Category Archives: Veggie Bites

Breizh Café

This café replaced 2602 at Ainslie shops a few months ago.  2602 never really had many veggie options so we thought we would try its replacement.

There isn’t a huge number of vegetarian options on the lunch menu but they’re happy to adapt.  Galettes make up the bulk of the lunch menu.  It turns out that galettes are savoury crepes made with gluten free buckwheat flour.  I decided on a goat’s cheese, roast tomato and rocket galette, while  Mel chose a potato, Raclette cheese, Black Forest ham and onion galette, without the ham.  She was immediately asked whether she would like to replace the ham with something else – this question seems rarely asked these days – so she added some spinach.  We also ordered hot chocolates and were offered the choice of a “spicy” version, and we both thought that was a good idea.

The hot chocolates appeared first and were quite lightly spiced but still nice.  A moment later the chef appeared, commenting that our hot chocolates looked pale and didn’t contain the right mix of spices.  He wondered if we would like 2 more so that we could taste what they were supposed to be like.  We were glad we agreed: with chilli and whatever else was added, these were some of the best hot chocolates we’ve had.

The crepes were very nice.  A nice light lunch with a nice mix of flavours.  The goats cheese was fresh and had a nice amount of goat…  🙂

I definitely need to go back and try some of the sweet crepes.  It is also impressive that the chef keeps a keen eye on quality…

Abell’s Kopi Tiam

As Sebastian’s birthday festival continued today, Mel and I took him to his favourite restaurant for lunch.  Given the hot weather, things were pretty quite and we easily got a table inside.

We had a reasonably standard set of dishes.  We started with the vegan satays.  These come with a fantastic peanut sauce.  Get an order of spring-onion roti and keep the plate from the satays around so you can dip the roti in the rest of the peanut sauce.  Yum!

For mains we had the vegan mee goreng and the quick-fried kueh teow.  With 2 noodle dishes we only needed a small bowl of rice for Sebastian.  The mee goreng was a little spicy – we’ve had it both spicier and plainer.  The kueh teow was nicely caramelised.  Mel had a glass of pinot gris and I decided to try the alcoholic ginger beer – this was an excellent idea and I’ll drink it again.

We intentionally went light on the starters so that we might be able to enjoy some dessert. Mel had the banana fritters, I had the sago pudding and Sebastian had a single scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Mel loves those banana fritters but does have a problem deciding between them and the pancakes.  The sago pudding is my standard dessert here – like most of the desserts, it comes with some very tasty palm syrup.  Sebastian got some help with his ice cream but then he also helped me with my sago pudding.

Abell’s Kopi Tiam dished up some excellent celebratory food today.  It remains one of our favourite restaurants and we hope to continue as regulars…

Au Lac

We managed to sneak in here without a reservation last night during Au Lac’s Chinese New Year celebration, which coincided with Sebastian’s birthday festival – why celebrate on just one day?   We were some of the first diners so we were in and out before the in-restaurant lion dancing.

Starters were soy chicken nuggets (for Sebastian) and soy chicken satay sticks (for Mel and I).  Both were very nice, as usual.  For mains we had braised tofu & vegetable with cashew nut, fried soy fish with spicy salt & chilli, and rice vermicelli with BBQ soy meat.  The cashew nut dish is a staple because it is quite mellow and has things that Sebastian enjoys.  The soy fish was probably a bit spicier than usual, which causes no complaints from Mel & I.

We discovered the rice vermicelli dish on a recent visit.   It is both simple and excellent.  It contains vermicelli, bean shoots, lettuce, cucumber and some BBQ soy meat balls.  It comes with a small bowl of spicy sauce that adds a nice amount of zing.  I think we will be eating this dish a lot.

Au Lac is always an excellent place for Canberra vegetarians to eat.  Last night is the busiest we have seen it and it got uncomfortably  hot – probably due to both the number of people who suddenly arrived and the doors being open in preparation for the lion dancing.  That said, this is very unusual and we were very grateful to be given a table ahead of such a busy night without a booking.  Au Lac is one of Sebastian’s favourite restaurants.  Mel and I like it too…  🙂

Siam House – Sydney, NSW

We (Mel, Sebastain, Mel’s parents, me) went to see a show at the Capitol Theatre yesterday so we checked out the nearby restaurants, which were mostly Thai – we can always feed Sebastian at a Thai restaurant.  A couple had virtually no veggie food on the menu.  However, Siam House offered a “vegetarian/tofu” option at the top of their lists of stir fries, curries and noodles so we decided to give it a try.

For starters we had spring rolls (apparently veggie by default, 4 not the 2 listed on their web site) and satay tofu (not 2 skewers but a plate of deep-fried tofu with excellent peanut sauce).  These were unsurprising but very pleasant.  Mel’s parents had some squid and I heard no complaints.

For mains we had a green curry, pad Thai  and 2 stir fries: cashew nut sauce and  satay sauce.  Mel’s parent also had a pork dish.  The green curry was creamy and mellow – very nice.  A green curry with enough bite to nearly take your head off can also be nice, but this wasn’t one of those.  The pad Thai  and stir fries provided a nice range of flavours.  They were all excellently done and came in huge servings.

Siam House does an excellent range of vegetarian food.  There’s nothing surprising or innovative here.  Just good, tasty Thai food.  I’d certainly go back…

Chow’s Pine Garden Chinese Restaurant – Ingleburn, NSW

This is my Mum’s favourite restaurant and is near where she lives. Mel, Sebastian and I had dinner with her here on Friday night. Chinese restaurants can vary with the amount of variety they afford vegetarians but this one is pretty good.

There looks to be a complete absence of veggie starters so we just had mains: salt & pepper tofu, a vegetable chow mein (with tofu) and a vegetable omelette.  Mum had a pork dish, so we won’t mention that again! 😉  The salt & pepper tofu was nice – not as much chilli as you get in some other places but still nice and tasty.  The chow mein had a good variety of veggies and was very good.  The omelette was nicely cooked with lots of veggies.  All the servings were huge.

I’ve eaten here quite a few times and the food is always good.  It is impressive for a suburban  Chinese restaurant with plastic tablecloths and probably not many vegetarian customers, so I have no problems going back for another meal.

Greenhouse – Perth, WA

After the awesome dinner I had at Greenhouse, and due to a lack of other breakfast options, I ended eating breakfast at Greenhouse every day while I was in Perth. Given my love of oats, I had consistently had “honey roasted oats, yoghurt, rhubarb, seeds” plus some fresh orange juice and some toast. The oats were like a simple, deconstructed muesli – I obviously liked them enough to eat them 4 mornings in a row! They weren’t quite enough for me but a full serve of the toast was too much extra, so when others joined me I tried to share a serve of the toast. On at least one morning Anton and Mikey had the “crepes, blood orange, mascarpone, raw sugar”. Apparently the coffee is excellent too.

Yum…

Greenhouse – Perth, WA

Dinner by myself in Perth. I asked the hotel receptionist if there were any decent veggie places nearby. She commented that most places should be able accommodate me. When I said that I might as well try a local veggie place, or something interesting, she recommended Greenhouse. I must thank her…

Some of the items on the menu were just lists of ingredients, so I asked the waitress about a couple of options and wondered how they were served. She suggested “wood roasted carrots, turnips, wheat, yoghurt”. It is what is says it is: nicely cooked, loosely combined in a bowl, but still well presented. It sounded good and it certainly was excellent. I had a glass of the red wine (Twin Cellars Malbec, I think) that was recommended too – not my usual choice but very nice. I decided that I also had some room left for dessert and couldn’t pass up “orange, wattle seed, cashew, rosewater”. This was delicious. I think the cashew and wattle seed were combined in a biscuit and the rosewater was in tiny meringues, although I’m not sure… I just ate and enjoyed it. 😉

This rocked. Highly recommended…

Billie Chu – Adelaide Airport, SA

I needed something fairly quick to eat before boarding a flight at Adelaide airport. I’d been there for a few hours and wanted something different after a reasonable toasted veggie roll and an inedible raspberry friand at nearby Terra Rosa.

Billie Chu’s Char Kway Teow did the trick. I had to wait 10 minutes because they cook things on demand and there was a bit of a backlog. It was worth the wait. Nicely done noodles, veggies and egg – yes, they asked if egg was OK.

I think I’d go back there if I needed food at Adelaide Airport.

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight in Belconnen is Canberra’s oldest Turkish restaurant. We’ve been here a few times and the food is always excellent. We had an early dinner here the other night after some shopping nearby.

Though the banquets are listed as being for a minimum of 4 people, they were happy to do a vegetarian banquet for 2. They never seem to mind doing this. We also ordered an extra plate of humus for Sebastian. I think we had dinner banquet #2, which was an excellent amount of food. There was a lot of it but we didn’t feel as though we had overeaten when we were finished. Starters included a couple of dips (beetroot, eggplant), bread, borek and müçver. Mains included a small pide, some veggies with yoghurt, rice and a garden salad. There was also Imambayıldı eggplant – this was outstanding, with the eggplant cooked to perfection… nice and tender. There were 2 mixed desserts: Turkish delight, baklava and ice-cream with a nice berry sauce. The meal was finished with some apple tea.

An excellent meal. I can’t wait to go back.

Thai Cornar

We hadn’t been to this strangely named place in Manuka for years.  Today we had lunch there with Mel’s parents, who tend to have a veggie dish and a meat dish.

Our entrée was curry puffs and they were pretty good.  The mains were a red curry, stir fry with cashew nuts, a spicy noodle dish (the name escapes me), stir fry with peanut sauce – and the meat dish was chicken with garlic and pepper.  All the veggie dishes were lovely.  There was a nice variety of flavours, a nice selection of veggies and a decent amount of sliced bean curd in each dish.  I’d recommend all of the dishes we had, provided my descriptions are good enough to help find them on the menu!

Thai Cornar used to be OK but now I think it is very good.  As I was paying I asked the guy who served us if it was his restaurant and he said it was.  He took it over nearly 5 years ago.  He also runs Zen Yai in Civic, which has also provided us with some nice meals.  We’ll definitely go back… but it might be hard to drag Sebastian past Kopi Tiam to get there, since they’re only a few doors apart.  🙂