springtime, damona cheese and a pizza

Spring is in the air and the forecast of a couple of days of 19 degrees gave me the idea of firing up the pizza oven. So yesterday I made a batch of no kneadĀ dough to ferment overnight.

Today dawned grey and drizzly, not normally the time I’d make a pizza out of doors, but the dough was perfect so I braved the blustery drizzle to cook my pizza. Luckily it only takes a few minutes. Of course it being Melbourne weather it rained precisely for those few minutes! šŸ™‚

I wanted to try out some smoked mozzarella from Damona that I’d bought with pizza in mind. I’d tried the Damona cheeses when they first arrived but the one I had was coconut flavoured so I was unimpressed and never tried them again. They seem to have fixed that. The smoked mozzarella is really good, lightly smoked and it melts well.

I made a simple pizza with olive oil, garlic, fresh tomatoes, the smoked mozzarella and lots of chopped fresh parsley from the garden where it is currently running rampant.

wonderbao

Taro, shiitake bao, tofu gua bao

I’ve been meaning to get to Wonderbao for ages. I’ve eaten their food before at the noodle night markets a couple of times, but never at the shop.

it is a tiny place with a handful of seats lined up at the window. It is notoriously tricky to find, made even more difficult at the moment by A’Beckett St being closed to construct the metro tunnel. Still I found it after a circuitous route around some back lane parts of Melbourne I’ve never seen before, which was enjoyable in itself.

There are a few vegan options on the menu, to save thinking I ordered the veggie pack special, a combination of three items: a crispy silken tofu gua bao garnished with peanuts and pickled mustard, a shiitake mushroom, tofu and vegetable bao, and a taro bao. IĀ have a terror of undercooked eggplant so I skipped the eggplant gua bao, but after seeing someone next to me eating it, I’ll be back to try it.

The crispy tofu gua bao was the winner with its delicious combination of flavours and textures. Probably not as great as the slightly cross cultural one at Transformer, but a worthy rival. The shiitake mushroom bao was also delicious, but the slightly sweet taro bao left me cold. I should have known better as I’m not a big taro fan.

I’ll definitely be back to try some of the eggplant and the crispy tofu again. It is a great place with quick turnover that is perfect for a quick meal in the city.

Wonderbao
Shop 4 19-37 A’Beckett St
Melbourne, 3000

9654 7887

www.wonderbaokitchen.com.au

Wonderbao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

vegan supermarket soups

hart and soul soups

I love it when I find vegan things in the regular supermarket. I’m a big fan of mainstream adoption of vegan products, as it means that these products get seen and used by everyone, not just vegans. Don’t get me wrong, I love specialist vegan shops, but most non vegans are not going to go into one.

Normally I’m not fond of a lot of prepared package food, it often tastes awful, so I was really pleased and surprised when a friend introduced me to these soups that are available in Woolworths. They are so delicious that I ate them all weekend on a recent visit to her place and bought some when I returned home.

The brand is Hart and Soul and the vegan ones come in two varieties, a Thai flavoured coconut and pumpkin, and an Indian flavoured coconut, lentil, sweet potato and capsicum. There are no nasty ingredients in them. I’m having a hard time deciding on my favourite. Every time I eat one I think that is my favourite until I eat the other.

They’ve been perfect the last few days while I’ve had a cold.

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