Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fremantle and raw food excitement

A little while ago, I mentioned that I owed Perth an apology for not sharing its frozen yoghurt delights in a timely manner.

As it turns out, I owe Fremantle an even bigger apology.

As Perth's historic port city, located at the mouth of the Swan river, Fremantle is a town in its own right. It has a reputation for being arty and somewhat bohemian, and is home to museums, book stores, historic buildings, a good indoor weekend market, some wonderful cafes and restaurants, and what may be Perth's best fish and chips.

As a child, it was a relatively frequent weekend visiting spot. We'd play at the park, perhaps go to the maritime museum, visit a book shop, and (if we were lucky) have afternoon tea.

As a teenager, I enjoyed catching the train down and wandering around the shops, having lunch or getting ice cream, sometimes seeing a movie.

And then I stopped going. My shopping trips these days are usually goal oriented, time limited, and better suited to artificial shopping centres or the predictable city centre. I did make it to the Fremantle Chocolate Factory this year, but even that was a goal-focused trip, and I didn't venture into the main town centre.

The downside of this, of course, is that I forgot what Fremantle had to offer. It may not allow for quick trips for a specific item, but if you have time, there are lane ways to explore, markets to browse, small shops to delight in - and a large number of cafes in which to take a break.

I remembered this recently, when I had a spare few hours, we were in the area, and I headed to the Fremantle markets for fruit and vegetable shopping.

Suffice to say, I went home with more than fruit and vegetables.

My first discovery, which led to extreme over-excitement, was The Raw Kitchen Cafe. Everything is vegan, dairy free, wheat free, sugar free, gluten free, and raw. I still can't believe I hadn't heard of it.

As I had recently eaten lunch, I wasn't able to enjoy the menu to its full extent. If I had been able to, there would have been plenty of lunch choices (sandwiches, soups, salads, and raw pizza!), smoothies with a variety of nut milk and flavour options, and hot drinks made with almond milk. Almond milk!

And then there are the desserts.

Raw vegan cheesecake. Raw vegan chocolate mousse cake. Raw cocoa, fruit and nut truffles.

I ended up buying two of the truffle balls to take home, in mint chocolate and jaffa (chocolate orange) flavours.

I had half of each flavour with Mr Bite, and was most impressed. I'm not sure he was quite as thrilled (he described the mint version as a "chocolate mint health ball", bless him), but they certainly won me over. Beautifully flavoured, not too sweet, and just the right amount of chocolate.

They also sell vegan / raw products.

Like this.

Raw coconut chocolate butter with chilli and goji berry.

It was amazing.

The chilli is subtle, but lingers, tingling just slightly. It pairs incredibly well with the rich chocolate, the coconut undertones, and the faint goji flavours. The combined product is chocolatey but not too chocolatey, slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and definitely very, very good.

You might think the rest of Fremantle would be a disappointment after this start. But it wasn't! Beautiful fruit and vegetables, cafes that may be non-vegan but still look delightful, bakeries with a multitude of bread options (organic, sourdough, rye), small quirky gift shops, lots of books, and a relaxed atmosphere that was a stark contrast to the shopping centres and department stores I usually find myself in.

Fremantle, I am sorry. I won't forget you again.

And I will be back for that vegan chocolate mousse cake.


  1. What a fun day out! I love exploring, I think we need to remember to be tourists in our own homes a bit more often.

  2. oh my that coconut choc butter sounds delightful!

  3. Hey, that's the exact coconut butter I gave to Rob of Girl on Raw when I visited her in Brisbane! Yay! I can get it my health shop, but I've been making my own chocolate coconut butter so haven't been able to justify the splurge in my head. Also, I want the cashew coconut one more :P

    You also owe me an apology, lady, because you're destroying my soul with envy over having a dedicated raw food place AND frozen yoghurt. For heaven's sake, we don't even have a proper vegan restaurant apart from a mock meat chinese place. Harrumph. :P

  4. I am not vegan any longer but I love finding new vegan cafes and eateries! Vegan cakes/ cheesecakes/ and mouses' are better in my opinion because they don't leave you with that "brick in your stomach" feeling.

  5. that coconut butter looks amazing - and when I see that picture of the cheesecake I want to try raw cheesecake - just not enough hours in the day to visit all the wonderful places right under our nose - so much easier when your time is limited in another city and you know that you have to make the most of it or you will never get the chance! I have been to fremantle a couple of times but never felt I had time to explore it properly

  6. Exactly! I almost need to schedule in some at home holidays :P

  7. It so is...I'm trying to think of ways to re-create it at home :)

  8. I'm sorry? :/ If it's any consolation, I didn't think we had any raw or vegan food places either! I still don't know of any vegan restaurants open in the evenings.

    Very cool that you gave this butter to Rob! I just went trawling through her blog to find it :D I've actually been thinking of how to modify your coconut butter recipe to get chilli and goji in to it. I foresee experiments ahead!

  9. Yes!! Exactly! I don't like normal cheesecake for that reason, but this looks divine.

  10. I love that you have been there :) You're right though in that it's almost easier in a city other than your own - but I plan to make a concerted effort with Fremantle now! Having the un-tried cake to lure me back should work...

  11. Love the look of those truffle balls and the flavours sound oddly familiar too! ;-) Have never been over to Perth but my husband grew up there so I do here a lot about it. It's great fun revisiting places you haven't been to for a while.

  12. It should be super easy to do! Though I always use actual chocolate so it's not raw :P Chuck in some chilli powder or cayenne and some goji berries, and bob's your uncle! Or good enough... :D

  13. Ohhh my! That mousse cake! I'm drooling just looking at your picture.

  14. Does that taste of coconut or mostly of chocolate? Mr ZB doesn't like coconut unfortunately. :( You are lucky having places that make things as good looking as that. I would be very tempted by that cheesecake...

  15. Yes, I thought the flavours might be ones you know ;) It is great fun going back to places, and this was certainly a good hit of entertainment.

  16. Mostly of chocolate, luckily! I don't actually like coconut that much either - but Mr Bite doesn't like it OR much chilli, so he wasn't brave enough to try this. I can't say I pushed him too hard though! All the more for me :)

  17. Oh my, those things look awesome. I must admit not quite understanding the appeal of vegan or raw, but some of the things you make look scrumptious so I'm starting to come around :)

  18. Sounds like an adorable town! I especially love all references to chocolate.

  19. Well I must confess that it was the vegan aspect of this cafe that appealed to me, rather than the raw bit :P I think part of the appeal of vegan products (for me at least) is just how good they can be without animal produce. It's quite amazing!

  20. I'm seriously intrigued. Coconut Chocolate Chilli Goji combo? I'll definitely have to keep an eye out.

  21. It is definitely a good combination :)

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