Monday, October 5, 2015

Sydney OCC Foodings

The last two weekends of September I worked as a guest handler for OzComicCon's Brisbane and Sydney shows. It is awesome yet exhausting! Brisbane of course is my home town. However for the weekend I was in Sydney I was determined to make sure I got in some seriously delicious vegan eats. Because of the long days, my breakfasts were overnight oats and fruit in the hotel room and my snacks were from my ridiculously large stash of bars. My lovely friend Leigh brought me an amazing spinach and Daiya pie each day for my lunch, to go with the fruit salad that was the only vegan option I could get from the venue. So I was pretty serious about getting food for dinner!

Sorry for the really bad lighting in a lot of these photos. I only had my phone, and even once I remembered to put the low light setting on and/or have my handy extra light source shining, they are still pretty dark because there wasn't much light in the restaurants.

On Friday night I needed to go somewhere close to the hotel because I had a short time between set up finishing and having to be ready for the cocktail party, so I ended up at Lord of the Fries. I have had LoTF twice before, and each time I have been pretty meh about it. This time I got the Parma Burger and some fries with aioli. I continue to be meh about it. The burger was super salty, and the fries were just not that good. If you are calling yourself 'Lord of the Fries', you had better make sure your fries are awesome. I'd rather go to Grill'd.

LOTF


On the Saturday night I was super excited to go to Gigi Pizzeria, a traditional Italian pizza restaurant that had just that week relaunched itself as completely vegan. How awesome is that? There is no mock meat and I think only one pizza has faux cheese (a crumble of blue cheese) here, mostly it is based on beautiful veggies and nuts. Because we didn't get there until later (I had to wait for the con to finish for the day), we had to line up for about 40 minutes and the line is right next to a hostel's smoking point, which was gross. Thankfully the food was worth it!

We picked chose the Melanzane pizza (tomatoes, grilled eggplant, basil salsa), the Ripieno zucca e spinaci calzone (pumpkin cream, sautéed pumpkin, spinach, swiss brown mushrooms & onion topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, thyme & rosemary) and the Rucola, mele e cannella salad (rocket, radicchio, roasted apple, pistacchio, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & lemon zest). Below are some photos. Unfortunately the pizza photo turned out totally dark and terrible, but you can see also the corner of it in the photo with the salad.

Melanzane from Gigi


Rucola, mele e cannella fro Gigi


Ripieno zucca e spinaci from Gigis


Oh. My. God. This is incredible pizza. The calzone was beautiful and rich, the salad was a lovely and slightly bitter counterpoint. However the true star was the eggplant pizza. This is probably the best pizza in the world, I almost cried when I had my first bite because I was just overcome with how amazing this pizza was! I can't wait to go back again! Though working my way through the menu will take a little longer because I will always have to have the eggplant pizza.

After dinner I went by my favourite ice cream place in the whole world, Gelato Blue. Gelato Blue has an entire cabinet of vegan sorbets and gelato, with amazing flavours, as well as a variety of other vegan sweets. And they have an insane menu of vegan dessert treats. Can you feel the sugar just by looking at this?

Crazy vegan desserts from Gelato Blue


I went for a cone. Raspberry Shortcake on the bottom and Pokey Hokey on the top. When I was little, I loved Hokey Pokey ice cream (from New Zealand Natural). In my advancing years, I am not really a fan of butterscotch or caramel anymore, but I had to have this for old time's sake. It wasn't really the same thing (NZN cornered the market on the best hokey pokey), but it was fun. After eating this I was so sugar buzzed that I took an hour walk back to the hotel rather than catch a bus.

Pokey Hokey and Raspberry Shortcake from Gelato Blue


The Sunday night I didn't get out until extra late, because after the convention finished we had to do pack down. I was pretty keen for food! We went to Golden Lotus, which was another new place for me. We started with the Steamed BBQ buns, which were good. Then we shared a delicious eggplant, tofu and mushroom hotpot (soooooo goooooood!), the satay tofu and vegetables (a little bit too much spice in the sauce for me), and the mock duck in plum sauce. Again, sorry for the crappy dark photos! I must have accidentally turned off the low light setting after the buns.

Steamed buns from Golden Lotus


Eggplant hot pot from Golden Lotus


Veggies and tofu in satay sauce from Golden Lotus


Vegan duck with plum sauce from Golden Lotus


Then of course it was one last trip to Gelato Blue. I got another double scoop, with more raspberry shortcake on the bottom and milk chocolate with chocolate chip cookie chunks on the top.

Milk chocolate with cookie chunks and Raspberry shortcake from Gelato Blue


Monday morning was our flight back to Brisbane. I had some juice and banana bread at the hotel, but I felt like I needed something more at the airport. I got some avocado sushi, a hilariously overpriced spring green salad from Sumo Salad and a soy chai (which was made on syrup, so sweeter than I like, but still did the job).

Airport second breakfast


Here are some of the super cute things I bought at OCC!

Cute OCC buys


Unfortunately I picked up a pretty nasty bug at the convention and was really sick by the time I got home on Monday evening. It is called ConFlu. I am still recovering from it. However it hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for OCC at all, I am really excited that next year I am going to be working at all five OzComicCons. :)

I'm off to Melbourne on Thursday for the Animal Activist Forum and a lot of food, so look forward to more exciting food adventures when I am back. :)

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim looking at Sahara


After being away for the weekend I couldn't wait to get home to my girls. If you are a new reader after MoFo and my month of Gizmo, here are my other two babies. Dim Sim and Sahara. I thought Dim Sim was going to bop Sahara to try and get her off the footstool, but she just stared. It was very cute.

16 comments:

  1. I love eggplant pizza! Your girls are so beautiful! I love the staredown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sahara was pretty unconcerned, but Dim Sim was committed to her glare. ;)

      Delete
  2. The pizza sounds incredible & the ice cream cones both look great! Dim Sim looks super intent, haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Words cannot describe how good that pizza was.

      Delete
  3. Yuuuuuuuum! Hi kitties!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yuuuuuuuum! Hi kitties!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW! Look at all of that food!!!!! :) And I have to say...I'm a unicorn FREAK! I have like over 500 unicorn-themed objects :) teehee!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unicorns are awesome and cool and magical and totally exist somewhere (even if it just in my hopes and dreams).

      Delete
  6. There is nothing like visiting a city where there are plenty of vegan options... it makes everything more fun.

    I've been dreaming about having an Italian vegan restaurant in Montreal... where I could order pizza-ghetti. That pizza place seems to totally rock.

    Hokey Pokey ice cream?! First time I hear the term!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Hokey Pokey started in New Zealand and then hopped over to Australia, so maybe it is not common in other parts of the world?

      Delete
  7. MidWeek Munchies is up on my blog! Swing by and check it out! Would LOVE for you to join!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool. :) I am visiting an awesome vegan shop in Melbourne this weekend, so will see what sort of munchies I come back with for a future MWM post. :)

      Delete
  8. I'm with you on LOTF - I've never been totally wowed by it, and actually pretty disappointed by it a lot of the time. I feel like I should enjoy it more cos everyone says it's so good. The time I really enjoyed it was after a fair few beers at some ungodly hour. I don't think it's great day time food, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vegan calzone?! That is one of the few things I miss from my pre-vegan days. I haven't seen any vegan ones yet. The pizza sounds amazing!
    Oh and the ice cream! YUM! I actually quite fancy butterscotch/caramel flavours =)
    I love steamed buns! There is a place not too far from where I live that makes divine vegan ones.
    And the My Little Pony book is cute. I used to love that as a little girl.
    The convention sounds so fun - what a cool volunteer gig. Glad you had time to check out awesome vegan eats while you were there!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just really want to talk about that pizza that almost made you cry!! I want that! I love that they don't rely on mock meats and cheeses. That sounds like my kind of spot, for sure. Now I want to go make eggplant pizza.

    ReplyDelete