Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OzComicCon Perth 2016 (Part 1)

Finally... let's get into some travel food stories! At the beginning of April I headed off to Perth and Adelaide for my first time in each city. I am lucky enough to be on the core team for OzComicCon, and they kick of the year with a conventions in Perth and Adelaide, one weekend after the other. Given that it was a bit of a trek over there, and that I had never been to either, taking some time off work to stay for a week in between made all the sense in the world!

It is a five and a half hour flight to Perth from Brisbane. We were flying Virgin, and as luck would have it there is a Doughnut Time in the Virgin terminal at Brisbane airport (it is right down the very end if you are looking for it). They normally have one or two vegan flavours. My favourite is the Blue Ivy (though looking at their website they don't seem to have it any more... woe!), which is a blueberry filled sugar dusted doughnut. So yummy! Virgin did hand out breakfast on the flight, but they don't have any vegan options. I was more than happy with my doughnut! A bit later in the flight, I also got them to provide some hot water to make up some McDougall's Teriyaki noodles, which I ate with a Teriyaki Primal Strip. I am a hungry vegan and always take a lot of food on flights with me.

Blue Ivy from Doughnut Time


Once we arrived in Perth and got to our hotel, we had a couple of hours before we had to be at the venue for our walk-through. So my first stop was Coles. Yep, I headed straight for the supermarket to stock up on bananas, juice, hummus, bread rolls and soy yoghurt to get me through breakfast and lunch for the weekend at OCC. We did get breakfasts and lunches supplied, but the only vegan option the venue had was fruit salad, so I had to make sure to supplement! On the way back, I noticed a sign outside a cafe saying the word 'vegan options'. It was The Wolf The Bean The Walnut. I was a bit peckish, so I grabbed their vegan coconut wrap. It ended up being $10 for essentially salad (including capsicum I had to pick out) with a mild coconut sauce in a fancy wrap... ouch! But it was a nice enough little snack, if I ignored the price. They also had smoothies, juices and acai bowls there as well, and have other rotating vegan options.

Vegan Wrap from The Wolf, The Bean and The Walnut


After set up, I walked with a friend to Perth's newly opened Lord of the Fries, because she was hungry and needed and early dinner. I didn't intend to get anything, because I am generally underwhelmed by Lord of the Fries and I had some other dinner plans for later, but I ended up getting a mini Poutine Burger because I was curious about it. I was... underwhelmed. However I will say that the fries from here were really good, much better than the ones I had last time I was in Sydney, which were pretty awful.

Poutine Burger from LotF


Thankfully it didn't fill me up too much to put me off my dinner. That morning I had been scrolling through Instagram and learned that there was a vegan friendly stall at Perth's Night Noodle Markets, which were on that very night! So of course I had to go. It was pretty crowded, but I was able to quickly locate Turban Chopsticks and ordered their Satay Noodle Bowl. It was noodles, peanut sauce, tofu, veggies and vegan prawn crackers (!)... but it ended up being so spicy! Tragically I just couldn't finish it all because my stomach was about to implode from the spicy. I don't really cope with spicy food.

Satay Noodle Bowl from Turban Chopsticks at Night Noodle Markets


I had a little bit of time before having to head off to the OCC Cocktail Party to enjoy the sun setting over Elizabeth Quay, which was nice. And I also enjoyed the big light up lucky cat in the noodle markets once the sun went down.

Elizabeth Quay


Night Noodle Markets


The next day was all hands on deck for the first day of OzComicCon! I started my day with some overnight oats (I brought some single serve oats with me from home), which were McDougall's Maple Oats with some soy yoghurt and a banana, as well as some fruit salad when I got to the venue. I had brought some sort of fancy fruit smoothie in a bottle from Coles that I sipped on for the morning. Then lunch was a roll with hummus, more fruit salad from the venue, and one of the million snack bars I also brought with me (remember, I am a snack bar hoarder). As mentioned, I am a hungry vegan and am always well prepared with food. The highlight of the day, and in fact of both the cons, was seeing this amazing Neko Atsume cosplay. I actually lost control of myself a little when I saw this.

Neko Atsume Cosplay


For dinner that night I went for a walk with one of the other guest handlers to Utopia Vegetarian at Northbridge. It was a little tricky to find, and was up some stairs as well. The ordering system is a little odd, but all the vegan things are very clearly marked on the menu. It also has karaoke rooms! There was an extensive bubble tea menu. I ordered a plum green tea with sago. For my main, I got the Claypot Tofu and some steamed rice. There was a lot of tofu and mushrooms in it, which was great, though also a lot of some strange fatty mock meat, which I was not so keen on. Needs broccoli instead! Kerrie ordered the Chicken Udon Noodles. They were big servings!

Claypot Tofu at Utopia Vegetarian


Chicken Udon Noodles at Utopia Vegetarian


Sunday was another long day for the final day of Perth OCC. I started my day with some more overnight oats, this time using an a Green Tea Oats that I had picked up last year in the US, as well as a banana, and of course fruit salad at the venue. I had a chance in the morning to have a look around some of the cute stalls (I love the handmade and original artist stalls at the conventions!). My lunch was pretty much the same as the day before, but I had a few extra bananas.

Sunday Perth Breakfast


Sunday night is always a late finish at OCC because of packing down at the end of the day. There weren't many options in general in Perth open later on a Sunday night, but thankfully one of the few places that was opened was a Grill'd close to the hotel. They can make all their veggie burgers vegan by removing the dairy ingredients (unfortunately they don't have any vegan subs for these). I had my regular order of the Veggie Burger (minus cheese and mayo), with pineapple and pickles added, and some of their amazing and delicious herby chips with tomato relish (the only vegan dipping option).

Veggie Burger (with pineapple and dill) and chips at Grill'd


I had a free day the next day, and I got up early and walked up to King's Park to check out the botanical gardens. It was a bit of a funny park to walk to, it is a long walk through the entrance to the park to actually get to the gardens. I think it is designed for people who are driving there, rather than people walking from the city. Still, I saw some ducks (I especially love Australian wood ducks) and some pretty plants and flowers, and there were some nice views, so that always makes me happy.

Ducks at King's Park


View at King's Park


Flowers at King's Park


Flowers at King's Park


All that walking sure worked up an appetite! After a stop back at the hotel, I headed out to Henry Saw Cafe, which I had heard good things about. This is an almost too cool for me laneway cafe, with seats made out of milk crates (I am too old for this, at least they had cushions), rap music playing, and some sort of amazingly engineered glass windchimes. However the food was spot on! They have a range of vegan options, including pies and wraps and salads and sweets. I was there for breakfast, so I got the breakfast wrap (beans, mushrooms and BioCheese). It is also meant to have capsicum in it. They are pre-rolled, but they kindly unwrapped it and picked out all the capsicum for me first (I said I was happy to pick it out myself), which was really sweet. I also had a cute little jam doughnut, and a delicious soy chai (ask for it vegan so they don't put in honey!). It was a great breakfast!

Breakfast Burrito (mushrooms, beans, biocheese) and Jam Doughnut from Henry Saw Cafe


After breakfast I walked to the Western Australian Museum. The museum is about to close until 2020 for renovations, so most of the exhibits had been moved out already, but they did have a ticketed exhibit from the British Museum there called 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' that was pretty cool. My favourite object was a pre-historic etching of a bison on a rock. There were other interesting things there as well, including some ceramics. I love ceramics!

Prehistoric Bison Drawing at Objects at WA Museum


Ceramics at Objects at WA Museum


I also stopped by the Art Gallery of Western Australia, where they had a great exhibit done by grade 12 art students. It included one that had some very powerful animal rights themes. I would have loved to have had a chat to that student! Also a very beautiful sculpture of a horse made from driftwood.

I had to head back to the hotel to meet a friend for lunch, and on the way I stopped in to rehydrate with a green juice from a place called The Growers on Shafto Lane. My juice had cucumber, spinach, kale, mint, parsley, lemon and coconut water in it.

Green Juice from Grower's


I'll be back in my next post with more Perth food and a lot of really pretty Perth birds!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


While I was away, my mum sent me heaps of photos of the kitties. Here is Dim Sim, sleeping on her pinky, and apparently in control of the remote as well. The things they get up to when I am away!

11 comments:

  1. All hail Dim Sim, Lord of the Remote

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    1. I wonder what she was watching...

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  2. All hail Dim Sim, Lord of the Remote

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  3. Wow, sounds like a packed few days. The strange fatty mock meat looks just like what I've just had for my tea in a stir fry which was braised tofu from a tin.

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    1. The mock meat bits were really small, so I think that is just the regular tofu you are seeing? They were really odd little cubes.

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  4. I should hope that at least the fries were good at a place called Lord of the Fries! Haha! Also this line is the best: " This is an almost too cool for me laneway cafe, with seats made out of milk crates (I am too old for this, at least they had cushions)"

    The cheesy mushroom wrap sounds amazing! I love a good pressed, hot wrap!

    And I appreciate your food hoarding tendencies. I, too, am a serious food hoarder, but I know I shall never hunger!

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    1. People may laugh at us, but we shall always have food. It is not worth the risk of getting hungry with nothing to eat!

      Oh my, those milk crate chairs... seriously. Who thinks they are actually comfortable to sit on? Oh... my back. ;)

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  5. All that food looks yummy (even the ones you felt underwhelmed by XD)

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    1. Everyone else in the world seems to love Lord of the Fries. Maybe one day I will find something there that I love!

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  6. Vegan doughnuts in the airport? Score!
    "I am a hungry vegan and always take a lot of food on flights with me."
    I'm with 'ya!
    "the only vegan option the venue had was fruit salad"
    disappointing!
    The claypot tofu looks good! I love mushrooms and tofu, but like you, not so keen on a bunch of fake meats.
    It's nice that the Grill'd place can make vegan burgers - it looks good!
    The park is beautiful! Love the ducks, palms and flowers - what more could you ask for in a park?
    The Biocheese breakfast wrap looks good. That was so nice of them to pick out the pepper =) I like biocheese, but I've only seen it in Europe.
    It sounds like you had a lovely time!

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    1. The volunteer manager said she is going to talk to the Melbourne venue to see if they can have an actual vegan non-fruit salad option for me to order.
      Doughnut Time is definitely awesome, and I love that they have an outlet at the airport. Who doesn't need a doughnut for travel? The vegan ones used to be gluten free (and still very good!), but they have changed it recently so that they aren't. They need to have at least one of the vegan ones be GF so that my gleegan friends can also have doughnuts.

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