Summer treats: Kapiti whipped sorbet

Blood orange & cranberry sorbet.

Here is a new vegan thing you can find at supermarkets and dairies across the city: two of the three new flavours of Kapiti whipped sorbet.

These are quite special: the sorbet is light, creamy and smooth. The blood orange & cranberry, and peach & melon sorbet sticks are vegan, while the pear & feijoa one isn’t.

Vinyl has moved in with Ralph’s

Vinyl is back

Two things to tell you about Dominion Road brunch favourite Vinyl coffee shop:

 

Vegan nachos     Curly fries

1. Last year, they opened a second business. Ralph’s Bar and Eatery is located at 225B Dominion Road (entrance on Walter’s Road, just before Bulk Food Savings). It serves a vegan-friendly bar menu including burgers, patatas bravas, curly fries, deep-fried pickles with vegan chipotle mayo, and occasional nachos.

Ralph’s is open late Monday to Saturday, and until 6pm on Sunday.

 

Vegan breakfast burrito     breakfast of zeus

2. And from the beginning of this year, Vinyl has moved in with Ralph’s! It has the same kinds of things on its menu (including Breakfast of Zeus, tofu breakfast burrito, curly fries) & the same friendly staff, but more seating space (including an outdoor courtyard) and the potential to stay for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Vinyl at Ralph’s is open 7 days, from 7am weekdays and 8am weekends.

New café: Major Sprout

cacao granola

Last November, the owners of Dear Jervois opened a second café in the central city. Major Sprout is in Graham Street, just up the hill from Victoria Park.

Like Dear Jervois’, the menu at Major Sprout has a few vegan or veganisable options. Its coffee is excellent, its smoothie selection is entirely vegan, and its cabinet includes Raw Kitchen cakes by the slice.

My breakfast this morning was cacao granola, an indulgent pudding-like plate of crunchy gluten-free granola served with chocolate coconut yoghurt, nuts, dates and three different berries.

I also had a Peanut Buttercup smoothie, which was a nutty, caramelly mix of banana, Fix and Fogg peanut butter, cacao powder, medjool dates & almond milk.

 

peanut buttercup smoothie

Major Sprout is at 21 Graham Street in the city. It’s open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-4pm, and closed Sunday.

Cherry chocolate icecream from CO YO

Cherry choc icecream

If your freezer’s not already full of Little Island coconut icecream, Nice Blocks, Kohu Road sorbet, Smoozes, bc frozen cashew yoghurt & the various other vegan-friendly frozen desserts that are spoiling us for choice these days, here’s another:

Coconut icecream from Australian company CO YO, better known for its coconut yoghurt. I’ve only tried one flavour so far, but I keep buying it as it’s quite special: Cherry Choc. It’s not especially chocolatey (benefitting from the addition of extra cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate on top), but it’s beautifully creamy, full of cherry flavour and studded with whole frozen fruit.

Other flavours I haven’t tried yet include Acai Berry & Blueberry, Cacao, Mango & Lime, Pina Colada, Tamarind & Sticky Date, and Vanilla & Nutmeg.

 

Cherry Choc

Places that stock CO YO products in Auckland (but might not specifically have this icecream) include:

Occasional nachos: Mr Shankly’s

Vegan nachos

You could walk past Mr Shankly’s food stall and not realise that its menu offerings are all vegan. The word doesn’t appear on signs and menus, and rarely pops up on its social media presences.

But the food – simple, popular dishes from a range of food traditions – is all made without animal products. Started by local friends Reza and Peter, the fledgling business’ focus “essentially is to introduce more and more people to delicious and affordable vegan meals but also cater to the existing vegan community in Auckland.”

I found Mr Shankly’s at Ponsonby’s Street Food Collective last weekend. They’d sold out of their dumplings, so I had a plate of nachos for lunch. They were fresh and tasty: loaded with generous helpings of beans, avocado, jalapenos & olives, salsa & hummus.

Sunday’s menu also included dumplings with a Thai-style salad, dal with crispy flat bread, wedges & salsa, and a dessert platter.

 

Ponsonby Street Food Collective     Ponsonby Street Food Collective

Follow Mr Shankly’s on Facebook or Instagram to find out about their upcoming appearances.

Two places you might find them in January are:

1. The Street Food Collective – a new space in Ponsonby that hosts a range of different food and drink pop-ups. It’s at Lot 3/130 Ponsonby Rd, with entrances off Ponsonby Road and Richmond Road.

Other vegan-friendly businesses that you might find at The Street Food Collective include The Lucky Taco and Sweet Val’s Ice Cream. Keep an eye on the Collective’s website or Facebook for timetables showing who’s appearing each day.

2. Victoria Park Markets – the re-opened outdoor markets at 210-218 Victoria Street in the city.

Breakfast at Remedy

Breakfast at Remedy

Remedy Coffee is a sweet coffee space in the central city. It’s had something of a backpacker/university student vibe the few times I’ve been in: a book exchange lines one of the walls, there are board games and mismatched vintage furniture to choose between, it’s staffed by friendly young people.

Remedy’s coffee is reviving and strong (medicinal, as the name suggests) and their food menu is short, but here’s something they can make vegans for breakfast: home-made muesli served with fresh fruit and almond milk. The muesli is quinoa, seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower) & buckwheat. Simple and tasty.

Remedy Coffee is at 1 Wellesley St West, across the road from the Civic Theatre. It’s open every day – weekdays 6.30-5pm, Saturday 8.30-4pm, and Sunday 8.30-2pm.

Haute vegan icecream at Giapo

fancy dessert

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Giapo; I thought it was worth sharing this outrageously fancy vegan icecream experience I had yesterday.

It started as a simple two-flavour cup, but was elevated to a delicious sculptural masterpiece. The two base flavours were Siamu Popo – Sāmoan coconut cream caramel icecream, and NZ Peanut Slab – dark chocolate peanut butter sorbet. The frozen mound was then rolled in whole peanuts, coated with a dark chocolate shell, and dusted with edible gold.

Needless to say, the whole thing tasted amazing, but I was impressed by the whole experience – generous offers of a sample cup while I waited for the creation to take shape, a glass of water to accompany the icecream, friendly & patient staff who explained their concepts and process to a never-ending line of customers.

Giapo has always been about experimentation and pushing boundaries around ingredients and processes. In recent times, this has taken the direction of “haute icecream”, bringing “what haute couture has done for fashion” to the world of frozen desserts. It’s been exciting to watch this evolution, and really nice that this commitment to icecream excellence has stayed inclusive of offering great vegan options.

 

vegan menu

Giapo is at 279 Queen Street, and is open every day, 12.30-10.30pm.

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