Monday, March 20, 2017

Cruelty Free Shop March 2017 Vegan Mystery Box

It is pretty hard to come back to blogging about regular things after everything that has happened. I just want to thank everyone for all their kind words, and all the support you gave during Sahara's illness. It is still surreal that she is gone, and I wish that time would just stop for a while. But it keeps on going and dragging me along with it.

I guess a post about the latest Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box is a gentle way to ease back into a bit of blogging.

March CFS Mystery Box

  • Veggie Street Onion Lard: This product intrigues and baffles me. Miraculously it is not based on coconut oil, so it is something I can eat. Apparently it is traditionally served as a spread for bread in pubs, but you can also use it for cooking, baking and frying. They have included a recipe for Hungarian Goulash that uses it. The first time I have been glad for a recipe inclusion!
  • Cleo's White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: I am adamantly opposed to white chocolate. They shouldn't even be allowed to call it chocolate. Someone will be getting a gift!
  • Protes Spicy Chilli Lime Chips: I was nervous that these would be too spicy for me, so I shared them with my mum. They are not spicy, in fact they have almost no taste except the overwhelming bitterness of the pea protein in them. Gross, would not recommend.
  • Rebel Kitchen Chai Coconut Milk: Happily, I can drink this milk without any coconut fat fall out. This is good, because it is good stuff! I have tried the chai before, and it is not bad. I prefer the chocolate or the kid-sized choc/orange and choc/banana flavours.
  • Chocolate Yogi Happy Thoughts Chocolate: Apparently this tastes like milk chocolate, so we shall see. Everyone knows I like my chocolate dark, bitter and angry with the world.
  • Maharaja's Choice Punjabi Chole: Unfortunately this is designated as hot. And having tried one of their mild-medium varieties, I have given this to my dad who can tolerate more heat than I can.
  • Dr Superfoods Super Blueberries: These were OK, though the blueberries were kind of lost in the chocolate coating.
  • Orgran Apple & Cinnamon Filled Biscuits: These are pretty sweet, but have been a good afternoon pick me up at work!
  • Clif Bar Choc Almond Fudge: My favourite flavour of Cliff Bar is just the straight up Peanut Butter. I suspect this will be quite sweet and rich, though my mother is very curious to try it.
  • Gin Gin's Chewy Ginger Candy: I do like having a ginger chew on hand for emergency sugar lows or nauseous tummies, so this is in my handbag ready to be called upon.

Overall, I was a bit meh on the contents of the box this month. Which is largely to do with my own personal preferences for things.

Though honestly, who could think those Protes chips tasted good? They were so foul. Has anyone else tried them? Yick

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Dim Sim is an only cat now. This makes her very content. At least someone can be, I guess.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


This is a really hard post to write, even though most of you will already know about this from Twitter and Instagram.

084 (2)

Following on from my last post, Sahara never got to surgery to have the sarcoma removed. She had a bit of an off weekend, so I took her in to the clinic on the Monday. Blood results showed that she was in kidney failure. An ultrasound the next day showed that she also had massive pancreatitis. She was in hospital for four days, with a few small improvements, but on Friday the 17th of February she had a seizure. The chances of her recovering were almost hopeless, and I had to let her go.

My heart is broken.

I first met Sahara in May of 2003. She was 18 months old, and her then person was moving into a retirement village that didn't allow for cats. She needed someone to adopt her. I had to go and have a meeting and interview first. I drove from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, and was greeted by this sleek, little red cat with one eye, curiously watching me from underneath the car in the driveway. Obviously the meet and greet was judged a success, and I was deemed suitable, and the next day Sahara came to live with me and her new sisters (Gizmo was cool with it, Dim Sim was unimpressed).


Sahara was a force of nature. She was curious, intelligent and extremely enthusiastic about everything she did. She was always interested in people as well, and would come and say hello to everyone who visited. Often inserting herself onto a chair (or lap) at the table or the sofa.

Sahara Reads Veganomicon

Sahara sniffs flowers

Just over four years ago, she was diagnosed with severe IBD, that ended up needing to be controlled with both corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. She also developed arthritis in her elbows, which slowed her down and limited her play. But nothing ever limited her sweet little spirit. She still loved to be everywhere and with everyone. She was got the nickname 'Bear' because she loved to give big bear hugs, and enjoyed being held like this for what we called 'cuddle walks'. She made herself multiple beds in every room of the house, not just the actual cat beds we gave her, and I don't think there is a chair or a surface or a bed that she didn't make herself at home on at some point. If you left anything soft lying around, she would be on it. Oh yes, and she LOVED broccoli. She would steal it right off your plate if you weren't careful.

2016-11-19 11.04.57

2016-07-18 21.13.01


The beginning of the end, she was diagnosed with lymphoma (a type of cancer) in her colon at the beginning of the year. She started chemo. She went into remission, however then got too sick in other ways. I just struggle to understand. The chemo was working, why couldn't that be that. Why all the other things? I guess I can't ever know, but I can't help but feel that I let her down somewhere along the way.

2016-08-28 19.06.52

So now it is just me and Dim Sim. Dim Sim is loving it, she has wanted to be an only cat for so long, and finally she can live her best life. As for me, I'm devastated. Also adrift. Sahara organised our days around her. She had several set feeding times, which she would remind you of like clockwork. She needed her meds. She would wake me up with a paw and a purr and a meow (and occasionally a love nip) before my alarm because she thought that it was time I was up and feeding her. The empty space she has left behind is huge.

I have so much more I feel I should say about her, words will never be enough.

Goodbye my sweet little bear. Thank you for loving me, and being mine, and letting me be yours.

Sahara Selfie

2015-03-18 15.47.11

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cruelty Free Shop February 2017 Vegan Mystery Box

Time for another month of What's In The Box! The Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box, that is.

February CFS Vegan Mystery Box

  • Nature's Charm Condensed Coconut Milk: This will be gifted on, as I don't like condensed milk and I am pretty sure I like it even less when it is coconut fatty.
  • Global Organics Chickpeas: Chickpeas never go astray. This month's box came with a recipe for aquafaba lemon meringe pie and a recipe for hummus, so they were going for a cute theme here.
  • Organic Matters Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn: I am not a popcorn fan, I am not a caramel fan, especially not when it is popped with coconut oil. So why can't I stop eating these? Only in small doses so the coconut oil and caramel doesn't do me in. But it is very tasty and very snackable. I just wish it had a bit more salt!
  • Pacific Foods Chocolate Almond Milk: I love flavourite milk. I have had their chocolate hazelnut milk (OMG, so good), but not the almond one before. Curious to see if it leaves me with saw dust tongue like almond milk so often does.
  • The Red Balloon Vegan Jellies: Yes!!!! This is a major score. I was lucky enough to win some of these jellies in a competition last year, and they are seriously good. I am not a big lolly person, but I make an exception for these. Pretty stoked.
  • Vital Greens Mini Sachet: Will meet a morning green smoothie at some point.
  • Bonvita Nougat Bars: I haven't had one of these for ages, but I used to love them. Plus Bonvita is on the Food Empowerment Project's approved chocolate list, so it is a win all around.
  • Caroline's Vegetarian Tuna: In 2015 I experienced some of the Sophie's Kitchen tinned vegan tuna and it was... revolting? I threw it out. I am approaching this with extreme caution and skepticism.
  • Texas BBQ Jerky Primal Strip: I love these, and this is my favourite flavour. Though I wish they would sort out their packaging so that you could actually open them, those little strips to tear off are useless.

Anyway, pretty happy with this box.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post: Sahara Update


The highs and lows. Sahara was pretty knocked around by her first couple of weeks of chemo. My poor bear. On Wednesday she had her third week of treatment. Before this, she had an ultrasound to recheck the mass in her colon. The good news is that the mass is gone, she is in complete remission! Now, I do have to note that complete remission is not the same as a cure. It means the chemo is working, and so we get more time together. Anyway, a happy moment. However, on Sunday I noticed a lump that had suddenly come up. A needle aspirate was sent to the lab, and it came back as probably sarcoma, which is another type of goddamn cancer. So on Tuesday she has to go in for surgery to remove it, which will also set the chemo for her lymphoma back a week. A very unhappy moment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Christmas Eats 2016

I'm a month behind with this, but here is my Christmas round up. But first, a quick Sahara update again. After my last post, she took a turn. Three days after chemo she suddenly became very unwell. A day of drugs and nursing improved her a little, but she was clearly dehydrated and unhappy. I took her back into the clinic on Sunday to admit her for IV fluids. Thankfully she responded really well and I was able to take her home on Monday. She has been a lot better since. Though I just gave her the week two chemo dose (a tablet she gets at home, so a different drug from last week), so who knows what the next week holds for us. Things I am learning: it is literally day by day, be happy when she is happy and be ready to give her the support she needs when she is not.

OK, so Christmas. This year was a special year because my brother was home from the UK for a few months, so this was the first Christmas we got to spend together as a whole family in several years. Christmas is always tinged with sadness for me, due to Gizmo memories and loss, so it was nice to have him here. The last few years I have skipped the big Christmas morning breakfast and started my day with a 90 minute bikram yoga class, followed by a green smoothie. I am that person now.

This year's smoothie was the Ginger Colada Green Smoothie from the Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking cookbook by Dana Shultz. I generally like a gingery smoothie because it seems festive. This one had ginger, lemon, coconut milk, pineapple, banana and greens. I decreased the amount of coconut milk and made up the rest with oat milk due to my sensitivities, and I used only spinach rather than a blend with kale. It was a refreshing smoothie, and fairly creamy, but I did find it a touch too acidic. Behold my festive mug that I served it in.
Rating: :)

Ginger Colada Green Smoothie

After breakfast we did presents. I got some new cookbooks (Baconish and But My Family Would Never Go Vegan), some Buffy Season 10 and Angel & Faith comic volumes, the final season of Parks & Rec on DVD, and a Music for Cats CD (that is actually incredibly soothing for my own stress and anxiety levels). So a decent haul.

After presents it was time to start making lunch, which is our main meal of the day. For the centerpiece this year, I had found a Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. It was pretty tasty, and definitely one of the better Christmas roasts I have tried. I like the puffed pastry and the filling. The roast itself is made with the apple sage style sausage meat, which is my favourite flavour. So all round a very good roast. Seen here with some roasted asparagus.

Field Roas and Roasted Asparagus

Of course, you cannot have roast without cranberry sauce. My favourite recipe from this is the Cinnamon Citrus Cranberry Sauce from Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin. This is the second year I have made it and it is excellent.

Cinnamon Citrus Cranberry Sauce

For sides, I tried the Glazed Baby Carrots from Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer. I couldn't find baby carrots as such, so used some little Dutch carrots, I am not sure if they were a bit bigger. Next time I might peel them first, just because the outsides got a bit wrinkled and didn't look as cute. But then, the skin is meant to be the healthiest part? The glaze was really nice, though didn't stick the carrots too well. (Here they are on a platter with our favourite Potato Smashers from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton that I make every year.)
Rating: :)

Potato Squashers and Glazed Baby Carrots

I also tried the Super Traditional Stuffing from The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I only made a third of the amount, because the full recipe is huge. Unfortunately my bread was sliced a bit too small I think (I bought it from a bakery and they said they would slice it thick for me to make the stuffing with, but their thickest slice was really not that thick), so it was a bit soggy. The flavour was good, but I would have liked a higher veggie to bread ratio.
Rating: :|

Super Traditional Stuffing

Finally, some greens. As greens are important. These are just some seared green beans with toasted almonds.

Seared Green Beans with Almonds

With four of us a the table, we served the food buffet style in the kitchen, and loaded up our plates.

Buffet Spread

Christmas Plate

After lunch, we had some vegan Christmas pudding that we got from the Cruelty Free Shop. It was nice. Served with custard, of course (Alpro vegan custard). The first photo here is so you can see the pudding, with a custard drizzle. The second photo shows you my optimum custard to pudding ratio.


Pudding with custard

Then we played some fun card games (Sushi Go and Timelines Inventions), before lazing about for the afternoon and picking at leftovers for dinner. The following day we played our traditional game of kids vs adults Trivial Pursuit, which we can only play if Greg is here. It was a very long, close game, ultimately the parents won. I'd forgotten how long Trivial Pursuit can go for, next time we need a speed version.

I had a few days off after Christmas as well, and this time of year sees me eating lots of treats I associate with Christmas. So here a few other things that I had over the next few days.

A croissant with Tofurkey Ham, Tofutti cheese slices and leftover cranberry sauce. The croissant is from a local company, but unfortunately they aren't great.

Vegan ham and cheese croissant

Fruit mince tart with cherries and grapes. I ate this while watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special on Boxing Day.

Mince pie and fruit

Open-faced sandwiches with Tofutti French Onion cream cheese, beetroot relish, Tofurkey ham slices and cucumber. Served with some sauteed greens and addition cucumber because I really needed some greens at this point.

Cream cheese and ham sandwiches

Some vegan Stollen I got from Aldi. I love stollen, and this was the first I have had since I went vegan! It was really nice.

Vegan stollen

A Tofurkey ham, Tofutti cheese slice and sweet mustard pickle sandwich.

Ham and pickle sandwich

A hot and melty toasted sandwich with Daiya swiss slices, Tofurky hickory smoked slices, beetroot relish and Tofutti French Onion cream cheese. This was my favourite creation.

Toastie with Daiya swiss, tofurkey smoked and beetroot relish

Cute Kitty Photos of the Post

Dim Sim on Christmas

Before yoga on Christmas morning Dim Sim and I had a lovely quiet time together, with pats and purrs.

Sahara on Christmas

I got them some catnip spray and sprayed their stocking with it as a test. Sahara was interested.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Melbourne croissant collection and Sahara update

When I got home from Melbourne, I did not come alone. I had a freezer bag full of frozen croissants to enjoy and work my way through. These are their stories.

First up, the chocolate croissant I got from Fatto a Mano. I am just going to say meh. The chocolate filling was too sweet, the croissant itself was only just OK. If I hadn't just had my mind blown by Smith & Deli croissants, it would probably have seemed better.

Chocolate Croissant from Fatto a Mano

By comparison, the chocolate croissant from Smith & Deli was delightful. Perfect croissant dough, with a nice dark chocolate filling. My only gripe is that I wish there had been just a bit more chocolate filling on the inside.

Chocolate Croissant from Smith & Deli

I brought my mum home and Almond Croissant from Smith & Deli, and she thought it was good as well. I'm not that into almond croissants, but my mum loves them.

Almond Croissant from Smith & Deli

And finally, the Pizza Croissant from Smith & Deli. Filled with some sort of meaty, tomato, cheesy, herby concoction rolled right into the dough before baking, this was delicious.

Pizza Croissant from Smith & Deli

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post: Sahara Update

Sleepy Sahara

Sahara had her first round of chemo on Wednesday. I was prepared to maybe have to nurse her through a few rough days after this, but so far she has been fine. She also got her stitches out, so no longer has to wear the collar, which is also making her happier. One week down, 26 weeks to go. There are a number of different drugs involved that she will rotate through, so we still need to take her reaction to each chemo on a week by week basis. Also, in week three she will have another ultrasound to make sure that the chemo is actually working, so we have that to get through as well. The important thing to keep focusing on right now is that she is well and happy in herself.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Quick Brisbane Vegan Tour

Good news! VeganMoFo is keeping active throughout the year (with the main MoFo event to be held later in the year). This month they are celebrating all things vegan and Australian! I am contributing this blog post, but be sure to check out their main page on the 26th of January for a whole range of fun Australian vegan posts.

Today I will give you a quick run down on some of my favourite places to eat in my home city of Brisbane. While no where near the level of Melbourne, Brisbane has still been growing in vegan leaps and bounds. There are so many new places opening, or existing places starting to offer vegan options, that this post is just a tiny drop on the ocean of vegan Brisbane options.

My Top Five

To start out with, I thought I would try and narrow down my top five favourite places in Brisbane. This was H-A-R-D, but I am pretty happy with my final result. I've included my favourite dish from each place, as well as a link to my other blog posts about them so you can see all the other things I have eaten from them! Let's get started. All in alphabetical order.

Charlie's Raw Squeeze: Raw Squeeze is taking over Brisbane and surrounds, with new branches popping up all over the place. The North Lakes one even has a vegan burger place as well! Raw Squeeze started out in Charlie's Fruit Market in Everton Park. The owners of Charlie's not only started the Raw Squeeze empire, they also have made Charlie's a completely vegan store. Phasing out the eggs, dairy and meat it used to sell with the produce and now running a little vegan grocery store there as well. Fantastic! Raw Squeeze is the place to go for all you juice, smoothie, bowl and nice cream needs. They also have yummy salads and wraps, and have recently started selling coconut gelato. They have a bunch of new summer salads I am keen to try. My favourite smoothie there is the Cotton Candy, which has red dragonfruit, banana, coconut water and coconut chips. (More Charlie's Raw Squeeze)

Cotton Candy Smoothie from Charlie's Fruit Market

Easy House: OK, technically not Brisbane. But if you are in Brisbane it is well worth the trip down to the Gold Coast to go to this amazing vegan yum cha restaurant (or dim sum, for my US friends). They have a regular menu as well, but to be honest I haven't ever ordered anything off it because yum cha! I have so many things I love there. Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, Radish Cakes, so many different types of steamed dumpling. But my favourite is the Beancurd Rolls. (More Easy House, More Vegan Gold Coast posts)

Beancurd Rolls in Mushrooms Sauce from Easy House Vegetarian

I Should Coco: It is so hot here at the moment, a cool sweet treat is always appreciated. The best vegan ice cream in Brisbane is easily I Should Coco's amazing soft serve. While it is coconut based, it is not heavy in coconut flavour or fat (which means it doesn't make me sick like other coconut ice creams can). They have several standard flavours (which you can get in a cup or a cone), as well as specials. The current special is a PB&J one that I really hope I get a chance to try! I Should Coco doesn't have a shop front, however does appear at different markets (including the Boundary St Markets on Friday and Saturday nights). My favourite flavour from there so far has been their Cherry Merry (cherries and chocolate and coconut... so good). I always get them in a cone because a cone is the best way to eat ice cream! (More I Should Coco)

Cherry Merry Cone from I Should Coco

Khot Thai: This place opened just up the road from work earlier this year, and it is amazing. They can make the majority of the menu vegan (and much of it gluten free). Thai Tuesday lunch time became a regular thing for quite a while! I have only eaten in once, but have had a lot of takeaway. They make great curries, noodles and stir-fries. Of course my favourite is the Pad See Ew. (More Khot Thai)

Lunch Special Pad See Ew from Khot Thai

Pu Kwong: Since new owners took over a couple of years ago, Pu Kwong has gone from meh to a firm favourite (plus it is near my house). The majority of the delicious Asian-style menu is vegan, though some is vegetarian, so you need to be sure to specify. There is loads to choose from on the menu as well. I like to work my way through the menu, but the one thing that I always get is the beancurd rolls. Yes, more beancurd rolls. I just can't get enough of them! (More Pu Kwong)

Beancurd Rolls at Pu Kwong

Other places I've been

This isn't a comprehensive list of everywhere I've been. Just places I remember and have enjoyed. For most of them I have included a link to see my blog posts about them so you can see more of what I have eaten. A few don't have links, because it was a while since I've been there or because I haven't gotten around to blogging about them yet.
  • 5Dogs: A hot dog place with vegan hot dog and chip options.
  • Botanica Real Food: Delicious salads, most of them vegan. They also have an amazing vegan brownie with coconut caramel that is just so good. (My blog posts)
  • Cafe O Mai: I've only been to this Vietnamese cafe once, but it was amazing. Delicious pho and rice paper rolls for brunch. They have a whole vegan corner on their lunch menu I must work my way through.
  • Doughnut Time: With several locations around the city (and now the country), Doughnut Time always has at least two vegan flavours on their roster. My favourite one ever was the Blue Ivy, blueberry filled cinnamon sugar, though sadly that has not been in rotation for a long time. (My blog posts)
  • IGA Supermarkets: OK, not a restaurant at all. But if you are in need of some great vegan groceries, check out your nearest SupaIGA for Tofurkey, Field Roast, Vegenaise, Gardein, So Delicious and more!
  • Lost Boys: Cute vegetarian cafe with a small vegan menu. The veggie burger was OK, apparently the breakfast waffles are amazing. (My blog posts)
  • Loving Hut: The ubiquitous Loving Hut. My favourite is the Beijing Black Bean and the Seven Seas Delight. (My blog posts)
  • No No's: This Lebanese place has amazing (and very garlicky) vegan salads. My favourite is the brown rice and lentil with crispy onions. (My blog posts)
  • Pawpaw Cafe: I've been there for breakfast a few times (not for a while) and they have some nice vegan options. They also have a Thai and Balinese menu for lunch and dinner with several vegan options I would like to try.
  • Pitstop Pizza: Yummy vegan pizzas and also has a couple of vegan strudels as well. The pumpkin pizza was very nice.
  • Pure Simplicity Health Bar: Bowls, burgers, breakfasts and the yummiest peanut butter hot chocolate. (My blog posts)
  • Su Life: This place is hit and miss with dishes, but their Spicy Crispy Chicken is famous! Their pan-fried dumplings are also my favourite in Brisbane. (My blog posts)
  • Superoll: A new Asian-style restaurant close to me that is quickly becoming a favourite. I love the Happy Farm (a mix of mushrooms, yuba and veggies).
  • The Cruelty Free Shop: Not a restaurant, but CFS recently opened up one of their vegan shops in Brisbane. The Green Edge: Brisbane's first vegan grocery store, it also has a cafe.
  • Thien An: Super cheap and tasty Vietnamese place, though you have to go to Inala to eat there. Yummy pho and fun drinks. (My blog posts)
  • Veganyumm: Brisbane all vegan bakery! Get the peanut butter chocolate chip bars and the ANZAC biscuits!! (My blog posts)
  • Vegeme: Asian-style in West End. The Small Bites section of the menu is definitely the best, I have been underwhelmed by some of the mains I have had there. Order lots of little things and make your own yum cha. (My blog posts)
  • Vegerama: Vegerama has several locations, though the one I frequent most is the sit down restaurant in West End. The food and the service can be a bit hit and miss, and I have never had a good dessert there. However, the pizzas are excellent. ((My blog posts)

Places on my wish list

There are so many new places opening in Brisbane, I can't keep count of them all! Here are just a few that are on my 'to go' list.

  • Ciao Gelato: Just up the road from Fitz & Potts, has a range of exciting vegan flavours (as well as non-vegan).
  • Fitz & Potts: A bar that has vegan jaffles on the menu, I love jaffles! Also a vegan platter. It is very doggo friendly as well.
  • Netherworld Arcade: The newest addition to Brisbane is this super fun arcade, bar, and food spot. While not vegan, the menu is vegan by default and you have to request to add meat or dairy (and pay more). I don't even know where to start with this menu! The top of my 'to go' list.
  • Sol Natural Foods Fortitude Valley: I've heard lots of good things about this place, from their yummy brunches to exciting pizzas. I want to go!

I hope you have enjoyed this quick tour of Brisbane's options. Looking at this, Brisbane really isn't that bad a place to be vegan at all! If you are ever heading this way, please let me know because I would love to hang out and eat some of this food with you! And would be happy to give more detailed vegan food tips as well.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim looking at Sahara

For anyone new to this blog, welcome! I like to end all my blog posts with a photo of a cute kitty, because cats are everything. Here is a photo of my two perfect girls, Dim Sim (the little black Princess) and Sahara (the slightly bigger red bear).

Friday, January 20, 2017

Melbourne Part 4

My final Melbourne post! The Monday we spent in Melbourne was my 35th birthday. We started with a celebratory breakfast at Matcha MylkBar in St Kilda (also my first time going to St Kilda). Matcha MylkBar has a long list of very silly sounding hot drinks. I would have loved to try so many of them, but I only had room for two. I started with a warming Apple Pie Latte (applie cider, apple pie spice, cinnamon).

Apple Pie Latte at Matcha Mylkbar

Ashleigh got the Potato Leek Rosti with Asparagus, Truffle Hollondaise and a Vegan Poached Egg. It was meant to have their new vegan fried egg, but they had sold out. She also got some Almond Fetta on the side.

Potato leek rosti, asparagus, corn truffle hollandaise, poached vegan egg,almond fetta at Matcha Mylkbar

I ordered the Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Avocado, Almond Fetta, Kale Pesto and Crispy Kale on toast, with a side of potato leek rosti and shiitake bacon. I know, I know. The vegan ordered essentially a fancy avocado toast. Also a vegan egg. The vegan egg I ordered cautiously as it is coconut based (and sweet potato), but after talking with them it transpired that it is more a coconut and almond milk blend, no heavy coconut oil or cream. So it didn't make me sick. It was pretty good in terms of texture, but taste wise is nothing like an egg. Definitely more a sweet thing (which they mention). Everything else was pretty nice, though the avocado was on top of everything and not on the actual toast! I had to move off the tomatoes to spread it onto the toast. I will make a mention of the toast, which was their own GF bread made from cactus flour. It was sensational!

Heirloom tomatoes, avocado, almond feta, kale pesto, crispy kale, toast, mushroom bacon, rosti, poached vegan egg at Matcha Mylkbar

I finished off breakfast with a sweet treat in my favourite colour - pink! They had cruffins (croissants baked into muffin shapes and filled), and I picked a strawberry filled one. It was no way at the level of the Smith & Deli croissants, but it was pretty nice! I also had a Beetroot Latte with it (beetroot juice, dehydrated beetroot, blood orange, chocolate), which was earthy and nice.

Beetroot latte at Matcha Mylkbar

Strawberry Cruffin at Matcha Mylkbar

I would have loved to have tried some of their other lattes, like the carrot cake latte and the charcoal latte. And looking at their menu now I see they have a new latte that has peanut butter and purple sweet potato in it... can someone send me one of those immediately please?

After brunch, we went for a little stroll around the St Kilda waterfront.

Luna Park

St Kilda

We headed back into the city and checked out some of the free exhibitions at ACMI, as well as hitting up some of the cute geek shops in the city for Neko Atsume and Tokidoki Unicorno collectibles. For lunch I went to one of my favourite places, Supercharger. You can pick from a whole selection of different components to put together your lunch. I don't really remember what I picked, but it was tasty.

Supercharger lunch

After this we had planned on going to the Art Gallery (which had so many cool things going on), however I was given the birthday gift of a crushing headache. So what actually happened is I had to go back to our room and lie down in the dark for two hours until it lifted. Oh well. At least it lifted in time for me to enjoy the Smith & Deli Strawberry & Cream tart I had been saving for my birthday.

For dinner we met up with my friend Jess and my brother (who was also visiting Melbourne) at Neko Neko, a Japanese place that has several vegan options. I love Japanese! Plus they have homemade soy iced matcha in adorable bottles!

Iced soy matcha at Neko Neko

We ordered everything to share. Starting with the Eggplant Dengaku and the Tofu Agedashi, both of which came with a fun plate with several different little mounds of different tasty things. They were both great, but the dengaku sauce was particularly amazing.

Eggplant Dengaku at Neko Neko

Tofu Agedashi at Neko Neko

We also shared the vegan ramen. They make their own vegan ramen noodles, however as two of our party were GF we got it with rice noodles. I suspect it would have been better with the actual ramen noodles (also in other photos I have seen the gluten full vegan ramen seemed to have additional toppings), but it was still good.

Vegan Ramen at Neko Neko

Finally we got the Raw Okinomiyaki. This really in no way resembled okonomiyaki, but was more like a delicious (if rich) nut cheese terrine.

Raw Vegan Okinomiyaki at Neko Neko

Afterwards we walked to Casa del Gelato for some dairy free sorbets.

Casa Del Gelato dairy free selection

Tuesday was our final morning in Melbourne, and we of course headed back to Smith & Deli one last time. This time I got the Egg McMartinez for breakfast. It has a tofu egg, bacon and cheese and chose aioli and BBQ sauce to go on it.

Egg McMartinez from Smith & Deli

I had hoped to stock up on a lot of yummies to take home with me, but unfortunately they didn't have much. They are closed on Sunday and Monday, and it was early on Tuesday morning, so there wouldn't have been enough time for everything to be fully stocked I guess. I did get a mulled wine brownie to take home.

Mulled Wine Brownie from Smith & Deli

Then we headed off to the airport. On the way, we stopped at Lord of the Fries to get a second breakfast. I got the mini Tibet (tofu egg, cheese, mayo, mustard) with a hash brown. It was adequate.

Mini Tibet Burger and Hash Brown from Lord of the Fries

On the flight home I was given another vegan meal, this time a warm curry wrap, though I didn't take a photo. Then it was home and into the furry embraces of my living kitties. I always love visiting Melbourne, the food is just so good. I am not sure when I will get a chance to get there again, but I will enjoy the memory of this trip for a long time to come.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

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Back in my second Melbourne post I shared a photo of Morgan, one of the cats that Leigh was looking after. This is Buster, the other cat. Super silly and fun.