Inspired my my new favourite blog The Wellness Warrior and basically wanting to stay as fit and healthy as I can at the moment, I along with a few friends have been attempting to eat a 'clean' diet where possible. This means unprocessed, dairy and sugar free foods and attempting to eat organic produce. Basically, putting the very best fuel into our bodies and not worrying so much about calorie counting or fat content- natural sugars and good fats are needed in our diets and Jess Ainscough of the Wellness Warrior blog suggests that weight loss is natural when bringing your body to the best, natural state. I don't have the commitment to become vegetarian or vegan, but I am experimenting with making these foods part of my diet and I am really enjoying it.
So, after a mammoth workout yesterday afternoon, my friend and I decided to head to Yong Green Food in Brunswick St to feast without spoiling all the hard work we had done. Yong specialises in raw, vegetarian and vegan cuisine and we were super excited to try this after reading some amazing reviews on blogs and Urban-spoon.
Being so popular, we had to put our name on a waiting list even though it was a table for two at 8pm. However, we recieved our phone call within 15 minutes and were seated in the tiny, bustling restaurants that attracts vegetarians, vegans and experimenting carnivores from all over Melbourne. We joked with each other about feeling like 'hippies' but the clientele was very varied. The restaurant itself was funked out with odd artwork and paintings on the walls- a very quirky little space.
We decided to share three starters and one mains, hopefully having room for dessert. I accompanied my meal with a mango lassi, and my friend with a banana and vanilla smoothie, both made with almond milk. Very enjoyable! We were surprised when our main came out before the starters, but were so hungry we didn't care. I guess when food doesn't contain meat, it is very quickly cooked! We absolutely mauled with chickpea korma with brown rice and mango and tomato chutney- couldn't get enough of it. Some pumpkin would also go nicely in this dish, but the focus was definitely on those yummy chickpeas.
Then onto our starters (which were actually our main?). First was the 'raw' nacho's- chia chips with guacamole, cashew cream and a tomato and seed salsa. This was soooo good. The crunchy chips tasted too good to be raw and the cashew cream was an excellent alternative to sour cream. The seed salsa was very textural and accompanied the guacamole perfectly. I would love to know how to make those yummy chips to snack on at work!
Next we enjoyed the kim chi brown rice sushi rolls, with kimchi, cucumber, capsicum, tempeh and avocado, served with a soy mayonnaise. I love sushi so these little morsels were very enjoyable, though I did miss my little soy sauce and wasabi fix!
The quinoa fritters were my favourite dish. The texture was beautiful and the taste amazing! I have tried replicating them at home today but just haven't managed to make them as good... I guess I will have to go back and deconstruct them some more!
Now both me and my friend love sweets and in particular, chocolate. Surprisingly, we haven't been missing it as much on our healthy eating spree as we thought we would, but both were very keen to try the raw vegan chocolate fudge- made with brazil nuts, raw cacao, cashew cream and avocado. This was SO good that we took some away takeaway as well. To our surprise, Craig didn't enjoy it as much as we did, saying it was too rich like an overdose of dark chocolate. But we just loved it, to be able to savour a rich dessert without worrying about throwing our clean eating out the window was a real novelty!
Overall, I just LOVED Yong Green Food. I found it so fascinating to see the way they have managed to make every-day food super healthy, and great for people with allergies (all of our food was gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan). Even if you weighed up how many calories and fat was in the food (with all the cashew cream and avocado, probably a fair bit) I don't think that can overrule how good for you our meal was and how great we felt afterwards. Despite having a good old pig out, neither of us felt bloated or gross which is what usually happens after a Saturday night feed. I have a feeling Yong Green Food will become one of my new favourite go-to restaurants!
Definitely worth a try even for the carnivores out there- a little more green than Vegie Bar but I believe even a full on meat eater could find some merit in the light and fresh flavours Yong offers.