Restaurant: The Mac Factory

Please note: The Mac Factory is not currently serving breakfast. They are however doing a dessert night. Check out their website for more details.

The Mac Factory is a hidden gem above a post office in Hutt St, Adelaide. The Factory is a cute little place, it’s very colorful, with a bit of a Willy Wonka style whimsy. There’s an abundance of green, with both plastic and real plants mixed together. The Factory has limited indoor seating and a bit more outside, which is great in the current warm weather. The Factory also houses a cookbook shop called the Book Nook which is good for a quick browse.

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The outside

As the name suggests the Factory’s primary business is macarons, which sadly aren’t vegan, though I have heard that they are working on a vegan version (fingers crossed). The Mac Factory also does coffee, smoothies, cakes and slices (with vegan and gluten free options), but it’s the weekends where things really get awesome. From 8am until 3pm the Factory serves breakfast. All vegetarian fare with some vegan and gluten free options. Sadly none of the savory options, all being egg based, are not vegan. But that doesn’t matter so much as the 2 vegan options (it’s a small menu) are amazing!

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Chocolate pancakes with peanut butter sorbet and berries

The photo above is from my first visit. Chocolate pancakes with peanut butter sorbet. The chocolate pancakes have recently been replaced with banana, the toppings are however the same. The pancakes were lovely, the sorbet was amazing, the fruit was fresh, but the chocolate sauce, now removed from the dish, was too rich and unnecessary.

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Waffles with berries and coconut sorbet

Today’s offering was waffles with raspberries and coconut sorbet (which are not current;y on the menu posted on the Factory’s website for some reason). The waffles were nice and fluffy and tasted nice. The sorbet tasted nice but got lost with the other flavors. Maybe is there was more of it? The raspberries were lovely. sweet and tart they cut through the ultra sweetness of the dish fantastically. On a side note the soy flat white I ordered with my waffles was okay but not fantastic and far too small.

Food: Yummy, decadent, shame about the lack of vegan savory options. 4/5

Setting: Cute but small. 4/5

Service: For some reason I can’t help but feel a bit intimidated when I first walk into this place and when ordering. No idea why. 2/5

Overall: If it’s the weekend and you feel the need to have dessert for breakfast or lunch got to the Mac Factory. 4/5

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Buisiness: The Fakery Bakery

The Fakery Bakery is an Adelaide based business that specialize in vegan baked goods. The Bakery’s main product is cupcakes, available from a number of different retailers, they also attend many markets to sell their wares.. See their Facebook for more details.

On top of stocking these eateries the Bakery also makes cupcakes and full sized cakes to order.

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A custom birthday cake

However In my opinion the best place to get the goods is at the various markets where Emma (the owner and baker) sets up shop. Her stall is always adorable, there’s a wide range of cakes, scrolls and various other yummies. But the real reason to visit the Bakery’s stall it Emma. She’s absolutely lovely, always willing to chat and has a good memory for her regular customers.

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Market stall

Now onto the food.

The Sweet:

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Mmm cupcakes!

Now I have tried quite a few of Emma’s cupcakes and they’re generally a pretty good. The cake itself is usually a quite crumbly, but that’s something that happens when you use egg replacers. The icings are beautiful, Emma has a real talent for color and decoration.  The icing flavors can be great, but it depends on what you’re eating. My favorite so far has been the musk stick icing, however on the tutti-frutti I had today the icing was far too sweet.

My favorite cupcake so far was the very first one I has; spiced apple. The worst was the banana split because the banana element was those fake banana lollies which I have always hated. My mistake really.

The Savory:

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Vegan quiche

I’ve tried 2 of the Bakery’s savory offerings so far. The quiche (above) was pretty good. It was quite mild in flavor, probably because vegan cheese and vegan bacon don’t generally have the same potency as their counterparts. The pastry was nothing spectacular though.

I’ve also had the pizza scrolls and they were a bit of a letdown. The dough was pretty tasteless and there was too many olives, though that may just be me, i think any olive is too much.

So you should take a look at their Facebook page and like it too because Emma likes to run competitions when her likes reach milestones. Not to mention you’ll know when to find her next at a market near you.

Product: Tofutti

Tofutti is an American based vegan company specializing in mock dairy products. They are special as you can find at least one of their products in almost every Coles and Woolworths supermarket in Australia.

Better Than Cream Cheese.

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The old packaging style

This is the product most readily available, look for it next to the dairy cream cheese in any supermarket.

Texture: Smooth and creamy, absolutely

flawless. On a side not the color is almost blindingly white, it’s quite disconcerting. 4/5

Flavor: This was the first cheese substitute I ever tasted. Being a big lover of cream cheeses I had high expectations, which were not met. On first taste was surprised to find that instead of being salty it was in fact slightly sweet. Very odd. However unlike the Sheese product it it not over powering and has none of the odd scent. Only slightly cheese it works well as a creamy element to sandwiches. 3/5

Overall: Not amazing, but certainly the best cream cheese substitute I’ve found so far. I’m told it works well as part of cake icing and cheesecakes, but I am yet to try it out. It’s also well priced and as previously stated readily available. 4/5

American style soy cheese slices.

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Very bright but no necessarily easy to find amoungst the dairy

The second most readily available Tofutti product. Can be found in some Woolworths hidden among the cheese slices or occasionally near the tofu.

Texture: Not great. when first taken out of the individual wrapping the slices greasy and floppy. Not particularly nice. When eaten the slices have the usual curdled texture that mos

t mock cheeses have. 2/5

Flavor: Again not particularly nice. they have a strong soy taste and while they are cheesy it’s not an entirely pleasant flavor. I had to remove the cheese from a cheese and tomato sandwich because the taste was so uncomfortable. Best eaten with strong flavors like pickle or tinned spaghetti. 2/5

Overall: Not good. The only reason I would buy this again would be if I had no other access to any other cheese substitutes. 2/5

Mini ravioli.

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Oddly packaged in a cardboard box

Pasta filled with Tofutti Better Than Ricotta.

Texture: Fine. The filling is creamy, the pasta is okay but not spectacular. The pasta is a little thick as well. 4/5

Flavor: Not so nice. The ricotta suffers from the same issues as the cream cheese. Too sweet. Even with a strong tomato sauce you can’t escape the sugary filling, it’s like eating dessert and dinner in the same mouthful. I’ve only tried the mini’s but I can’t imagine what the regular size taste like. 1/5

Overall: Not something I’d eat again, I’d suggest that the Better Than Ricotta product should only be used for desserts. 1/5

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The packaging

Sour Supreme.

Definitely my favorite Tofutti product so far. Unfortunately is hard to find. I Adelaide it’s only available at Everything Vegan and sometimes at Bliss Organic.

Texture: Slightly grainy but not overly unpleasant. 4/5

Flavor: Has a definite soy taste but it’s not too strong, could be a bit more sour but otherwise is a good substitute for its dairy equivalent. 4/5

Overall: Great. Goes well with burritos and nachos. 4/5

So Tofutti has some good and some not so good products and there’s a whole lot more out there for me to try. I really want to have a go at some of their ice creams but they’re so darned expensive!

Recipe: Avocado Mayonnaise

This is based on the recipe found here, but I made a few alterations.

Ingredients
1 small or medium Haas avocado, cut in half, pit removed, and flesh scooped out
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used rice wine vinegar because I prefer the flavor. Also I didn’t have any lemon.)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional) (I used seeded mustard.)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used half olive, half sunflower because I don’t like the strong olive flavor.)

Method

Place Avocado, lemon juice (vinegar), mustard and salt in blender or food processor.

Blend until smooth, drip in oil and blend until creamy.

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Freshly blended

Verdict: Tastes okay. However it could have been better and that’s my own fault. Firstly my avocado was not properly ripe which left a slight bitter taste. Due to both the avocado’s hardness and the type of blender I was using I struggled to get a proper blend and had to add water to my mix to get it to work properly. Also the wholegrain mustard didn’t really work, it didn’t blend down well and there were specks in the mayo, plus it may have contributed to the slightly harsh final taste. Overall I would make this recipe again, with a few changes.

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On my home-made Turkish bread

Product: Vitasoy Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oat Milk

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I seriously have little kid hands / The packaging.

This product is the latest in Vitasoy’s range of vegan friendly options and it’s pretty good. Sold only at Coles (at least that’s the only place I’ve seen it). Pop it in the fridge and it’s there when you need a yummy sugar hit.

Texture: One problem with oat milk is that no matter how much you filter it it will always be grainy. 3/5

Flavor: Pretty darn good. Not too sweet and the cinnamon is just right a well. Plus being an oat based product you don’t get the aftertaste like you would with soy or rice milks. 5/5

Overall: I like this product, however there is one problem: the price. At $4+ for three 250ml serves it’s a little steep. It’s also not readily available so you may have to hunt around for it. That said it is worth it. 4/5

Recipe: Turkish Bread

I love Turkish bread so I thought  I might try to make my own.

I based it on the recipe here.

Ingredients:

500g plain flour
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps salt
1.5 tsps dried yeast (or a sachet)
1 1/4 tbs olive oil
360ml warm water
Sesame seeds
Nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kaloṃjī, can be found at Asian supermarkets or spice specialists, I found mine at Kuo Chi Oriental Supermarket, cnr Moonta St and Gouger St, Adelaide.)

Method: 

Put all the dry ingredients and oil into a bowl. (I misread the recipe and didn’t put the oil in the mix.)

Slowly add in the water a mix in until you have a dough. You may not need all the water.

Put dough on a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.

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Kneaded dough

Place kneaded dough in a oiled bowl then coat with more oil. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough should double in size. I turned on the oven to a medium heat and then placed the bowl in the grill above and closed the door.

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Ready for proving

Place the dough on a floured surface, separate into 2 or 3 pieces and stretch lightly into shape. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 15 minutes. I didn’t separate the dough and instead made one big bread.

Turn on oven and preheat to 250 degrees celsius.

Stretch the dough a little more and put on a tray. Now the original recipe calls for an egg wash, but as a vegan, nope. I mixed a little soy milk with some Ogran egg replacer, that seemed to work okay, but could have stuck the seeds on better.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nigella seeds.

Place in oven and bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. This may take longer depending on your bread size. Mine too about 15 minutes.

When cooked remove from tray and place on a cake rack to cool.

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Fresh out of the oven

Cut and enjoy.

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Cooled and cut

Verdict: The bread came out denser than I would have liked, but that not a problem. Flavor was a bit too sweet so if I make this recipe again I will use less sugar or possibly omit it all together.

Product: Sheese

Sheese is a range of vegan cheese substitute made by Scottish company Bute Island Foods. Their products are not easily available in Australia and can be a tad expensive but they can be worth it. In Adelaide you can find them at Everything Vegan and a couple of Foodland supermarkets (I’ve seen them at Henley Beach and Norwood.)

So far I’ve only tried two products one good, one not so good.

The good: Blue Style Sheese.

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The packaging

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product having had some bad experiences with cheese substitutes previously. I chose blue style because I assumed it would have a stronger flavor. I certainly didn’t expect it to actually taste like blue cheese!

Sold as a melty cheese but as I never actually tried to melt it I can’t comment on this claim I’ll let you know. You don’t need much to make an impact and it lasts in the fridge. Can also be frozen, though this will effect the texture.

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The cheese

Texture: Smooth and hard, but crumbles when you cut it, which can be slightly annoying. 3/5

Flavor: Tastes like blue cheese. Not over powering. Has a soy aftertaste, but that’s only noticeable if you’re eating it by itself and it’s not too bad anyway. 4/5

Overall: Very good! A perfect cheese for sandwiches. 4/5

The not so good: Original Creamy Sheese.

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Cream cheese package

Finding a good vegan cream cheese can be hard. After my great experience with the blue style Sheese I was expecting great things from this product and was sorely disappointed. At first opening it was struck with a scent that reminded me strongly of cheap caramel lollies. Not a good start.

Texture: Smooth-ish, a tad gritty. 3/5

Flavor: Has some cheesy flavor, but is over powered by the sweetness. The caramel smell continues into a slight flavor. Not great for sandwiches or by itself May be good for desserts, but at the price, why bother. 1/5

Overall: Not good. I wouldn’t bother buying it again. I may in the future try one of the other flavors in Sheese’s creamy range, but I’m not hopeful for a better outcome. A real letdown after their success with hard cheese’s. 2/5