Friday, 8 August 2014

Admiral Cheng-Ho II - 23 June 2014

Winter finally hit Melbourne, although the ridiculously warm autumn obviously confused the local flora: trees are budding and there has been a host of daffodils outside the Grainger Museum for weeks.

On a horribly blustery and wet day, I made my way to Collingwood to meet up with a friend and her delicious, beautiful, bright five-month-old daughter. Though the area is replete with brunch options, we settled on Admiral Cheng-Ho, since I knew from last time that it has a multitude of choice for GF vegans. I had also intended to go a few days earlier, but ended up having vegan phở at Fina’s in Richmond (which was, as it happened, perfect given I was incubating a vile virus).

The menu had had a few subtle changes since my last visit, and I was beset by indecision. Sweet or savoury? Do I have what I had last time, since I enjoyed it so much?

Plenty of dishes looked divine on paper, but Reason pointed out that a few could more-or-less be replicated at home. Whilst I love avocado & toast variations, for instance, I have a bag of avocados in my kitchen so it would be ludicrous to pay someone else to feed me this.

After drinking most of my long black, I eventually settled on The Admiral - zucchini and kale fritters with seasonal vegetables (carrots and beans), beetroot relish and cashew cream (and sunflower seeds).

What the photo doesn’t really indicate is how substantial the fritters were. If they hadn’t been so madly delicious I would’ve struggled to finish, but the combination of perfectly crisp exteriors and smooth vegetal interiors proved to be irresistible. The beetroot (with microherbs) gave a lovely earthy freshness, and the cashew cream and seeds added a sophisticated and technically adept finesse.

Perfect food for lousy, cold weather, and more than sustaining for a walk and bike ride home through the wind and rain some hours later.