Easy Tiger – 96 Smith St, Collingwood (@easytigersmith)

On Friday night I finally got to the new kid on the Smith Street block, Easy Tiger, for modern Thai fare. The setting is cool, a kind of ‘sustainable-retro’ feel with casual dining in the front window, a communal table running down the left side, and a few round tables of four on the right.

This is local dining for me. I’ve walked past it a few times and have been tantalized by Joyce’s review on Mel: Hot or Not. So, one re-scheduled booking on and we (my fellow diner L and I) were nothing short of delighted by the full flavours and fresh dishes. Also ran into a friend there too who saw my pre-dinner tweet and said she too would be there! (got to love Twitter)

We snacked on spicy Taro Chips – yes, you can think slice and deep-fry anything to make it a ‘ship’! – and I ordered a vodka, soda, fresh lime while L had a beer, just as the rain poured down.

Then we made ‘the food is incredible’ noises as we were blown away by the food. We ate this (*taken from menu):

  • betel leaves with prawn and fresh coconut 5 ea.
  • hot and sour thai beef salad, cherry tomatoes, coriander and fresh lime 24
  • coconut braised beef brisket with pickled cucumber 28
  • chocolate (monsieur truffe) and pandanus leaf dumplings with melon 14
  • sago pudding, coconut jelly and fresh finger banana 14

L and I agreed we would be back to try the rest of the menu but if you only go once we highly recommend these options – all delicious, fresh and packed with flavour but not in a ‘it stays with you all night’ kind of way.

Would recommend some Easy Tiger action but make sure you book if you’re there on the weekend.

Note: I would have taken more photos but, as I’ve said before, I’m a terrible ‘food blogger’ … I get so excited by the food and am so caught up in the culinary experience that it’s usually eaten before I remember to take pics.

Easy Tiger, 96 Smith St, Collingwood +61 3 9417 2373

Eating For Your Blood Type (I’m AB+)

I was chatting with a friend about diet over a delicious meal of tapas at Movida Aqui when we briefly brought up the concept of eating for your blood type. I’m a rare AB+ with only around 3% of the world’s population in this category. It is also the last blood type to be identified so it’s the ‘newest’ in a sense. I’ve heard about eating for your blood type before from cousins living up near Byron Bay and haven’t really given much thought to it except that it’s all rubbish and a balanced diet is what’s important.

But curiosity got the better of me and I started looking around for information and cam across many articles, as one would expect with Google. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • AB+ blood types have low stomach acid levels so we can’t digest large portions of meat very well … turkey and lamb in small portions are the best options OR solid tofu (this is a bummer because I do enjoy a good steak)
    • Note: chicken is not good because high levels of lectin irritate stomach (… and there goes my red meat alternative! Turkey it is.)
  • Smaller regular meals through the day better than large meals because low level of stomach acid means we are slower to digest (good news but must remember the key word here – SMALLER, not regular)
  • We should avoid carbonated beverages … dammit, there goes my enjoyment of vodka, lime, soda … then again, it also says avoid alcohol (not happening)
  • Finally some good news: we do well on grains! At least I can continue my mundane but satisfying affair with brown rice and oats.
  • It also says we do well with dairy but this is contrary to my low level lactose intolerance

Based on a lot of the advice from different sites around half of what I eat is not suited to my blood type!

Most advice from doctors and scientists agree eating for your blood type is nonsense and there is no link there. So. while it was interesting to read about a different approach and theory about diet I’ll continue to enjoy a beef steak and try to stick to a balanced diet.

Do you follow this diet? I’m interested to hear feedback please!

—-

Here are some links to sites I visited:

The Abbotsford Convent (St Heliers St, Abbotsford)

Since moving to Melbourne a trip to the Abbotsford Convent has been in the diary – I have moved it from week to week and month to month since last September. Well, yesterday I finally got my act together for a 30 minute walk in the drizzle to arrive at the delightful grounds of the venue that now houses an arts, learning and cultural faculty plus a selection of dining options and an array of markets hosted there weekly.

My lovely friend Khara (who, sadly for me, is leaving for the UK in a few months) and I explored the handmade crafts and alternative wares of those who braved the Melbourne winter to show their labours of love. We headed into the gorgeous historic building and had a look at some art works and a selection of coffee table books and Penguin Classics.

Feeling peckish we headed to Lentil As Anything, a charming not-for-profit community organisation which delivers a dining experience where you pay what you think your meal/experience is worth. The buffet begins at noon with a generous choice of around 12 dishes. Yesterday the theme was Sri Lankan cuisine, all vegetarian as the name of the concept may suggest. After sipping chai lattes (how very lentil!) we collected out plates and cutlery and joined the mixed bag of people lined up to try a bit of everything: lasagna, beetroot salad, savoury rice, battered cauliflower, curries, mixed vegetables, potato and pineapple bake, and Sri Lankan breads with condiments were some of the choices.

Upon leaving we paid $20 each – which may be a generous donation for the vegetarian meal … I guess the real value for me is the trust and honesty payment system. In our increasingly cynical world where we spend more time online than in face-time (although social media is brining back a sense of community … this is a whole other conversation for another time!) this kind of business is one that leaves you feeling an old fashioned kind of  ‘good’.

I suggest you check out Lentil As Anything at the Convent or at their St Kilda or Footscray location. It is just lovely.

Thanh Ha (172 Victoria St, Richmond)

Last Friday night I ventured out with Marcus, Steve and Kate to find something yummy, cheap and cheerful along Victoria St in Richmond. The selection of venues is plentiful on the stretch from Hoddle St to Church St, many with rhyming names like Binh Minh and Loi Loi but we settled on Thanh Ha.

And we made a great choice – the food was delicious and generous in size although the service left a lot to be desired. But we didn’t go to this part of town for fancy interiors or service, we came for the grub and it was more than satisfying.

Best quick healthy lunch (ever)

One of the best lunches I like to bring to work is brown rice, vegetables and tuna.

  • Just cook the rice the night/day before in the trusty rice cooker = 1 minute to pour rice and water into cooker
  • Frozen veg: pour into container for work – 30 seconds
  • Pack can of tuna – 2 seconds
  • Heat rice and veg in microwave at work = 2 minutes 15 seconds
  • Add tuna = 30 seconds

See, super quick, super easy, healthy and yummy.

Sometimes I add soy and sesame seeds to the rice or a vinaigrette. In the dish below I actually baked veg with oregano last night to add – pumpkin, carrot and celery – which really is very easy.

PS: thanks Mitch for alerting me to the type I’ve now corrected. x