Friday, February 12, 2010

Sydney Vegan: Sunday

After a very late night getting home from the wedding, Andy and I had a proper sleep in on Sunday morning. We ate cereal in our room, and then set out with big plans. First stop, the Australian Museum (dinosaurs!!). Then vegan lunch at Iku or Peace Harmony. Then catching up with some friends, followed by dinner back in Newtown.


We got to the museum and saw a line out the door, just to get in. So we decided to save that for Monday. Instead, we wandered down to Circular Quay, because, what's a trip to Sydney without a visit to the Opera House?

Then we walked up to an Iku Wholefoods, to find it was closed. Luckily there are many, fairly close to one another. So we walked to a second location. Also closed. We headed in the direction of Peace Harmony. Closed. Who'd have freakin' thought that nearly every cafe, takeaway shop and restaurant in the business district would be closed on a Sunday at lunchtime? We ended up walking around for ages looking for somewhere, ANYWHERE, to eat, and finally found a Subway, its neon lights calling to us like an angelic saviour. A veggie sub never tasted so good.

So our morning was disappointing, but the afternoon came good. We did indeed catch up with friends, and then parted ways to head back to Newtown for an early dinner at Green Gourmet. I've been warned that this place is questionably vegan -- apparently the Vegan's Choice Grocery next door had some products with dairy ingredients blacked out. I don't know if this has ever been confirmed, and when I poked through the groceries I didn't notice anything like that, so I took my chances, and Andy and I consumed a vast amount of food.

We were pretty starving, so we started with not one, but two entrees. First, Oyster Fritters. These were battered and fried nori pockets filled with mushroom and a bit of tofu. They tasted like the ocean and grease and were so delicious.

Our other entree was Steamed Dumplings with BBQ Not Pork filling. I like that the dough is made with wholemeal flour, but the filling:dough ratio could have been a bit more generous.

For our mains, we continued the deep fried-ness (I realise it's not exactly good for you, but we eat out so rarely that I was more than willing to accept the fat and calories) -- Salt and Pepper Tofu. These were so yummy, soft tofu with a crispy salty batter.

And "Honey" Lemon "Prawns". We were hoping that this meal would come with a bit of veggies and maybe a little bit of extra sauce, but it was delicious anyways. The lemon was not overwhelming and just provided a fresh tartness, the "honey" was sweet and sticky, and the prawns themselves were eerily realistic. They even had the little reddish marks that cooked prawns have, and the texture was fairly spot on, from memory.

Overall, the service at this place was a bit brusque and un-friendly, just basically no-nonsense. But we did get the matriarch's stamp of approval when we cleared our plates, eating even the garnishes. "Good, all gone" was the comment we received when she came to take our plates away.

With a choice of ten or so desserts, I needed a way to simplify my decision making, so I vetoed anything deep fried -- meaning banana fritters, no matter how tempting, were out of the picture. I decided on a crispy vegan crepe with tofu ice cream, and Andy ordered Mango Ice Cream with Coconut Sago Delight. However, they were out of that. So he opted for the crispy crepe, which turned out to be deep fried anyways, as well as filled with custard.

I didn't want to have two of the same things, so I swapped my order to the Raw, Organic, Vegan Strawberry and Chocolate Cheese Cake. Holy sweet baby jesus this was good. Like, really good. It was a small piece, but it was rich and creamy, almost the consistency of icing. The crust was a bit like eating plain desiccated coconut, but the filling more than made up for that.

Thoroughly stuffed, Andy and I returned to our accommodation with sore feet but happy stomachs.


Gina said...

Wow, that cheesecake does look amazing. I don't think I've seen a picture of you before, you're so pretty!!

Hannah said...

There's the cheesecakey goodness! :D Oh, yummers. Though I might find myself tempted to have a second order of the oyster fritters instead of a dessert, were I to end up at the restaurant myself. They sound heavenly!

Anonymous said...

drool! everything frmo your dinner looks so delicious. sorry the service was lackluster but it all comes down to the food in the end! adorable pic of you 2

Vaala said...

Haha, sometimes you have to have a great dinner of deep fried-ness. It's good for you! The cheesecake looks pretty amazing (and in my head I was trying to picture what it would look like also deep fried!).