu: the flavours were mild enough to really appreciate the loveliness of the tofu, but I loved the delicate cinnamon-ness of the soy sauce.

It's good that three of these dishes were cold and therefore we didn't have to eat them in a hurry; four bloggers at a table meant it took approximately a million years to photograph and take notes.

This was followed by a mizuna, pickled cucumber and trumpet mushroom salad, and a cashew, kale, broccoli tops and garlic shoot salad. Later in the evening, when yet another greens dish came out (broccoli and cauliflower, this time), this started becoming all a bit overwhelming, but at this point I loved the broccoli top and garlic shoot salad, it had a beautiful light flavour and the garlic shoots were excellent.

We also saw dishes with eggplant with broad beans, chilli (lots), calendula and onion; fried tofu with bean shoots and nasturtiums (not spicy at all); and tofu with wild coriander (kind of mapo doufu-y but sad lack of mala).

We ended with unanimously the greatest dishes of the evening. Dish number 11 was individual portions of fresh noodles, served with asparagus, preserved gailan and a walnut infused oil. This had a lovely flavour, maybe there was sichuan chilli in it (but if so only mildly), and I could definitely have kept on eating these noodles and I'm glad it's not a seasonal dish because I want to eat it again.

The final dish was potatoes in a whole lot of spices. Not necessarily hot spicy but my word was it delicious, and I happily ate the last remaining potato in the bowl.

The repetition of the green-ness is obviously a restriction of the seasonal element of Shu's menu - though I do not at all criticise them for it - Rebecca and Shu go out to a farm to pick the ingredients every Wednesday and it's all a bit fun. I love the variety of it and the surprise as well, the flavours were lovely (though I could have used some more spiciness, and we'd been warned it was spicy and this was a lie~).

I wasn't stuffed full by the end, which was a little disappointment (we walked to Berrissimo for desserts), since I'm used to having too much to eat at a Chinese banquet.

I will very cheerfully visit again. I hope there are more adventures in delicious carbs.

The service was lovely though disclaimer: Rebecca knew who we all were. The lighting was dim and there was a step going in. I didn't check out the toilets, but Michael broke them so look out for that.

Shu Restaurant
147 Johnston Street