quinces and kale http://www.quincesandkale.net seasonal vegan food Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:06:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 57731664 Mecca http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/mecca/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/mecca/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:00:13 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8370 This is the last of my eating posts from my trip to Sydney. Mecca in Alexandria was my home away from home, providing breakfast most days and lunch one other. Mecca is a coffee roaster and cafe in an industrial part of Alexandria near the […]]]>

This is the last of my eating posts from my trip to Sydney. Mecca in Alexandria was my home away from home, providing breakfast most days and lunch one other.

Mecca is a coffee roaster and cafe in an industrial part of Alexandria near the rapidly developing Green Square precinct just one stop from Central.

It is not vegan but I managed several toast centred breakfasts along with a couple of really standout other meals.

On the first day my friend and I shared two salads for lunch. One was a pumpkin salad with roasted pumpkin, Israeli couscous, green beans and roasted and dried oranges, the second a small French lentil, sugar snap peas, broccolini and green beans with leafy greens. Both were delicious, simple but perfectly done.

greens and lentils

 

 

On my last breakfast I finally opted for the sandwich of the week which had been calling to me for several days from the specials board.

cauliflower sandwich

 

Roasted cauliflower with miso and tahini and a chilli eggplant relish with rocket on beautiful sourdough. Great.

The food is simple but perfectly executed. Of course the coffee was impeccable.


Mecca
26 Bourke Rd
Alexandria, NSW, 2015

 

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Gathered kitchen http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/gathered-kitchen/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/gathered-kitchen/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:00:21 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8354 Another eatery on my recent trip to Sydney was Gathered Kitchen, a relatively new all vegan cafe in Glebe. My friend had eaten there the day before and brought home some filled bagels for our dinner before dashing to a concert at the Opera House. […]]]>

Another eatery on my recent trip to Sydney was Gathered Kitchen, a relatively new all vegan cafe in Glebe. My friend had eaten there the day before and brought home some filled bagels for our dinner before dashing to a concert at the Opera House.

We had two different fillings, one was with some homemade cheese, truffle mayo, BBQ sauce and some really good rice paper bacon, the other with a sweet potato and pea rosti, cashew sour cream asparagus and wasabi mustard, both on great seeded bagels. The bagels were delicious.

We headed there a couple of days later for breakfast.

cheese tomato and bacon bagel

On our return  I struggled with the wide variety of choices on the menu, but in the end I chose the berry pancakes. My friend chose an eggplant and white bean shakshuka. The pancakes were both delicious and pretty, with a tart berry compote, some coconut yoghurt and decorated with rose petals.

The shakshuka was a disappointment, my nightmare of undercooked eggplant. There was also way too much pepper and oregano in the sauce. It could have been great,  but sadly it fell short.

eggplant shakshuka and white beans

Coffee was good.

In spite of the eggplant dish, I’d happily go back, there are so many other choices including some exceptional looking cakes and pastries.


Gathered Kitchen
99 Glebe Point Road,
Glebe, NSW,2037

http://www.gatheredkitchen.com.au/

Gathered Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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a new look for the blog http://www.quincesandkale.net/thoughts/a-new-look-for-the-blog/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/thoughts/a-new-look-for-the-blog/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 23:31:18 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8321 It’s been 4 years since I started the blog and the design was looking a bit dated, so I’ve decided to give it a new, more modern look. I hope you like it.]]>

It’s been 4 years since I started the blog and the design was looking a bit dated, so I’ve decided to give it a new, more modern look.

I hope you like it.

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gigi pizzeria http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/gigi-pizzeria/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/gigi-pizzeria/#comments Tue, 28 Nov 2017 23:00:37 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8257 I headed off to Sydney last week for a few days, to catch up with some friends and to go to a concert at the Opera House. While I was there I ate at a few places ranging from a local sports club, to cafes, […]]]>

I headed off to Sydney last week for a few days, to catch up with some friends and to go to a concert at the Opera House. While I was there I ate at a few places ranging from a local sports club, to cafes, some junk food and a stylish pizza place.

Some are not worth mentioning, but several are, among them Gigi the vegan pizza restaurant in Newtown.

I arrived expecting a queue and I was right. The queue stretched around the corner, but I only had to wait about 10 minutes before I scored a seat at the bar. There are benefits to eating alone! The place is perpetually busy and noisy.

Gigi serves Neapolitan thin crust pizza which has to be eaten straight from the oven or it loses its charm.  One of the things I like about Gigi is that only one of their pizzas has vegan cheese on it, the rest are cheese free. They stand on their own with the fantastic flavours of the vegetables without the need for any cheese.

The pizza section of the menu has about nine pizzas with a couple of specials on the board. I could happily have eaten any of them. In the end I settled on the Cavolo, where cauliflower is the star. To be honest it was never in doubt, as cauliflower is my favourite vegetable.

The pizza consists of a base of cauliflower purée topped with roasted cauliflower, artichokes, red peppers, tiny capers, toasted pine nuts, currants, olive oil, garlic and parsley.  This was just perfect, sweet nutty cauliflower with salty and sweet accents from the other ingredients. The pizzas come in one size (large) and I have to confess I scoffed the lot, along with a beer. My stomach was  protesting at the end, but my mouth was still saying yes. A really excellent pizza. The service was quick, and the barman friendly.

I’d happily return any time.


Gigi Pizzeria
379 King St,
Newtown, NSW 2042

Gigi Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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handsome her http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/handsome-her/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/handsome-her/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 23:00:22 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8209 I’ve been keen to go to Handsome Her since it opened, but I thought I’d wait a bit for the opening rush to die down. I finally got there last week. It was worth the wait. Looking at the menu I was paralysed by choice. […]]]>

I’ve been keen to go to Handsome Her since it opened, but I thought I’d wait a bit for the opening rush to die down. I finally got there last week. It was worth the wait.

Looking at the menu I was paralysed by choice. Every dish on the small menu sounds delicious, but I finally settled on the ‘Park Yeon Mi’ (all the dishes are named after notable women).

My dish was delicious, four crispy soy based drumsticks, with a sticky spicy sauce and tofu mayo, nicely contrasted with some pickled vegetables, cucumber kimchi, coleslaw and a charcoal waffle. The drumsticks were not what I expected inside, they’re not solid but a tightly wrapped coil of a sheet of soy mock meat.  Delicious anyway.

The food here is so beautifully presented. Each dish I saw come out was a piece of art. I guess this is to be expected when the owner came from The Glass Den where the food is equally pretty.

The coffee is good too. The cakes in the cabinet looked fabulous, but I was too full to try them. Here are just a couple to tempt you.

in the cake cabinet

in the cake cabinet

Ignore the ratings on social media, they are brought low by reviewers, who in all probability have never been to the cafe, objecting to the completely voluntary 18% surcharge to highlight the gender pay gap. I saw no evidence of men not being welcome. The staff were friendly to everyone.

I should really name this post Handsome Her 1 because it is certain that there will be posts 2,3,4… as I eat my way through the menu.

I will be back.

 

Handsome Her
206 Sydney Road
Brunswick, 3056

http://www.handsomeher.com.au

Handsome Her Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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springtime, damona cheese and a pizza http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/springtime-damona-cheese-and-a-pizza/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/springtime-damona-cheese-and-a-pizza/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 04:31:01 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8179 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 knead dough to ferment overnight. Today dawned grey and drizzly, not normally […]]]>

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 knead 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! 🙂

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.

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wonderbao http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/wonderbao/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/wonderbao/#respond Thu, 24 Aug 2017 07:42:14 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8163 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 […]]]>

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. I 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

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vegan supermarket soups http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/vegan-supermarket-soups/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/reviews/vegan-supermarket-soups/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:41 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8142 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 […]]]>

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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blackened brussels sprouts, garlic and almonds http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/blackened-brussels-sprouts-garlic-and-almonds/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/blackened-brussels-sprouts-garlic-and-almonds/#comments Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:39 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8128 I’m not fond of winter, it’s cold with short days. But it is completely redeemed by being the season of brussels sprouts. I know some people hate them, but they REALLY are great fried or roasted. This time I pan-fried them in a little olive […]]]>

I’m not fond of winter, it’s cold with short days. But it is completely redeemed by being the season of brussels sprouts.

I know some people hate them, but they REALLY are great fried or roasted.

This time I pan-fried them in a little olive oil with garlic and chopped dry roasted almonds. A lovely combination of flavours and texture.

This works as a vegetable side dish or with some pasta.

I ate it with some pasta and a sprinkling of Vegusto Piquant cheese. I didn’t photograph it before I scoffed it down.

 

blackened brussels sprouts, garlic and almonds
 
prep time
cook time
total time
 
author:
serves: 1
ingredients
  • ½ tbs oil
  • 8 Brussels sprouts per person
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 dry roasted almonds
instructions
  1. Prepare the sprouts by removing the bottoms and any ratty looking outer leaves.
  2. Slice them vertically into 3mm slices.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the sprouts over a medium heat until they start to blacken and are tender.
  4. Add the garlic and fry for 30 secs.
  5. If the sprouts are still not tender put a tablespoon or two of water into the pan and cook until the water evaporates.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Add the chopped almonds and toss to combine.
  8. Serve as a dish on its own or with pasta.

 

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Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/toulouse-lautrec-gratin-of-pumpkin/ http://www.quincesandkale.net/recipes/toulouse-lautrec-gratin-of-pumpkin/#comments Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:19 +0000 http://www.quincesandkale.net/?p=8104 After a year of not cooking much and not blogging at all due to illness, I’m ready to start again. We celebrated the return of two of my sisters from overseas and the end of my treatment for cancer with a family dinner. As usual […]]]>

After a year of not cooking much and not blogging at all due to illness, I’m ready to start again.

We celebrated the return of two of my sisters from overseas and the end of my treatment for cancer with a family dinner. As usual we all brought a part of the meal.

This time I made a dish I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages – the Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book. It is a delicious dish of pumpkin, layered with an onion and tomato sauce and topped with breadcrumbs. It is actually a recipe from Henri Toulouse Lautrec that was part of a collection of recipes published by his friend.

It normally forms part of our family Christmas lunch and I’m not sure why I hardly ever make it at other times, other than that it is a bit lengthy to make. I’ve simplified the original recipe a bit, it calls for the pumpkin to be floured and fried. I’ve changed this to roasting the pumpkin instead. I also cut the pumpkin a little thicker and use more tomato for a slightly wetter dish.

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Toulouse Lautrec Gratin of Pumpkin
 
prep time
cook time
total time
 
author:
serves: 6
ingredients
  • 1 kg piece of pumpkin ( I use Kent/Jap pumpkin)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 400g cans of tomato (or fresh equivalent)
  • Oil spray
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
instructions
  1. Peel, seed and slice the pumpkin into slices about 7-10 mm thick.
  2. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and spray with oil.
  3. Bake in an oven at 180 degrees C until just short of tender.
  4. Meanwhile slice and fry the onions in oil until soft.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 mins to reduce a little.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Layer the pumpkin and tomato mix in a baking dish starting and finishing with a tomato layer.
  8. Top with breadcrumbs, spray the the top with oil and bake at 180 degrees C until the top is golden.

 

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