Dining out in Canberra was SO MUCH easier than dining out in Townsville. So many places to choose from, and so few days (and dollars!) to spend in the city.
The first restaurant we tried was Au Lac Vegetarian Restaurant, renowned for it's vast array of mock meats. We ordered more than we thought we could eat, but then ate it all! Every dish was empty when we were finished. Neither of us had cameras, but imagine: Au Lac special salad with vegetarian 'prawn' crackers, soy chicken nuggets, steamed buns, Soy Beef Satay, and Soy Fish in Clay Pot Sensation! And rice, and to drink I had a coconut juice, the liquid and flesh from a green coconut. It was incredible. The soy beef and fish were a bit creepy, but very tasty. And, considering all the food we ordered, the whole meal cost less than $50--super cheap.
For lunch I visited the Asian buffet at ANU. You get a plate and get your food, then pay based on how much you've got and what sort of food it is. There were 2 tofu dishes and steamed veggies, in addition to some veggie noodles and spring rolls. I got a pretty big plate for $7, and it was all quite tasty.
Thursday for dinner Anna and I went to Fekerte's Ethiopian Restaurant. This restaurant seemed a bit posh, with simple clean decor. There was an interesting mix of Asian and white workers in the kitchen and waitstaff, and the Ethiopian owner was constantly around wiping tables and making sure everything was okay. The menu stated very clearly that every vegetarian dish was suitable for vegans and used oil instead of butter, and no dairy, eggs, etc. We shared an entree of fava bean dip with some yummy flat bread. Then we split a Vegetarian Platter, which had pumpkin curry, kidney bean curry, potatoes & carrots, spinach, shiro, yellow split peas, and raw veggie salad. The injera was perfectly springy and sour, though we could have used more of it. My other complaint is that it was served in a very western way. Though it was on a platter between us, it was hard to eat Ethiopian style. But, I guess that's what happens when food is exported from its original country. A bit expensive, but totally worth it for a delicious Ethiopian food experience.
Then Friday for lunch I met up with Anna, Cristy, and Lily for lunch (and we had a few conference people tag along as well). We decided on Sizzle Bento, on the ANU campus for cheap and veggie friendly food. We all ordered the Combination Vegetarian, which had veggie sushi, noodles, kelp, and tempura--and they snuck in some egg that we all had to ditch. The food was only okay--the sushi was fine, and the noodles and kelp were good, but the tempura was soggy and lukewarm, and Cristy's was not cooked in the middle. A bit disappointing, but the conversation made up for it! (Note to self: bring cash to this place, they don't take EFTPOS.)
Poor Andy, alone in Townsville, didn't eat quite so well--one day he had a plum sauce stir-fry with gluggy couscous. He defrosted a pizza crust I'd made him but didn't quite bake it all the way so it was a bit doughy. One day he just couldn't be bothered, so he ate garlic bread and a cob of raw corn. I think he's glad I'm back. It's weird, because he's a good cook usually, but I guess he just lacked initiative to cook for himself!
Edited to add: Andy reckons I'm misrepresenting him. He wants me to point out that he *loves* corn raw, and he doesn't want me to cook it ever again. It's not so much that he couldn't be bothered, but he found a new favourite veggie!
I'm back to normality for a week, and then my parents are coming to visit! They'll be here for 12 days, including my birthday, so I'll probably continue to stay behind on the blogiverse...