Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

Poppy Birthday Dinner September 23, 2013

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 11:11 AM
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This past July for my birthday, my Aunt K treated me to a wonderful birthday dinner at Poppy. Poppy is a restaurant on Capitol Hill here in Seattle that specializes in creating thalis, which are platters of food served to each guest. While Poppy doesn’t have a vegan thali on the menu, if you call ahead and tell them that you are vegan, they will create something wonderful for you. As our waiter said, they can always create something for a vegan to eat, but if you want something spectacular, you need to call ahead.

We started with drinks. This is the sort of place that has a bunch of ingredients in their cocktails that I had to Google to figure out what they were. After consulting with the waiter (and hearing him use the word bitter three times to describe the other cocktail I was considering) I ordered “lovage story.” What is lovage? Read more here. We also ordered pakoras to start, and they were really good, slightly spicy but not overwhelmingly so.

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Next up was my custom vegan thali, the main event.

Vegan thali.

Vegan thali.

Counterclockwise from the bottom yellow dish, I had a potato and carrot stew with dill (probably my favorite), pickled radishes, a bean and cucumber salad, carrot ginger soup, potato salad, steamed peas and other veggies, and quinoa. Poppy is known for their naan, but they use dairy in it, so it isn’t vegan, so I got the quinoa instead.

Veggie stew

Veggie stew

Carrot ginger soup

Carrot ginger soup

 

This was so much food that I couldn’t finish it, but it was all very well seasoned and thought out. I loved that each dish was different, but used similar enough ingredients (potatoes and carrots throughout) and seasonings that everything harmonized, and didn’t compete with each other.

No birthday dinner is complete without dessert, and when my aunt asked the waiter to bring out their best vegan dessert (the menu didn’t have anything vegan) he said he had just the thing, and disappeared in to the kitchen for a minute.

When he re-appeared he had a fruit gummy candy, which is naturally vegan since they make them with fruit pectin. The candle was a nice touch.

Fruit squares

Fruit squares

After dinner we took a stroll through their garden in the back, where they grow some of the veggies they use in the kitchen. There was the biggest fennel plant I have ever seen in my life back there (no pictures, unfortunately). In the summer there is seating out in the garden as well.

I really enjoyed my meal with my aunt at Poppy. The food was fantastic, well thought out and beautifully presented, and the service was attentive and knowledgeable. I look forward to returning in the future.

Poppy is located at 622 Broadway East, Seattle WA 98102.

 

 

Plum Cookbook Launch Cooking Class May 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 6:17 PM
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On May 2nd, 2013 I attended a small cooking class taught by Makini Howell at the book store, Book Larder to celebrate the launch of her new cookbook, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. It was a small class, just ten people, and Makini cooked up quite a feast for us. It was a great evening, full of great conversation and food, and many conversations about food, even beyond the food we were partaking in.

The first course was the famous Plum mac and yease (recipe not in the cookbook, although a smokey mac and cheese recipe is on page 101), which was to “entice us to come to the restaurant” as Makini said. This is my favorite dish at Plum, and it was as great as ever.

The next course was the cauliflower bisque with fresh fennel (pg 44 in the book). This soup was  creamy and flavorful, and definitely a soup that I will be re-creating on my own. The topping is smoked tofu, made crispy like bacon in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

The next course was a salad made of miner’s lettuce, grilled fennel, grilled plums, edible flowers, and a dressing made of plum sake (and something else, bad blogger didn’t take detailed notes). There were children present at this meal as well, so she also made a simple vinaigrette  which I am sure would make a lovely pairing, since the plum and fennel are so flavorful on their own, they don’t really need a lot of dressing. This recipe isn’t in the book, but is a good example of taking your inspiration from local, seasonally available produce, as Makini does with all the dishes at Plum.

Miner's lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

Miner’s lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

The next course was another one that isn’t in the book, but is on Plum’s current brunch menu. Vegan “crab cakes” made of mushrooms, bread crumbs, onions and I am sure something else I am forgetting. She usually makes this with an egg replacer to serve as a binding agent, but she forgot to bring them. The cakes still held together pretty well, and had a similar texture to the crab cakes I remember from my pre-vegan days. The cakes were topped with the “Savory Soy Cream” (pg 6 in the book). These went over so well that when one of the children in attendance didn’t want his there was quite the bargaining going on to get that crab cake.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Next up was the pizza with soy ricotta cheese, fennel, plums, miners lettuce on a sauce of pesto and olive oil. This version was made on a crust she bought at Trader Joe’s but there is a recipe in the book for a pizza crust (pg 105). This was really good but I was so stuffed at this point, I didn’t eat the whole thing, had to save room for the dessert!

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Dessert was a rhubarb crisp in tiny crusts, with homemade soy ice cream and blood orange compote. This was the perfect amount of sweet, and a great capper to an impressive meal of so much great food.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro is full of wonderful recipes that give you a piece of Plum Bistro if you are unable to enjoy a meal there. If you live in Seattle or are visiting, I highly recommend eating a meal at Plum Bistro as well as getting this cookbook.