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Fortunate Coffee Jakarta

It’s all about good coffee, healthy bread and delicious traditional Indonesian dishes, made vegan.

Fortunate Coffee is one of a few emerging cafés serving vegan-friendly foods, breads, and of course, coffee. Most coffee shops in Jakarta do not serve dairy-free coffee so finding a coffee shop like Fortunate Coffee is quite special.

Fortunate Coffee-3

I was introduced to Fortunate Coffee by Dr Susianto, a friend who is also a well-regarded vegan nutritionist and the, President of Vegan Society of Indonesia.. Fortunate Coffee is one of several vegan business ventures he is involved in. We met up for dinner here when I was in Jakarta a few months ago. I’m biased here but it was one of the best vegan meals I’ve had in Indonesia.

Fortunate Coffee-7 We tried some healthy vegan bread, which is made without eggs, dairy, or the preservatives and additives commonly found in store-bought bread. From the way Dr Susianto described the process, it sounds very similar to the making of sourdough bread, except for the fact that the bread is softer and they don’t have that crusty outer that traditional sourdough bread has. It was delicious, though! It caters to the Indonesians taste buds who love soft, fluffy sweet bread.

Fortunate Coffee-2

We also tried a few of Fortunate Coffee’s popular dishes: Bakmi Jamur (Dry Noodles with Gravy mushrooms), Rawon (a rich tasting traditional Indonesian Black Soup), Empek- Empek (Fish Cakes) and Nasi Padang (Rice with an assortment of spicy curry dishes, and traditional fried Tofu and Tempe).

Fortunate Coffee-8

Fortunate Coffee-11 The entire meal was great! I loved the Bakmi, the Empek-Empek, and everything else, really. I had my sister and my mom with me (they’re not vegans) and they were also impressed by the dishes. The Empek-Empek, in particular, resembles the authentic flavour of the traditional dish yet it contains no fish. Instead, they use seaweed. Smart, don’t you think?

Fortunate Coffee-17 Although finding vegan food in Jakarta is not impossible, it’s actually trickier than you may think, especially if you want to eat something other than Gado-Gado, fried Tofu or Tempeh. There’re a lot of traditional Indonesian foods that I grew up with which are not vegan-friendly, such as the Empek-empek, Soto (Indonesian-style traditional spicy soup), and Sate (Peanut satay usually made of meat). This is where Fortunate Coffee comes in.

Fortunate Coffee-16

Unfortunately (and strangely enough), I didn’t try their coffee. I guess I was too busy eating. I was planning to come back for a second visit but didn’t get a chance this trup. For future reference, however, they have the usual-style coffee (i.e. Cappuccino, Latte, etc) as well as manual and cold-brew coffee.

Anyway, if you’re in Jakarta and looking for a nice little place to have lunch or dinner, you should check this place out.

Fortunate Coffee Jakarta

Ruko Taman Palem Lestari, Blok A11 No. 5A, Jl. Taman Palem Lestari, Cengkareng, Jakarta

It turns out Fortunate Coffee they have a number of branches scattered around Jakarta and other major Indonesian cities so check out their Facebook page to find the closest one to you.

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Degustation at Yellow

I still remember my first fine dining experience. It was about 12 years ago at a French Restaurant in Surry Hills. I can’t remember the name, but I remember everything else. I remember the dress I was wearing, the people I was with, the service, the food, and I especially remember the amazing experience which sparked a decade of fine dining pursuits. I collected degustation menus like stamps and spent most of my salary on eating out. It was my dope.

Yellow Vegan Degustation

My recent visit to Yellow reminded me of that first fine dining experience. Sure, I’ve had gorgeous vegan meals at Otto and delicious customised vegan degustation at Marque. But Yellow stood head and shoulders above any those venues. It was splendid in every way possible. The efficient service, the romantic ambiance, the delicious food, everything was exactly on point.

Yellow Vegan Degustation-6

I had the 5 course vegan degustation menu and by the end of the night I promised myself that I will go back to try the even longer 7 course menu. It was good. Really.

Yellow Vegan Degustation-2

My pictures don’t do justice on how attractive all the dishes were. They were as bright and beautiful as a flower garden. There’s no seitan here. Instead, you’ll be delighted by plant-based whole foods which were carefully prepared and minimally processed, with lots of textural elements and umami-rich flavours – dishes that will make you forget they were vegan. That my friend, require some serious skills.

Salted Mexican Cucumbers + Tomatillos + Oca Yellow Vegan Degustation-10

It was my first time trying Mexican cucumbers. They look like miniature watermelons but they taste like cucumbers with a hint of citrus. It was slightly tangy, enjoyably light and refreshing.

Kohlrabi + Enoki Mushroom + Vegetable Broth Yellow Vegan Degustation-3

I had to look at the menu again when I was presented with this dish. I was expecting roasted kohlrabi or a soupy dish but, instead, I got beautiful and crunchy ribbons of kohlrabi with enoki mushrooms and violet flowers. It was a gorgeous dish which was rich in textures and, oh my, that consommé! A true umami experience.

Black Rice + Celtuce + Koji Yellow Vegan Degustation-4

What is celtuce? It doesn’t really matter. Delicious chewy rice, rich kryptonite green sauce and crunchy koji fit to die for.

Spaghetti Squash + Persimmon + Pepitas Yellow Vegan Degustation-5

Gorgeous yellow strings of perfectly cooked squash with sweet melty persimmon, crunchy pepitas and a thick nut cream. Divine!

Raspberry Sorbet + Plum + Hazelnut Yellow Vegan Degustation-8

Finely sliced plums encasing a delectable sorbet which was super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. I could only say that I wish I could have had more of this. Come to think of it, if my boyfriend had any manners he’d have given me his plate as well.

Yellow Vegan Degustation-9

As I concluded my night at Yellow I bade farewell to Australia, my friends, my dog and my dear love. It was my last night in Sydney before my 3-month trip overseas and I couldn’t have wished for a better place to end the night. Adieu, till we meet again.

Keren xx

Yellow Vegan Degustation-6

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The Colonel via Deliveroo + Coupon Code

Deliveroo-1

As much as I love going out for dinner, there are days when I don’t feel like eating out, even on the weekends. Lately this has been a frequent occurrence thanks to the arrival of the boxed DVD sets for Breaking Bad (the complete series) and Walking Dead (seasons 1- 5). I had forgotten how addictive television series can be. The last few shows I was into were Gossip Girl, True Blood and Man vs. Food…. sad, I know… but they’re nothing in comparison to these two gems. Breaking Bad and Walking Dead are a hundred times better, and a hundred times more addictive. Goodbye, life.

Deliveroo-13 A lot of times when Nat and I choose to eat in, we’d get takeaway at a local Thai restaurant, Khaohom, which is cheap and easy. Some days however, especially on the weekend, I want something a bit different. Something fancier. Without having to leave home. Just so I can squeeze in another literally gut wrenching, skull-smashing episode of Walking Dead.

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Deliveroo is a restaurant delivery start-up which seeks to satisfy this need. It was founded in London two years ago and the company has recently launched in Australia. They may seem like just another food delivery service, but Deliveroo is different in that they focus on delivering food mainly from mid to high-end restaurants – restaurants that traditionally don’t offer a delivery service in the first place. This opens up a completely new range of delivery options.

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Image from uk.businessinsider.com

Image from uk.businessinsider.com

Here’s a short clip of my experience using Deliveroo to get one of my favourite dinners home-delivered. I found the website very easy to use and I especially love the ability to add special dietary requirements for my order. I selected The Colonial, a lovely Indian Restaurant in Neutral Bay. Nat is not really (not at all) a fan of spicy food so it takes a lot of effort (or a huge faux pas on his part) for me to get him to an Indian Restaurant. So getting the food to come home instead is the next best thing!

Coupon Code
I’ve teamed up with the cool kids at Deliveroo to give you $10 off your first order with so you can try their service. Just type in the code PASSIONATE when you place your order. This code is valid until 14 June 2016. Enjoy!
Have the best day ever,
Keren
Disclaimer: I received credits from Deliveroo to try and review their service. This is not a sponsored post and as always, all opinion is my own. 
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Superfood Sushi, Newtown

Firstly, I have to say that just by virtue of being completely plant-based, Superfood Sushi automatically gets in my good books. Just like any good Thai restaurant, because I like Thai food and because I’m a vegan. However, as for where it sits on the list, well, read on. I had the opportunity of visiting Superfood Sushi a while back with my non-vegan boyfriend and put their menu to the test. I’ve had some Superfood Sushis at a couple of previous events but this time, we tried almost everything.

Superfood Sushi-30-5

The Superfood sushi concept came about when mother-and-son duo Pepe and Guy Marshal were unable to find sushi that was cruelty free, healthy and enjoyable. I dig that. I love it when people create a business from solving their own personal problem. It’s very cool. I did an interview on Pepe just before the launch of the restaurant, so I’m glad everything worked out and Sydney gets her first all-vegan sushi restaurant. You can check out the interview here.

As I said, the whole premise of Superfood Sushi is to serve better, ethical and healthier sushis. I get the ethical bit but healthier? I thought sushi is already healthy?

Well, not exactly. I started to research this and it turns out that although sushi can be healthy (i.e., low in fat, low in calories and nutrient rich), it can also be a dietary disaster depending on what’s in your sushi. Those big ‘crunchy’ hand rolls with mayonnaise sauce and white rice are really not much better than a Subway sandwich. Seriously. That’s kinda scary.

Superfood Sushi recognise this so they created their own super-healthy sushis to feed the hungry crowd of health foodies, vegans and vegetarian alike. But how good can healthy, plantbased sushi be?

Superfood Sushi-30-6

As a vegan who is used to having very limited options at sushi restaurants (cucumber rolls anyone?!), I was quite impressed by the broad variety of sushis they have on the menu. They all have unique flavour combinations and they taste quite delicious. I also love how they were presented. They look gorgeous. You could tell that a lot of care was put into the making of these sushi rolls, just as in any other good sushi place.

Here’re some of the things we tried:

Bento Box (you get two half rolls of, 2 sushiboats, salad, fruit, and miso).

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Salad and fruits as part of the bento box

A whole heap of sushis:

Sweet Kiwi Nut – Black Rice packed with Roast Sweet Potato, Walnuts, Rocket, Avocado and Kiwifruit

Magic Mushroom Green Rice packed with Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms marinated in Garlic and plum vinegar.

Cheeky Chi -Inari Pocket, Rice, White Kim Chi and Zucchini

Mushroom Soy – Turmeric Soy Gunkan, Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms roasted in Garlic and Umeboshi Plum vinegar

Super Salmon – Watermelon Nigiri

Soba soup – It was the special of the day, light and comforting soup with soba noodles and lots of vegetables

Black Jack– Nori Gunkan, Black Rice, Jack-fruit Salad and Kelp Cavia

Twisted Zucchini – Turmeric Soy Gunkan, raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Basil Pesto and Edamame

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Top: Soba Soup, Black Jack, and Cheeky Chi. Bottom: Sweet Kiwi Nut, and Magic Mushroom Green Rice

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Twisted Zucchini and Mushroom Soy

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Super Salmon

Since I’m quite biased here, I turned to my non-vegan boyfriend to get his impartial non-vegan opinion of the food. He said it was “Very Good” (as opposed to ‘Alright’, ‘Not Great’ and ‘Excellent’). I’ll take that as 4 out of 5 stars. He enjoyed it as much as me so we had an equally pleasant experience… which is not all that frequent when dining at all-vegan restaurants.

Would I recommend it to anyone? Hell, yeah. Check it out next time you’re in town! Sweet Kiwi Nuts and Mushroom Soys are my two favourites so you must try them.

Checkout Superfood Sushi Website for store location and opening hours.

With love,

Keren

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Dandylion, Bondi

A few months ago I attended a Meetup event at Dandylion – a new hip vegan friendly restaurant situated in North Bondi. There were about 20 of us and we had the 6-course vegan degustation menu. I can’t remember the last time I had a degustation dinner as a vegan so I was pretty excited, to say the least.

Dandylion - Cucumber and seitan

Cucumber and seitan

We had two antipasti dishes: (1) Cucumber and seitan (cucumber half filled with bbq-flavoured seitan and sesame seeds) which was fresh and flavourful; and (2) Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse – crunchy, creamy mousse which was delicious. The dishes were great but unfortunately they were only bite-size pieces… I wish I could have had seconds!

Dandylion - Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse

Sesame wonton and crisp chickpea mousse

I forgot (or more accurately, was too hungry to wait) to take pictures of the second dish – Beetroot Carpaccio with wild rocket, walnut, piquant vegan cheese & aged balsamic dressing. I recognised the piquant cheese used for this dish: the Vegusto No Muh Piquant cheese. The salad was seriously good! Fresh, slightly tangy, mildly sweet and just yum!

Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce was the next course. This was my favourite dish. Even though I found the dumpling skin a tad undercooked for my liking, the filling was very delicious. It had a nice balance of salt, sweets and spices and it was full of ‘umami’ taste. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Dandylion - Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce

Caramelised tempeh, shitake mushrooms & kale dumplings with chilli & miso spicy sauce

Next up: Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce. The shell pasta was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato sauce makes you forget that it’s dairy-free. It’s so creamy and rich. A generous sprinkle of coconut ‘bacon’ bits doesn’t hurt either.

Dandylion - Orechiete with kale and maple sweet potato sauce

Orechiete with kale & maple sweet potato sauce

The second last dish was Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce. Soft pillows of gnocchi with rich and ‘meaty’ sauce.

Dandylion - Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce

Gnocchi with tomato based walnut sauce

And dessert comprised of Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry. It was a lovely dessert to cap off things – mildly sweet, rich and nutty. I loved the whipped coconut cream.

Dandylion -Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry

Tarta Tatin almonds, rose water & strawberry

It was a delightful degustation meal. And the best thing was how easy it was to forget that they were ‘vegan’ dishes, which is always an indication of great cooking.

The Meetup event was a success, I met lots of friendly vegan foodies and had great time talking about veganism, food (mostly food) and how good the food is at Dandylion. As vegans and vegetarians, we are so used to putting up with served sub-standard meals at restaurants which often have no clue how cook delicious food without animal products. It was a real treat to experience something of this quality.

Dandylion has certainly lived up to its vision to present vegetarian food that is full of flavor, hearty, and delicious. Combined with great drink selections and a hip interior, it’s definitely going to be one of my favourite places to go to in the Eastern Suburbs.

 

Love and greens,

Keren Natalia

 

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In Asia – North Strathfield

People who love to eat are always the best people. Julia Child.

In Asia

What’s better than eating great food?

Eating it with people who are passionate about it as much as you are.

This post is long overdue. I blame myself for losing the first draft of this post and spending too much time trying to find it instead of just letting it go and writing it again. Sometimes it’s hard to let go.

A while back I was invited to an Instameet at In Asia, a contemporary Asian restaurant in North Strathfield. I was joined by Brendon The Smiling Chef, the organiser for this event, as well as 15 or so other passionate food bloggers.

I was quite surprised with how much food there was available for me to eat. The restaurant was super accommodating of my plant-based needs. They ‘veganised’ some of the dishes for me, and served me with some of their very own vegan-friendly options. Let’s just say I didn’t come home hungry. Here are some of the things I had that night. Mind you, I was the only vegan in the group so all these were for me. Mine, all mine!

Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce

Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce

First I had the Herbal Crusted Tofu Fresh Roll with Peanut Sauce. I have to say that the tofu is probably one of the best deep fried tofu I’ve had in Sydney: crummy and crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. I loved the tofu and peanut sauce combo and the fact it was served with loads of salad made it a light and refreshing bite.

In Asia- lovely colourful plating

Great colourful plating

Second, I had the Rice Vermicelli Salad – rice vermicelli, enoki, betel leaves, eschallot, pomelo, Asian herbs and tamarind soy dressing.

Rice Vermicelli Salad

Rice Vermicelli Salad – rice vermicelli, enoki, betel Leaves, eschallot, pomelo, Asian herbs and tamarind soy dressing

This salad has a multilayered texture with soft noodles, roasted peanuts and crunchy battered mushrooms and betel leaves. They all kind of dance around in you mouth as you slurp, bite and crunch. I don’t think I’ve had anything similar so it’s quite exciting, very original, and it has a tangy dressing similar to a Thai papaya salad – but milder.

For the third dish / first main course I had the vegan version of their Turmeric Curry – with fried tofu instead of soft shell crab, along with lightly battered enoki mushrooms.

Turmeric Curry with fried tofu

Turmeric Curry – with fried tofu instead of soft shell crab, along with lightly battered enoki mushrooms

The sauce was creamy and fragrant; mildly spiced and not too heavy. The mushroom was crunchy and the combination of the two is just heavenly. I think it was almost my favourite dish of the night, second only to the tofu roll.

Stir Fried Mushrooms

Stir Fried Mushrooms

And for the second main course I had Stir Fried Mushrooms. This plate had a generous serving of mushrooms – enoki mushrooms, button mushrooms, mini king oyster and oyster mushrooms, all stir fried in black pepper and… get this, mushroom sauce!

Given that I had finished all the previous four dishes by myself, I didn’t think there was any room left for more food.

Monkey Snicker

Monkey Snicker

Hang on? Did someone say dessert?

In Asia-33

Romantic ambiance at In Asia

They gave us all three desserts from the menu to try. It was a shared plate so I picked at bits and pieces that I knew were vegan (sorbet, banana cake, corn flakes, etc).

Monkey Snicker

The Monkey Snicker banana pudding came with passionfruit curd, pandan foam, pandan granita, shredded coconut and coconut ice cream.

The banana pudding was definitely vegan and so was the granita. It’s easily made vegan by replacing the ice cream and curd with sorbet. The banana pudding was quite delicious – soft, sweet and slightly chewy.

RS B’s First Kiss featured organic banana lightly battered in shredded coconut and fried palm sugar caramel

RS B’s First Kiss

RS B’s First Kiss featured organic banana lightly battered in shredded coconut and fried palm sugar caramel, tapioca sauce, and rice puffs, served with passionfruit sorbet. I didn’t try this but it looked pretty good! Deep fried banana could be vegan, but it’s worth checking first.

Everyone was oohing and ahhing over the spectacular looking desserts, cameras started flashing everywhere and everyone crowded together to get a perfect shot of the food. It was madness!

In Asia - food bloggers snapping photos of dessert

Snaps!

Finally the Popcorn Parfait had crushed corn flakes, caramel popcorn, grilled sweet corn and caramel jersey cream. Definitely not vegan-friendly (unless you’re happy to nibble on the popcorn and the sweet corn). but it looked pretty impressive.

opcorn Parfait with crushed corn flakes and caramel popcorn,

Popcorn Parfait – crushed corn flakes, caramel popcorn, grilled sweet corn and caramel jersey cream

Apart from me, I think everyone had a little bit of everything….

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Spoon war!

It was an exciting night which I’d definitely do again. It was so much fun and I made lots of new friends.

If food brings people together, then food events bring food bloggers together with all guns blazing.

Disclaimer:Thanks In Asia for hosting our Instameet event with Brendon Smiling Chef , My Food Lust, Ant Wales, Hungry As Fork, Becmakes, ThreespoonsfullThe Girls Who Ate The WorldThe Walking Advertisement