Tag Archives: Wooloongabba

ORAWGI

So I’m in love. I love raw food places because you can feel the care in the food. I’m serious! Nothing can be “slapped together” in a raw food cafe because everything is a process- blending, chilling, dehydrating, marinating, etc.

Orawgi (meaning Organic, Raw and low GI) is run by the supremely talented Jamie Louise Stevenson. I like to think her parents read her Treasure Island as a child. It’s actually located inside another building- BioSolar- on Ipswich Road in Wooloongabba. Their Facebook page is here and the owner also runs the yoga studio next door.

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The decor is white and bright but a lot of fun. I forgot to take a picture of the wall that was just black and white photo frame wallpaper with the staff’s colour photos stuck on it, but it was very cute. There were quite a few people there and the three staff were bustling and busy.

Ethics is the name of the game here. Everything is vegan (except for honey in smoothies) and organic and made in the store. It’s not cheap, but when you consider the labour that goes into making an organic dehydrated pizza base or quiche or bagel, it’s worth it! Take away containers are biodegradable and non-plastic wherever possible.

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I oggled the display cabinet but decided upon the pizza straight away. I think most of the meals were $15 but a lunch deal is $20 and includes either a drink or something sweet. I ordered The Jefferson Special smoothie (walnuts, protein powder berries and honey) with my lunch and it also came with salad. I had the garden salad and the kale salad (although you can just have one or the other if you want). This might not look like a huge serve, but I was FULL by the time I’d finished.

That is not a real orange. It is my "magical orange" which will summon my meal when ready. Hehehe

That is not a real orange. It is my “magical orange” which will summon my meal when ready. Hehehe

The salads were tasty- the kale one had purple carrots and a Asian soy-ish flavoured dressing with lots of sprouts and seeds. Fresh.

How do I describe raw pizza? Hmmm… well the veggies included tomato, capsicum and florets of broccoli (trust me when I say that broc on a pizza can work!) on a crispy base. The base is made from nuts that are made into a “dough”, rolled thin and then dehydrated (dried without cooking) until crispy. The sauce was amazing- it tasted like sun-dried tomatoes and perhaps capsicum buzzed up in a Vitamix blender until super-fine and smooth. There was also a drizzle of cashew sauce- cashews, garlics and I’d have to guess perhaps some nutritional yeast- which serves as the “cheese”. This is not Dominos people, this is nutrient dense food that tastes great.

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I also ordered a brownie to take away but they were all out so I had the chocolate and salted caramel tart. It’s a hard life. Even though it has coconut oil/butter in it, it lasted all the way home via the fruit and veg shop without turning into a gloopy mess. I don’t know what I liked more: the base or the toppings.

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The verdict?

Can you marry a shop?
Orawgi on Urbanspoon

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WALKING TO WOOLLOONGABBA

So Brisbane is full of different suburbs, most with unique characters and personalities. This isn’t anything new- a lot of cities around the world have areas known for different attributes (the dodgy one, the posh one, the trendy one, etc). Wooloongabba is an oddly shaped suburb that stretches down Ipswich Road from the stadium to the PA Hospital. In the early days of Brisbane, Woolloongabba was one of the largest shopping districts on the south side of the river- before the bridge. The CBD, Woolloongabba and Fortitude Valley each competed for retail dollars. You can still see the historical old shops in the Gabba stretching from the Mater Hospital to about the Chalk Hotel. There are some lovely little shops in there and, despite the traffic, is a nice little walk. Look up often for some lovely old iron lacework on the tops of verandahs and coloured glass.

When thinking of the Gabba, most people think of THE Gabba: the huge AFL and cricket sports stadium on Ipswich Road. It takes up most of the block and is notorious for appalling parking but good public transport. Many people haven’t thought much about the Gabba beyond that for many years, but recent (ok, fairly recent) gentrification of some areas has led to some amazing café and restaurants popping up. Many of the best are on Stanley Street or Logan Road. Not the big, bustling part of Logan Road, the odd, mostly parking park of Logan Road that can only be access from behind- no access from Ipswich or Stanley. Beautiful cafes that Brisbane is proud of, such as Canvas and Pearl, sit alongside restaurants that have reputations as excellent as the décor and building that house them. In time, I will review each and everyone one of them (Gosh Darn it).

My sister showed me some amazing other finds which are worth checking out if you’re in the Gabba/East Brisbane area. Wellington Street (technically East Brisbane) had some amazing vintage shops and the Brews Brothers– a microbrewery with brewing space for rent. I’ll have to get Ben onto that one. Heading over to Balaclava Street (or as my sister called it, Baklava Street, which is far less thuggish and more delicious), we found some amazing houses of noms, from All India Foods, where I bought 200g of cumin for $2.50 (!) and could find all the raw and pre-made tools and ingredients for all the Indian food you get in India but just can’t find on a Brisbane menu (why do so few places do Vada and Idli? I ask you!). Down the road was Banneton, a French bakery that has the most mouth-watering pastries and breads, and we finished at Pennisi Cuisine, an international deli where my sister tells me Mondos Organics gets some of their stock and she even found tomatillos and canned chipotle peppers, both of which she got hooked on in Mexico last year. They had shelf food from all over the world, a huge spice rack, 10 litre tubs of olives in the deli section and a cheese cabinet “I just want to lie down in” (me too, sis. Me too).

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Will I be back to the Gabba to further investigate this fairly undiscovered haven of culinary and domestic delight? You bet your arse.

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PAW PAW AT WOOLLOONGABBA

So my sister and I had to have breakfast together at least once before I went back to work. She suggested Paw Paw, on Stanley Street in East Brisbane. The reviews were good, but couldn’t explain how much I was going to enjoy the meal.

It’s easy to find, although technically entry is off a side street of Stanley. It’s behind the Papaya restaurant and is run by the same people, whom we also discovered, run Thai cooking classes. We could sit anywhere and were served promptly by a friendly waitress with water. I know I’m in good hands when a place does an Iced Latte, not just an Iced Coffee. I don’t like the ice-cream and cream in Iced Coffees (ok, I DO like them, very much, but it often confuses wait-staff when you order it with soy milk!) so they’re good choices. I’ve been to café where they ONLY do Iced Coffees with some kind of dairy (one place said their pre-made Iced Coffee mix was made on ice cream and milk was added. Yuuuck) and if you just ask for the coming together of coffee and cold soy milk, you get looked at as if you came from another planet. Or Sydney.

So it was nice to have the waitress let me know that they definitely do coffee and cold milk and, like many places these days, call it an iced latte. Poifect. My sister ordered the corn fritters served with relish and chipotle sour cream and a long black. I ordered the avo sourdough with tomato and coriander salsa and, because the menu suggested it and I wanted a protein hit, two poached eggs ($12). Poached eggs are the other sign, for me, of a good breakfast menu. Poached egg enthusiasts, you know what I mean. I liked the table set up here: each table had a caddy with menus, thick napkins, sugars, S & P and cutlery. I like that “help yourself” mentality. It makes it easier on the wait staff so they’re not running around for small, yet important items and you get what you want with minimal fuss. The coffee came out quickly and were both good.

Our breakfasts would have been worth the wait, if we’d had to wait. Which we didn’t. We spend a few short minutes drinking our coffees and listening to the lady on the phone who had to leave quickly because her son had stuck a sunflower seed up his nose at day care. Then, it seemed, our food arrived.

My sister is a bit of a pancake and fritter connoisseur and cooks them regularly at home and said the corn fritters ($12.90), which were served with a healthy wedge of avocado, were perfect. I tried some with the tomato relish, and they were great. Avo toast is so easy to get right but so hard to elevate to a better place. This was yum. The bread was thick and, although the crust was super crunchy and hard to cut (perhaps a steak knife would have helped), the avo was ripe and the home made tomato, red onion and coriander salsa gave the whole thing a lovely freshness. For many cafes, avo toast is the only thing that is/could be a vegan option, and this wouldn’t disappoint. This is a vegan option worth leaving the suburb for. As I stated before, I ordered mine with two poached eggs, which were near perfect and delicious (I’m overly picky with my poached though. I love solid whites and runny yolks. If the white is undercooked AT ALL, I find it a bit revolting and pick it out. These did not disappoint). I was super full by the end of it, but not sickeningly so.

The sides they offered were great too. All the traditional ones, plus things like black beans. You could also get haloumi, which I might have to try with another avo toast another time. I’ll just have to come back to try the Californian breakfast burrito, the PB&J French toast and the mushrooms.

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Pawpaw on Urbanspoon

Oh yes, I will be back.

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