Being vegetarian isn’t all hard. You can try out cool new stuff, things you may not have noticed in your life. It’s hard at school, when other kids pick you out as the odd kid, and sometimes they steal your lunchbox and hide it from you.
It’s also hard in restaurants when you have to choose a meal without meat in it. The meals can be hard to find.
It’s easy becoming a vegetarian, but it is hard to quit all your favourite recipes, like jelly.
People find it hard to believe you when you tell them the truth about the food I like to eat. Even my greatest friends sometime don’t believe me. Every vegetarian has a great smile on his or her face. This is one of the Big V rules.
You can have a vegetable garden, or free range chickens which will help the Earth and the Big V group at the same time. We also encourage water tanks, composts and worm farms, if they are all possible.
If you drink cow’s milk, let me introduce another product. Soy Milky! Soy Milky is made out of a type of bean called a soybean. This may sound strange, but really it is refreshing and strengthens your muscles up for the day. Each package up with a special recipe on the side.
Read these tips again so you can be a top vegetarian expert!
I stood outside the old reused factory that once had been clean and polished. It was cold and wet and my hands were freezing. I rushed inside as soon as I had been told. It was HUGE!
There were beer, bottles, bikes for hire, movie screens – and my cousin Leigh. Leigh is the waiter of the food hall and is always busy taking orders and taking plates to and fro.
I took a quick glance at the screen which was playing animations.
In a flash I ordered the Mushroom and Buffalo Mozzarella pizza, which, in about 10 minutes landed with a splat on my plate, cheese and all. I munched my way through the scrumptious meal. The mozzarella was tender and was melted on the crunchy base of the pizza.
I sculled down my ginger beer (even though Cousin Leigh said it was ‘uncouth’ to drink from the bottle), then closed my eyes with content.
I wanted to go to Brunetti’s for dessert, but the doughnuts with treacle were too tempting! I enjoyed some luxurious peace and quite (me not speaking for a bit) while I ate the sugar-coated treats.
I didn’t want to leave, but I promised myself that I would get a chance next time.
So that’s the place. The place of your dreams!
Little Creatures Dining Hall
222 Brunswick Street
03 9417 5500
It was a dark, stormy and cold dusk. I was running up the steep stairs to a restaurant called Gopals. I ran out of breath before I even got to the top! To my relief I saw the words ‘Gopal’s Vegetarian Restaurant’.
Many busy people were seated at the tables, talking and chatting – so friendly. I guessed they might be sharing stories. There were students, business people and other children.
I took my seat, my favourite one close to the window. When it is sunny we watch the street chess being played from here.
Mum ordered at the counter. I asked for some lasagna, a special treat for a committed vegetarian.
I saw complicated patterns on the walls and painting with symbols resembling the Krishna beliefs.
The dinner tray arrived and I snapped out of my trance. My eyes fell on the lasagna and I tucked right into the well prepared meal. The base was tender and tasty with tomato galore and stuffed full of vegetables. It was heaven. I then spotted the salad next the lasagna and CRUNCH! it was demolished! All washed down with my favourite apple and wheatgrass drink.
I managed to convince Dad to get some satisfying pappadums to complete the meal.
I had to go and was so happy I almost burst out laughing. I said goodbye to the beaming staff then ran back down the stairs ready to hop back onto the train to Geelong.
Gopals Vegetarian Restaurant
139 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
03 9650 1578
It was a mild evening. Outside the Tofu Shop International I stared through the window at the bright lights set on inside. I closed my eyes and opened the door.
I had come there many times so it was brilliant to see those bright smiling faces of the staff.
The setting of the cafe was breath-taking. Masks were hanging down on strings, ink paints and paintings were hooked snugly on the wall. And, quite luckily, this was is vegetarian cafe!
Dad was taking me to the counter. This cafe is quite a relaxed one, so you get to choose from a variety of quick-a-picks, like chickpeas and tofu, broccoli and fetta cheese. Plus fennel and pasta. It changes every time. I chose all of these things and while Dad waited for Mum’s plate, I investigated the basket of toy dinosaurs. I picked a t-rex and played until I was called.
The meal was exquisite. Of course, being an lover of Italian food I went for all the pasta first. I mixed the broccoli and fennel and without any hesitation swallowed the whole lot. I started to track down cubes of tofu. The minute I saw one I ate it as though somebody was going to steal it! My taste buds smiled as I sunk my teeth into the last one.
I had demolished the meal!
But quite soon, I saw something that caught my eye. Soy, strawberry, ICE-CREAM!
My heart whizzed. I was crazy. Soy ice-cream! That was too much. In a split second I was licking up the ice-cream.
I didn’t want to go but sadly I left. I really, really want to go back next time and there’s nothing stopping me. Nothing!
Tofu Shop International
78 Bridge Road
Richmond Victoria 3121
03 9429 6204
Of all the restaurants I mark the best
This one is better than all the rest
The one that always is so calm
People wear fancy dresses and lip balm
The way the waiters treat you like an old friend
Their courtesy never comes to an end
Once they offered something so kind
Chocolate gnocchi, the exact thing on my mind
We usually want to sit at the packed bar
I usually talk on and on like a busy galah
I beg Mum to order some soft drink
The one makes my heart go tink
San Pellegrino is its name
I loved it when it came!
So the pasta is so stringy, the table is so neat
The velvet is so comfy on your restful seat
Aromas can be delicious and it’s such a busy place
You’ll never be impatient in the eating place
The food is quite enjoyable arranged on your plate
Next weekend you find yourself talking about what you ate
So folks, that’s about it (although it is only a tiny bit!)
Il Solito Posto
Basement, 113 Collins Street (entry on George Parade)
Melbourne Victoria 3000
03 9654 4466
On Sunday morning I grabbed my bike and rode as fast as my little legs could manage. I was so hungry. I could have eaten 3 bowls of rice. I rushed to the door of Mart in Middle Park and pausing to get my breath back. It was such a frosty day – I was relieved to get inside.
I was just settling down and dreamily daydreaming about things to come when a bright eyed waitress asked for the order. I immediately snapped out of it. My eyes flew across the menu to the pancakes. It stood out on the page from the other meals so I hungrily ordered the ‘triple pancakes’ with maple syrup.
As I waited for breakfast, I started around the cafe. I did awfully like the toy metal trains and I though it would be the perfect thing to display at home. I barely noticed the pancakes place in front of me, but when I did I nearly fell off my chair!
I noted the dribbly maple syrup – the power of the richness blasted into my taste buds and the pancakes – well they were proved even better with the assistance of the syrup.
When I was finished I smiled contentedly and almost dozed off! But now, that isn’t the end. While I wasn’t looking, Dad bought something hidden in a paper bag. I looked suspiciously at it. “What’s in that bag?” I asked. Dad chuckled. “You’ll see”. But when I saw the contents I yelped with delight. Chocolate yo-yo biscuits!
The taste was better than anything!
I unlocked my bike and rode off with the biggest grin on my face
Mart (Tram backwards as it is on the light rail/tram line!)
107a Canterbury Road
03 9690 8831
Our chickens love black seed. They leave the bowl half empty with corn and wheat and other seeds, but all the black seed is gone. The chickens use ‘fowl’ language when all the black seed is eaten. I think they are saying ‘I WANT BLACK SEED NOW, NOW, NOW!’.
I like to teach them tricks like standing on top of the fence and seeing how they can walk along the fence like a tightrope walker. They get around a quarter of the way, then get bored and made a ‘brrrraaaagh’ noise.
Sometimes they jump up onto our worm farm and then onto my window where I can see their beady little eyes staring at me while I am trying to dress in the morning.
Other times the chickens set up a treasure hunt for us where we have to find the eggs they have laid. They hide them behind the door, behind the straw and once in the lavender and they were quite sweet smelling.
I have their favourite book ready for them everytime I go out to visit them. It is called Charlotte’s Web. They love listening to me read but don’t stay in the one spot for very long.
I got my chickens from a caged chicken farm. They lived side by side in rows all huddled up with not much space. Their job was to lay eggs and if they didn’t they would end up in sandwiches.
Now they have heaps of space with a comfy chicken house and plenty of time to have dirt baths under the olive trees. We also take out our scraps like left over avocado and their favourite rice. In return they give us fresh eggs which are lovely cooked with soldiers (not real live ones!).
This movie is about a 5 year old boy called Sosuke, who by luck finds what he thinks is a goldfish. But, it was really the fish daughter of an evil wizard who named her Brunhilde. Her Mum is the Sea Goddess. The wizard and Ponyo and all of her sisters live in the ocean in a magical underwater cave.
The wizard was first good, but turned evil because he was so upset at the junk in the ocean. He turned so melancholy because he wanted to save the ocean in same way and to seek revenge on the humans. So, it came to him. The best way to solve it was to make the sea take over the world.
Meanwhile, Sosuke was keeping Ponyo in a bucket of water. One day when Lisa (Sosuke’s Mum) and Sosuke were driving in their car, Sosuke offered Ponyo some of his bread from his sandwich. Ponyo shook her head in an uppity way. Then he offered her ham and the next minute he saw Ponyo stuffing it all down.
The film rolled on where the balance of the Earth was crooked and there were violent storms and floods, crazy ancient fish swam around the floods. So Sosuke had to show his true love for Ponyo so the Earth would become balanced again.
I feel the maker of the film has to be humorous and passionate. The film was created by Studio Ghibli which is a Japanese animation company with expert film makers who do hand drawn animations.
Best of all, we went for the Japanese version at Cinema Nova which is in Carlton. So we read subtitles. I had to concentrate hard on the words – if I missed it, I couldn’t understand what they were saying.
If you happen to visit Tokyo, try to cool Studio Ghibli Museum. You’ll love it!
Studio Ghibli Museum
Lygon Street, Carlton
It was a brisk morning as I rode my bike to the cafe Min Lokal. We were planning a decent Fathers’ Day breakfast and were hungrily looking at Min Lokal from the outside. It didn’t look like a cafe, more like one of the other houses around Fitzroy.
However when I looked at the tables and chairs set up outside, I knew straight away that it was Min Lokal.
Inside there were displays so strange it looked like a collection. Cups, pots, books and a Buddha were placed carefully beside each other.
The stools were made of polished wood and there was a beautiful recycled vase with flowers on the table.
But I already knew what I was looking for. First we ordered two frothy juices which were made of squeezed oranges. This, I think, is the pefect juice to go with a Sunday breakfast. Then I had two yolky eggs which dribbled around my taste buds like honey, followed by mushrooms which melted in your mouth. They were so juicy.
I’d call this meal ‘Fit for a Father’!
I’d rank this 10 out of 10. This place is highly marked on Big V.
422 George Street, Fitzroy
03 9417 0333
One of my favourite things to do in Melbourne is to go to the discreet and tiny cafe Pushka. Imagine having a good old game of chess while eating two yolky free range eggs with soldiers. This is the place that I call heaven.
20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne