Since I can't even cut straight you can imagine my lack of prowess when it comes to origami. I know foxes are terribly trendy at the moment, but I can't say I'm a fan after one killed my pet ducks a few years ago...
With much excitement and anticipation and a fair amount of nervousness we rocked up to Naked Expresso/Basil Pizza in Newtown last Sunday to set up the vegan bake off. We'd been told that Sydney vegans were a disparate lot with a lack of connectedness and a fair amount of antipathy. To top things off, it was raining. We waited nervously. What if no one turned up? What if no one turned up with food and only wanted to eat? We considered the merits of a visit to the pub....
I sat anxiously at the registration table waiting for entries with some Aduki goodies to sell included our range of vegan badges to be launched on the site very soon. Here's me looking rather blurry...
The cafe was ready for baked goodies and we were excited...
Then some amazing goodies started arriving! Biscuits, cupcakes and whole cakes were especially popular!
Everyone was having fun and hanging out, watching the rain outside...
Our judges Steve Kilby, Lisa Dempster and Helen Fraser were hard at work, testing all 18 entries....
A nervous wait ensued as I tried to remember my year ten maths and add up the scores accordingly....
We had two 'best in show' winners with the highest points awarded by Judges. This wonderful cherry ripe cake by Stacey ( I didn't get a chance to try it, but the judges comment sheets announced it amazing) and Mandee's amazing Mars/Twilight Bar cookies which looked simply melt in the mouth!.
Stacey and Mandee won a free lunch/dinner from Naked Expresso/Basil Pizza!
There were of course, loads of other winners in other categories, too many to list in this simple blog account to enable me to give them all justice. As far as I was concerned, all entrants were winners in their enthusiasm and creativity and we loved meeting you all. Huge thanks of course to our fabulous judges and Naked Expresso/Basil Pizza for having us!
I have to say the Sydney vegan community surpassed earlier concerns being friendly, enthusiastic and passionate! It also lacked the 'cliquishness' which Melbourne is often accused of. It was so excited to see such a diverse range of people, talking about food, eating and having fun!
The Melbourne Vegan Bake off is coming very soon...March 27th, to be held in Brunswick St Fitzory. We're streamlining some of the categories as only one person entered a pie and there was a lack of savoury dishes which surprised us as anecdotally it harnessed the most interest amongst people we spoke to. We'll also make the judging results a little quicker to add up at the end...
Since we were in Sydney we decided to pop along to Funky Pies last week. I've enjoyed their pies from Radical Grocery here in Brunswick and I was surprised to see the premises. I was assuming it would be a big factory with a little cafe but no, the pies were actually all made in the cafe, just a few streets away from the beach! The chef had a row of pie pots waiting to be filled whilst we ordered.
I liked the stools made out of recycled flour bags:
Chris and I both decided to try theEezy Chick n Cheezy served with mint peas, mash and gravy for a very respectable $9 per serve. The peas were suitably minty, the mash was creamy and the gravy was flavoursome.
The pie itself had a lovely flaky pastry. The filling contained chunks of 'chicken' which I actually found really disconcerting as the colour, look and texture was so similar to real chicken. The 'cheeze' sauce was a little bland but the broccoli was a welcome addition.
We cleaned our plates, had an organic soft drink each and wandered off to explore Bondi. A lovely brunch and a restaurant and enterprise we definitely support!
The Melbourneveg community has been excitedly blogging about Yong Green Food since it opened. Since it's one of very few Veggie restaurants which offers raw food, I've enjoyed it both times that I visited.
The first time Chris and I went along on a rather hot summer evening. I was gapsing for a vodka tonic and was disappointed that they had no liquor license and the restaurant was quite hot. The food soon made me feel better though.
I enjoy a rawsagne, complete with cashew 'cheese' and strips of zucchini as 'pasta layers'. It was surprisingly dense and filling.
Chris had a dish of rice, salad and mock bbq beef. He polished it off but I'm not a huge fan of mock meat.
We shared a piece of the raw blueberry cheesecake which was, in a word, divine. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone. It was dense, rich and flavoured with berry and coconut. The crumbled base appeared to be made of hazelnuts.
Upon leaving we were presented with two small take away containers of cheesecake which we enjoyed very much the follow day.
My second trip was with my mate Mary Lou. We both opted for a raw meal. I enjoyed a 'burger' and salad, the vegetable patty being strongly flavoured with sun dried tomato, not unlike the texture of rice salad I guess but more moist. The accompanying salad had a lovely asian flavoured dressing.
Mary Lou had a vegan sandwich containing salad vegetables and avocado. I tried a piece of the 'bread', it reminded me of ryvitas which I eat regularly (no wheat).
We both had an almond milk with agave but found them rather gritty (Mary Lou was choking on hers) so they really could've done with more blending or the use of a strainer. We both had a raw cheesecake afterwards, my chocolate one was incredibly rich (not a bad thing I hasten to add) and I couldn't finish it.
It's a restaurant I would strongly recommend, especially if you're tired of conventional Asian restaurants ( I tend to have sushi or stirfries everyday for lunch) or not in the mood for the noise and chaos of the Vegie Bar.