the terrace restaurant at MLC

braised cabbage, eggplant and king oyster mushroom

A school hospitality training restaurant may seem an unlikely place for vegan food, but you would be wrong. With some advance notice on booking, The Terrace Restaurant at MLC have always come up trumps, though I suspect they could dish up something pretty good without any notice.

They have always treated me well on my transition from omni to vegetarian to vegan.  The school runs a VET hospitality program, training in both kitchen and front of house.  The food is reliably good and it is also ridiculously cheap. The service is sometimes a little nervous, but these young women are learning and this is part of the joy. This is the next generation of chefs and waiters and I’m happy to be part of their learning. I like that they are learning to deal well with people who have specific dietary requirements without any of the raised eyebrows or sighing that you sometimes get in other restaurants. Those places could learn a thing or two from these respectful and helpful teenagers.

Anyway on to the restaurant and the food. You have to order a minimum of two courses. As a vegan you won’t get a choice.  Mains are $14 and the entrees and desserts are $8. There is no alcohol but they do a good range of mocktails at around $5. There is nice linen and cutlery and the tables are well spaced.

My family and I eat here regularly for a birthday or other occasion and have never been disappointed. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that my sister teaches at the school. This is how I learnt of the restaurant in the first place. It is a pity it is not more well known.

In the past, I’ve had food ranging from a felafel platter to substantial warm salads. The food is often made up of the side dishes from the other courses, and sometimes prepared especially. But even when getting side dishes, the food is excellent. This time I had a specially made amuse bouche of a small pizza with roasted pumpkin and caramelised onion followed by minestrone for entree. I finished off with a mixed vegetable platter of hummus, tabbouleh, a beautiful nicoise salad, some braised red cabbage and eggplant with a grilled king oyster mushroom. All of the food was delicious, well presented, well seasoned and with an edge of refinement, not just veggies plonked on a plate.

This is a good place to take your omni friends and also to be able to eat well yourself.

It is always a pleasure to dine here.

The Terrace Restaurant
Krome Dining Room
Methodist Ladies College
207 Barkers Rd, Kew, 3101
Lunch only. Alternate Thursdays and Fridays during term
Bookings through www.trybooking.com

madame k

IMG_1876

I’ve eaten at Madame K at least four times, so obviously I like it.  I didn’t write any blog posts about the first few visits because either we scoffed the food before taking any photos or the photos were poor.

I have to say I am pretty impressed with the food here. It is at the high end of the scale for mock meat.  In fact some of the mock meat is so realistic, it is a bit scary.

The menu is a roam around Asia, with Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and Japanese dishes all making an appearance so there is a lot of choice. All of it is vegan with a handful of desserts able to veganised with the swapping of dairy for soy icecream. Over the course of those 4 visits I’ve eaten the massaman “lamb” curry several times.  I’ve taken a non vegan friend here and he was impressed with the food.

This latest visit was an impromptu one after a comedy festival show (Denise Scott – fabulous). We jumped off the tram in the vegan section of Brunswick St, and decided on Madame K for dinner.

This time we resisted the temptation to eat the massaman curry again and opted instead for several small plates, some of which were on the specials menu.

We chose betel leaves with fresh coconut, quinoa, black beans and a sweetish dipping sauce,  followed by some crispy chive stuffed sticky rice dumplings with a soy based dipping sauce. These were so delicious we ordered a second serve.  Then came some lamb ‘sliders’ in roti, which were not really what I think of as sliders at all, but completely delicious with chewy ‘lamb’ wrapped in flaky roti and doused with a sweet sesame flavoured sauce. Lastly we ate a sweet and sour mushroom salad which I thought was OK but not up to the standard of the other dishes.

Madame K is always reliably good and it will remain a regular favourite on my list.

Madame K
367 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9415 6099

www.madamek.com.au

truffled fava puree

grilled asparagus with truffled fava and almonds

If you have ever had the good luck to eat at Maha, you have probably tasted the truffled fava puree. I have eaten it each time I have been there, and though it may not look like much, it packs a delicious punch of flavour that makes me go weak at the knees.

I’ve wanted to try making this ever since the first time I ate it, and I finally went searching for a recipe after my latest visit to Maha. I found the recipe on the SBS food site with a video demonstration by Shane Delia himself. It is one of the recipes featured on his program Spice Journey.  Strangely, the recipe on the website differs in technique to the video so I am sticking with Shane and following his directions. It is part of a larger non vegan recipe, but the puree itself is vegan in the original.

I had assumed that the name of it meant that it contained fava (broad) beans, but in fact it is made from yellow split peas.

It is smooth, sweet and unctuous with the heady flavour and aroma of truffle.

It works well as a dip, as a sauce with some grilled vegetables and flaked almonds or frankly, just eaten off a spoon, which is what I am doing as I write this post. :)

 

truffled fava puree
 
prep time
cook time
total time
 
author:
recipe type: dip
cuisine: vegan
serves: 1 cup
ingredients
  • 150 grams yellow split peas
  • 1 red shallot peeled
  • ½ carrot peeled
  • ½ stick of celery (strings removed)
  • 1½ tsp truffle oil
  • salt
instructions
  1. Rinse the split peas until the water runs clear.
  2. Chop the vegetables roughly.
  3. Add the vegetables and split peas to a saucepan, just cover with water.
  4. Cook over a low to medium heat stirring occasionally until everything is soft and breaks down.
  5. Puree with a stick blender until utterly smooth.
  6. Add the truffle oil and salt to taste.
  7. Drizzle with some extra truffle oil.
notes
I made half the original recipe.

 

 

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