WordPress just emailed me an annual review of this blog’s statistics (highlights: people love reading about Little Bird & Chiang Mai, most of you are from New Zealand but lots are from the US and Australia, one of the top 10 search terms used to find this blog was wedding dresses made out of condoms), and it reminded me that it’s been a while since I posted. Vegan MoFo got overtaken by other things, and life became a bit full of things that weren’t writing.
Stay tuned for recent discoveries, which have included Ethiopian food in Mt Roskill, Water Drop Vegetarian Café at the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple in Flat Bush, and what’s good in Wellington lately. The picture above is from a vanilla cupcake at this month’s Kraftbomb market.
If you read this blog, chances are that you live in Auckland and enjoy eating delicious vegan food.
So, you should check this out: Tin Roof Dinners is my girlfriend’s new vegan popup dining series. It’s “an occasional supper club, a dining event and pop-up restaurant, with changing locations.”
The first event is this Sunday night, in the city, and is a 3+ course meal for 20 people. I’ve had a sneak preview of the amazing menu, which moves through flavours including smoke, ginger, pomegranate, curry and coconut over the course of the evening. Erin creates amazing food, and I’m excited for her to share it with the rest of Auckland.
There are still a few seats left for this Sunday’s meal – you can read more details & RSVP online to attend.
I’m lucky enough to work just up the road from the Little Bird Unbakery, so I visited again for lunch today. The Unbakery’s menu changes regularly (keep an eye on Little Bird’s Facebook page for previews), and one of today’s lunch options was vegetable sushi rolls.
My plate arrived with eight little pieces of sushi, accompanied by soy dipping sauce, nut-based cream cheese and a daikon side salad. The sushi was rolled in a raw nori sheet. The part of sushi rice was played by a mixture of cauliflower and macadamia nuts, and the rest of the roll was filled with a fat portion of avocado and a mixture of other vegetables. This was really delicious, probably my favourite savoury thing I’ve eaten at the Unbakery.
I also had a tall glass of banana nut milk (so good! maybe even better than the strawberry milk I had last visit) and for dessert, shared an amazing piece of lemon slice.
Vinyl has a new menu, and here’s something you should try: the Breakfast of Zeus!
The Father of the Gods, it seems, has been rediscovered as a discerning vegan. His morning meal consists of a deity-pleasing plate of sourdough toast, avocado, hummus and a generous helping of tamari tofu, scrambled with roast peppers, spinach, capers and spices.
This might be my perfect brunch: savoury without trying to imitate an animal product, large but not enormous, varied but not complicated, with plenty of tofu and avocado.
Overall, Vinyl’s new menu is a bit smaller, but still includes several great vegan items. Breakfast burritos are still a delicious morning option, you can have vegan hotdogs or a tofu burger for lunch, and any meal can be improved with a side of curly fries.
I’ve raved about Queenie’s Lunchroom before – I’ve had nothing but great eating experiences there, though they’ve never had anything specifically vegan on the menu.
The last thing I wrote about was kosheri, & a couple of people commented to say it wasn’t vegan, as the onions were pre-cooked in butter. When I first ordered it months ago, I had been told that it was vegan, so I’m not sure if the recipe had been changed, if it was being specially prepared for me or if I was given the wrong information; sincere apologies if my post gave anyone the wrong information, and thanks Lauren & Al for the correction.
I didn’t ask about this today, though, as the breakfast menu has changed again and the kosheri no longer features. What’s back is the brown rice porridge I wrote about last year – cooked with soy milk (though it’s worth double-checking to make sure) and now served with a rhubarb compote.
Today, instead, I had a couple of sides: lemon button mushrooms (cooked without butter) and avocado.
I wrote about Diwali festival last year, and its vegan appeal: rows of Indian vegetarian street food stalls lining Queen Street.
This year’s Diwali festival was last weekend, & here are the snacks I shared with Erin:
Little kachori filled with peas.
Pani puri with spicy tamarind water.
Dhal vada with fresh coriander, served with two coconut dipping sauces.
& not particularly Indian, but delicious: a tornado potato – one giant deep-fried potato on a stick.
And Whoopie Limited, who have popularised these little spherical cakes across Auckland, make a couple of vegan varieties! The one pictured above is chocolate & coconut, and there is a ‘hummingbird’-style flavour I’ve yet to try.
Whoopie pies are a little bigger than an average cupcake, and are made of two half-spherical cakes, glued together with icing. The story goes that they were invented in 1920s Maine by Amish women. Farmers, finding these cakes in their lunch box, would shout “Whoopie!” – hence the name.
You can find whoopie pies at La Cigale French Market on Saturdays, or from their shop in Grey Lynn, at 2A Hakanoa Street.
If a whole pie is too much dessert for you, little vegan cake pops are also available, and Whoopie told me on their Facebook page that they are “hoping to introduce more vegan flavours very soon.”