going all the places, running all the races, eating all the things

Tag Archives: vegetarian

Bang Bang is kind of out of the way for me. It’s never on the way to something, but is worth the detour to visit.

Cute interiors, good coffee and a monster vegetarian breakfast (for the princely sum of $17).





As a mainly vegetarian for many years I sometimes run out of inspiration, or get in a food rut. Often the solution to this is a good cookbook (like Plenty by Ottolenghi) but more recently my solution has been to #eattherainbow.

The scientific basis for it might be rubbish, but it is a great way to put together a plant based meal that looks great, and gets you eating new things.

For each meal I try get in some purple, red, yellow, green and white.

Instagram trawling provides some nice ideas for what this might look like. Here are some pics of random meals I’ve thrown together along these lines.

Japanese style with spicy tofu, soba and enoki soup, Chinese broccoli with togarashi, seasoned laver and purple asparagus.

Beetroot slaw, chèvre, seeds and sumac salad with boiled new potatoes.

Kale, zucchini and onion, beetroot & feta bruschetta, sweet potato fries.

Red cabbage salad with tomato, cucumber, crispy fried shallots, green herbs, cucumber and yuzu dressing.

Burghul stuffed caps, saffron cauliflower, sweet potato, cucumber & cottage cheese salad etc.

This Let’s Do lunch was advertised as follows: Choose from lamb a la dolce vita; lamb shoulder, sweet potato, plum and early grey tea or No Animals were harmed; gnocchi, celeriac, carrot and beetroot.

That’s not exactly what we had on the day, but it was still wonderful.

First two tiny white pastilles on the table were rehydrated into hand towels. They got there just in time, DS was hungry and looked set to eat one of them – thinking, or perhaps just hoping, that it was just a very dry mint.


Gorgeously presented butter.


And the bread that accompanied it (or should that be the other way around?)


Amuse bouche of Green Apple, borage flours, crab and crumbs. Lovely jellied orbs, though an odd choice with vegetarian main.


Brown Brothers wine. Fine but nothing exciting.


Vegetarian option was this wonderful wild mushroom risotto with asparagus. So many great deep flavours, gorgeously tender rice and peppery micro greens.


DS adored his lamb – and so pretty!


Cara & Co Restaurant on Urbanspoon

It’s pretty special when visiting a new town to get the chance, without obscene amounts of forward planning, to eat at one of their loveliest restaurants. We were lucky with Garagistes, popped by around 6.30 and got on the list for a 9pm table – perfect timing in my opinion.

Lovely little nibbles to start, herby yoghurt, pickled beet greens, radish and heirloom carrot.

amuse bouche







They do either a 3 or a 5 course menu. We asked for the vegetarian menu (obviously) and then had a long debate over how to deal with the fact I wanted the 3 course and he wanted the 5. Thankfully we asked the wonderful service staff and it was no problem to meet halfway and get four courses each – making it possible to try everything on both menus – score!

poached duck egg with brassicas, fried saltbush and chrysanthemum. The guts of serving raw cauli and broccoli convinced me this was a place for me.


tartare of jerusalem artichoke with stinging nettles, pinenut emulsion and golden garlic. Those are fried pieces of jerusachoke skin on top there, wonderful.


florence fennel with cacioricotta and perpetual spinach. This was the boys favourite, fennel done perfectly with great complementary flavours and textures.


braised poitou leeks, buckwheat lettuce sauce and chrysanthemums. Tiny sweet leeks offset with creamy sauce and slightly wilted gently bitter lettuce.  This was my favourite course.


kunzea parfait, sunchoke butterscotch, puffed buckwheat, black garlic and chocolate. This was the least sweet dessert I have had, not bad though – the restraint on the sweetness let the depth of flavour really come through. Surprising but lovely.



salt and vinegar mille feuille, forced rhubarb, strawberry sorbet – a more traditional dessert, if you can really say that of anything at this place. The citrus tang of the rhubarb was great, very in favour of more sour or savoury options for rhubarb.


Garagistes on Urbanspoon

Every Sunday is long run day – minimum 10km, max up to 40 in marathon training.

10km is easy, run to Centennial Park, run a loop, run home. 24km is easy too, run to La Perouse, then back.

This week was 16km so I ran the first bit of the City2Surf, cut up past Rose Bay golf course, then Centennial loop & home.

Definitely felt the two boozy days I had before this, but still made it.

Post run nuts & fruit & water, then green mango salad for dinner with coconut oil fried enoki & shallots & a fried egg on top.




The first time I made ricotta I was blown away how simple it was. That said, it doesn’t work out particularly cheaper to make it yourself.

Haloumi however seems to be a different matter. I saw this recipe on the Guardian website & was struck that what is probably my favourite thing to BBQ looked so simple to make.

Apart from usual kitchen things all it needs it vegetarian rennet & a thermometer. I bought both of these on eBay for about $6.00 each & of course they can be used again. The milk I used was a gorgeous 2L of Jersey milk short dated @ Harris Farm and therefore on special for $3.64 – made just over a usual packet size of haloumi – not bad value overall.

I followed the recipe exactly so I won’t repeat it here, but I do want to recommend you try it. I did however make it 1/5 of the original size, who buys 10 litres of milk?

Here are the drained curds before the final poaching stage.


And the end result fried and golden and glorious.


And here’s a link to the recipe again. Bookmark it for later?

Don’t forget to save the whey, it can be used to make a particularly nice & I fussy ciabatta.

The only thing better than a set menu is a vegetarian set menu – I love having someone else choose what is best.

Ombretta came recommended by a friend who knew one of the owners from shared time in Venice. Pretty solid intel there, so we booked. The Tuesday night dinners seem the go – 4 course set menu for $55 (not unlike Berta’s Sagra dinners actually)*.


It’s an adorable little restaurant, store front based on Glebe Point Road. I love this kind if space – cosy and warm.

For primi we has Torta Pascqualina – a ricotta, chard and egg tart. It was very simple but good, rustic & with lots of that earthy chard flavour.


Then for secondi a pasta – trofie al pesto con fagiolini e patate. This was also gorgeously green, with al dente pasta, tender potato bites & crunchy green bean morsels.


Then more green – faggotini di verza con polenta. Cabbage dumplings are one of my favourite Italian dishes, and the creamy chestnut spiked polenta was like a warm embrace.


Dessert was cialda alle mandorle con mousse al cioccolata bianca – sandy almond cookies with white chocolate mousse & a tangy blood orange salsa. Nice winter appropriate ending.


Service was super friendly & we even got to practice our Italian (grazie!). Would love to come back & try the rest of their menu soon – the food was so season appropriate that I imagine it would be good to revisit quarterly…

Ombretta on Urbanspoon
* Their FB page says no Tuesday night special menu for the month of September.

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