Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A night out in Fitzroy: Vegie Bar & N2 Extreme Gelato

Vegie Bar:

Despite being such an iconic Melbourne establishment, I've actually never heard of Vegie Bar until my colleague first mentioned it to me. Being a vegetarian himself, I was curious to know what places he likes to go to because vegetarian eating is so unfamiliar to me. Everything sounded sensational when he was telling me about it and I knew I had to make a trip down to try. Even though majority of Asians are meat eaters through and through, I knew that there was something about Vegie Bar that would make us come around... And it did. Not permanently, but we really, really enjoyed it. 

In other words, Vegie Bar to me is vegetarian eating -- redefined. 

Photo taken from my Instagram: @winceeee

Green Juice -- $7.00
Blended spinach, cucumber, avocado and kale sweetened with apple

Samosa -- $2.90
Filled with a mild vegetable curry, served with both tzatziki and our mystical fresh chilli sauce

Stuffed Mushrooms -- $8.50
Piping hot mushrooms filled with tofu and herbed fetta, served with our special chutney sauce

Tagine -- $15.00
A rich tomato and vegetable tagine, slow cooked with apricots, saffron, cloves and cinnamon. Served on almond and currant couscous, finished with spicy harissa, yoghurt and dukkha

Sambal Noodles (Hot) -- $15.50
Mixed vegetables, asian greend and imitation duck, wok tossed with hokkien noodles, sambal chilli and hoisin sauce

Thai Green Curry -- $15.00
Thai green curry with potato, zucchini, capsicum and cauliflower

Broccoli and Blues Pizza (Large) -- $12.50
Gorgonzola, broccoli, roast capsicum, caramelised onion and mozzarella on a Napoli base

Cauliflower and Pecorino Ravioli -- $15.50
Delicate pasta parcels in a reach and creamy pumpkin, mushroom and white wine sauce

Faux Chicken Wrap -- $9.50
Mock chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mango, sweet chilli and our own special mayo

Raw Living Stack -- $13.50
Layers of thinly sliced tomato, zucchini and squash, grated carrot, baby spinach, avocado, basil pesto and cashew ricotta. All stacked on a marinated mushroom and smothered in a zesty tomato and beetroot puree. Finished with dehydrated herbed tomato, raw parmesan and kale chips

My God... By the end of the night my friends and I were so damn happy and impressed with all the food that we ate. Now, we get why the place is so packed out and famous for all these years.

Everything tasted seriously fantastic. Every dish had such bold flavours and was executed really well. They all tasted so different and we got a taste of everything from East to West, North to South. All in one meal. Not to mention, how cheap and huge the portions were. They were insane. The samosa was the size of my fist. The sambal noodles was honestly like a mountain. That $9.50 burrito wrap was at least the size of that anywhere else.

What I loved about our meal was that each of us had our own favourite dishes of the night. We all LOVED the food and put us in such a good mood the entire night. Whether it was the fantastic pizza with the amazingly crisp base and blue cheese/broccoli combo; or the super crispy and tasty faux chicken (in the wrap) that we couldn't get enough of; delicious tagine with fluffy and flavourful couscous; moorish green curry with the fragrant rice; or even the refreshing stack of cold vegetables that was so cleansing to have as part of the meal.

It seemed like there was something for everyone. So affordable too. Huge tick in terms of value for money. Cannot wait to come back here again with other friends and also my family when they visit -- I'm sure they'll all love this place too.

Vegie Bar on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato:

After a fantastical meal at Vegie Bar, we decided to head straight over to N2 to try their famous liquid nitrogen ice cream since it was only a few doors down. Suffice to say, there was already a massive queue before we even arrived.

Was also a great surprise to bump into my dear friend Winnie of Eat Play Shop there with her hubby and friends that night too!

1. Deconstructed Chocolate Lava 
(with sour cream chocolate gelato and warm chocolate ganache syringe)
2. French Earl Grey
3. Pretzella (Queen of the Dessert)
(Nutella based gelato with pretzels)
4. Pandan (no-) Egg Tart 
5. Lemon Lime and Bitters Sorbet
6. Buttered Popcorn

Pash Pavlova Flavour (with meringue, passionfruit and strawberries)
Taken from my Instagram @winceeee

Overall, did I enjoy N2 Gelato? Yes.

In terms of the flavours, I LOVED the French Earl Grey as well as the Pretzella Gelato. I thought they were my favourites until I went back a second time and had the Pavlova flavoured one, which was SO good. Chocolate was good as well. Buttered popcorn was and Lemon Lime Bitters was a little on the underwhelming side but that's okay, you win some/you lose some. I also found that N2 was quite good at getting the right level of sweetness for its gelato. 

If you ask me, I find that the main difference that I found with these liquid nitrogen gelato (as opposed to your conventional freezer made) ones is the texture. It was really smooth and still had a slight bite/resistance to it. What I liked as well about these gelato over the normal ones is its temperature. It wasn't too cold and you could enjoy big spoonfuls of them at once.

Most of you may know that I am very rarely keen on the latest food trends in Melbourne but I must say that after 2 visits, I am definitely on board with the N2 Gelato train =)

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

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