Friday, 16 December 2016

Melbourne Part 1

In November I went back to Melbourne (my third visit for the year) to spend five glorious days eating and having fun. And also to turn 35. I traveled with my friend Ashleigh, and we had a marvelous time and ate a lot of food.

We flew with Qantas, that does have a meal service. I had ticked the vegan box, and Ashleigh had ticked the fruit plate box as she is vegan but also gluten free. The vegan option ended up being a gluten free toasty, complete with vegan cheese, which was pretty nice. So we shared the toasted sandwich and the fruit plate.

Plane snacks

After the SkyBus dropped us off at Southern Cross station, our first stop was Lord of the Fries so Ashleigh could get some gleegan burger goodness. She got their chicken burger, made GF and vegan, and love it. I had a little bite, and the GF bun was actually not bad. Regular readers will know that I am frequently underwhelmed by LotF, though I do enjoy their French Canadian (aka Poutine) fries (as long as they manage to cook the chips right). I have several people recommend the Italian one to me, which is napoli sauce and cheese, so I thought I'd try that. Alas, underwhelmed again. And yet again the fries themselves were not great. Oh well.

Napoli Fries and GF Chicken Burger from Lord of the Fries

The important thing was that they did not fill me up too much, because it was Thursday night. Thursday night in Melbourne means I go to The Cornish Arms for trivia and ridiculous vegan food. (Like really ridiculous... their current special is a mac and cheese burger where the mac and cheese is the bun! I have seen photos and know people who have had this.) We started with some gravy and cheese fries (delicious, I could drink the gravy) and some buffalo chicken (way too hot for me, I just had a nibble).

Cheese and Gravy Fries at Cornish Arms

Buffalo Wings at Cornish Arms

A bit earlier in the year I was rewatching Gilmore Girls (preparing for the revival) and for Lorelai's 35th birthday Rory organised her a giant pizza. So the idea of celebrating my 35th birthday with a pizza part seemed appropriate. Though Lorelai has her life way more together at 35 than I could ever dream of. Although Thursday was not my actual birthday, it was actual Pizza Party Birthday night. We ordered four of the pizzas off the menu to share. First up, the Meat Loathers (A BBQ deluxe! local 'Two Broke Guys' vegami, coal roasted sausage, facon, mock chicken and house-made smoky BBQ sauce). This was a popular favourite at the table, and was indeed delicious. It only needed some pineapple to make it perfect.

Meat Loathers Pizza at Cornish Arms

The Vegan Special of the fortnight was a Stroganoff Pizza. This was nice, though I expected it to be creamier. The sauce was more like gravy. I had also secretly hoped it would have actual pasta on it for extra carby goodness, but alas no.

Stroganoff Pizza at Cornish Arms

My favourite pizza was the Souvlaki Pizza (Spiced fried seitan, tomato & onion, garnished with chilli sauce, garlic sauce, & tabouleh), but we got the chilli sauce on the side to make it Susan friendly. This was just so nice and fresh, definitely welcome with all the richer food on the table.

Souvlaki Pizza at Cornish Arms

The final pizza was the Vegan Porchetta (Vegan pork belly, popcorn 'rib', cherry tomato, pear and red onion finished with crispy crackling and aioli). Unfortunately this was a bit of a flop with all of us. I think because of the pear in the description we were expecting a sweet undertone, instead this was just all fat and salt but not in a great way. The pear was barely noticed. We wouldn't get this again.

Porchetta Pizza at Cornish Arms

Because Ashleigh is GF, none of the pizzas were suitable for her (they don't do GF pizza), so she ordered another vegan GF chicken burger. This one was very different from LotF one, more like fried chicken. She liked it, but not as much as the LotF one.

GF Chicken Burger at Cornish Arms

The next morning we were planning on having breakfast at a nearby cafe that had several green things on the menu. But alas, they were unexpectedly closed! Thankfully Smith & Deli was just down the road, and was our next spot to visit anyway. I got one of their delicious chai lattes, and everything bagel with dill cream cheese, and a strawberries and cream tart. So, let's talk about this tart. At first I assumed it would be coconut based and would probably make me sick, but when I asked I was told that there was no coconut even in it. And I am so happy, because this is the best thing ever. I almost cried when I ate it. I just loved it so much, it was perfection. The strawberry cream filling was light and not too sweet and perfection. I weep just thinking about it.

Strawberries and Cream Tart; Everything Bagel with Dill Cream Cheese; Chai from Smith & Deli

Smith & Deli was also our lunch stop, and I met up with my friend Leigh. First up, let's take a tour of their bakery cases!

Jam and Cream Buns from Smith & Deli

Bakery Case from Smith & Deli

Bakery Case from Smith & Deli

For lunch, I had to get another Straberry and Cream tart! I also got the Anaphylaxis of Evil sandwich (satay tofu, bean sprouts, picked daikon and carrot, cucumber, fresh chili, coriander on a roll), but I got them to leave off the chili. This was so good and fresh and delicious! I think maybe my favourite sandwich from there to date. And I also got a green juice.

Strawberry and Cream Tart; Anaphalaxis of Evil; Green Juice from Smith & Deli

Anaphylaxis of Evil from Smith & Deli

Leigh got the Hail Seitan (salami, ham, turkey, pineapple, BBQ sauce, which I is definitely on my list of things sandwiches to try!

Hail Seitan from Smith & Deli

And Ashleigh got Buffalo the Vampire Slayer (buffalo tofu, ranch, shredded iceberg, carrot, red onion and celery) made gluten free. I love the name of this sandwich so much, Buffy being my favourite show ever, but it is too spicy for me.

Foghorn Legless from Smith & Deli

After saying goodbye to Leigh, Ashleigh and I went for a walk down Gertrude St to Smith St to check out the shops and vegan offerings. It was really hot. I stopped into Pressed Juices to pick up a silly but refreshing beverage.

Pressed Juice

We also stopped into Donut Shop Fitzroy, Fatto a Mano and Friends of the Earth. I didn't get anything from Donut Shop (they had two flavours of vegan glazed doughnut, but they didn't grab me), I picked up some treats from the other places that I will share later.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Shop Cat

We ran into this friendly and sleepy shop kitty in a vintage shop!


  1. Meat loathers pizza wins best name EVER from me!! I have serious food envy, every picture looks amazing! Happy belated birthday!

  2. Looks like a great way to celebrate your birthday! The gravy and cheese fries sound perfect! :)

  3. OMG, vegan pork belly!! I would love to try that. Pork belly is so big around here, and I wish someone would make a vegan version here! Also, those gravy fries look amazing. And all the sandwiches and the tart. Everything really.