Serotonin Eatery // Burnley

Serotonin, a place I’ve been dying to go to for ages. It’s a bit of an institution on the vegan and health scene here in Melbourne. Specialising in food to raise your mood and boost your health through their creations. It is a bit off the beaten track over in Burnley, at least in relation to where we live, and that’s why it’s taken so long to to get there.

Last weekend Mim and I FINALLY decided that today was the day. We were out shopping on Chapel Street with her sister Alex. We knew we needed a good feed after spending hours going in and out of shops trying on clothes so off to Burnley and Serotonin we went. Their café is in a lovely location just by a park and they even offer you to take a picnic basket and eat their food in the park. How nice is that?

We walked in through the door and as soon as we got through the doors we were greeted by their lovely staff. We were sat outside on their swings! The best idea ever to have swings. A guy called Gabriel was the one who helped us during our visit and he was amazing! He got our menus and we told him about how long we’d been wanting to go and asked for his recommendations because we wanted to try EVERYTHING. We knew their famous pancakes were a must but other than that we had trouble deciding what to have on top of that. At this point we were starving. It was just before three in the afternoon and we hadn’t had lunch. Meaning we pretty much would’ve wanted to eat the entire menu because of how hungry we were, that didn’t really make the decision any easier.

We were leaning towards their new pizza, you guys know I’m not a massive pizza fan but it sounded unlike any pizza I’d heard of. It’s been made in collaboration with Simon Hill who does one of my favourite podcasts Plant Proof. Unfortunately it had chickpeas in the base and Mim is quite intolerant to them so I will just have to try it another time because we wanted to share food. After a lot of going back and forth we went for another new addition to their menu, the savoury waffles and we added scrambled tofu to it and also ordered a side of satay tempeh. How could you not order some tempeh with satay sauce? Yuuum!

We of course had to try some of their delicious sounding hot drinks while we were waiting on ur food. I had a peanut butter latte. Yup a peanut butter latte! How good does that sound?! And it tasted even better. What a great idea for peanut butter addicts like myself. Mim had a golden latte and it was lovely too!

I’m trying to find words to explain how good the food was and I don’t feel like there are good enough words to really give you an idea of how insane Serotonin’s food is. The pancakes were beautifully fluffy but moist at the same time. The cashew cheese on the waffles was so creamy and cheesy, I have no idea how the managed to make it taste that way. The scrambled tofu tasted amazing and the satay tempeh, that satay sauce was heaven. I could’ve eaten a whole bowl of that stuff. I don’t think the staff have ever seen to more enthusiastic customers. We couldn’t stop mmming and aaaing over how good it all was.

The food was devoured far too quickly and even though it looked like a lot it all somehow fitted in our stomachs without feeling overly full. We then got the very lovely surprise from Gabriel who asked us what dish we’d like to try next time and he gave us a card each with ten dollars off the dish of our choice next time we come in. How nice is that? Incredibly generous of them.

They were closing for the day at this point and we headed to the till to pay, the last people to leave. It’s a very tempting place around the till because they have all their beautiful cakes displayed just there. Mim and I were discussing the cakes and another guy who worked there gave us one of their raw lamington cakes for free. Wow, I’ve never experienced a place so caring and generous towards their customers and everyone who worked there seemed to love to be there. The positive vibes and energy is contagious.

Wow, wow, wow. I’m lost for words and can’t wait to go back!

World Vegan Day // Melbourne Showgrounds

The crew minus Mich who didn’t want to be in the photo

If there’s something I’ve learnt about Melbourne is that there is always someting happening. If you wanted to be busy every day of the week I’m convinced you’d find something different to do every day. The vegan scene here is pretty amazing. There are vegan events happening all the time. Some of them we’ve been to and been a bit disappointed and others have been fun. At the majority of it’s mainly all about the food, which I’m all down for.

World Vegan Day was a couple of weeks ago and for this day a massive event is held in Melbourne at the showgrounds. Em has been talking about this non-stop for months as she went last year and absolutely loved it. I knew about it from watching Youtuber Bonnie Rebecca’s vlog from her trip to it last year. Little did I know when I was watching it that I would be experiencing it for myself the next year. How times change!

Mim, Em, Mich and I have to been talking about going to this day for ages and the expectations were quite high considering how Em had been singing its praises.

We had the best day for it, the sun was shining and it was a really warm. We got on the “Vegan Express” to the venue, as the train driver called it, and arrived at the Showgrounds around midday. The event was in a massive tent and as soon as you stepped foot in it you were in vegan food heaven. Food stalls were everywhere and vendors were handing out free samples of their products to try. It was a bit overwhelming!

Usually when eating vegan you are limited by what food you can eat. This usually is in my favour as I can never make up my mind. Okay I can, it just takes forever. Here, everything you could eat was vegan. I didn’t even know where to start looking but I was starving and was in desperate need of a refuel. The group split up and Mim and I ended up at a Thai food stall (always drawn to the Thai food) and got a platter with a mix of Pad Thai, satay and spring rolls. It was delicious! Then we couldn’t not have some food from Vegilicious (based in St Kilda), we’ve had their food before and it is insanely good. Their vegan Japanese pancake and stir fry is out of this world.

The cherry on top was meant to be an Acai bowl from Acai Brothers but it was boring and uninspired. t didn’t really taste of anything, which was a shame.

Once we had been fed we walked around all the other stalls for ages. I got my first ever Coconut Bowl, I’ve been wanting one for ages and I’ve used it every day since I got it. I don’t know why but it’s much more fun eating out of a coconut than a bowl.

I also took the plunge and got my first In the Soulshine top. I love it so much and have used it loads since! We were there for the entire afternoon with some breaks outside in the sun. There was so much to look at and we didn’t even get a chance to go to any of the talks or workshops, yet when we left we felt like we’d still managed to squeeze in loads.

It was such a fun day with my girls and we are really excited to go back next year!

My Aussie 26th


Brunch with Mim at Urban Projuice

Best pancakes I’ve ever had

We had up Unlimited to ourselves!

Legless ladder climbs

With my birthday twin Mich

A poke bowl to finish the day off

Hello my dears! Long time no speak. I’ve had some serious difficulties finding time and the motivation to sit down and write anything. I’m trying to figure out whether blogging is something that still excites me. Maybe this is just a rough patch I’m going through and the inspiration will come back soon. I don’t want blogging to feel like a burden because it’s meant to be for fun. It was something I wholeheartedly loved and poured my soul into and I feel at the moment the posts are falling flat. I feel like I’m not putting as much thought into them as I used to. Fingers crossed I will wake up one day with more motivation and inspiration to write.

Either way, during the time I’ve had my little break I managed to fall flat on my face practising handstands and handstand walking! It was after class and I have been doing loads of practising against the wall, then PC helped me the other day and I got two steps on my hands with him ready to catch me in case I fell. So the other night I thought here goes nothing and tried it on my own. Ads came over and tried to coach me and a couple of people were standing there trying to support and encourage. The first couple felt alright but I couldn’t quite get the right balance. Ads said I had to push my legs over my head a bit more in the handstand to find better balance. I did and then all of a sudden, I think I was concentrating so much on my legs I forgot about my arms. My arms came out of the locked out position and all of a sudden my entire body was caught by my face on the ground. It all happened so quickly but I remember thinking in those seconds before, why am I not falling to the side? Why am I falling straight down on my face?

I think I was in slight shock at what had happened and I heard everyone around me watching saying ouch. I couldn’t feel any pain at first but after the initial shock settled I could feel the throbbing underneath my eye and I thought, shit this isn’t good… Apparently there was blood and I couldn’t see anything considering the injury was just underneath my eye. At first they were panicking that I’d scratched my eye but luckily, as you hope you would do when you fall against your face, I must’ve closed my eyes. I got an ice pack to help with the throbbing pain and laid on the floor for like an hour laughing one second and crying the next. My incredible friends just sat there next to me giving me hugs whilst I was having my meltdown. I was so annoyed with myself for my fall and that I had a massive cut on my face. On the other hand me even attempting to do a freestanding handstand was unimaginable up until only a week ago and now I’m actually trying to walk on my hands. Never in my life did I think I’d be able to maybe achieve something like that. So it was a win in a way. There’s always a silver lining. So yes, I’ve been getting some weird looks from people the past couple of days!

My bashed up face was a great look for when I turned 26 the other day haha! It feels like that came out of nowhere. Since when am I 26? I feel no different from the day I felt 20 and now I’m closer to 30 than 20. Being far away from home on your birthday, especially your first one in a new place could easily feel a bit lonely I think. No family there and your friends you’ve known for years are way away. I did feel a little bit homesick when I got messages from everyone and wishing they were here with me but I still had an amazing day.

In the morning I headed to the gym to do some of the extra programming. I got quite a few questions about my face situation and a lot of birthday wishes. So sweet! I did the gymnastic extra programming and then one of the extra cardio pieces. Once I got back home Mim and I got ready to head for brunch at Urban Projuice in Albert Park. I was there a couple of weeks ago with my friend Georgia and we couldn’t believe how good their pancakes were. It’s a lovely place with a healthy and nourishing menu. I think the pancakes are more on the indulgent side of the healthy spectrum but what are birthdays for?! Mim loved the pancakes just as much as I did and it was hysterical listening to her commentary about how good they were as she was eating them. The big breakfast is tasty too, not quite up to some other ones I’ve had but still really good.

After lunch Mim thought we should go to a place called Up Unlimited for a birthday activity. It’s a climbing centre where you not only climb on your standard walls but there are random objects and weird things to climb too. It’s kind of difficult to explain but I think the pictures gives you a good idea. Each place you climb has different levels you can do to challenge you. We had the entire place to ourselves which was pretty nice. Heights make my feel a bit dizzy, it’s come with age. When I was younger I had no problems with it at all but what better way to spend your birthday than to face your fears? You clip on and off to each wall yourself and it’s all automatic. At first it’s a bit scary just throwing yourself off the wall relying on a machine to slowly take you down to safety but after a few rounds you eventually didn’t even think twice before jumping.

An hour in there is a serious workout. We got so warm and our arms were shaking towards the end. The biggest struggle was that our hands got sweaty so it was difficult to hold onto the grips! Haha the struggle was real. Chalk wouldn’t have been a bad idea. We had a blast in there and our hour flew by. Mim and I were saying it would be such a good time to have everyone from the gym come down and do it together. I think there would be some serious competitions between everyone trying to beat one another.

By the time we had finished it was almost time for the gym again. This time around it was time to do the class. I was really looking forward to it as it was deadlifts! Three rounds of five reps increasing weights. I finished on 235lbs which is 106.5kg! Considering my last recorded one rep max was 108 I think, that’s really not bad at all. We then had a cardio piece which was double unders, toes to bar and rowing if I remember correctly. Juicy! We then hung around and did a bit more training afterwards before heading home. I needed to get some work done so I ordered a poke bowl on Ubereats, it was really good and had that as a little cherry on top of a really fun and eventful birthday.

Thank you again everyone who sent me so much love and birthday wishes. You made me feel so special and appreciate you taking the time to write to me!

The Vegan Shack

Hi lovelies! Happy sunny Sunday! After yesterday’s absolute downpour of rain this is amazing. Haven’t seen anything it like it in ages. I made the big mistake of not looking out properly before leaving the flat in the morning and got caught in torrential rain the minute I stepped out the door downstairs. To be fair it was dark outside but I have no idea how I didn’t hear it! I got picked up at 7am before work to go to South Melbourne Market. I’ve never seen the place so quiet before. It was a lovely way to start the day. Then finished it off with going to the cinema to watch The Incredibles 2 in Southland with a bite to eat afterwards. It was a really good film. Very funny in parts and for being the sequal I think they did a great job with it. A pretty decent Saturday!

I’m so excited to be writing this post because I’m dying to tell you about Mich’s and my visit to The Vegan Shack a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been getting around to doing it but time is not on my side these days and by the time I get a spare moment to sit down I need to go to bed. Sleep is something I’m struggling with a lot at the moment so I need to prioritise it. Sorry I feel like I bring it up all the time but the struggle is real1

Anyway, on to more exciting things. We need to talk about Vegan Shack. Once again, I found this place through the land of Instagram. I follow so many Vegan Melbourne accounts on there and one day Vegan Shack popped up on my feed and tt looked amazing! It was added to my never ending list of places in Melbourne to visit and I had been wanting to go ever since.

Eventually the day came and Mich and I decided to venture out of the Bayside bubble to Richmond to try it out. I was excited but also wondering whether it would ever taste as good as it looked on their Instagram feed. Sounds silly maybe but food can look insane in photos but when you actually try it, it just doesn’t live up to the expectations you’d built up. We got there and the place is quite small and intimate. I absolutely loved their beach shack look and the staff were the friendliest people.

Mich and I had no idea what to order because everything looked so good. It’s amazing to go to vegan places because you have so much choice but it also makes life a lot harder for someone who is as indecisive as me. To get the most out of our experience we decided to share food and went for the Bali sandwich (it had satay tofu in it and anything that’s got peanut butter in it is a win for me pretty much) and one of the specials which was a Buddha Bowl.

The food eventually came out and wow. I’m never seen more beautiful food in my life. Not just the colour and vibrancy of it but how it was plated up to perfection. These guys sure know you eat with your eyes too. We tucked in and we were in heaven. You could just tell that the food had been cooked with such care by someone who loves vegan food and knows how good it can be. I loved how they take on a more wholesome approach to vegan cooking rather than going down to fake meat and eggs. It’s more my style of vegan food. Making it into its own rather than mimicking meat dishes.

I think we both agreed on the Bali sandwich just beating the Buddha Bowl but both dishes were out of this world. They left you feeling nourished and fuelled with all the good stuff. We didn’t stop there. I got a mushroom latte (my latest obsession, it may sound weird but it is so good) and then we shared a raw dessert. Unfortunately it was nowhere near as delicious as their savoury meals but oh well it was not the end of the world.

I can hands down say the Vegan Shack serves some of the best food I’ve ever tried and is my favourite food place in the wold. If I lived closer to it I would be broke because I would spend all my money in there. Add it to your Melbourne list because oh my god you’re in for a treat.

Before we left we got into a discussion with the staff there about good tempeh brands. Tempeh is a bit of a hit or miss. Some taste absolutely horrendous and others don’t taste of anything (which is good so you can add your own flavours to it). The owner Jansen was telling us about the tempeh they used in Vegan Shack, produced by a lady who sells it at local markets around Melbourne. Mich and I both got intrigued and wanted to get our hands on it. Jansen so kindly said we could buy it off them. So we did. It’s frozen and I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but I can’t wait to give it a go soon. I’ll let you know how it is! When tempeh tastes good I really love it. I think I might even prefer it to tofu. Supposedly it’s meant to be better for you as it is fermented and less processed than tofu.