The House of Donkey

THOD Mural

The House of Donkey
188 Sturt St
Adelaide, SA 5000
AUSTRALIA

We drove to Adelaide last weekend for a wedding – a high tea affair which was creative, relaxed and great fun! While we were barely there for a day and a half, I read about The House of Donkey on the way in Frankie magazine (obviously I wasn’t driving) and insisted that we visit. Continue reading

(r)Adelaide: Bliss Organic Café

Bliss Organic Café
7 Compton Street
Adelaide SA 5000
AUSTRALIA

Bliss Indoors 2

Saving the best for last isn’t normally my style (I don’t have any objections to eating dessert before dinner) – but in this case, I did it – because Bliss won me over in a heartbeat and I wanted to write a special post dedicated to it!

Dedicated vegan restaurants & cafés are not easy to come by in Australia; they’re not a dime a dozen, so if you run one, it’s gotta be pretty special in order to survive – and Bliss is just that.

For a start, the drinks menu is nothing to roll your eyes at. It’s not the standard so-and-so you find everywhere. I mean, sure, they’ll make you a latté if that’s what you want, but why would you want that when you can get a ginger hot chocolate or a spiced hot apple juice? Not only that, but soy isn’t your only option – you can also get oat, rice and almond milk! By the way, I tried the ginger hot chocolate and it was freakin’ amazing!

I struggled to decide what to order for breakfast. My friend Shane suggested the scambled tofu; I was weary, but decided to take the risk. OH. MY. GOD. Boy, did it pay off.

Tofu Scramble

I always think of scrambled tofu as such a cliché. It’s the standard vegan dish that everyone makes differently and I’ve never found one that seemed quite right. Either the tofu is too chunky or it’s nicely crumbled but kinda rubbery… Or people just get far too carried away with adding flavours to it. It’s never just… right. I’d never met the perfect scrambled tofu until I tried the one at Bliss (which, by the way, craps all over my version – I now have a very high standard to strive for!).

It contained a perfect amount of veggies which didn’t out-shine the simple, fluffy tofu and was laced with pepitas, sesame seeds and flax meal. One of my favourite things about it was the addition of potato – which made the idea of toast completely superfluous.

My friend, Shane, ordered a raw bruschetta for brekkie (yep, they have both raw and gluten free options) which is pictured below. It was simple but also perfect. I often prefer raw food when it’s not over the top.

Raw Bruschetta

In order to try something else from the menu, I ordered the Bliss Burger to take to work for lunch and it definitely didn’t disappoint! The patty was primarily beans & lentils – thus it was nice and soft. The only down side to this was that when I squashed the burger to fit it into my mouth, the patty squeezed out the sides. It was definitely a man-sized serve; I actually ended up removing the top half of the bead bun and eating it with a combination of cutlery and my hands. It got a little messy and involved a lot of finger licking, but I’m not afraid to be classy like that – even in front of my favourite HR advisor 😉

Food-wise, these guys don’t mess around – everything they serve is seriously something special and I’d recommend a trip to Adelaide for the sole purpose of visiting Bliss. Yes, really.

In addition to my big rant about the amazing food, the premises themselves are really inviting. There’s three main sections – the first part has wooden tables and chairs and is set up like a nice cozy café. The second front part has retro style tables and chairs and a little grocery store where you can buy both pantry and refrigerated items AND books. The range is huge and even includes a very decent section of raw foods by the counter. The third section is out the back and is really relaxed – there’s even a little under cover area with cushions for you to remove your shoes and sit at ground level! It’s oh-so-hippy but not in a pretentious way.

Bliss Indoors 1

Bliss Indoors 3

Bliss Outdoor Area

During this wonderful experience, my friend Shane of Pure Gaisha gave me a black waterproof mascara. Since being vegan, I’ve tried a few different mascaras and they often end up smearing under my eyes after only a couple of hours – so for a long time, I just gave up and wore fairly simple eye make up.

Waterproof Mascara

After a full day of wearing the mascara, I can confidently recommend it and tell you that it did not budge from my eyelashes one bit. No smudges, no flaky bits… It’s the most amazing stuff I’ve ever used! And it’s vegan! YAY! Pure Gaisha’s body products and scrubs are also pretty amazing – I’ve been using them for years. I’m not sure why I didn’t take the plunge & try the cosmetics earlier.

(r)Adelaide: Cocolat & Namaste

Cocolat
283 Rundle Street (East End)
Adelaide SA 5000
AUSTRALIA

Cocolat

Cocolat is, without a doubt, a chocolate lover’s wet dream – however it’s a vegan’s nightmare. So what happens when you’re both a chocolate lover and a vegan? Well – you end up pretty damn disappointed.

I’m not going to lie to you guys – everything in the cabinets at Cocolat looked pretty damn spectacular and if it had been vegan, I would have sampled the lot.

Cocolat truffles/cakes/desserts

About a week in advance, I emailed the store I was planning to visit but never received a reply. At first, I thought it was pretty rude – but there’s a chance my email went to their junk mail folder, so I’ll try not to hold that against them. I decided to risk making a visit there anyway and upon arriving and asking about what was dairy free, I had to wait for someone to call the manager. Admittedly, this was pretty annoying. Shouldn’t there be an ingredients list for all their items somewhere?

The guy (who was actually pretty friendly – zero complaints about the staff in that respect) came back shortly afterwards to tell me that only three items didn’t contain dairy and one of them was sold out.

Cocolat ice-cream & sorbet

I made a dramatic sad face and walked away with a dark “chocolate frog” and an “almond splinter”. The dark chocolate was pretty average/nothing to write home about. I did, however spot some sorbet in the freezer cabinet which turned out to be vegan, so I tried the lemon and the blood orange flavours which were exceptional. The blood orange was just like sherbet! Yummy.

Cocolat Vegan Options

All in all, while everything looked delicious I can’t comment on the taste of many things. If you have a special dietary requirement, Cocolat is not very accommodating. Even though soy milk was on the menu, I couldn’t even order one of their famous hot chocolates because the chocolate was pre-mixed with dairy cream.

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Namaste
41 George Street
Parkside SA 5063
AUSTRALIA

Namaste

My work dinner at Namaste (a Nepalese restaurant) was a far better experience – the menu was clearly labeled with options that were vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free. As it turns out, some of the vegetarian options are actually vegan if you ask for a tomato dipping sauce rather than a yoghurt one.

I had the “Phulaura” as an entree – they were crispy balls made from black lentils, potato, cauliflower, chickpea flour, spring onion, spinach, and coriander. They were seriously awesome even without any dipping sauce. They were pretty mild in flavour and not overpowering at all.

For my main I had the “Kwati”, which was a 9 bean curry. The serve was pretty huge and the curry was bursting with flavour. Again, it was very mild/not spicy in the slightest.

We ordered some side dishes to share among the table: “buteko vunta” (stir fried eggplant which was a little greasy but sweet and delicious), “pharsi ko tarkari” (a pureed pumpkin curry that was mildly spiced) and “rayoko saag” (stir fried mustard leaves & spinach). Even though the eggplant was my favourite, I couldn’t help but be incredibly impressed with the greens which were still bright – nothing turns me off like over cooked leafy greens.

Namaste yummies!
I’m really sorry about the quality of this photo – I may have been a little tipsy when I took it!

My only disappointment at Namaste was that none of the breads were vegan so I was feeling a little left out when everyone else had the chance to mop up the sauces left on their plates. Honestly though – if that’s the only bad thing I have to say, you’ve gotta realise that this place was pretty impressive. The food was warming and hearty and the atmosphere was cosy.

(r)Adelaide: Vego To Go

I want to preface this with an apology about the shitty photos. I was traveling, excited to eat and on this occassion forgot to bring my camera along and had to take photos with my boss’ iPhone. Whoops… Nevertheless, I have plenty to say about my experience!

Vego To Go
Norwood Mall
Shp 12/The Parade
Norwood SA 5067
Australia

Cabinet

I’ve gotta tell you guys – when I walked in and saw this cabinet, I just about pissed my pants with excitement. There was a lot of variety and much of it was vegan. To top it off, anything that was vegan was very clearly labeled. This made me oh so happy! The only down side was that my brain switched to over drive and I had no idea what I wanted to order. It’s not often that I go out in public and am faced with more than two choices!

I started off with a rice ball (pictured below). This was about the size of my fist and came with a really yellow-y peanut sauce that got me thinking about all the different peanut sauces I’ve tried in my time. Everyone makes it different! This one was sweet and delicious and really complimented the rice ball which was fairly simple in flavour. On the inside, it seemed to be dotted with flakes or nori and what I suspect was red capsicum. It was GOOD.

Rice Ball

Next, I tried the vindaloo, which was recommended by the girl behind the counter. I’m always up for something fiery, so this excited me! As you can see, there was a variety of veggies in there and the dish was seriously packed with flavour – I loved it. The only let down, for me, was that when I order vindaloo, I expect to walk away with my mouth tingling. Unfortunately, my nose barely ran. I understand WHY they’re conservative with the heat, but I wish they weren’t. That being said, it really was delicious and I wouldn’t give it back.

Vindaloo

This is my boss’ Thai green curry. I stole a piece of broccoli out of it, but I didn’t really taste the dish as a whole. What I can tell you is that it smelled great, it was vegan and my boss liked it (and he’s not even remotely veggo).

Thai Green Curry

Finally, these are the veggie balls (vegan) served with a vegetarian mint yoghurt dipping sauce. My co-worker ordered these and while I didn’t taste them, I was assured that they were great! These didn’t look like some kind of run-of-the mill potato-flour based thing – they had a really good variety of mixed veggies in them.

Veggie Balls

The serves at Vego To Go are really decent and won’t leave you hungry – but they will make you somehow want more! The food was really tasty, the labels were clear (from memory, I think GF items were also labeled) and the cutlery was made from bamboo. The only thing I didn’t really like was that it was a small shop which felt crowded even when it wasn’t full but I can’t really complain too much because we scored a quiet table in the corner. I’d just warn you that the set up is more like a take-away shop than a café.

If I hadn’t already planned to visit another place the next day, I would definitely have gone back to try more of the menu. I highly recommend the food here and will drop in again next time I’m in (r)Adelaide!