Saturday, 20 May 2017

Eating Out: Brisbane Vegan Day Out, Buddha's Birthday Festival, and Loving Hut

A few weeks ago The Cruelty Free Shop organised a Vegan Day Out in all the cities where they have a shop. This takes place over a Saturday and Sunday, and we got out first one in Brisbane this year! The Cruelty Free Shop organises with local businesses in the area for specials and deals on vegan goodies, and you get a map that has coupons you can use. I'll be honest, the Brisbane one was not really all that exciting, lots of things on there for non-food things like a percentage off yoga classes and what not. But it was still fun.

I was working on the Saturday until the afternoon, so headed in to West End from there to check it out.

My first stop was of course The Cruelty Free Shop itself, to pick up my map and to buy some goodies. As part of the weekend they had huge sales on items across the store. Here is my haul.

Cruelty Free Shop Haul

Right next to The CFS is Downunder Chocolate, which has a vegan range and had special going, so I picked up a little selection of treats for myself.

Down Under Chocolate

The Boundary Street Markets are always on every Saturday (and Friday) evening, with some good vegan options so I headed there next. Not sure of the name of the stall I got this from, but it was a pretty peach iced tea drink made from some sort of special magic tea.

Peach Pea Iced Tea from Boundary St Markets

I thought I'd try a gozleme from the Gozleme Universe stall. They had a coupon in the VDO brochure, but it was really just their regular vegan gozleme and their regular price. This was a let down for me, it was just kind of flavourless and smooshy. Sometimes they have had vegan cheese in the past, but not today. I think they probably more do that for when they take part in the Brisbane Vegan Markets, but you'd think they would have had it for VDO as well. Also the person after me ordered a dead cow kebab, and they sure did just plop all that dead cow flesh perilously close to my gozleme on the grill.

Vegan Golzeme from Golzeme Universe at Boundary St Markets

Happily my next stop was a delight. I've spoken about my love for I Should Coco before, the very best soft serve ever! They had an actual proper special for the VDO, a $5 cone. I got mine covered in sprinkles and it was as delightful as it was pretty.

Cone with Sprinkles from I Should Coco at Boundary St Markets

I also picked up a doughnut from The Organic Frog, which makes vegan GF hot cinnamon sugar doughnuts. These are only good if you get them fresh and hot straight from the stall, let them go cold and they go a bit funny. But they are so good when they are fresh. Next time I am going to get a doughnut and take it to I Should Coco and get them to make it a doughnut sundae!

Doughnut from The Organic Frog at Boundary St Markets

I headed home for the night, but with plans to return the next day. In very exciting news, Jojo and Nick were in town! I got a chance to hang out with them in Austin for VVC in 2015, but they have come to Brisbane to do some volunteering at the nearby Farm Animal Rescue. They had two days in Brisbane before heading out there, so we got to catch up.

Our first stop (after another trip to The Cruelty Free Shop) was VegeMe. There weren't any specials for VDO here, but it is a good spot to get a few tasty little share plates. We had big eating goals. We ordered some edamame, radish cakes, deep fried suji, and corn fritters. It was my first time trying the corn fritters, and they are a bit too deep fried for me! Also my first time getting the edamame here, which I really enjoyed. They were tender and the salt and pepper seasoning was just spot on.

Edamame from VegeMe

Radish Cakes from VegeMe

Corn Fritters and Deep Fried Suji from VegeMe

After this we took a little stroll around West End and ended up using some coupons at Insane Acai Bar for juices and smoothies. I can't remember what we had. My juice had beetroot in it. But pretty colours!

Juices and Smoothies from Insane Acai

Then we headed into South Bank for the Buddha's Birthday Festival vegetarian food markets. First we took a lovely stroll around to see the river and the parklands, it is really very pretty. Then it was onto food! It was fun having the three of us so we could share food together, it meant we could try more than if we were just eating solo!

First up was this amazing Asian food stall, and I can't remember the name! They sadly do not have a restaurant in Brisbane, though. Not everything at the festival is vegan, so you need to ask, but they had a handy chart they checked to confirm and happily everything we wanted was vegan! We got some steamed BBQ buns, dim sims and duck with rice. The steamed buns were phenomenal. So giant and soft and fluffy with so much saucy filling.

Mock Duck and Rice, BBQ Buns and Dim Sim from Buddha's Birthday Festival

Next up we went to the Langos stall, where they had vegan dairy options available! So we were able to get one with garlic, sour cream and cheese - all vegan. It was delicious.

Vegan Cheese and Sour Cream Langos from Buddha's Birthday Festival

Finally we hit up the Vegerama stall. Jojo and I shared a wonderful savoury mushroom pie, and we all got dessert. I enjoyed my peach and apple crumble, Nick got chocolate mousse and Jojo was excited to find a tiramisu.

Mushroom Pie and desserts (Peach and Apple Crumble, Chocolate Mousse, Tiramisu) from Vegerama from Buddha's Birthday Festival

After that we said our good nights and toddled off home with full and happy bellies. But that is not where it ended, the next day was a public holiday, so we met up for lunch at Loving Hut. We ordered summer rolls, BBQ buns, peking duck pancakes, Beijing Blackbean (my favourite) and Char Kway Teow (which I hope they take off the specials board and turn into a regular because it was very good).

Summer Rolls from Loving Hut

Char Kway Teow, BBQ Buns, Beef & Black Bean, Peking Luck from Loving Hut

Peking Luck from Loving Hut

I am looking forward to more fun adventures with them during their stay here! We already have plans, so stay tuned.

A final note, one of the things I got from my Cruelty Free Shop haul was this locally made vegan smoked sesame cheese by Fenn Foods (which has no coconut oil in it, I am thrilled!). This was really nice, and I enjoyed it on crackers, with cucumber and spread on toast. Unfortunately the non sale price is $17 (eeep!), so I am not likely to be buying it at full price. But if you get the chance to, I definitely recommend.

Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese

Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese

Cute Cat Photo of the Post

Dim Sim finds the sun

Dim Sim always knows how to find the sun.


  1. So much delicious food I want it all! I know what you mean about animal foods being cooked next to vegan food. It makes me nervous.
    I've never had a radish cake, and I really want to try one. I don't think I've ever seen it on a menu anywhere.
    Ouch, seventeen dollars for vegan cheese way too much. But great that you were able to find it on sale and try it.
    Pretty Dim Sim!!

    1. Radish cakes are fairly common at Asian places around here. I love them very much. Sometimes you can buy it in a big square at the Asian grocery shop, and you slice it up and fry it at home. I think you mentioned there is an Asian store near you? They might have them.

  2. This is one of your yummiest spreads yet. But then again show me asian food and ice cream and you win my heart lol

    1. Asian food and ice cream are a pretty great combination!

  3. That is so great that you are getting to hang out with Jojo and Nick. What an amazing weekend of food! You should definitely go for the donut, ice cream combo in the future.

    1. It was a super fun weekend! I will definitely be hitting up that combo next time I'm in.

  4. Dim Sim is looking super cute today! Hanging out in Brisbane was so fun! We really need to find out where to get more of those buns though. They were excellent. I can't wait to get back into the city and I need to find a way to get there on the first Sunday in June so that I can get my paws on some sprinkle covered soft serve as well as the other delights at the vegan market.

    1. It was so much fun. I wish I could find those buns as well. So good!

  5. So. Much. Food. That's awesome!! It's great that you got to catch up with friends and yes, sharing always means you can try more things =)
    "and they sure did just plop all that dead cow flesh perilously close to my gozleme on the grill."
    Ick :( I would not be happy with me.
    I'm intrigued by the rice whip. And those chocolates look so good!
    Nice haul girl =)