vegan love in northcote

“i got your stash,” i whispered dramatically the moment he answered his phone. “come outside.”

i was parked on our driveway, picking him up after work on our way to pick up raven from day care on our way to drive to ferntree gully to buy her these sunnies i’ve been obsessing about for the last three weeks.

actually, i already bought her a pair online but the ones i got for her were a bit too big. i thought i was being practical by getting her the bigger size but then i saw how it was always falling off her face and i realized there was no point when they hardly fit her.

coughed up another $40, including straps this time.

geez, having kids is expensive! but she needs it, though, as her eyes are very sensitive to sunlight due to her intermittent exotropia. and we’ve been getting a lot of sunny days at the moment and summer’s right around the corner so she needs it now more than ever. anything for my baby.


i’ll try to do a proper review of these sunnies when i can. but first, i need to get jeff to do a photoshoot of her wearing them to justify my purchase to somehow soften the blow that i had to buy them twice.

anyway, as it was such a nice afternoon yesterday, jeff wanted to go all the way to northcote after to check out this vegan restaurant. that’s past the city, mind you. i wasn’t quite hungry yet even though i didn’t have lunch so i was down for it.

however, with the distance, plus the traffic, it took us more than an hour to get there. the whole time, jeff pointed out all these volkswagen golfs that he saw on the road, similar to the one he had just bought.

“ooh, look at that golf!”

“oh, look, there’s another one!”

“ooh, and another one!”

“oh, there’s even one parked on the side of the street! did you see that?”

“ooh, another one!”

when you hear those lines about once every 5 minutes because, apparently, there’s heaps of them everywhere, at some point it brings out the homicidal in you.

“jeff, enough already!”

but no matter how gently and softly i said it, the dude still got hurt. and of course, it was my fault. so for the next 24 minutes, we drove in silence. punctuated only by my directions on where to go because i was his GPS bitch.

i didn’t mean to be rude but in my defense, i did listen to him go on and on for almost an hour. all things considered, i deserved brownie points for sustaining my patience that long. it was just unfortunate that my patience ends where my hunger begins. and i was freakin’ starving!

i did apologize to him for my behavior, though. when we were about 10 minutes away from the resto. because who else will pay for my food?!

anyway, the place is called loving hut and i gotta say it’s so much better than madame k’s, in a sense that their meat alternative actually tasted like the real thing. as a meat eater, i daresay i have authority on making such an opinion. this one passed the test with flying colors as bright as a gay pride parade.

loving hut vegan restaurant, northcoteloving hut vegan restaurant, northcote

the restaurant itself was actually quite spacious. with that size, i’m guessing they get a lot of customers who want to make the world a better place and who love animals so much they could not stand to eat them.

i was just there for the food, regardless.

the first thing i noticed before i even got in was how heavy their sliding door was. the kind where you have to push manually, you know what i mean? that alone was quite a bit of a workout right there. 7 more reps on each arm and i swear my triceps would have gained some serious definition.

the fact that vegan/vegetarian folks can push open that door highly suggests that you can still be strong and buff, minus the meat. thus dispelling the whole “where do you get your protein?” issue.

it’s amazing how much i have rationalized because of that door.

loving hut vegan restaurant, northcoteloving hut vegan restaurant, northcote

i ordered chicken with vermicelli because it was rated 2 chilis on the menu and if you know me, i love spicy food! they didn’t disappoint. it might not have been as spicy as i wanted but all in all, it was perfect! AND, the chicken tasted like chicken. it is possible to eat meat without having to eat meat, after all. i just don’t know what it’s made of, though. the fact that i don’t know is making me suspicious it could be marinated cardboard but either way, it’s really good. if you ever find yourself at loving hut, try that one.

meanwhile, aside from helping himself to my food, jeff ordered fried chicken. it was really good too. crisp on the outside, hot and tender on the inside. so much so that by the end of our meal, we pretty much swapped foods already. also because i’m the type of person who hates food go to waste on account of the starving children on the streets my mom used to warn me about so i try to finish as much as i can. which is wrong. i know, because i watch all these documentaries about obesity and that scares the hell out of me too.

loving hut vegan restaurant, northcoteloving hut vegan restaurant, northcoteloving hut vegan restaurant, northcote

now that i’m a mother myself, i try to strike a balance with raven. it’s hard but you can only try, right? so i let raven eat as much as she wants without having to force-feed her and once she’s done with food and starts playing with it, i deliberately shrug it off as sensory play. it is a lot of mess and i do feel sorry for the staff so apart from apologizing, i clean up as much i can before we leave.

northcote, melbournenorthcote, melbourne

walked along the street and found this secondhand bookshop with a closing down sale. inside was a beautiful chaos of books, books, and more books! there were so many it was quite overwhelming, to be honest. i didn’t wanna leave without buying anything so i bought the alchemy of loss by abigail carter. at $12, it’s still a bit steep considering it’s a secondhand book but the old man looking after the place seemed really nice when we got to chatting about kids and how they grow up so fast. i can’t complain.

the strip also had all these interesting indie shops too. i was in and out of them just to suss them out and i was super glad jeff gave me the time to have a look around while he looked after raven. it was really nice of him.

so, would we live in northcote?

if we had $1.7M to spare, why not?

*raven at 1 year and 6 months old