July 18, 2016 1

Treat Yo’Self to Apple & Cinnamon Poptarts

Difficulty: Medium

Makes 12

Poptarts

Growing up there were 3 ultimate breakfast scenarios; going out for breakfast, being allowed sugary cereal out of one of those tiny boxes, and Poptarts. You know, those little pastry things that were filled with delicious unhealthy stuff and covered in the most delicious frosting known to man-kind? Now you can make your very own vegan version that tastes like tiny little apple pies. Now that’s an ultimate breakfast scenario.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup chilled water

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 4 green apples, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Frosting

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk

Poptarts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, salt and vegan margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the chilled water gradually as you may not need it all, stop when the dough forms.
  4. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and bring it together before wrapping in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. While the pastry is chilling, make your filling by melting the margarine in a medium-sized saucepan before adding the apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Continue to stir on medium heat until the apple is 3/4 of the way cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. Grab the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a .5cm thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Cut the pastry into 24 8cm x 12cm rectangles, rolling again if necessary.
  9. Space 6 rectangles out on each baking tray, dipping your finger in the almond milk and running it around the perimeter of each rectangle.
  10. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling to the middle of the pastry, leaving about .5cm between the perimeter where the milk was added and the filling.
  11. Lay the remaining pastry rectangles on top of the filled pieces, pressing around the edges with a fork to seal.
  12. Pierce the pastries several times with a fork and brush almond milk over each one before baking for 15-20 minutes (or until golden).
  13. Remove from the oven and place onto cooling racks to cool as desired. You can serve them hot or cold however the icing will not set completely if you choose to serve hot.
  14. While the Poptarts are cooling, prepare the frosting by sifting together the icing sugar and corn flour.
  15. Slowly whisk in the almond milk and vanilla until well combined.
  16. Place the frosting in a piping bag and drizzle over the Poptarts and set aside until the frosting has set.

Poptarts

July 11, 2016 4

The BEST Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Method: Easy-Medium

Serves 4

Sometimes (AKA all the time) you’ve gotta give your body what it asks for and this weekend my body was begging me for pasta. Not just any kind of pasta, oh no, creamy mushroom tagliatelle; packed with flavour thanks to the roasted garlic and porcini powder, plus with the cashews and soy milk you’ve got maximum creamth (there I go with that word again). I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is probs the best pasta sauce I’ve ever had.

Note: Use GF pasta and you’ve got yourself one helluva gluten free pasta dish, my friends!

Ingredients

Creamy Sauce

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • Spray olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried porcini powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups soy milk

Other Ingredients

  • 500g tagliatelle pasta (or spaghetti)
  • Fresh parsley

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the cashews with water and bring to the boil.
  2. Next, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. While the cashews are boiling, spread the mushroom slices over the tray and add the whole garlic cloves (no need to peel). Spray with olive oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until mushrooms are well cooked.
  4. After the cashews have boiled for half an hour, drain well and then throw into a blender with the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, porcini powder, white pepper and olive oil.
  5. Squeeze the gooey garlic out of its skin and add to the blender as well.
  6. Begin to blend and gradually pour in half of the soy milk. Keep blending on high and adding the soy milk until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
  7. Cook the tagliatelle as per packet instructions and then drain well.
  8. Return the pasta to the empty saucepan and pour in the sauce, stirring with tongs until the tagliatelle is coated well.
  9. Sprinkle with the warm mushroom slices and fresh parsley.
  10. Serve immediately.

Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

 

July 4, 2016 4

Jam Filled Donuts

Difficulty: Medium

Makes 12

Jam Filled Donuts

If you ask me what my fave sweet treats are you’re going to hear two things: ice cream and donuts. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but put either one of those in front of me and I’ll polish it off quick smart. Making badass doughies is one of my fave things to do, espesh because vegan donuts are bloody hard to come by in Newcastle, and I decided to stuff ’em full of sweet sweet raspberry jam.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine, melted
  • 2 cups plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 jar raspberry jam for filling

Jam Filled Donuts

Method

  1. Chuck the warm water in a cup and sprinkle the dry yeast on top. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Also set aside.
  3. Sift the flour into the bowl of your electric mixture, followed by the salt and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar.
  4. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredient and pour in the yeast mixture, milk mixture and melted margarine.
  5. Using dough hooks, mix the ingredients until a good dough is formed and a little extra mixing for good measure.
  6. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
  7. Grease the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil and plop the dough in.
  8. Cover with cling wrap and set aside until doubled in size, this can take a while especially when it’s cold. Find somewhere warm (I sat mine on a table in the same room as our heater).
  9. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and again knead into a smooth ball.
  10. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. before rolling each piece into a ball and placing onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  11. Cover the trays with tea towels and set aside until also doubled in size.
  12. Heat the oil on the high side of medium in a large frypan or saucepan.
  13. Once the donuts have doubled in size, gently tip one into the oil. After about 2 minutes, gently turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes. If the first one cooks too fast, lower the heat of the oil.
  14. Do this with a few donuts at a time but be careful not to overcrowd the oil.
  15. Place each one on paper towel to absorb any excess oil before rolling in the remaining caster sugar.
  16. Warm the jam in the microwave or on the stove before using a piping bag or filling gadget to inject 1 tablespoon of jam into each donut.

Jam Filled Donuts

June 27, 2016 0

Loaded Chickpea Pita Pockets

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

Pita

I really dig a pita pocket every once in a while but I effing hate making felafel and the store-bought ones ain’t usually my jive. I decided to solve this problemo by filling the pockets with something else; chickpeas! Pan-fried and spiced to perfection with salad, homemade quick pickles* (quickles?!) and hummus make these guys a healthy, satisfying and bloody easy meal to whip up in no time. These guys make the perfect addition to a BBQ and how convenient that I’ve chucked them out into the bloggersphere just before the 4th of July?!

* If you have time to pickle the cabbage properly please do, or feel free to use store-bought!

Ingredients

Quick Pickles

  • 1/4 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Hummus

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 425g can chickpeas
  • Salt

Chickpeas

  • 1 425g can chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Extras

  • 4 pita pockets
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 baby gem lettuce, rinsed and dried
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • Fresh parsley

Pita

Method

  1. Make the pickles by chucking the cabbage, vinegar and sugar in a jar and shaking. Place in the fridge for as long as possible, shaking occasionally.
  2. To make the hummus throw the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, water and garlic into a blender and process until light and fluffy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and gradually add while blending to create a smooth and creamy texture, add salt to taste.
  4. Now it’s time for the spiced chickpeas! Drain and place on paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan on high heat before adding the chickpeas, cook for about 8 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally.
  6. Add the paprika, mixed herbs, ground coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and continue to toss in the pan until the herbs form a semi-crispy coating on the chickpeas.
  7. Warm your pita pockets and cut in half before stuffing with pickles and salad.
  8. Get the chickpeas in there, drizzle with hummus and garnish with fresh parsley.
  9. Serve immediately.

Pita

June 24, 2016 0

7 Vegan Instagrammers You’ve Gotta Follow

If you’re a vegan on Instagram, you already know what a dope space it is for our community to share food, products, ideas and memes (because what else is the internet for, right?) You’ve gotta get in on these premo accounts to get in on some of the best vegan snaps IG has to offer and you can start with mine (@likeavegan). In no particular order…

#1 Vegan Beauty Review (@veganbeautyreview)

Sunny is one of my fave internet gals to follow because she knows what the hell is up when it comes to vegan beauty (you probably figured that out from the name, huh?) This Portland-based babe doesn’t only post beauty pics; she also hits us with snaps of her cooking and eating adventures, her cats and her adorable babies!

Instagram

#2 Nourish Not Punish (@nourishnotpunish)

With food posts and lots of ’em, Evelyn knows how to make you consider a purchasing a waterproof case to protect your phone from all of her drool-inducing culinary creations. Based in Melbourne, this account is where it’s at for nourishing, healthy and IG-worthy food #inspo.

Instagram

#3 Vegan Yack Attack (@veganyackattack)

Not only can Jackie make mean vegan food, she knows how to take a bloody epic photo of it too. If you can handle the intense jealously, follow Jackie’s adventures around California as she eats some of the most delicious looking food a vegan can dream of. Seriously thinking of asking her to adopt me.

Instagram

#4 Unhealthy Vegan (@unhealthyvegan)

Finally, a vegan account made for the junk food lover in all of us! Follow Andre’s as he hunts down the best vegan junk the USA has to offer, plus some disgustingly delicious looking home-cooked meals that will have you tossing your fruit bowl out the window (and then running to get it to make tomorrow’s smoothie).

Instagram

#5 Paris by Vegan (@parisbyvegan)

Follow any of the major vegan food sharing accounts (that’s a post for another day) and you’ve probably seen the handy work of Paris-based Noémie. While her account is mainly posts of her own awesome creations, Noémie posts about all things vegan and all things Paris!

Instagram

#6 Aine Carlin (@ainecarlin)

The vintage-lovin’ Aine lives in Cornwall and when she’s not cooking or writing cookbooks, she’s being ridiculously cute on Instagram! Check out her account for not only awesome vegan food posts but shots of her freaking epic wardrobe full of vintage and ethical fashion.

Instagram

#7 Heart of Bianca (@heartofbianca)

I’ve been following Bianca on IG for yonks, from her days as Sydney’s @sadvegangirl to the vegan lifestyle loving blogger she is today! Check out her account for bitchin’ shots of her cat, clothes, food and explorations of her new hometown, Melbourne!

Instagram

Did I forget your all-time fave vegan Instagrammer? Lemme know in the comments!

June 20, 2016 0

Raspberry & White Chocolate Fudge

Difficulty: Easy

Makes about 21 pieces

White Chocolate Fudge

Fudge is one thing that I had never really bothered with because replicating the condensed milk thing was so damned hard and the vegan ones on the market were so freaking difficult to get a hold of. Now that condensed coconut milk is pretty easy to pick up at your local supermarket (I get mine from Woolworths), both of those problems are solved and I can now make shitloads of fudge on the regular. This time around I went for a less intense but no less delicious combo of white chocolate and raspberry because the fruit cancels out the chocolate #fact.

Ingredients

  • 1 320ml can sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250g vegan white chocolate (I use Sweet William)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (frozen would probably work too, just not as well

White Chocolate Fudge

Method

  1. Line a standard loaf tin with baking paper as neatly as possible so there are less off-cuts.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the condensed milk, margarine and sugar, stir over medium heat until well combined and sugar has melted.
  3. Stir through the vanilla extract before breaking up the white chocolate and adding to the saucepan, stirring until melted.
  4. Remove from the heat briefly and prepare your raspberries by leaving some whole, cutting others in half and the rest into smaller pieces.
  5. Fold 3/4 of the berries through the mixture and gently pour into the lined tin.
  6. Give the tin a couple of firm taps on the bench to settle the mixture before sprinkling the remaining berries on top.
  7. Freeze for at least three hours to set.
  8. Keep frozen until ready to serve, trimming the edges before slicing into squares.

White Chocolate Fudge

June 17, 2016 3

Japan Wrap Up

Hiroshima

At the end of each trip I like to give y’all a wrap up of the places I’ve been so that you can keep those deets handy for if you’re ever travellin’ to that part of the world and this trip is no different. Japan is a bloody fantastic country with a bunch of stuff to do no matter what you’re into; shopping, culture, nature and just about anything else. Oh, and of course some bitchin’ vegan eats when you can find ’em (it’s not that hard).

Osaka (Check out the posts here and here for the full posts)

Osaka

Where to Stay

If you want to be near all of the lights of Dotonbori, the major shopping strip and a bunch of walkable vegan-friendly eats, APA Hotel Namba-Shinsaibashi is a pretty good choice. Good transport links and activities are within a short walk of this awesomely located hotel but it’s definitely not luxurious. I stayed in a single room which was very small with not a lot of storage but if you just need a base to crash, this is for you!

Getting Around

Subways and trains are your best friend in Osaka if you don’t want to walk or bike it. If you’re planning on catching some bullet trains during your stay in Japan, definitely get a JR Pass and use it to your advantage while getting around each city too. Where a JR line isn’t possible, the subway is a cheap and fast way of getting from A to B.

Best Eats

Aju Vegan Bistro was one of my faves even though it was a little out of the way and doesn’t have the best atmosphere, make sure you get the assorted vege soy chicken and soft serve! El Pancho is the spot for some fun drinks, atmosphere and pretty good Mexican grub while I’d definitely recommend grabbing a burger at Salunpowaku if you plan on hitting Minoh Falls.

Osaka Salunpowaku

What to Do

You’ve got to check out the Glico Running Man at Dotonbori, hit the Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade to drop a stack of yen, Minoh Falls to get some naytcha into ya and Neco Republic to experience Japan’s cat cafe culture in a way that actually helps animals, not harms them.

Hiroshima (Check out the full post here)

Hiroshima

Where to Stay

The rooms at Hiroshima Tokyu REI Hotel are quite spacious and a great place to come back and rest after a day exploring this beautifully green city. Hiroshima Peace Park and shopping arcades are both within a reasonable walking distance, as is the vegan food.

Getting Around

We didn’t catch many trains during our time in Hiroshima but the easiest way to get around other than walking is using the cable car system, which is a cheap way to explore the city. Hop a boat at the Peace Park to get a boat direct to Miyajima or hire a bike as the place is full of ’em!

Best Eats

You have to have an authentic Hiroshima okonomiyaki experience and Nagataya is the vegan place to do it (ask for the vegetarian menu and you’re all set). Art Elk Cafe is also close by and makes a great lunch or dinner set, which clearly marked vegan options while Vegan Cafe appears the be the only all vegan joint in the city, serving a set lunch each day on tatami mats – a lovely experience!

Art Elk Cafe

What to Do

If you can handle a little walk, Minoh Falls is a must if you want to check out some beautiful maple trees and perhaps spot a monkey! Miyajima should be at the tippy top of your list if you’re wanting to get your shrine fix while all of the buildings at the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park are incredibly important places to visit to learn about the terrible atomic bomb that shook the city all those years ago.

Kyoto (Check out the full post here)

Kyoto

Where to Stay

Hotel MyStays Kyoto-Shijo is a reasonably comfortable hotel (albeit with very hard beds) which is a dope place to stay if you’re going to be catching public transport to other parts of Kyoto or walking to vegan joints and shopping destinations.

Getting Around

Again, biking is a very popular way to get around Kyoto but it’s also very easy to get around by pounding the pavement. Subways and JR lines will get you where you need to go beyond what you’re comfortable walking plus they seem to have a really great bus system (although I didn’t use it).

Best Eats

If you’re a sesame lover, Gomacro is non-negotiable for an all-vegan, sesame heavy dining experience. Momukuteki has a really cool atmosphere with a reasonable selection of vegan meals and some bitchin’ shakes and desserts (OMG the desserts!) If you’re willing to splurge a little on a traditional shojin-ryori meal, Yoshuji is the place to be after exploring Mt. Kurama.

Gomacro

What to Do

The shopping area surrounding Nishiki Market is a great place to make it rain yen all over the place, with plenty of chain stores and boutiques to suit a range of budgets and tastes. Fushimi Inari is your place to hit for your torii gate fix, while the Sagano Railway, Bamboo Forest and Hozugawa River Boat combo makes an awesome nature-filled day trip. For a dose of traditional Japanese culture, hit up Gion and explore the beautiful streets while trying to spot a geisha or two!

Tokyo (Check out the full post here)

Tokyo

Where to Stay

Both Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and Century Southern Tower Hotel are perfectly located near Shinkuku station, your gateway to all of Tokyo while also having a bunch of vegan eateries, gardens and shopping all within walking distance. Both have beautiful lobbies with bars and restaurants, very comfortable rooms and fantastic staff if you’re willing to spend a little bit more for the facilities.

Getting Around

Getting around Tokyo is so easy when you’re near a major JR station and have a JR Pass; once you reach your station, hop off and hit it by foot to make the most of everything my favourite Japanese city has to offer.

Best Eats

Chaya is a must for a special, macrobiotic meal (remember that strawberry shortcake?!) while Lime Cafe is where it’s at for an inexpensive, all vegan and reliable meal (with a very vegan friendly grocery attached). T’s TanTan is without question your number one spot for ramen while Ain Soph. Ripple is your best bet for an American style junk food feast.

Ain.Soph Ripple

What to Do

If you’ve got the time, be sure to check online for visibility and hit Lake Kawaguchi to grab a snap of Mt. Fuji. Shopping and eating around Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku are a must while Sanrio Puroland is the place to get your extra dose of kawaii. Ueno Park also has a great collection of museums and galleries, just be sure to avoid the zoo!

Now before you get sick of me running my mouth about Japan (soz if you already are), I’m going to wrap things up here for this trip. Be sure to leave a comment if you have any tips to share or questions to ask about my Japanese adventures!

Sayonara for now.

June 14, 2016 2

Tofish Fingers – An Easy Weeknight Meal!

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

Tofish 1

Fish fingers are really a part of growing up for most kids but when you realise fish are cute as hell, they’re very quickly taken off the menu! There are a few frozen fish finger substitutes out there and they’re all fantastic but I wanted to try things a little differently with my homemade version. Simply using tofu and seaweed as a base, these guys can be whipped up super quickly and easily made gluten free with GF breadcrumbs.

Ingredients

  • 750g hi-protein firm tofu
  • 4 sheets seaweed
  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs (make sure they’re vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Olive oil spray
  • Vegan tartare sauce and lemon to serve

Tofish 2

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Cut the tofu into fingers (approx. 10cm x 3cm x 1.5cm) and cut the seaweed into 10cm x 3cm rectangles as well.
  3. Use paper towel to cover the tofu and press down to remove any excess moisture.
  4. The remaining moisture should allow for you to attach a piece of seaweed to each piece of tofu (double it up if you want it extra “fishy”).
  5. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside until it begins to curdle.
  6. In another shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, mixed herbs and nutritional yeast.
  7. Place each piece of seaweed tofu in the milk mixture before coating in breadcrumbs and doing this one more time so the tofu is nicely crumbed. Repeat this process with the remaining tofu, placing them about 3cm apart on the baking tray.
  8. Spray with olive oil and bake the fingers for 15 minutes before turning and baking for a further 15 or until the crumbs are a golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately with vegan tartare sauce, lemon wedges and homemade fries.

Tofish 3

June 10, 2016 2

Review: Smith & Deli

Address: 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Website: www.smithanddaughters.com

Smith & Deli

It’s actually a freaking travesty that I hadn’t been able to visit Smith & Deli until just before their one year anniversary (when they opened I had just returned from Europe so couldn’t swing it) but I sure made up for lost time with a record three visits within a 24 hour period.

Just a short walk from the epic Smith & Daughters on Brunswick Street, Smith & Deli is set up in a dope, old brick building with the now iconic S&D Eat Vegan sign out the front.

Smith & Deli

Walk through the doors and you’re greeted with a visual feast of amazing food, adorably dressed staff and badass signage. Shelves, fridges and freezers are not only stocked with vegan favourites but take-home meals made on site as well as a massive selection of accidentally vegan items from all over the world, a task that required Mo and Shannon spending hours reading labels in delis all over Melbourne to find!

Smith & Deli

The cases lining the counter are packed with freshly baked treats such as donuts, slices and cookies plus other pre-packaged food items, ready to grab and go. The real highlight is the epic breakfast and lunch sandwich menu, boasting a selection of traditional deli inspired faves that will bring a tear to your eye. I had heard rumours about the Rubenstein so decided it was time to see if they were true (hint: it’s probs the best sanga I’ve ever had). Pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing on rye come together to create a hearty and tangy taste sensation that has to be eaten to be believed. Somehow I managed to find room for a classic cinnamon donut, cooked to perfection and washed it all down with a kombucha because I’m pretty sure that’s how a balanced diet is achieved.

Smith & Deli

Mo told me I had to come back later that day for a surprise and boy was I glad I did! Shannon presented me with two of the most insane almond croissants I’ve ever seen, eaten, read about or dreamed of in my entire life. These bad boys take a whopping five days to make, which is why they’re a) only available on Saturdays and b) actual croissants, ” not puff pastry rolled into a croissant shape” as Shannon so kindly pointed out (and she’s right).

Smith & Deli

Little did any of us know but I managed to swing by again the following morning en route to the airport to get my hands on some awesome Field Roast products, some lollies and of course another croissant. Mo even slipped a secret cheese, ham and tomato croissant into my bag for the plane because she’s a deadset legend.

Smith & Deli

From the first time I walked into Smith & Daughters I knew that these gals were going to take the world by storm and now I’m more convinced than ever. With a cookbook on its way and more exciting plans to be realised in the future, it’s so damned awesome to see two badass, passionate ladies doing what they love and getting shit done.

June 7, 2016 2

I Bloody Love Tokyo

I’m comin’ atcha from rainy Newcastle and TBH there’s nowhere else I’d rather be! My three weeks in Japan were dope AF and we wrapped things up with 4 nights in Tokyo for some eating, shopping and sightseeing.

You may remember that there was a sneaky first day in Tokyo at the beginning of the trip so we’ll start there for the sake of keeping things simple. To make the most of the 5.30AM arrival time, we headed off to Sanrio Puroland to check out all the of the Hello Kitty goodness. It’s completely indoors, so a great option for a rainy day and while it won’t fill your whole day, it’s fun for kids and adults to walk around and enjoy the super kawaii surroundings. There wasn’t really anything in terms of vegan food but I was reunited with my old pal, melon soda.

Sanrio Puroland

After all the excitement of Sanrio Puroland, we decided to hit T’s TanTan; a vegan ramen joint inside Tokyo Station. Set meals are pretty inexpensive, the surroundings are fresh and cute little veggie quotes cover the walls. I opted for the plain ramen with a side of soy meat, what a substantial meal at a great price!

T's TanTan

The next day we swung by Harajuku to see if we could spot any amazing street outfits. Unfortunately we didn’t but got to hit up Crayon House for lunch. This place isn’t all vego or vegan, so ask one of the staff and they should be able to point out what you can have. I had some salads, noodles and onion rings, while it was a fine meal it definitely wasn’t anything to write home about so probably wouldn’t go again unless it was to check out the adjoining grocery!

Crayon House

Back to the final days of our trip and for lunch on our arrival back to Tokyo, we headed back to T’s TanTan and apparently so did everybody else! After a short wait we were seated and I grabbed the soy sauce ramen with another side of soy meat. This one was definitely my fave; much more fresh and light but equally as filling so I couldn’t finish it all.

T's TanTan

That night it was off to Ain Soph. Ripple, one of three fast food restaurants in the Tokyo area to scoff down some delicious vegan junk food. This seemed to turn into the burger tour of Japan so in keeping with that theme I rolled with a crispy chicken burger and cheesy fries. The faux chicken patty was nicely spiced and had a pretty good texture (although a tad chewy), the cheesy fries were also very tasty and the sauce had a nice tang to it. I followed things up with a little tiramisu in a jar, definitely grab one if you have the chance!

Ain.Soph Ripple

Harajuku round two was on the cards for the following day to do some serious kawaii shopping. I was super pumped to give Cori Vegan Foodstand a try and on one of the days when I was the absolute hungriest, it appeared to be closed for no obvious reason. We disappointedly headed down to Hanada Rosso to try and find something to eat. Their vegan burger seemed very well reviewed so simply had to cram one in, so I did. It was very satisfying, a bit meaty and full of veg and flavour, the fries, salad and strawberry shake (more of a smoothie) were all welcome accompaniments too.

Hanada Rosso

The afternoon was spent in Shibuya, continuing to shop up a storm before heading back to Shinjuku for dinner at one of my all time Tokyo faves: Chaya! Located on the top of the Isetan building in the thick of Shinjuku, Chaya serves macrobiotic cuisine consisting of largely vegan meals with some seafood (it’s pretty easy to figure out but ask if you need help). This place does feel a little fancier (with a price to match) so if you’re looking to dress up, this is the time to do it. I ordered the set meal which came with an amuse bouche of what I think was just hummus, still good though. It was followed by a starter of corn gratin and tomato carpaccio before the main meal of a Japanese style burger (no bun) and cold potato soup. I love the freshness of the meals at Chaya, which is why I continue to go back despite the price tag and even order cake, which I don’t usually do. Check out the strawberry shortcake!

Tokyo Chaya 1

Tokyo Chaya 2

Mt. Fuji was the next location we had to tick off our list so we hopped a coupla trains to Lake Kawaguchi to try and catch a look. We won’t go into the food situation (literally zero) so we grabbed a couple of snacks to tide us over until our early dinner at Lima Cafe near our hotel in Shinjuku. It’s a limited yet tasty menu, I opted for the burger (weird, huh?) which came with salad and a soup plus a cheesecake because I was bloody starving.

Lima 1

Lima 2

We had the next day set aside for last minute shopping so got stuck in around Shinkjuku before heading to Harajuku to try for Cori Vegan Foodstand and it was still freaking closed so we then went to 8ablish and were seated for lunch before being told that we had missed the last order by 15 minutes (WHY SEAT US THEN?!) we left frustrated and headed to MOS Burger Cafe for some soy burger goodness to save us from the hunger that threatened the success of our shopping day.

MOS Burger

Earlier in the week I came across Doughnut Plant in Lumine EST and attempted to buy a doughnut. Now, I say attempted because as I told my friend the doughnut I was going to get (of which there were plenty), the woman behind the counter quickly removed them all and put them in another cabinet and when I asked to buy one, she refused. I’m sure she had a perfectly valid reason but it was weird and I wanted a freaking doughnut. I went back after our jaunt in Harajuku and was #blessed with the opportunity to grab a cranberry soy milk doughnut and not only was I allowed to buy it but the same woman remembered the one she had denied me days earlier! One of life’s great mysteries, huh?

Doughnut Plant

I enjoyed that doughnut after having precisely zero energy to track down dinner, so hit up Lima’s grocery section to pick up some ramen and ice cream to enjoy from the comfort of my hotel room. This vegetable ramen was exactly what I was after; fresh, light and satisfying plus the ice cream was a nice little pre-treat before the doughnut (I was on holiday, leave me alone!)

Ramen

On our last day in Japan we decided to hit Ueno Park to catch some culcha and naycha so hopped on the train. The park is massive and home to many galleries (and a zoo, booooo-urns) but we thought the Natural History Museum looked cool so gave it a go. Some of it is in English and for less than $10 to get in, it is really worth the fee because you could spend a whole day in there if you wanted to! We checked out plenty of animal and plant exhibits, copped some science info and went on our merry way back to Lima Cafe for one last meal; this time I grabbed the soy meat bowl and a brown rice soft serve. They also have a bunch of takeaway options so we grabbed a couple of wrapped bao-style buns for the airport.

Lima 3

Lima 4

And with that, the trip was over. We hopped on our plane, had a relatively smooth and quick flight home and then had the most annoying bus + train back to Newy of all time. But I’m home now, with my dog (dogs if you include Gia, which I do because I look after her a lot!) The first thing I ate? I Vegemite sandwich, mate!

Mt. Fuji

My Japan Wrap Up will be up next week but until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along on my trip to Japan as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with y’all!

Addresses

Sanrio Puroland

1-31 Ochiai, Tama

Tokyo, Japan

 

T’s TanTan

Tokyo Station, 1F, Keiyo Street

Tokyo, Japan

 

Crayon House

Kita-Aoyama 3-8-15, Omote Sando

Tokyo, Japan

 

Ain Soph. Ripple

Shinjuku-ku Kabuki-cho 2-46-8 Nissho Building 1F

Tokyo, Japan

 

Hanada Rosso

6-28-5 Jingu Mae Suite 101, Shibuya Ku

Tokyo, Japan

 

Chaya

Isetan Department Store, Main Building 7F, 3-14-1 Shinjuku

Tokyo, Japan

 

Lima Cafe

Tokyo Shinjuku-ku, Yoyogi 2-23-1

Tokyo, Japan

 

Doughnut Plant

160-0022 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 3-38-1

Tokyo, Japan