Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sydney Cruelty Free Festival

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be in Sydney for the Cruelty Free Festival. I stopped off early in the morning to have a quick look around, but having just eaten a big breakfast, I decided to head off to do some work & return later in the day.

By the time I got back it was about 2pm & my tummy was rumbling pretty loudly. After umming & ahhing for a while I decided on the spinach & mushroom gozleme for lunch.
The gozleme was much more filling that I anticipated, so I had to walk around a bit before I could face dessert. There was SO MUCH to choose from. Cupcakes, cheescake, brownies, icecream, pastries, cookies, I was overwhelmed with choice.

In the end I couldn't go past the vegan cornetti (cream horn). Look at that beauty!
The pastry was super-light & flaky, filled with a delicious soy cream. I'm normally not a big soy-cream fan, but this one was nice.

Because there was so much choice I decided to have a second dessert course. This is a hazelnut Hungarian pull-apart pastry. It was their last one, so even though I only wanted a half, I got the whole thing for $5 - bargain! It was huge - about the length of a paper towel roll but much wider. And it was still warm from the oven - I had to stop myself from devouring the whole thing & making myself sick.
After another day of eating way too much I settled down on the grass in front of the main stage to watch some bands. It was so nice I abandoned my plans to move on and stayed for the rest of the afternoon. I was lucky enough to catch one of my favourite Australian artists - Diana Anaid.
Diana is a long-term vegan and animal rights activist. It was the perfect end to the festival to lie in the sun and listen to her beautiful music.

Thanks CFF organisers! Hopefully next year I'll be able to help out as well.

More Sydney vegan eats

I had one of those moments when I was uploading the photos for this post (all of stuff I ate on Saturday). I suddenly realised, 'holy crap, that's a lot of food!'. As one friend said, it's OK, you're on holiday. I like her thinking, but I'm not sure that I can justify the 'I'm on holiday, I'll eat whatever I want' thing for 3 months (and counting)... It's just so exciting to be in a new place - I want to try everything and I want it now!

Anyway, lets talk about the food. Next on my list of Sydney vegan-eats was Naked Espresso in Newtown. I was extremely tempted by the giant fry up and the Aussie vegan feast, but I decided to be sensible and went for the BLAT instead (using redwood vegan bacon). It came as an open sandwich with a side of vegan mayo & Dijon mustard. This was tasty, but I was left feeling a little dissatisfied. I think it's because this is the kind of meal I can make easily at home. When I go out for a meal I like to get stuff that's a bit different, or fancier than what I can be bothered to do myself. Not that I'm blaming Naked, I should have put more thought into my order.
I checked out the vegan pizzas on the Basil Pizza menu while I was there and I can't wait to get back and try them!

Naked Espresso
126 King St, Newtown
Sat-Sun 9am-2pm

For lunch I went back to my old Sydney backup - Iku. This time I opted for a change to my regular mezze box and got a rice ball wrap. It was all kinds of delicious, mainly because there was no skimping on the sauces. There were 2 different sauces in there, something tahini-ish and the other mayo-like and there was heaps!
Iku Wholefood
Various locations throughout Sydney, check website for opening hours

S & I met up with a couple of friends in Newtown for dinner & by the time we wandered down King St & chose Arabella - a Lebanese restaurant that K had visited before, we were all starving. Hence these photos are of the carnage left behind after our feast - we just couldn't wait for the photos to be taken!

This is what's left of my Fatoush - the salad was loaded up with beautiful deep-fried flat bread and tons of olive oil & lemon juice - yum yum yum!
The dips - only two of which were vegan - the hummus on the left & the garlic on the right. The waiter (possibly the owner?) had said originally that since we had ordered so much food he would 'bring us some dips'. This implied to all of us that they were complimentary. We were wrong - they were on the final bill. Oh well, they tasted good!
My fried cauliflower with tahini dipping sauce. I'm a huge fan of cauliflower but I've never eaten it like this before - I will be in future because it was delicious!
Two lonely felafels that no-one could squeeze in. I think these were my favourite dish - they were super-crispy & came with a side of pickled vegetables and the same tahini sauce I had with the cauliflower.
Just as we were all groaning & moaning about having eaten too much, the bellydancers came out (I think they are there Saturday & Sunday nights). I would have like to stay for the entertainment, but the others were all pretty tired so we said goodbye.

The food at Arabella was really really good - for that reason alone I'll go back. The service was friendly & efficient and there was a pleasant atmosphere. The prices are fairly high but now that we know how much you get for your money, next time we won't order so much.

489 King St, Newtown
7 days 5-11pm; Fri-Sun 12-3pm