Archive for July, 2011

July 12, 2011

Tea House @ White Rabbit Gallery

by minibites

White Rabbit Gallery

I love getting absorbed and lost in art galleries around town and White Rabbit is one of my absolute favourites. It always brings controversial and thought provoking pieces of contemporary Chinese art to the scene, and recently introduced dumplings to their tea house. Before every wander around, a pot of warm, beautiful tea and sunshine by the window is a definite must!

White Rabbit Gallery

The tea house is on the right of the entrance, and it’s gorgeous. White sky high ceilings hang the mismatching bronze and wooden bird cages, while sunshine floods through the large floor to roof windows. The wooden tables are all dressed elegantly with oriental red drapes and china teapots to match.

White Rabbit Gallery

The tea collection is quite extensive from the usual blends to some amazingly pretty choices. Teas slowly blossom as the afternoon progresses, pretty rose petals and chrysanthemum flowers. And all the fun is in smelling the selection before choosing.

White Rabbit Gallery

White Rabbit recently introduced homemade dumplings to nibble on in the tea house, and they’re deliciously soft and juicy. There are also selections of asian snacks from rice crackers, dried fruits and nuts.

White Rabbit Gallery

But hurry! The Decade of the Rabbit is currently on until July 31st and the gallery re-opens on August 25th with a new exhibit.

White Rabbit Gallery
30 Balfour St
Chippendale, Sydney
www.whiterabbitcollection.org

White Rabbit Teahouse on Urbanspoon

July 9, 2011

The Hardware Societie, Melbourne

by minibites

The Hardware Societie

Melbourne is almost my second home, and proud to say that I’ve gravitated away from the touristy Degraves St to find more tastier brunch options. It’s early and there are crowds buzzing around in the laneway, all with their ears open waiting for their name to be yelled out. Our names are taken on a large paper doily and the only option is to mull over the menu again and again till we’re called in.

The Hardware Societie

On the outside, the cafe is simple on the outside and so easily missed as it’s tucked between the tall skyscrapers of the city. But inside, it has quirky little accents that make you feel like nanna has invited you over for tea. The gorgeous long oak communal table has floral sugar pots and vibrant yellow butter plates. There are personal touches here and there, even with one of the staff’s birthday wish list is written on the wall.

The Hardware Societe

I’m beginning to enjoy ordering tea instead of coffee for brunch to see all the wonderful ways it can be presented. On wooden trays, with timers, and now with homemade knitted tea cosys and tea served in delicate gold rimmed china. Squeal!!

The Hardware Societe
Poached Eggs

The Hardware SocieteBaked Eggs

Presentation points go far and beyond for this little cafe. My foodies choose the poached eggs in terracotta pots filled with poached eggs, chorizos, roasted baby peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas and goats cheese. My baked eggs come in a cute little red pot packed to the brim with goodies! Delicious eggs, peas, chorizo bites and cherry tomatoes – both finished off with fresh slices of bread with olive oil.

It was so cosy and warm inside, I didn’t want to leave!

The Hardware Societe
120 Hardware St
Melbourne

The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon

July 5, 2011

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

by minibites

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Stumbling through the large barn like doors on Danks Street, it was nice to be shielded from the rain and cold. Cafe Sopra sits on the top of the constantly busy Fratelli Fresh market below – bringing the freshest fruit and veggie produce along with the pantry basics.

Cafe Sopra in Waterloo is probably my favourite, being the most rustic, being warehouse styled with gorgeous wooden finishes and natural light beaming through french styled windows.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

There’s only the 2 of us so we grabbed a seat at the bar where we could peer into the kitchen and watch countless dishes emerge from the relatively zen-like kitchen. Whilst also eying all the numerous desserts that we guiltily wanted…

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

The menu is generously extensive and most likely has a dish to tickle everyone’s fancy, and undergoes numerous changes to match the seasonal produce. As the afternoon progresses, the menu becomes shorter and shorter as the dishes become snapped up. Skipping the entree (to save belly space for dessert), we dive into some warm hearty pastas, mmmm!

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Mezze Rigatoni

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Penne al Forno 

It’s not long when the waitress leans over and presents a large bowl of steaming mezze rigatoni – soft cylinders of pasta mixed with soft beef ragu, bolognese sauce and light parmesan snow on top. My fellow foodie devoured the penne al forno (Italian for “from the oven”) – a terracotta dish filled with penne pasta, amazing slices of smoked ham, spinach, florets of cauliflower and oozy melted mozzarella on top.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Banoffee Pie

The rain began to fall, so we chit chatter until our mains digest and dive into the infamous banoffee pie that countless friends have recommended. Banoffee is an English dessert which is simply, banana and toffee! Surprisingly it wasn’t too overwhelming sweet nor heavy even with the naughty layers of cream on top.

The next day we were battling banoffee cravings, so I gave it ago! The recipe was from Taste. Instead of just a dollop of cream on top, I whipped thickened cream, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and sugar till soft peaks formed then piped it on top. Viola!

Banoffee Pie

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Amazingly satisfying Italian dishes made from the freshest produce for brunch and lunch. Delish!

Cafe Sopra
7 Danks St
Waterloo, Sydney
www.fratellifresh.com.au 

Cafe Sopra on Urbanspoon