The Oaks Satay Noodle House

Another cheap, casual, Asian feed to report on, this time from The Oaks Satay Noodle House. I’ve always thought the location of Oaks was very strange, up some nondescript stairs and next to a big empty plaza space. Aannnnyyyywaaaayyy, I popped in to have dinner at Oaks with some friends before heading to a show at the Opera House. This can also be expressed as:

Limited means – expensive show tickets = cheap pre-show meal. #yeahmaths

I ordered the vegetarian version of number 40: stir fried black beans, veggies and tofu with steamed rice for $12.90. Plz excuse my blurry and dingy AF photo.IMG_20170518_185608778

While this dish was nice enough, I didn’t think it was all that. Firstly, it didn’t seem to have a whole lot of flavours apart from salt, pepper and soy sauce. But more importantly to me, the number one thing on the dish’s name/list of ingredients was black beans. As you can see from the pic (maybe try squinting) there were hardly any of these, which I felt kind of disappointed by. They have stir-fried veggies as a separate dish without the black beans, so it seems like they could have added more beans to this dish to differentiate the two.

All I’m saying is, it could have bean better (lolol, geddit??).


UPS: Cheap and quick

DOWNS: Why so few black beans in my black bean stir-fry?


 

Aroy Thai Express (Cuba)

I went to check out the revamped Aroy on Cuba and it’s definitely looking a lot flasher! I was relieved to see that prices hadn’t been proportionately upped tho. They even have alcohol now, albeit a limited selection.

I decided against anything soupy/noodley because I simply can’t be trusted not to make a giant mess (sometimes I risk it anyway tho #badgirlxx). Instead, I opted for the vegetarian yellow curry, with turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, cumin, tofu, and veggies like potatoes, carrots, broccoli, bok choy etc. The curry came with rice and a wee side salad which I mostly ignored.IMG_20170514_194425772

Service was quick (almost suspiciously so), the curry was mild but flavourful/fragrant and it only injured my bank account to the amount of $13.50. So I was one pretty, happy chappy. (Sidenote: do you see what I did there? That comma means I’m good looking AND a happy chappy).

To drink, I went with a baby bottle of the Veuve Du Vernay rosé which was pretty nice but unmentionable. The real reason I mentioned my drink at all was because WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL EMBOSSED WATER CUP? EXACTLY.IMG_20170514_201425534

Oh, and for the record? I spilt curry down my dress anyway and impressed my date v. much.


UPS: Yummy, cheap, licensed, pretty metal cups (this is actually a selling point for me)

DOWNS: Well, nothing really. Probs not the classiest place for a date but idc so..


 

Park Kitchen

Over the weekend I went to Park Kitchen for brunch with my mama. I’d been here for dinner once before and had an enjoyable experience on both occasions. I love how accomodating the staff are and how many veggie options they have on their menu. Also loved that they were lively but not too busy, because I haaaate waiting.

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I opted for the gluten-free buckwheat waffles with Greek yoghurt, seasonal compote and honey. You could also get glutteny waffles as well, but as there was no additional cost for the GF option, I thought I’d try something a bit different to my usual. As can be expected, this meant my waffles were a little denser/drier than normal, but they were still pretty delicious. The Greek yoghurt was v. thick and rich, and the compote/honey made the whole affair very dessert-like.

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Mama ordered the spicy kumara bean burger (also veggie) with chipotle mayo and fries. This sounded amazing and the tiny bit I stole confirmed it. She said it was quite spicy but I’m not sure if it actually was or if she’s just become a bit too Kiwi after all these years! I’m def going for this next time I visit to find out for myself. The only thing I’m not sold on is that it comes semi-deconstructed, but I guess you can just chuck everything together yourself (alas, those first-world problems!).

Aaaaaannnnnd, most importantly, the coffee was good.


UPS: Lots of veggie options, generous serving sizes, no extra charge for GF waffles, good coffee, yumminess of food, quick service, and niceness of staff

DOWNS: Deconstructed burgers tho, amirite?


 

Tinakori Bistro

Something a little bit fancy this week – a three course meal at Tinakori bistro! Not quite as fancy was the GrabOne voucher used to pay for it and the fact that I asked for a doggy bag, which apparently is not done at nice restaurants. But, like mama always said I have no shame, so..

The bistro changed their menu a few days ago and I think it’s a bit hit and miss, especially as a vegetarian diner. I mean, it’s never a great sign when the waitress begins by apologising about the lack of vego options, right?
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As an appetiser I chose a tofu noodle salad which was quite delicious. The tofu had a very nice smoky flavour and I’d really like to know if they make it in-house or whether they buy it as is, because I’ve had tofu which tasted very similar from Yan’s supermarket. I wasn’t thrilled with the veggie starter options because apart from this salad I had the choice of edamame or bread, but there was so much going on in this dish that I didn’t feel shortchanged by my salad at all.

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Unfortunately, the only vegetarian main available was very similar to the starter I chose, but less good. This was another Asian style noodle dish, with soba noodles, eggplant, mushroom and greens. It had some really satisfying textures going on with the shiitake mushrooms and kale, but this was kind of overridden by the extremely salty eggplant. I had the leftovers for lunch today with some plain brown rice, and I feel like this improved the salt to substance ratio A LOT.

Dessert took me back up again. On the left is the chocolate mousse/cake/idk? feat. chocolate noodles and other chocolate sh*t. I had the matcha creme brûlée on the right, topped with coconut gelato, biscotti and #deeznuts, crushed. It was so smooth and sweet and decadent. The crushed biscotti/nuts/ torched sugar were a perfect balance to the soft gelato and custard.
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To drink I had this cocktail consisting of bubbles and homemade kombucha. It was nice, but unremarkable. Pretty much just like slightly sourer bubbles.

Meat note: The fish has bones in it… don’t let this surprise you like it did my dining companion.


UPS: Yum appetiser, interesting dessert, exciting texture of veggie main, really good service

DOWNS: Not many choices, vegetarian starter and main are really similar, veggie main is v. salty


 

Manners Street lunches: 5 for $5(ish)

Yoo-hoo! Hi there! Manners Street has some pretty sweet and cheap lunch spots, and lots of these have vegetarian options. Here are five ideas for when you accidentally-on-purpose forget your lunch (FYI you ain’t fooling anyone):

1. Tontory’s

This wee hole-in-the-wall does Japanese teriyaki cuisine. They have different specials all the time, but usually have at least one vege-friendly thing going on! For example, I got these vegetable dumplings on sushi rice for a fiver:IMG_20170220_143305817_HDR

2. Punjabi Pratha

These guys do Indian fast food and pretty much always have a $5 special which includes rice and a choice of curry. You can add a piece of naan for $1 if you really feel like splashing out #heybigspender.

3. TJ Katsu/One sushi

There are a couple of sushi places on Manners where you can pay by the piece – one is One sushi, which is right next door to Punjabi Pratha (SAS-see above, stupid), another is TJ Katsu just across the road. I probably have a slight preference for TJ Katsu, just because I like the restaurant space and because I think they have more vege options. Both places slash the price of sushi towards the end of the day as well (One sushi does this way earlier than TJ tho).

4. Abrakebabra

This place wins on name alone! Although I’ve spent many a late night here, I haven’t actually tried any of the things I’m about to mention in this post. Abrakebabra has a whole range of options for under $5.. some are so cheap you could even mix and match! Garlic bread, Turkish bread, bread & hummus, bread and dips, falafel, mujvar etc. I mean, it is mostly bread, but who doesn’t love carbs right? I really want to try the chickpea salad which falls under the $5ish category (it’s $6).

5. Burger King

I can already hear you judging me and that is quite enough, because we’ve all been here. The real question is, did you get a deal when you went tho? If you mention the voucher you want, you can be as royally gross and cheap as me (sometimes). I don’t know what coupon code the vege voucher is, but because there’s only one vegetarian burger I just say I want the voucher that includes that. When I first found out about the coupons it was a vege burger and fries for $5. When I last had it (last year ok) I got 2 burgers and 2 fries for $5.50. I have no idea what the current deals are, so you should look at their website if you keen. But you should probs consider places 1-4 above first.


Do you have a cheapy-cheap go-to on Manners Street? Let me know in the comments below plz!


 

The Bresolin

Following a speedy recovery from that pesky fire last month, The Bresolin is back in business with $10 burger nights on Mondays. I had the falafel burger and it got me all like:

“I take thee, falafel burger, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.”

17888566_10155195255702363_1324027666_nGuys, now that I’ve pledged myself for eternity, pls meet the love of my life: Bresolin’s falafel burger. A soft chickpea patty, spicy peanut slaw, iceburg lettuce, tzatziki, and confit tomato (I just googled confit – it means slow-cooked FYI). And, she even has (slightly) sweet buns >.>

At first I thought this burger might be a smidge too bland for me, but then I hit the slaw and patty and they had a nice wee kick to them.
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I also had a side of their roast potatoes, which were just amazing. Who knew roast potatoes could even be improved? But apparently they can by black garlic, vinaigrette, dill, mint and parsley. I’m not really a giant vinegar fan, but honestly, these crispy little nugs were something else.


UPS: Special deal price, falafel burger, fancy roast potatoes A.K.A. everything you need in life.

DOWNS: N/A/A/A – Not at all applicable.


The Edgy Veggie in Canada – Part 2

Alright, so you’ve been holding your breath in anticipation, eh? Well, even if you haven’t, please see below for part two of my Canadian eating adventure, as promised (kind of).

 

Quebec City

Waterfront bar at the Old Port – Unfortunately I don’t actually know the name of this one… but I do know that although their range of drinks is somewhat limited, they have a shallow pool full of deck chairs where you can chill completely in the summer sun. I ended up laxing out here one balmy night to watch the international fireworks competition, armed with a very agreeable sangria.

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Le Grill Ste-Anne – I was able to try some Quebecois rhubarb wine at a bar on one of the side streets near the Notre-Dame de Quebec cathedral. Even though I’m not a huge fan of tangy wines, I found this one to be quite drinkable. Quite drinkable indeed..

img_20160821_161225907 Continue reading