The Elephant Vegetarian Restaurant and Bar, Ubud – Bali

I discovered The Elephant during the last week of my stay in Ubud because we moved hotels for my friend’s yoga retreat. It was just down the road basically. One day I popped in to have pad thai and on one of the nights we, as a group, had dinner there.

The whole restaurant with its bar on one wall seem like it is a wide balcony overlooking a lush ravine with a river and a rice field in the vicinity. The view is spectacular.

Everything on the menu is either vegan or vegetarian although most of the vegetarian dishes can be made vegan if you ask. The style of food is somewhat international, including vegetarian versions of some local Indonesian dishes.

I personally picked Ottolenghi’s Sweet Potato Fritters which was served with a yoghurt sauce and mango and radicchio slaw. Yes, the name caught my eye. It was nice and I passed down the information to one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s waiters at his Islington restaurant in London that a vegetarian restaurant in Bali has Ottolenghi’s dish on their menu. Small world, right?

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The service is slow but not too slow and everything is fresh so you don’t mind waiting a bit. The staff is incredibly polite even if you have someone rude in your group like we did. I must say, they handled it really well and I am not friends with that person anymore for many other reasons.

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The Elephant has its website and related accounts like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. However, their Instagram account is the owner’s personal account and is sometimes full of personal stuff like the photo of his pregnant wife wearing a bikini. I personally think that it is not professional and totally irrelevant. Especially when most of the food photos –which is supposed to be their main focus—are blurry.

The Elephant can be found at this address:
Hotel Taman Indrakila
Jalan Raya Sanggingan
Bali, Indonesia

Vegie Delights Savoury Vege Mince


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Savoury Vege Mince is a Sanitarium product which we found at Coles recently and tonight I tried it. I made spaghetti bolognese with it. It’s vegan friendly, great source of protein, B12, zinc and iron; these are the good things. … Continue reading

Wrenkh, Vienna

I found Vienna quite surprising in many ways. It was my first time but I can safely say that I would definitely go back in a heartbeat. Vienna is full of art, music and incredible food. I must admit, it is becoming my new Paris or New York.

IMG_4338 (1280x960)Austrian National Library (the most impressive room I have ever been in my life)

Vienna is incredibly surprising, especially in food department. They are so switched on when it comes to vegetarian/vegan food. Every vegan or vegetarian restaurant has their own cookbook published traditionally and their bookstores are full of those local as well as international cookbooks (see below).

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I am a huge fan of German/Austrian cuisine. Mostly because I love how they do their potatoes. And the dumpling business is just divine. They call them dumplings but they’re very much like baked loaves like nut roast without the nuts but breadcrumbs instead. I believe they are their bread substitute. We had something similar in Prague too.

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At Wrenkh, you should ask for a menu in English and they give you this one with an “E” at one ear (like the one above), the left ear, to be precise. And definitely ask for wine recommendation; you won’t be disappointed. We fell in love with Austrian wines. Try Grüner Veltliner. You’ll thank me later. Actually, you can get Grüner Veltliner in Australia. I know it because we found some a few weeks after we got back.

Let’s talk about food, shall we? The menu is not exclusively vegetarian but mostly vegetarian. However, vegetarian dishes are marked well and explained well, even in English. I mean, you get an idea. We ordered two distinctive Austrian dishes so that we could share. It’s a great way of trying different dishes.

Dish number one: Creamy lentils in white wine sauce with roasted bread dumplings (below)
Laird lentils in “Veltliner” sauce with celery stalks and carrots, served with herbed bread dumplings.

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Dish number two: Wrenkh’s Erdäpfelschmarrn (shredded potatoes)
Grated crispy grilled potatoes with marjoram, oregano and thyme, served with roasted seasonal vegetables and herbed goat cream cheese-dip.

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Here’s the trimmings (above): Lightly cooked seasonal vegetables and cream cheese dip.

Wrench in Vienna is such an institution; they even have a cooking school (right next door to the restaurant). We noticed that the students were presenting their dishes to a group of judges outside. It is always nice to see young people showing interest in cooking.

If you ever find yourself in Vienna, give Wrenkh a try and when you’re there, make sure you talk to people around you; fellow diners, I mean. You’ll never know, you might bump into a really nice couple from Frankfurt like we did.

Wrenkh can be found at this address:
Bauernmarkt 10,
1010 Wien, Austria

Creamy Lemon Fettucine with Mushroom, Spinach and Pine Nuts

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As some of you may not know, I have just signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and started to write my first novel. It is tough Peoples. Some days are better than the others but I have managed to write over 25,000 words in 14 days! Wish me luck Peoples 🙂

The recipe below is something I created for the purpose of submitting to BestRecipes easy Italian recipes competition. However, by the time I finished cooking, taking the photo and writing up the recipe, the competition was closed. I don’t even know if the ones I submitted a day before are now included in the competition or not but this one certainly isn’t. So it’s all yours 🙂

Creamy Lemon Fettucine with Mushroom, Spinach and Pine Nuts
The clean taste of lemon adds a wonderful tang to this rich and creamy pasta dish and really lifts the flavours.
Wine suggestion: Marc Bredif Vouvray Classic (2013)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 2

200 gram fettucine
50 gram butter
2 tbsp pine nuts
4 tbsp double cream
½ bunch spinach (leaves only), roughly chopped
200 gram king oyster mushrooms, sliced
150 gram oyster mushroom, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, rind only
Salt and pepper to taste

• Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until tender. Drain well.
• Melt half the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine kernels and cook until golden brown. Set aside.
• Heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms. Fry the mushrooms for about 15 minutes or until they are tender.
• Put the cream in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, whisking until smooth. Add the mushrooms, fettuccine, pine nuts, crushed garlic, lemon rind and lemon juice. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the spinach and mix well. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
• Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.