Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday and Satay Bar

We are leaving for our holiday today, things have been pretty hectic and I have been hogging the computer for my thesis, so poor Toby hasn't had a chance to blog at all lately.

We probably won't be blogging much for the next couple of weeks while we are away, although we might be able to on our first stop to Hong Kong since we will be staying with Toby's family and have internet access, but I can't promise anything because I expect to be stuffing myself silly with vegan yum cha and shopping til I drop. Then we are off to London and Berlin where I don't expect much internet time at all.

But I have some news:

Toby and I are going to start a new combined blog when we get back and I finally have a decent camera, which makes a pretty good change from my camera phone.

Anyway on to the food, when I worked in the city I used to frequent Satay Bar and Toby is now a regular eater there. It's a small cafe, which tends to be quite busy at lunch time on weekdays but makes a awesome take away lunch option for city workers. We recently confirmed in writing that all of the veg options are vegan. You can choose from tofu skewers, spicy tofu skewers or vegetables skewers. For $8.40 you can get two skewers, satay sauce and two sides (rice/salad/krupak). The satay sauce is certainly the best tasting satay I've ever had. And the krupuk have the texture of vegi chips or prawn crackers but with a more natural flavour.

Toby being a big eater always get the larger pack with 3 skewers:

Satay Bar
Corner of Flinders Lane & Custom House Lane
Phone 9629 1466
MON - FRI 10am - 7pm

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A bitch about doing a thesis

Hi everyone, remember me? I'm not back but in need of a bitch about my thesis, so feel free to skip over this post and warning that it's long and pretty negative.

I really really really hate working on a thesis. I am very close to finishing it and have to present soon which probably makes me hate it even more, so will be interesting to compare notes about how I feel once I have finished.

I find doing a thesis to be pretty alienating, probably because no-one else I know is doing a thesis, well apart from those lucky ones who have scholarships and get to do them during regular work hours and get paid to do it. I love socialising and really hate missing out, lately it feels like everyone else is having fun except me, which I'm sure isn't entirely true but it certainly feels like it.

Also, I could slap the next person who makes a comment about how long it has taken me. Yes it has taken me a while, but I am studying part time and for the most part have been working full time-ish hours and I work in a pretty draining job so the last thing I want to do when I come home is any sort of work. Also, I had one topic that fell apart (not my fault). Anyway give me a break, ok! And no more questions about when I am going to finish, I'll finish when I finish, I don't know. I have been working all year on aiming to get it done before I got away, but that's not going to happen.

One of my biggest hates about the thesis thought is guilt, when I do socialise, or go to a potluck or just have a day when I am not productive I get pretty pissed off at myself, I think it is made even worse by people who feel that they are helping by checking up on me with questions like 'did you work on your thesis?', 'how much did you get done today'. I have enough guilt myself, I don't need you giving me more!

I think some people are born academics and love writing, but I really don't as you can probably tell for my disregard for grammar on this blog. It's not really my thing. I don't think I have disliked myself more than when doing a stupid thesis, there are certain conversations that I have with myself where I occasionally feel like I can't do it, like i'm not smart enough, that i'm lazy, that anyone could do it but me. It's not all the time but occasionally often when I hit a wall and am feeling stuck on one part. There does appear to be a bit of a cycle too where I feel so guilty and then hate myself a little more and then actually be less productive.

There is such a major part of me that has wanted to just give up for quite a while, but I am now so close to finishing it, I'm sure if I did give up I would regret it forever. I also I would feel like I am letting the participants of the study down, which I don't think I could manage.

I hate the stress and avoidance around supervision, almost every time I have a appointment with my supervisor I think to myself, she is going to tell me off, she is going to say that what I have done is stupid, and I need to justify why I haven't done more etc. Which is kind of crazy because my supervisor has been pretty awesome and I know I wouldn't have been able to get this far without her.

I really really want to be planning our holidays destinations right now but don't have the time which I hate. I feel like I might have a crappy holiday because I am not planned anything and will have a thesis hanging over my head the whole time. So if you do have any sort of tips for must eats/visits in Hong Kong, London, or Berlin please let me know.

I could go on further but won't.

Thanks for the big whinge, it feel a tiny bit better to get that off my chest! And yes I know there are bigger much worse problems in the world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Minor Place and Darth Vader

Just a few things before tonight's main event:

1) Light n i n g BO LT: Secret Show (at) Irene. \m/
2) Check out Photos of Vegan Fitness Week Melbourne. (Photos by Noah)
3) Dean Wareham, from my favourite band Galaxie 500, blogged about his recent Melbourne tour and the "memorable in-store at Pure Pop Records in St. Kilda".
4)Matt Preston wrote about Trippy Taco.
5) My heart is broken: Bulmbers is not veg*n. And guess what? Also most apple juice brands are not veg*n neither.

"It's not you, it's me."

Kristy and I rode our bikes to A Minor Place (103 Albion Street, Brunswick) for breakfast last Saturday. The Soy Latte was pretty good.
The pretty Bonsoy spiral

What did we eat? Henry's Beans. It is made of Cannellini Beans (Kristy's favourite), garlic, rosemary (Kristy's pet hate) topped with dukkah, and served with lemon. They were not bad in my book. *pointing mic to Kristy* "What do you think about the beans, Kristy?". Kristy: "I was reluctant to go just for one bean dish, but I was pleasantly surprised."

This is pretty much the only vegan option. They also stock Crumb's vegan muffins.

Pip, the cooking god, tried to make it at home. Her version looks like the lost twin of Henry's Beans, but I haven't tried it though.

I bought an all black Keepcup. It has saved quite a few paper cups since I bought it two weeks ago. I call it Darth Vader.

Monday, November 09, 2009

La Double Vie De Dumplings

A cold winter night in 2001, a young man who had just finished his 14hour shift stepped inside a small restaurant, in the strangest part of China. A little town where Maggie Cheung, wearing no make up, will ride pass you on her bicycle. A little town where hairdressers/brothels are opened next to primary schools. He picked 2 out of the 20 kinds of dumplings from the menu. There were 50 dumplings. He finished them with minced garlic infused soy sauce and 3 big bottles of beer.

When I eat dumplings, I think of my old days working/living in Mainland China. I still insist to have dumplings with minced garlic and soy sauce.
I recently found probably the best packaged vegan dumplings in Mix Oriental (293-295 Barkly Street, Off Barkly Square, Brunswick). The Korean made dumplings are a little different than the Beijing or Shanghai ones I normally eat.
The packaging

I love to fry them (around 15-20 at a time) with 2 tablespoons of oil, mid/high heat for around 3-4 minutes. And then, put 4 tablespoons of water on the pan, put the lid on and let it simmer on low/mid heat for around 7-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince a glove of garlic finely (DO-NOT-USE-A-GARLIC-PRESS!!!), add to a dash of Yeo's 100% seasame oil in a small bowl of soy sauce. They should be crispy on bottom and soft on the top. Crack a Hightail Ale open and enjoy.

The other night, inspired by Carla, Kristy and I made
Pumpkin, sage and pecan raviloi with white bean and garlic sauce and frizzled leeks from The Voluptuous Vegan to feed our friends the other night. It is a lot of work but worth it. Not on a 30 degree day though.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Vegan Fitness Week and My new bag

So my vegan comrades flew from Manchester and Brisbane for the Vegan Fitness Week 2009 in Melbourne. We kicked off with the World Vegan Day Expo.

One of the world strongest vegan Joni and Fritz Gelato's Ali,
winner of female push up competition.

We dined at Plush Pizza and I suggested Coco Loco for desert. Double happiness!

Kashew Mylk Chocolate Gelato.
It was good. $15 good.

So far, We did some powerlifting, some axle/log presses, Brazilian Jujitsu, bike riding, shot put and discus throwing. For food, We took the guests to try East Brunswick Club's famous Vegan Parma, Las Vegan's Burgers/Muffins/Calzones/Bottomless Chai, La Panella's Donuts/Pies and Veg Out Time's healthy yummy cheap eats.

Strongwoman Rochelle cleaning the 35KG log

La Panella Pies eating after the long ride
Joni shaking some Brazilian Jujitsu actions

In other news, I've just got my 'Hong Kong Skyline' bag from the lovely Crumpler Custom Store.

Designed by me and the girl at Crumpler