There are so many vegan places popping up in Sydney these days – how exciting is it? Bursting with curiosity, I took a two-and-a-half hour train ride this week to visit just a few of these places.
My first stop, after getting off the train at Town Hall station, was the Zeitgeist Cuisine cafe. The place was pretty small, and the menu was limited.
After a long train ride though, this cup of homemade almond milk latte and raw brownie was wonderful. The coffee was subtly sweet and creamy, a welcome change from the usual Bonsoy that most cafes use here in Sydney. The brownie (though a little too coconutty for my taste) also wasn’t too sweet, and hence not too guilt-inducing for a diabetic like me.
They had wraps and salad for lunch (and dinner?), but this is more of a snack, coffee, and light meal kind of place.
Next, I met up with lovely Toshi-san (who, by the way, has an online shop selling vegan-friendly Japanese groceries) at a vegan yumcha (dumpling) restaurant called Bodhi. Located minutes from Hyde Park in central Sydney, this was one of the best yumcha places I’ve been – vegan or not!
The extensive outside seating area was blissful on a warm Springy day. The staff was friendly and attentive. And the food! You wouldn’t even know they are 100% vegan because every dish was super tasty and fresh.
They had a variety of dessert dishes as well – but honestly, by the time desserts came we were completely full, so we just tried this passionfruit dumpling / puff thingy. It was doughy but delicious.
Next, I took a bus to Glebe to check out Cruelty Free Shop to see what kind of vegan goodness they had. There was a LOT of vegan sweets (stuff I can’t eat unfortunately). They were also well-stocked on jars of condiments like mayonnaise and nut butters.
But what wowed me the most was their huge freezer section full of… mock cheese and meat. I’m normally not a fan of meat-shaped soy product (why not eat just vegetables or tofu?) or cheese-shaped vegetable oil product (I’m content with nutritional yeast). But I was too intrigued not to try a few.
Jackfruit! I have seen this novelty fruit going around the internet so often, I just have to try what it tastes like. Also I got a can of fishless tuna to try (later I heard it’s pretty disgusting though… hmm… disappointed). The sausages and the cheese might go on a kids’ pizza night menu soon.
Also in Glebe, I stopped by this bulk food shop chain called the Source. What a lovely shop full of organic, high-quality produce! I got some bulk chocolate from Loving Earth and organic turmeric and ginger powders there.
Finally, dinner was in Newtown, where veganism is all happening. With so many restaurants to choose from, picking just one place was hard. But I settled on a all-vegan Vietnamese place called Golden Lotus.
It’s famous for mock meat dishes. Even though I’m not crazed about mock meat, I was curious. Also, there is not one good Vietnamese restaurant in the upper Blue Mountains – so I was craving Vietnamese flavours.
You’ll need to make a booking for this place. It was packed on a Tuesday night. But the food was amazing! My friend and I shared an appetiser plate, which had mock duck, mock chicken, and other vegan goodness. Next I had laksa with an assorted mock meat toppings. Yum! They were all delicious. Now I *might* be a mock meat convert. Their deep-fried “chicken”? I couldn’t tell if it was real chicken or not. Honestly.
While in Newtown I couldn’t help checking out another vegan eatery called Lentil As Anything.
They are famous for being voluteer-run, and their pricing is all by donation (you pay what you like, though they have pricing guides). Their menu changes daily as well. Last night they had Sri Lankan curry, tomato-rice stuffed capsicum, and lentil soup.
They all looked good. My tummy was full, but I couldn’t help ordering a takeaway.
Here it is for my lunch today, with added greens.
It was such a productive, fun-filled trip. I can’t wait to visit Sydney again – there are still so many places I’d love to check out….