lizabelle: Vegan (Vegan)
I've been having FUN eating out recently, so here's a run-down of what I've been up to.

First of all, I met up with some other local vegans and vegetarians at a pub in the city: Yulli's (which doesn't seem to have a website, but there are a couple of reviews here and here) was a cool, cosy place offering an all-vegetarian menu and several vegan options. I went for the vegan version of the massaman pie, which was delicious and sparked a discussion of other sources of vegan pies. The pie was definitely the most popular dish of the night, with half of us going for either the veggie or vegan version. I was also tempted by the tofu with papaya salad, but couldn't resist the pie in the end.

It was a lovely night, and so relaxing to be among people with similar mindsets. I'm looking forward to the next meetup.

On Saturday, I scooted across to Newtown for a vegan breakfast at Naked Espresso, a vegan brekkie place that shares premises with Basil Pizza. Newtown is on the other side of the city from Manly, so by the time I got there it was after midday and I was worried that they'd stop serving. After I sprinted along King St, I think the owner was a bit disturbed by my incoherent gasps of "food - are you still doing food?" But he kindly sat me down at a table and let me catch my breath.

I'd obviously just missed a rush, so I had plenty of time to look around while waiting for my food. I noticed two things: 1) the place was obviously doing very well, and tables were never empty for long; and 2) most of the patrons looked disgustingly healthy. After checking myself in the mirror, I decided that I looked pretty healthy, too. Must be all those green vegetables!

As well as sprinting across Newtown, I'd also been for a run that morning, so decided I could justify the big breakfast. It was fantastic! One of my major complaints about Australian veggie food is the lack of decent fake meats; I don't eat that sort of thing very often, but when I do I have high expectations, and the stuff that's generally available in Australia is pretty disgusting. The big breakfast came with two soy sausages (there's a photo of them in this blog post - yeah, I know the sausage looks pretty disgusting, but so are meat sausages when you think about what's in them), and they were delicious. Yay! I would've asked the staff where they got them, but I was still a bit flustered and in a hurry, so I'll have to find out next time. There will most definitely be a next time.

Next on the agenda was the Sydney Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, which had entirely sold out by the time I got there. :( That was great news for the organisers and the charity that it was in aid of, though, so I can't be too sorry. I shall just hope they do it again soon. One of the organisers has a write-up here, with lots of fantastic pictures of all the goodies.

Finally, I met up with some friends at The Bentley on Saturday night. I'd already emailed them and been promised some vegan food, but I've been promised that by other restaurants and have ended up with a plateful of shredded vegetables and nothing else, so my expectations weren't high. Nevertheless, the food I got at Bentley was amazing. As a group, we went for tapas, so I picked my own dishes while my friends shared various others. I got the artichokes off the regular tapas menu (delicious - I love artichokes anyway, but these were something special), a polenta tapas, and black sesame and pea fondant with snow peas, both of which were adapted from the main menu. The black sesame was one of the highlights of the night - even the omnivores admired it, and it tasted even better than it looked. I also ordered some braised red cabbage, and even that was delicious.

I was also offered a vegan dessert, but decided I didn't have room, so I made do with a glass of dessert wine.

The Bentley isn't cheap, but we were very well looked after, the staff were friendly and informative, and I particularly appreciated their unobtrusive but helpful attention to my dietary requests. I'll definitely be going there again when I have something to celebrate.


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June 2014

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