Saturday, 15 November 2014

Veganventure 2014: Part 1 (Sydney)

Okay, here we go! Earlier this month I went on an epic Veganventure with my friend and cookbook author extraordinaire, Leigh Drew. This holiday was many months in the planning. Originally it was meant to start with The Cruelty Free Festival in Sydney, however due to location changes they had to change the date to a week earlier than normal so I missed out. However that didn't in anyway diminish the absolutely awesomeness of this trek. Be ready for food photos. Also critter photos. YAY!

I got into Sydney on Saturday afternoon and caught a taxi to Leigh's place. Because she is an excellent host, she had an epic cheese platter ready for us to dig into! Sprout and Kernel is a small Sydney-based company making artisan nut cheeses. Leigh had bought one of all the flavours of their solid cheese! From top to bottom there is Aged Brazil Nut Cashew Cheese, Monster Cheddar, The Original Pepper and Cashew Log, Little Sister Macadamia Cheddar and Aged Cashew Cheese. Unfortunately these cheeses are only available in Sydney, so I was really happy to get to try so many.

Sprout and Kernel platter - Aged Brazil Nut & Chashew Cheese, Monster Cheddar, The Original Pepper and Cashew Log, Little Sister Macadamia Cheddar, Aged Cashew Cheese

Action shot! My favourite was definitely the Monster Cheddar, which was so tangy and kind of gooey. It was almost like eating melty cheese on crackers. Second in line came the Little Sister Macadamia Cheddar, which had a lovely flavour without a trace of the grainy-oily-texture that some macadamia products can have. Next up, The Original Pepper and Cashew Log, which was quite mild and creamy and great for spreading on crackers. The Aged Cashew Cheese was very nice, but definitely outshone by the other three. Finally, the Brazil Nut and Cashew Aged Cheese. This was good, but for me was more of a pate rather than a cheese. I really wanted to spread it on some baguette with some tomato and basil! They do also make a garlic and dill cream cheese spread, which was the only thing we didn't have.

Sprout and Kernel Cheese platter - action shot

Because it was super hot, Leigh also had provided some Salted Caramel Iced Chocolates from Sadhana. These were so yummy, I am craving one right now thinking about it.

Salted Caramel Iced Chocolate from Sadhana Kitchen

When I lived in Sydney, Green Gourmet used to be one of my favourite places, but I hadn't been there in years. As the awesome pop-up Tacomatose (which had opened at the site of the closed Revolution Foods) had chosen the very weekend before my trip to close forever (so cruel), we decided to head to Green Gourmet with another friend to see how it was these days.

I was thirsty from the heat, so I ordered a coconut and mint juice. Which was actually just coconut juice with some mint sprigs.

Coconut Juice with Mint at Green Gourmet

Kelsey ordered this Raw Organic Burdock Salad, which was fresh and delicious and I could have eaten bowls of it.

Raw Organic Burdock Salad at Green Gourmet

Leigh highly recommended the Crispy Beiking Duck Wrap. This was lovely, though I always find mock duck to have an odd greasy texture.

Crispy Beijing Duck Wrap at Green Gourmet

Crispy Beijing Duck Wrap at Green Gourmet

The Green Beans in Chili Black Bean Sauce were delightful, another definite favourite. The chili was very mild, the black bean sauce was fantastically savoury and the beans had a sweet crunch.

Green Bean in Chili Black Bean Sauce at Green Gourmet

Leigh and Kelsey couldn't quite decide what fried thing to get, so we ended up with Seasoned Salt and Pepper Spicy Nori Slices and Sweet and Sour Pan-Fried Nori Tofu Roll. I really liked the flavour of the Salt and Pepper, though it was a bit dry so we ended up getting some sauce for dunking it in.

Seasoned Salt & Pepper Spicy Nori Soy Slices at Green Gourmet

Sweet & Sour Pan-Fried Nori Tofu Roll at Green Gourmet

One of my favourite things to order when I lived in Sydney was the Monk's Choice Hot Pot, which is full of tofu, bean curd skin, noodles, lotus root, mushrooms, red date, broccoli, carrot and baby corn in a great hoisin sauce. Sadly, while all the great whole ingredients were still in there, the sauce was a total letdown. I don't know what they have done to the recipe in the last seven years, but was just really watery with almost no flavour.

Monk's Choice Hot Pot at Green Gourmet

While Green Gourmet has greatly expanded their dessert menu since I was last there (they have a lot of cakes), our sights were firmly set on CreamGlacee. This is fairly new place has a vegan coconut-almond soft-serve that they can use to make many of the delights on their menu vegan. I couldn't go past the Peanut Butter and Jam Hurricane - soft serve, strawberry jam, peanut butter and macadamias. This was so good, the peanut butter flavour had spread through every bite! I could have done without the macadamias, they added an odd texture. Some roasted peanuts would have been great. Leigh ordered the Coco Chanel Hurricane - soft serve, peanut butter, chocolate and cocoa pops. Kelsey had the Peanut Butter Caramel Thickshake, which could basically make the entire world a diabetic - so sweet! These were some pretty large servings after a big meal!!

Peanut Butter Caramel Shake, Coco Chanel Hurricane, PB&J Hurricane at Cream Glacee

The next morning, after an evening of peppermint tea and sleeping, we headed out to Suzy Spoon for breakfast. We both ordered the Breakfast Roll, which was full of scrambled tofu and mushrooms, with a side of avocado and hashbrown. Leigh also got a smokey rasher to add to her roll. This was a very filling breakfast.

Breakfast Roll with Avocado and Hasbrown at Suzy Spoon

Of course I also ordered a hot chocolate, as sadly they did not have chai lattes. When ordering drinks at Suzy Spoon you need to make sure to specify that you want soy or almond, as they serve a few different types of cow milk as well.

Chai Latte at Suzy Spoon

After some snack shopping for our adventure into Victoria the next day, we headed off to Petty Cash Cafe at Enmore Park, which is a place I had heard a lot about and was keen to try. This omni cafe has several vegan options, though you may find yourself at a share table with some eating a giant stinky pile of bacon and eggs. Blergh.

Leigh had the vegan sausage roll with salad. I tried a bit of the sausage roll, which is something they make from scratch. Lots of fennel!

VeganSausage Roll with Salad at Petty Cash

I had the special - Eggplant Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich. This was pretty amazing. The eggplant was in no way crispy, but had a great smoky flavour. I would have loved some avocado on here!

Eggplant Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich at Petty Cash

To finish up we had some Gluten Free Vegan Black Forest Slices. These were very rich and moist! I was a little put off at first by the use of glacee cherries in here (my least favourite way to have a cherry), but after a few bites it became strangely addictive. They also have an adorable collection of salt and pepper shakers, including these so cute kitty ones! Oh, and we had some unsweetened iced tea as well.

Black Forest Slice and S&P shakers

All this in the first 24 hours! My next post will be a little lighter on the food photos, but has something so exciting and adorable I know you won't mind (there will still be food photos).

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Leigh's cat Squeak is always ready to sit in judgement every time I visit.


  1. I just bought some of that cheese the other day! I got the macadamia, the brazil nut and one of the cheddars. My favourite of the three was the macadamia, but I want to try the rest. I felt so fancy having these beautiful paper wrapped cheeses! Haha.

  2. This all looks great! I've tried the cheese too, it's delicious. You've inspired me to try more of the vegan offerings in my own city :)

  3. Okay, I need a friend who'll greet me with a cheese plate! I also really, really hope I can make it to Sydney next year. I need that breakfast from Suzy Spoon!