Eating vegan in Melbourne

Before moving to Melbourne I really thought it was easy eating vegan in Glasgow. It’s supposedly the vegan capital of the UK. The haven for all British vegans where they’ve got plenty of options and places to eat in. Having lived in Melbourne for over two months now I can tell you I’m mindblown at how much there is to choose from and how easy it is to eat vegan here.

First of all, there are so many vegan eateries I feel like I’ll be able to go to a new place every time and  never run out of new places to try. They’re everywhere and I feel like there are specialised vegan place for every cuisine you could think of Italian, Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, Japanese… You name it I’m pretty sure there’d be a place for it somewhere here in Melbourne. There are even vegan delis, bakeries and ice cream shops. Then there are all the healthy eateries and brunch places too. The Maddie places hehe. Not only are there loads of them but their menus are like no other I’ve ever seen before. They’re interesting, fun and different. I love when you can go out and have something you perhaps wouldn’t make at home because it requires a bit more effort than you would like to make.

Secondly, even the “normal” restaurants and cafes nearly always have vegan options. Last week I went for dinner with everyone at my work so I could meet them before I started. We went for Italian and I knew most likely there would be something there I can eat. I looked at the menu and the only thing at first glance on the menu, which was vegan was a quinoa salad. A bit boring and something I have very often. I thought, even though I’m not a massive pizza fan, that would be a bit more exciting than a salad so I was going to order one without cheese. I spoke to the waiter when it was my turn to order and asked what my options were. He replied saying they even had vegan cheese for the pizza so just choose what I’d like on it and that would be easily sorted. How good is that? Just your little Italian joint on the corner has vegan pizza options at the ready. I was pretty amazed by that.

I now no longer have to face the dilemma or ordering something boring just because it happens to be meat and dairy free. I no longer have to feel like I’m missing out and I don’t have to feel like I’m inconveniencing the restaurant. Again, if I really wanted to have a dish with dairy or a dish with some fish or seafood I’d have it but I don’t feel the craving at all for it and feel very at peace with how I’m eating now. About 98/99% vegan most of the time and I will probably never call myself vegan. I don’t want to be defined by a label. The same way I don’t really call myself a Crossfitter, I train Crossfit but it doesn’t define me.

Anyway, I’m slowly working my way through the eateries around the area and during the weekend Mich and I took all over dogs to Kin Corner Store in Cheltenham. A relatively new vegan café Mich came across on Facebook and we’ve been talking about going for a while.

The menu was quite small but with a couple of tasty sounding options. We both went for the falafel and asked for bread on the side because we were starving. I also had a turmeric latte (loving that there is always an exciting option for us non-coffee drinkers everywhere). Then our food came out and it looked lovely. The first thing both Mich and I noticed was that it was a bit on the small side. Definitely not something that would fill a super hungry Maddie haha. We devoured our food. It was delicious the dish. I actually ended up asking for another slice of bread which we shared. I could’ve had about double or triple the size of that dish but it was tasty!

Yesterday Mim finally arrived back from her travels in Canada and I can’t tell you how good it was to see her face! I was squealing when I got in the car to hug her. We went for a class at Red Bluff and then had Thai food afterwards. There was so much to talk about that we were chatting non-stop until she had to head home to get ready for a festival she’s going to today. So now she’s away again for a couple of days. Her and I are now officially looking for a flat together, which is super exciting! It would be amazing if we could live together. I can’t wait to finally have a more permanent living situation. Moving around all the time gets tiring! I don’t think I’m quite made for the nomadic life but whilst it’s still happening I’m going to just make the most of it.

Today is my last day in the house before Perry’s family is back! Time to get packing and I also want to give the place a little tidy up before they arrive back. Three weeks have gone by so quickly and a lot has happened in that time.

Time to get going! Speak soon, M xxx

The coast

There’s an Arthur’s Seat here in Australia as well!

Look at that water!

Lunch at The Holy Bean in Rosebud

Rosebud’s beach
Gonnamatta Beach 

My adventures and exploration of the Melbourne area continues! PC suggested the other day we would go for a drive down the coast and I wasn’t going to say no to an opportunity to see more of this beautiful place! It was Em, Mich, PC and myself who were all going so we packed up the car with two dogs and ourselves and away we went. I didn’t really have a clue of where we were going but I was just excited to see something different.

We droves past vineyards and farms along the way and it really took me back to the Australia I remember from visiting with my family years and years ago. The drive down was lovely. PC was pointing out all the areas along the way and telling us about them. Probably more new information for me than the others seeing as I’m the only foreigner hehe.

Our first stop along the way was at Arthur’s Seat. Yes there is apparently more than just the one in Edinburgh back home I was about to say. Well it’s sort of back home. It was my home for almost six years good old Scotland! You can get cable cars and go up and down the… I want to say mountain? Is it a mountain or a hill? I’m not quite sure. Either way the view was stunning. Unfortunately no ride in the cable cars this time around considering we had the dogs with us but I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities to do that.

We continued along the serpentiney roads down towards Rosebud, a town along the coast where we stopped for lunch at a place called The Holy Bean. They had a separate vegan menu, which was handy as three quarters of the road trip crew are vegan/eat majority vegan. I had an almond milk turmeric latte and then went for their avocado toast. The food was tasty but needed quite a lot salt and pepper. Unfortunately the beetroot relish on the side had a very bitter aftertaste. I like beetroot but that flavour at the end was not great.

After we were fed and the hunger crisis was over we headed to the beach just across the road of the café. It was stunning with white sand and the water had hints of turquoise in it. The dogs were running around like mad and one of them Rusty managed to somehow find a all the dead puffer fish along the beach. Apparently they are very poisonous so most of the time we were all keeping an eye on him to make sure he didn’t try to eat them! Crazy that I’m in a country where there are pufferfish washed ashore and fish can be poisonous. I don’t think there are any poisonous fish back home in Sweden.

Next stop before we had to head back for the gym was Gonnamatta Beach and wow, the view there was just something else. This is the kind of scenery I remember from years ago. Stunning cliffs and beautiful beaches. A view that makes you stop and you could stand there forever taking it all in. I wish we would’ve had a chance to stay for longer but time was running out and the dogs weren’t allowed out in that area.

On the way back we were playing cheesy amazing music and singing along the entire way back. It was great haha. The trip left me wanting to see more. It was a great first glance of all there is to see here in Victoria and only a couple of hours drive from Melbourne. Everyone is talking about how we’ll do more things like these once spring and summer comes and I can’t wait!

We eventually got to the gym, a bit later than usual but still managed to squeeze in three different workouts before it was time to leave. I felt a bit blaah, this week’s classes have been quite tough and my body was feeling a bit tired but I got through it all. We did a bit of double undering and walking lunges once we were done with our main workout and I managed to string together over 40 in a row consistently. Finally! We finished off with abs and I can still feel them today. I don’t very often do just ab work stuff but Em made sure we squeezed in an ab tabata session at the end and my core was on fire!

Today is Sunday and I’m on my final days in the house and with Taylor. I’m going to miss that little cutie when I move out! Today I’m paying a deposit for a room I’m renting in North Brighton for the next month. If all goes to plan I should be moving in there next Saturday.

In other exciting news, I’m starting a new job tomorrow! I know, a long time coming and I’m really excited to have something to do. Vineyard work will be happening later on in the spring so I’m looking forward to working, meeting some new people and earning some money while I’m waiting. I was invited to come along to their weekly Thursday dinner the other night and they were so lovely. It was nice to meet everyone before coming in for the first time tomorrow. I’m getting a bit nervous but I’m sure I’ll be okay. It’s always a bit scary when you’re new. I can’t wait to get to grips with everything so I can do my best possible job. I’ve been looking for so long to find something to do so I’m glad it’s finally happening.

So yes there’ll be slightly less gym hangouts and more work. I knew it was bound to happen eventually hehe. Can’t go to the gym like a crazy person forever unfortunately. It’s been amazing to have the chance to train as much as I have and to just hang out with everyone but now it’s time for change and whilst I’ll still be aiming to go every day at least it’ll be different. I think it’ll be a good change.

Time to soon get ready for Sunday track session! The weather is looking promising with the sun coming out. You never know what the means though. Last Sunday it rained every other minute and was sunny the next. Here’s hoping we stay nice and dry. I’m wondering what our coach Dave has up his sleeve for training today.

Soul Press

Not a bad breakfast

Smashed sweet potato with turmeric and pesto

It’s 8th of July today. July! How can it be July already? I can’t believe it’s already July. Over half the year has gone already. Why I especially wanted to acknowledge that today is the eighth is because today marks two months in Australia for me! Two whole months in Melbourne. So far so good! I feel like things are slowly coming together and I’m starting to feel settled in even though I still don’t really know where I’ll be living in less than two weeks time. I’m still so incredibly grateful for being here and every day is a learning experience. I love that it’s still all so new and there’s still so much to experience and see. It’s only the beginning.

How good do these acai bowls look in the picture above? I know, I know, quite the foodporn. Before our visit on Friday I had been to Soul Press once before for lunch. I’ve got to say I was really underwhelmed by my visit. I had their Mexican Fiesta Bowl and it was really boring. I think that was probably the first disappointing food experience I’ve had since I’d gotten here. After that I was a bit hesitant to go back. However, my friend Em said the acai bowls are why people go to Soul Press. Determined to prove to me it’s good she decided we’d all go there after feeding the lambs. Hence, why I didn’t have a big breakfast before going, needed to make room for that acai bowl.

It wasn’t perhaps the best weather for a cold smoothie bowl. Especially after being cold from being outdoors for a couple of hours but we had an acai mission to complete and the cold weather wasn’t stopping us. I just copied Em’s order which was the “Bowl with the Lot”, which we then added the peanut butter sauce to and the 1/2 ace ice cream sandwich to. We then decided to share a slice of the sweet potato and turmeric mash on toast with pesto. I also ordered a match latte with almond milk to combat the cold! I probably wouldn’t order it again though. I thought it didn’t taste great. I think it might’ve been the almond milk.

But wow, what a step up the acai bowl was from their Mexican Fiesta Bowl! I suppose it wasn’t too difficult to create something better than that dish (I’m sorry I hate to be harsh but it was true, maybe I had a bad one). That thick creamy delicious acai blend together with all the crunchy toppings was just yum! I didn’t love the bliss ball on top. It was a bit boring but everything else was delicious (that Ice cream sandwich, wow!). It disappeared very quickly and it was a lot of food. Overall, a very good acai bowl. Then the toast arrived and boy, it was delicious. I’d never thought of smashing sweet potato and putting it on toast with pesto but that was incredible. I would definitely have that toast again. It got a thumbs up from all of us.

So yes, Soul Press redeemed themselves with their acai bowls and toast. If you’re going that’s what you should go for. I am tempted to try some of their more foodie dishes to see if any of the others are better. Then of course I’d like to try a couple more of their bowls. So much to get through!

Matcha Mylkbar // 72A Acland Street // St Kilda

Our first visit. Believe it or not, all vegan.
Mushroom and date late

Second visit

A happy Maddie is a fed Maddie

Matcha Mylkbar is social media renowned for their next level vegan food. In this place you cannot only get vegan eggs but also vegan bacon with your breakfast. I’d heard about this place from the land of social media, being the Instagram nerd that I am, way before I arrived in Australia and yes it was of course on my long list of food places to tick off. Plus, being the matcha obsessed individual that I am, how could I not go to a place that specialises in matcha?!

Being the massive appreciator of a good vegan meal I just wanted to see what these eggs were like! I’d never never seen anything like it before. So a brunch was booked in after the gym with Mim and Mich from the gym. Mich had never been before either, Mim had and was telling us how good it is so the expectations were quite high.

Since it was a Saturday there was a waiting list of people wanting to get a table. We happily put our name down and waited and we got our table quite quickly. The amount of options on the menu made it nearly impossible to decide what to have. We knew the Matcha Made in Heaven Pancakes were a must. We then eventually we narrowed it down to the Big Breakfast with Eggs and Deluxe Black Tie Avocado.

The wait was quite long for food as they were busy but eventually it arrived and wow did it look pretty! I was just hoping it would taste as good as it looked. The pancakes were delicious! So fluffy and with chocolate everywhere, that ice cream served with it was super tasty too. The avo toast was heavenly as well, incredibly zingy and fresh.

Okay, the big breakfast. The one I wasn’t sure what expect, vegan eggs and bacon. Never tried it before so wasn’t sure about it but very intrigued. The eggs’ consistency were pretty much spot on, I could not have told whether the was a real egg or not, the thing that does give it away is the flavour, of course it’s slightly different but still nice. The bacon on the other hand, I don’t like bacon at all and when I tried it it was too much like bacon (really not a bad thing if that’s what you’re after) but none of us were a fan of it. We were so glad we tried it though!

Mim and I went back for more before she headed away to Canada for over three weeks (she left today! Will miss that girl). We were thinking of other places to go but really we just wanted to go back to Matcha Mylkbar hehe. We had to order the pancakes again and were close to ordering the avo toast again but thought we had to try something different so after a lot of deciding (we were tempted by the smoothie bowls but it was a bit cold for that!) we decided on the Shakshuka Baked Eggs.

The pancakes were just as good this time around and the shashuka eggs were delicious too. With that tomato sauce, it felt even more like eating eggs. Such an odd experience. I also got a bit more adventurous and ordered a mushroom and date latte. It did not taste as strange as it sounds, it was actually really delicious! I would get it again. Then of course a matcha latte was order both visits, because you just have to when you’re in a matcha place. A bit too sweet for my liking the second time around, I prefer them unsweetened but still nice.

Overall I’ve really loved my visits there, they’ve been incredibly eye opening to what can actually be done in the world of plant based food. Would I go all the time and order the vegan eggs? Probably not, I don’t really crave eggs as much anymore as I used too but for the novelty of it, it was definitely fun to try. It’s a really cool space and they know their crowd with it all looking very social media friendly to take photos. The things I thought let the place down was the service, not very attentive (friendly when they did speak to you though) and the fact there was food smoke in the entire venue both times, which meant you stank of food each time you left. Not a biggie but it was so bad the most recent time we went they had to open the door, which made it a bit chilly.

I would definitely still go back though. Is it a bit wanky there? Haha yes, it is a bit fancy and Instagrammy but I really don’t mind it. They’ve got a good thing going and are attracting all types of people, vegans and non-vegans to come in and try plant-based food and see what it can taste like. I think that’s always good, we need more people eating more plants on this planet.