Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

Three Bags Full, Melbourne

by minibites

Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full

After walking about 2km to get here, it’s a huge sigh of relief to walk into a cosy warm cafe. Inside it’s hustling and bustling for a Friday morning, filled with diners shielding from the cold and digging into bacon and eggs, hot coffee and pots of tea. The outside looks deceiving as it’s the corner of a block long warehouse block, but inside it boasts high ceilings, occasional traffic sign tables, modern paintings and rustic oak communal tables.

Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full
House Cured Salmon

Three Bags Full
Pumpkin & Sage Fritters

My foodies dig into the fritter based dishes; firstly with ribbons of amazingly house cured salmon, on a corn, pea and feta fritter topped with fresh rocket, wedges of avocado and a side of dill sour cream. The pumpkin and sage fritters are a heavier and little more of a guilty pleasure for breakfast, but still very tasty – served with grilled haloumi, creamed feta, crispy prosciutto, roast cherry tomatoes and mountains of rocket.

Three Bags Full
Pea & Eggs

Three Bags Full
Atlantic Eggs 

On the eggs side of the table, we enjoy pea & eggs; a combination of crushed peas, poached eggs, mint, tomato vinaigrette and feta crumbles all on top of sourdough toast. I like the introduction of peas into breakfast, it’s a light yet tasty vegetable that should be definitely used more often. I enjoy the atlantic eggs; toast, smoked salmon, poached eggs and vibrant and generous hollandaise sauce. It has a good balance; with just the right sourness and creamy texture.

Three Bags Full

A little trek (more of an adventure..) from Melbourne CBD but definitely worth the find.

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson St
Melbourne
www.threebagsfullcafe.com

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

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May 28, 2011

Dukes Coffee, Melbourne

by minibites

Dukes Coffee

After a boozy night along Chapel St, we peered into a warehouse styled cafe filled with glossy cement polished floors, wooden tables and rustic steel chairs. It was immediately on the agenda for the next day to come back for a hangover brunch. Dukes is buzzing on a Sunday morning with people huddling around the oak communal table reading the paper and sipping their coffees and others busily chattering away about their Saturday night escapades.

Dukes Coffee
Scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with chorizo

Dukes Coffee
Green Eggs & Ham – asparagus, ham steak, fried egg, sourdough toast

Dukes CoffeeAvocado toast with hummus, poached eggs, candied bacon, dukkah

Feeling a little boring, I opted for the scrambled eggs on fresh sourdough toast with a side of chorizo sausage while picking at the other girls’ choices. I wasn’t too envious, my eggs were generous, light and fluffy but I couldn’t help myself to steal cubes of candied bacon and slices of ham steak. But who can blame me for stealing candied bacon?!

Dukes’ take on Dr Seuss’ green eggs and ham is plentiful and welcoming for the hungover – ticking all the boxes; slab of ham, ribbons of asparagus, fried eggs and crunch sourdough toast. The avocado toast is spilling with flavours from creamy avocado, hummus, runny poached eggs, cubes of candied bacon, rocket and sprinkles of dukkah. Dukkah is a mix of spices and nuts from fennel, sesame, cumin, coriander seeds with some crushed hazelnuts and almonds. Delish.

Dukes Coffee

Absolutely perfect for brunch that’s more than just bacon & eggs.

Duke Coffee Roasters
169 Chapel St
Windsor, Melbourne

Dukes Coffee on Urbanspoon

May 25, 2011

Perfect Pork Crackling @ Quarter Twenty One Cooking School

by minibites

Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School

Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School

After seven years, you begin to run out of exciting things than the same ol’ anniversary dinner. Instead of sitting through a 3 hour degustation, I booked in a cooking class at Justin North’s Quarter Twenty One for the both of us to learn some cooking techniques to up our cooking game!

IMG_0070Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School

Quarter Twenty One is divided into 3 quarters; Eat, Feed and Cook for the Soul. Turning right, there is a gorgeous table filled with fresh and colourful produce and looking through into the glamorous kitchen. The kitchen is dressed with a backdrop of bottles of herbs and spices, a LCD demonstration screen, burners on the side and a shiny U-shaped cooking bench for us to work on.

Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School

The perfect pork cracking is served with pear, a side of crushed kipfler potatoes and a sprout and chestnut saute. The aim for this express class is for us to learn the techniques and prepare our mise en place so everything is wonderfully packaged to take home to quickly cook and share with everyone.

All the vegetables and herbs are prepped and stored in take away containers, along with all our possible needs; lemon wedges, garnishes and brandy. Our slab of pork from Victor Churchill is nicely scored and we generously rub in our fennel and salt coating and taken away to be vacuum sealed and ready for home. The class is also nicely limited, so it’s easy to quickly shout out questions to the chef.

Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School

The finished product is a super crispy pork crackling, that doesn’t chip your teeth, and guards tender pieces of pork goodness. It is a guilty pleasure dish but when cooked with love and with quality ingredients, it’s all worthwhile.

This class was an express class, but there are plenty to choose from, ranging from learning techniques, skills, chef demonstrations to a full dish with sides.

Quarter Twenty One
Level 5, Westifield Sydney
Sydney
www.quartertwentyone.com.au 

May 25, 2011

Melbourne Autumn 2011

by minibites

Melbourne

Wowee! It’s not long before I am back in my almost second hometown of Melbourne again; thankfully it was all play this time, so it was hello to late nights, sleeping in, shopping along Chapel St, bar hopping and brunch galore. Posts coming soon!

May 16, 2011

Bird Cow Fish

by minibites

It’s nice to kick start a Saturday off with the girls and good ol’ brunch. Bird Cow Fish is another one of those no nonsense restaurants for brunch and wide spread tables to flutter about. With saying this, there are occasional screaming kids running around with mothers holding spoons of food ready to be flung into their mouths – just need to remember that they are little humans and need to be fed too…

Bird Cow FIsh Chai Latte

Bird Cow FIsh Potato gnocchi with prawn meat 

Even though it was brunch, there was very excuse to kick start with a shared entree. Our eyes couldn’t go pass the potato gnocchi, so a hearty carb starter it was! Soft potato pillows sauteed in burnt butter, verjuice (a juice made from unripe grapes), capers topped with crispy sage leaves. Absolutely amazing, even topping A Tavola & Omerta’s gnocchi from Taste of Sydney.

Bird Cow FIshFried salmon fishcakes

Bird Cow FIshPoached eggs, roast tomato, chorizo, sourdough toast

For mains, my foodie companion dives into the super crispy salmon fishcakes, and I opt for the traditional poached eggs, chorizo and toast combo. Three salmon fishcakes sat on top an tartare sauce, that were surprisingly light and favoursome within. My poached eggs were cooked wonderfully and once burst, the soft centre oozed all over my toast and crispy chorizo.

It goes to show that food doesn’t need to be over the top fancy, but as long as there are quality ingredients and simplicity, it works.

Bird Cow Fish
500 Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.birdcowfish.com.au 

Bird Cow Fish on Urbanspoon