Mandala Organic Arts Cafe and other new vegan finds

Hi all, the holidays have nearly finished and so back to uni next week. I had lots of plans this week of getting ahead of my work, but unfortunately I got a bit lazy and I am a bit more behind then I should be. Something I have been able to achieve this week is cutting out coffee for the past 7 days and starting the day with a fresh juice. I have found that I have been sleeping better and my skin has cleared up a lot as well.

These are the juices I have made between day 1 to 6.  I started off the first day with watermelon, apple, carrot, lime and ginger. Then day two I added some greens. This one was made from rock melon  rocket, baby spinach and orange. Day 3 was blended from paw paw, baby spinach and apple juice. Day 4 was the same, but with the added extra of Spiralina. I was really excited about getting some Spiralina and I thought that I hadn’t tried it before. However I recognize this taste from step 2 of my detox plan from my nutritionists a few years back. This was my favorite step. Spiralina is actually quite tasty and is so nutritious. Day 5 was the same as day 4, except with some parsley. I wasn’t quite a fan of parsley. Up until this point, I was loving the flavors, but parsley was definitely an acquired taste. On day 6 I juiced carrot, pear, watermelon, romaine lettuce and lime. Lettuce surprisingly was really really nice in the juice. I definitely will juice that again. Unfortunately I couldn’t juice this morning. I did have a pre-made veggie fruit juice with some Spiralina, which was still nice. Tomorrow I will be in Sydney for the day, so can’t wait to start up again on Monday. I actually really crave these juices now and they are really filling for breakfast.

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So yesterday I went into the city to meet Marco, so we could go see a car at the Gold Coast after his work. While I was waiting I was on the hunt for this new chocolate shop, that I heard about. The Dark Chocolatier by the Noosa Chocolate Factory, sells premium chocolates, as well as coffees and hot chocolate. They have a variety of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, in rough broken pieces and coated nuts and fruits. All the dark chocolate is vegan, which is why I was looking for them. So I ended up buying a small piece of dark chocolate with roasted almonds to try. I finally got around to trying it tonight and it is really good. I will have to go in to the city again, just to buy some more. This piece only cost $4, so it wasn’t too expensive.

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A couple doors down I also spotted this new Vietnamese food store on Adelaide Street, Nam Nam. I knew we had a long drive ahead of use so I had a little look. They sell a range of rice paper rolls with different dipping sauces, Vietnamese salads, rolls and soups. I have seen a few sushi places that also sell rice paper rolls, but I have never seen a store that was dedicated to making ones with different fillings. I was also really surprise to see that they had some vegan and vegetarian options, such as Avo, Tofu, Clion Chay, Hard Tofu and Green Bamboo. I ended up buying a Avo Roll, which had avocado, carrot, lettuce, mint, bean spouts and rice vermicelli. For $2.30 it was quite refreshing. Now I am looking back at the photos I am not sure mine was vegan, as it placed that one in the vegetarian label, however there was nothing in there that was not vegan, so I am not sure. Anyway a great healthy alternative to sushi.

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After this Marco picked me up and we drove down to the Gold Coast. After we saw the car, I already had a place in mind that I wanted to try for lunch. Mandala Organic Arts Cafe is a vegan, organic cafe that uses local food. They make both cooked and raw dishes and boast to make the best pizzas on the planet. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but once you walk in you get transported into a little oasis. You can either sit inside or outside in the garden. It was cold so sat inside and watched the people from the in the open kitchen.

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Marco ordered the Tempeh Burger, with marinated tempeh & pan-seared mushrooms with a swirl of cashew nut sour cream on a toasted spelt sourdough bun smeared with house-made napoli sauce & cashew nut basil pesto; leafy greens, cherry tomatoes and potato wedges on the side. I ordered the a half/half large pizza. One half was Satay (Sweet & salty satay base made with peanuts, coconut cream ginger, coriander seeds, cayenne pepper & agave topped with roast pumpkin, corn, broccoli florets, capsicum fresh tomato, cashew cheese and fresh herbs) and the other half was Creamy Mushroom (Sautéed tamari mushroom & herb pate base, leafy greens, roasted zucchini, mushrooms, sweet corn, caramelized spanish onion, kalamata olives, nut cheese, cashew nut sour cream & fresh herbs).

This pizza really was the best non traditional pizza on the planet. I have never had a pizza like this before. I think that the bases must of been spelt flour. The toppings were really fresh and well layered. The cashew nut sour cream and cashew nut cheese were so delicious on top and added a new dimension to the flavors  This pizza did not need cheese or any smokey flavors. The toppings were plentifully and all worked together beautifully. Definitely the best pizza I have had out of Italy, even if it not Italian at all.

As for Marco’s burger he loved it! He was also really surprised by the great tastes and quality of all the food. He often gets disappointed at some healthy vegan restaurants, either because they didn’t give him enough food or the place doesn’t look as ‘clean’. But he was really happy with this place and he couldn’t stop saying how much he enjoyed the food.

Tempeh Burger

Tempeh Burger

Satay/Creamy Mushroom Pizza

Satay/Creamy Mushroom Pizza

I also ordered a LSD (Dandelion Soy Latté), which is an espresso shot pulled through roasted dandelion root infused with creamy Bonsoy, which was a healthy alternative to coffee. This was also really delicious and I am still craving this warm creamy caffeine-free coffee. I did say I have been coffee free past week, but surely this doesn’t count! It also had rapadura sugar, so didn’t feel so guilty about that either. We were going to get dessert, but unfortunately they sold out of their Raw Super Food Cake. So next time hopefully we will get to try some.

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So would we go back? Definitely! This was the best vegan restaurant I have been to, to date. If you are on the Gold Coast, even if you aren’t vegan, you won’t be disappointed if you come here. They even do dinner and have live music. Can’t wait to get back to the coast to come back.

As for today, we paid another visit to the vegan cafe, Banana Lounge for Milkshakes and Cake with the kids. I promised them something delicious if they finished all their lunch, so they were very excited. We all got Vanilla and Strawberry Milkshakes made from soy milk and Cocolucious ice cream. We also got the Carrot Cake and Spiced Chocolate Cake to share. They were huge pieces so everyone got to have some. It was really nice to be able to have something sweet with the kids and not worry about dairy. They staff  also mentioned that the Banana Lounge will be having a big menu change soon. They will be doing vegan Mexican and will be opening at nights. It sounds very exciting, so I can’t wait to visit them again.

So as I said I will be off to Sydney tomorrow to get a car, so hopefully I will find something nice on the way back to Brisbane. I haven’t done a road trip since I have been vegan. So a bit worried about my options, but hopeful to find something delicious in some of the small towns on the way back.

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Carrot Cake

Spiced Chocolate Cake

Spiced Chocolate Cake

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8 thoughts on “Mandala Organic Arts Cafe and other new vegan finds

  1. What the! I made a green-coloured juice using rockmelon last week too. I also put it in the exact same glass that you did!! Except that mine was with pineapple, coconut water and mint. I’m also a vegan living in Brisbane- how weird 😛

  2. Your juices look so delicous! I’ve been drinking a lot of juices and smoothies these days. A dandelion soy latte – wow! That sounds wonderful! I’m going to ask about this at my local coffee shop tomorrow.

    • Thanks Angela, they do look quite delicious all lined up. I really look forward to them now.
      Yes this Dandelion Soy Latte was amazing. It tasted so much better then coffee. It was really nice coffee without any bitterness. I have seen Dandelion caffeine free coffee in the health section of supermarket, so I might try to see if its the same thing. Let me know what you think if you try it 🙂

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