Miss Chu and Madame K feed us

Computer problems sort of fixed…for now. So I’m back with a post I originally wrote with an actual pen, on actual paper, last week, when I couldn’t use my computer at all. It’s all about last weekend…

I’ve just had a really fun weekend. Great weather, delicious food, comedy, vegan lollies, gardening, catching up with old friends – and, as I mentioned in my last short post, finding palm-oil free Panko breadcrumbs!

There’s just too much for one post, so I’ll start here, with a couple of the places we ate: Miss Chu and Madame K’s Vegetarian.

Quick Friday night dinner at Miss Chu

On Friday night we met up after work. I had a craving for one of my favourite quick meals – the Traditional Vietnamese Steamed Rice Crepes (Bánh Cuôn) – vegan with vegetables from Miss Chu. (I’ve mentioned it before, but last time I couldn’t remember what it was called.)

Don’t you just love restaurants that have vegan items on the menu – and actually mark them as vegan! It makes things so much less awkward and exhausting.

Blurry picture of steamed rice crepes

Here’s a blurry picture of the crepes – the picture from my last Miss Chu post is much better.

It’s such a simple bowl of deliciousness, but with such interesting tastes and textures. Hot, tasty, crunchy, soft, chewy, salty, and full of lovely fresh, green vegetables. I could eat it every second day – only every second day because there is so much other lovely food around! Which brings me to our Sunday night dinner…

Madame K’s Vegetarian

We had our first 2014 Comedy Festival night, seeing Bob Downe at the gorgeous Athenaeum Theatre. He was as hilarious as ever, and I almost felt as if he had been stalking me when he said he was going to Barry in Northcote for a kale and quinoa salad. He certainly knows his audience.

After the show, we ended up wandering along Brunswick Street at 8.30 pm, looking for somewhere to eat that had vegan food, but that also wasn’t packed out – a big ask!

We’d almost given up on finding a restaurant, and were headed to Lord of the Fries for a burger, when we noticed some empty tables outside Madame K’s Vegetarian.

Madame K's Vegetarian

It was a lovely warm-ish night, so those seats were perfect – apart from the recycling truck that chose to make a smelly collection right opposite our table at 9 pm!

We weren’t all that hungry (nothing to do with the smelly truck), so we didn’t have a main course, instead we opted for 3 shared entrees and dessert. (In case any of my American friends are reading this – entrees are what we, in Australia, call the small starter dishes before our main course. I think you call the main course an entrée… at least that’s what it looks like in my American cookbooks. Just wanted to clear that up in case you think we’re complete gluttons!)

Madame K’s is all vegetarian, and ALMOST all vegan, so there was a lot to choose from. Check the menu here [PDF].

Our 3 entrees

  • Vegan chicken satay
  • Spring rolls
  • Sum Choy Bow
Sam Choy Bow, spring rolls and vegan chicken satay

You can probably figure it out yourself, but anyway, they’re clockwise from left: Sum Choy Bow, spring rolls, ‘chicken’ satay

They were all good-sized entrees, which was great because B eats fast and I sound really petty when I say, “Oi! You’ve had your half!” He snaffled an extra spring roll, but I held my fork threateningly over the satay sticks in case he tried to get an extra one of those. Nobody comes between me and a good peanut sauce.


We negotiated about sharing desserts, but decided to each choose our own…but then shared anyway.

I had the tempura banana with strawberries (below).

Tempura banana with strawberries

B had the banana roti. Both were delicious, as you can imagine. I thought they’d be pretty much the same, but the textures were quite different. The tempura was light and crisp and sweet. The roti was dense and chewy and sweet.

Banana roti

Madame K’s is at 367 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Check out some proper reviews of Madame K’s on Where’s the Beef?

Vegan frozen yoghurt is back in Brunswick Street!

As we were leaving, I noticed the sign on Frolic, the shop next door, announcing the arrival of vegan frozen yoghurt. Perhaps they’re taking over where Berrissimo left off. Of course, we were too full to try it out, so I’ve made a note to head back soon.

Frolic has vegan frozen yoghurt

At home on the couch

We had a quick tram ride home and found that our lovely kids had cooked a nice dinner for themselves and cleaned it all up! The kitchen was clean, the dog was fed and the dishwasher was humming.

By 10.15 pm we were on the couch watching nostalgic videos inspired by Bob Downe’s songs.

Here’s my favourite of the videos we watched. Cilla Black, looking very young and cool, recording Alfie in 1965…a very good year!


10 thoughts on “Miss Chu and Madame K feed us

  1. yum! I had different entrees at Madame K and they were awesome. And I am SOOOOO glad to hear about Frolic because it was a shame Berrissimo closed down and I had to say goodbye to the chocolate mousse and peanut butter sauce.

  2. Now that was a real treat. Listening to Cilla swept me back to my teens. She was so cool and her clothes were the best. I’m going off to search for more Cilla now.

    Your vegan meals sound delicious by the way.

  3. madame K’s sounds lovely – are those faux seafood in the sum choy bau? Your meal sounds good but the desserts sound heavenly – I am now trying to work out which CD we have Alfie on – I thought it was someone other than Cilla Black singing it but am not sure. And love bob downe – wish I could be organised enough to go the comedy festival shows

    • I bet it was Dionne Warwick – I’ve heard her version a lot.

      You should check out some of the kids’ events at the Comedy Festival this year – I think there was something happening at the Spiegeltent, which would be lovely. We’ve seen Bob Downe almost every year he’s been at the Festival, and it all just started because in about 2001 we found both kids were having sleepovers with friends on the same night – a rare night on our own! I rushed around looking for something to do and realised the Comedy Festival was on, and Bob Downe tickets were available. Now it’s started a tradition.

      And it was tofu in the sum choy bau – I think I prefer that to mock seafood. I’m not all that crazy about mock meats.

      • we had a night free during the comedy festival and found a show to see but it was booked out – sob – so we saw a movie instead – so our tradition of movies while Sylvia has sleepovers continues 🙂 I think bob downe is a great tradition – amazing how long he has been going

      • Bummer your show was sold out. I hope you saw a good movie anyway.

        H and I also saw Denise Scott, who was hilarious, and H and a friend saw Wil Anderson. We wanted to go and see more of the smaller shows, but we just didn’t get to those this year. Next year we’ll all be more prepared. Maybe.

  4. I had no idea entrees were considered appetizers (or starters) elsewhere. Good to know, although I wouldn’t have judged you for sharing 3 meals with one other person: once you start dividing things up it becomes less food. That’s just math!

    Your banana desserts look SO good; I still daydream about a banana tempura I ate all by myself in Sonoma while my friend was sleeping. Who eats leftover banana tempura for breakfast anyway? No one; you eat it as a late night snack- all proper like.

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