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Hawker food and Veganism

30 March 2005

My husband and I found ourselves at Spencer Village one evening. Not exactly the classiest joint in Perth, and not exactly my choice of eating establishment, in terms of it’s excellent dietary variety for kids under 2. But my parents were buying us dinner, and it’s probably the Asianest food court in town, with the yummiest hawker-styled food I’ve had outside Asia. So I didn’t complain.

We actually thought we were going to a fancy restaurant for dinner. So we dressed up. Such a bad move. Besides getting evil leers from the old Chinese men kerb squatting in the rear carpark and bitchy looking-you-up-and-down looks from every woman in the building… I stepped in a puddle of hoisin sauce (at least that’s what I’m telling myself), I split my skirt trying to get my legs over the indoor wooden park bench (classy no?), and I splashed a laksa noodle on my top.

Anyway. My husband enjoyed himself. He loves Indonesian and Malay food. To the point that it’s actually quite amusing. All notions of a post-cancer diet (comprised of anything wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, meat-free, dairy-free and cholesterol-free) went out the window when it came to the nasi padang and beef rendang.

He’s a recently converted “vegan”. And I’m trying my best to support him. Actually, it’s more of a two way thing. I’m trying to “incline towards a moderate veganism” – with a few exceptions. Everyone knows how much I LOVE MY FOOD. Especially my penchant for asian foods, kfc, roast lambs, chocolates and camembert. Not exactly the healthiest cocktail of culinary indulgences. But my husband has been very gracious. Actually he’s been great about it. He’s not excruciatingly strict and won’t pass up the occasional exception to the rule.

In fact, it’s been really exciting delving into the world of psuedo-veganism. Never imagined that beans, legumes and tofu could be so yummy! And much to my surprise, a healthy Asian diet of rice, tofu, fish, and veges is very fitting. Not to mention vegetable casseroles and curries. Yum.