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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.

the glass den 2


After arriving home from Europe, I caught up for brunch at the Glass Den with my friend who had been housesitting while I was away.

I chose the Glass Den because I love it and it caters to both vegans and non-vegans alike.

The food is modern, delicious, beautiful to look at and a cut way above your average cafe.

I chose a vegan “chicken” burger and my friend had the porridge. Both were great. The porridge was so beautifully decorated with fruits and flowers. The burger was enormous and I foolishly fell for the “Would you like fries with that?” up sell and ordered the sweet potato fries which were excellent. The tomato relish on the burger was swoon worthy.

vegan chicken burger with sweet potato fries

I’ve also included a photo of a breakfast udon noodle dish that I ate on another visit that I didn’t blog about. It gives you an idea of the range of creative food that they do. Udon noodles with kale and crumbed mushrooms. For breakfast. Delicious.

breakfast udon noodles with kale and mushrooms

The coffee is great too.

I really cannot fault the Glass Den, it remains high on my list of favourite places. I have never had a disappointing meal.

15 Urquart St,
Coburg, 3058
(03) 9354 5032

berlin – kopps for dinner

white grilled asparagus, broad beans, leek and potato cake, truffle foam

I’m now running behind terribly on the blogging of my trip. I’ve been back for two weeks, but in that time I headed to down to Hobart for 5 days for a series of workshops to sing the Bach St Matthew Passion with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as part of the Festival of Voices.

So I’m now heading back to Berlin (virtually) to review the last of my food highlights there.  Having sampled and LOVED brunch at Kopps I was keen to go back there for dinner. I was also keen to compare it to my other fine dining experience at the Lucky Leek.

Kopps do a 3, 4 or 5 course menu with or without matched wines. I was on my second last night in Berlin before heading back home so I decided to splurge on the 5 courses with matched wines. It saves agonising over what courses to choose. 🙂

Here’s what I ate:

This was a lovely amuse bouche of a tiny raviolo with a leek cream.

amuse bouche - ravioli with leek cream

Next up was a dish that sounded more promising in theory than it turned out in practice, coconut polenta balls with avocado and sesame crisps.

It was very pretty and pleasant enough, but lacking in real flavour. The sesame crisps were great though. Accompanied by a lovely late picked riesling from the Rhine.

coconut and polenta balls with asparagus puree and sesame crisps

The soup that followed was delicious, which is not something I’d often say about zucchini soup but they had the seasoning in this one just done perfectly. The soup was in fact zucchini and okra with tomato jam and the contrasting crunch of some raw kohlrabi spirals. The wine with this was a German white burgundy.

okra and zucchini soup with tomato jam and kohlrabi

Next up was a pea ravioli dish with pea puree and a mint and coriander foam. Nice enough but not earth shattering and the pasta could have been more delicate. And so far there had been foam on three out of four dishes! This was accompanied by a lovely buttery French chardonnay.

pea ravioli, pea puree, mint and coriander foam

Next up my definite favourite of the night. Asparagus season was in full swing in Germany while I was there and they favour big fat white asparagus. It was on the menu everywhere, including here. This dish was just perfect. Grilled asparagus, potato and wild leek cakes with broad beans and another foam. This time I could forgive it because it was black truffle foam. This came with a beautiful crisp white from Austria.

white grilled asparagus, broad beans, leek and potato cake, truffle foam

And then on to dessert. This dessert could have been great, if only the chocolate elements had been dark. I’m being picky, it was faultless in most respects, but it just needed that great bitterness that dark chocolate gives. It was accompanied by a lovely Austrian dessert muscat, not sticky like a lot of Australian dessert wines but light and floral.

choc mousse, choc parfait, strawberry salad and sorbet, mint pesto

And finally a post meal amuse bouche of a small bite of apple strudel. Delicious.

apple strudel post meal

It was good, with a couple of slightly disappointing dishes, but I’m glad I did it. Kopps is still the hands down winner in the perfect brunch category though.

For fine dining I enjoyed my meal at the Lucky Leek more, mostly because it was more varied and just a bit more refined.

I waddled home to my hotel glad that the tram took me right to the door…

Linienstraße 94
10115 Berlin-Mitte

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