enlightened cuisine

spicy pork and eggplant

Enlightened Cuisine is a great Chinese mock meat restaurant with a vast menu. I’ve been there twice and both times I’ve enjoyed it very much.

It is in an out of the way place, and sometimes I wonder how it survives in that windswept area between the casino and City Road, but it does.

Three of us went there for an early dinner recently before heading off to see the Stephen Sondheim opera/musical “Passion” at the Arts Centre.

We shared some Golden “Duck” Slices as an entree and followed that up with two main courses and rice. The “duck” slices were a convincing texture and flavour made from wheat or soy protein with a thin layer of batter and served with a sweet dipping sauce.

My favourite main was the spicy eggplant with ‘pork’, but the sizzling ‘beef’ was pretty tasty too.  The mock pork was particularly good though, with a firm texture. The spicy sauce packed a punch but wasn’t so hot that it gave me hiccups,  which is what happens when I get too much chilli. The sizzling beef and the sauce were poured onto the platter at the table, adding a bit of theatre. It also came with plenty of veggies.

Really good if you are craving a mock meat fix.

sizzling beef


Enlightened Cuisine
113 Queensbridge Street,
Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9686 9188

roasted vegetable frittata

roasted veg frittata

Another week and another triumph for the ever wonderful chick pea flour.

This time I’ve made a chickpea flour and roasted vegetable frittata. It is wonderful. Sometimes vegan replacement foods can be a disappointment. But this is not. Chickpea flour batter is so fabulous as an egg replacement that I think many people, vegans and non vegans alike, could not tell the difference. The idea comes from the chickpea batter in a quiche recipe at The Gourmet Vegan.

It is a little bit more work than just mixing everything up and throwing it all into the oven, as the chick pea flour needs cooking first, and the veggies need to be roasted before mixing it all together.  But, if you have roasted veggies already in the fridge, you can have this ready in less than 40 minutes. I used a combination of roasted cauliflower, pumpkin, red capsicum, and halved cherry tomatoes that I already had in the fridge. Apart from its delicious flavour, I think the cauliflower really helps with the texture and I would always include it. But any roasted vegetables would be good. I have some leeks in the garden that are just calling to be used. :)

I ate mine with a salad made with some lettuce from my garden with avocado, and a dill flavoured, mustardy vinaigrette.  Warning it is delicious, I’ve eaten a third of it already!

roasted veg frittata


roasted vegetable frittata
prep time

cook time

total time


recipe type: vegan
serves: 8

  • 2-3 cups of roasted vegetables – I used a combination of cauliflower, pumpkin, red capsicum, and halved cherry tomatoes.
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Massel liquid stock concentrate or a stock cube
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon black salt ( this gives an eggy flavour)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Mix the chick pea flour with 1 cup of the water into a smooth paste.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  4. Pour the chick pea flour mix into the saucepan and mix thoroughly.
  5. Lower the heat and stir continuously until the batter thickens.
  6. Continue to cook, stirring for another 3 minutes.
  7. Gently fold in the roasted vegetables. It will be quite thick.
  8. Scoop the mix into a oiled cake tin or flan dish.
  9. Smooth the top with a wet spatula.
  10. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the tin.
  12. Serve cold or warm.


blondie bar

grilled zucchini salad

Blondie Bar is a lovely small bar and restaurant, nestled into the Melbourne Recital Centre, serving Asian inspired food.

I found myself there at 5pm recently after a chamber music concert. Not quite dinner time, but I was ready for a drink and a small snack. Fortunately, in addition to serving lunch and dinner, they also have a decent bar snacks menu. What was an unexpected surprise and pleasure is that the menu contains three marked vegan options and a couple of more easily veganizable vegetarian ones.

We chose a grilled zucchini salad and some edamame.

The salad was a delicious combination of grilled zucchini, white and black shelled beans and grilled mushrooms in a soy dressing. The edamame don’t need any elaboration, just the usual soybeans steamed with salt.

It is always nice to know that there is another good place for a post concert snack and drink in the arts precinct.

Blondie Bar
Corner Sturt Street & Southbank Boulevard
Southbank, 3006 

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