The day began with carby carby goodness.
Nature's Path Maple Nut Instant Oatmeal plus a hunk of corn bread, cut in half, zapped in the microwave and topped with oozey delicious AB. It was the carbiest sugariest breakfast ever and kept my tummy happy for a very long time. Which was a good thing, because...
I only had time to down this li'l fella before racing out the door, all dressed up, to Wicked! We arrived with about half an hour to spare, so on Amy's good advice I talked my dad into buying me an Ozmopolitan...
Can I just take this opportunity to say I do not condone underage drinking at any time
The show was absolutely in.cred.ah.bul. I'm being completely serious in saying if you have not seen Wicked yet and you live in Australia, fork out your dough and get yourself there. I don't care WHAT city you live in. Anyway, rumor has it the show's coming to Brisbane at some point. Would I go again? You betcha. The set, the costumes, the singing, the acting, and even the American accents were all perfection! Of course, I wasn't shocked by the actual storyline, being very familiar with the songs & script - but all those other elements made a real, lasting impression. My family loved it too! So much, in fact, that we totally overstocked on the merch. I got a purple I heart Oz tee, a mug, a program, a CD and a keychain. Yay, material possessions!
But the fun *so* did not stop there. We piled into the car and drove to Newtown! On the way, I scarfed down half of this:
I loves me my LEDA. Banana flave is definitely my one and only. Apricot and Apple just ain't gon' cut it.
We parked right across the street from The Green Gourmet and realized we had about an hour and fifteen to murder salaciously. Then my step-mum spotted an incense-y jewelry shop and that was almost half an hour gone. Not that I minded - I got a pair of gorgeous earrings out of it, to go with the dress I was wearing (which also happens to be the dress I intend to wear to my semi-formal in two weeks time!). We left the shop and dad suggested getting a coffee or a drink before heading to dinner. I, however, had other plans.
Me: Dad, is it okay if I just go look in the Vegan's Choice Grocery?
Dad: Uh, sure... but we've got forty minutes before our table's available. And it looked really small.
Me: ... Yes?
Dad: Well, you're not going to spend forty minutes grocery shopping, are you?
Me: You have no idea.
So armed with some moolah I practically skipped into the grocery while dad and step-mum enjoyed some 'ccino. Upon entering I couldn't wipe the smile off my face... everywhere I looked, vegan this, vegan that, vegan pies, cakes, tarts, quiches, brownies, cheesecakes, cookies, nougat, bars, slices, cheeses, meats, pretzels, chocolate, ice cream (and waffle cones!), sauce, jam, desserts... EVERYTHING VEGAN. And there were people in the shop with me WHO WERE VEGAN. I realize that to some people this is hardly a big deal. But I've never really met another vegan before in real life! To think I was sharing a room and a philosophy with these people was enough to make me giddy with delight. I nearly ran out of time just looking at all the store had to offer. Eventually I settled on vegetarian mini-steaks, TVP chunks, Parmazano, Smoked Cheddar Sheese, Salt & Pepper Nori Tofu and a Syndian Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. That cleaned me out of cash and room in my freezer bag I planned to take home with me on the plane to Brissy. MORE than satisfied, I ran to the nearby gelato place to meet up with my dad and step-mum, where they had just finished their coffees. I felt an innate sense of excitement and unexplainable PRIDE as we stepped through the doors and took our seats in The Green Gourmet.
And now, to the FOOD!
First, Chestnut San Choy Bow - dad specifically wanted this. To my absolute delight, he and my step-mum declared it "hearty" and "meaty" - the best two words omnis such as themselves could have used to describe vegan fare. I agreed with them, too - it was amazing. I only had a few bites, though. Then we had Steamed New Moon Spinach Dumplings - my request. I only ended up having half of my dumpling, but it was so tasteh! Recommended.
We were having a really hard time decided on our mains, so we got four, expecting quite small portion sizes. Instead we got four MONSTER SIZED plates and wound up doggy bagging a fair whack of our food! Not that I was complaining. Food = good.
In order of appearance: Salt & Pepper Calamari that tasted scarily like the real thing, some kind of potato-tofu curry that was deliciously creamy (with yummy Five-Grain Rice in the background), Five-Spice Mushroom Tempura I could have eaten all day long, and then, the piece de resistance, Sweet & Sour Taro Fritters.
Never having been a meathead myself, Sweet & Sour Pork was my one meaty downfall. My Achilles' heel, if you will. My Pandora's Box. My... okay, you get it. I frickin' loved the stuff. So I had HIGH expectations and was praying like crazy that they'd be met.
And oh. My. God. Were they EVER! I could eat that stuff for breakfast lunch & dinner every single day for the rest of my life. It's that good, trust. To prove, here is the AFTER shot of that particular dish keeping in mind we had FOUR mains we couldn't finish:
We were all incredibly full after dinner but I was adamant that we try dessert. Not wanting to get something I could have just anywhere, we decided on two desserts to share: Black Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk & Steamed Banana, and Vegan Crispy Custard Crepe with Purple Taro Ice Cream.
I loved it ALL kidlets, though I only really had a taste of each component of both desserts. Apart from the ice cream. That, I practically devoured all by my lonesome. Though it was described on the menu as "tofu" ice cream, I could not detect even the tiniest hint of soy. It tasted exactly, EXACTLY like creamy delicious full-fat dairy ice cream. Plus it was a funky color. What more could a girl want?
The ride home was full of exclamations from my dad and step-mum about how great the food was, how if I'd blindfolded them they'd never have known it was vegan, how they MUCH prefer Green Gourmet to their usual Chinese haunt (which is BIG coming from them, they go there at least twice a week!). Needless to say, I fell asleep that night a deliriously happy vegan, with visions of taro fritters dancing in my head. Ever taken an omni out to a vegan place? What was their reaction?
Until next time, lovelies!