Archive for ‘Melbourne’

March 7, 2012

Greenhouse by Joost, Melbourne

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Greenhouse by Joost

Pop-ups are ever so delightful to run into. After wandering along Southbank for breakfast and coffee, there was noticeably a large number of shipping containers, oil drums and green folliage from a distance. Parked opposite Crown Casino and as part of the month long Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Greenhouse by Joost has popped up in Melbourne.

Greenhouse by Joost

There’s no denying that the view out into the water could be as glamorous as Sydney‘s, but the look, feel and certainly woody smell still lingers around in this Melbourne pop-up.

Greenhouse by Joost

Coffee is served only for the dine in guests, but they are more than happy to fill a reusable cup. Coffee in is served in very cute terracotta tumblers, while fresh orange juice is squeezed and served in glass jam jars.

Greenhouse by JoostScrambled eggs & toast

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by JoostPoached eggs & toast

It’s early morning so there’s only a handful of dishes available for breakfast. Scrambled eggs are generous and protein perfect to start my day (loooong day at a conference!) while my foodie companion digs into the style of poached eggs on toast. They came with a pre-warning caution as the poached eggs are cooked differently to create a “just under” egg white and super runny egg yolk; I have a suspicion that they were cooked using a sous vide machine.

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by Joost is always worth a wander into if it ever pops up in your neighbourhood. It’s architectually interesting and food is equally intriguing.

Greenhouse is open from the 2nd to 20th March 2012.

Greenhouse by Joost
Queensbridge Square
Southbank, Melbourne
http://byjoost.com/greenhouse

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July 9, 2011

The Hardware Societie, Melbourne

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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

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June 4, 2011

Borsh Vodka & Tears, Melbourne

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Borsh Vodka & Tears

Borsh Vodka & Tears

I have never been to a bar that has dished up an impressive and extensive cocktail list alongside a whopping vodka menu for shots straight up. Anything that can be thought of, cherry vodka, mint vodka, chili vodka, chocolate vodka… be prepared to be strapped in for some wholesome comfort food and plentiful of shots and alcohol. Inside, we’re shielded from the cold, it’s dimly lit and cosy.

My Russian counterpart is in charge of ordering tonight and begins to order the feast and shots to accompany each course…

Borsh Vodka & TearsZakuski

Zakuski is served first and it is the Russian version of hors d’œuvres with a platter of starters from gypsy ham, warm grilled kranksy, russian potato salad, roast capsicums, beetroots, polish dill cucumbers, picked mushrooms and cubes of goats cheese. All interesting flavours of savouriness and sourness all tickling our tastebuds, downed with a shot of Winter Romance; a sweet cherry vodka delight.

Borsh Vodka & TearsPanfried Uszka

Borsh Vodka & Tears Russian style Chicken Stroganoff

Borsh Vodka & TearsGoulash

Our mains roll around the corner and first are the panfried uszka; traditional Polish meat dumplings and crepes and served with (of course) picked cucumbers and sour cream. I used to think that the Asian dumplings were good, but secretly, the Polish very good at making mouthwatering, tender dumplings.

More comfort food rolls around with a traditional Russian style chicken stroganoff with fresh rye bread on the side. The stroganoff is more watery in texture than usual but don’t let it deceive as it’s flavoursome and hearty. The goulash is equally as good; a lightly spiced beef stew made from coriander and green peppercorns and served with creamy mash potato, sauteed vegetables and a capsicum relish.

This round was topped with the Pole Stiffener shot; a liqueur cherry in cherry and chocolate vodka; and probably my favourite of the night.

Borsh Vodka & Tears Russian Crepes 

For the sweet tooths around the table, there’s not doubt that the Russian crepes is the way to go; filled with warm strawberries and apples and served with cream, raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream. It’s a nice welcome away from all the meat tonight. And of course after dessert, we topped off with the After Dinner Mint shot; a mix of Van Gogh chocolate vodka and żołądkowa mint vodka.

Borsh Vodka & TearsSomething Wicked Comes This Way & Double Rainbow

Borsh Vodka & Tears

Throughout the night there’s no holding back and we have cocktail after cocktail. The winners on the list are the Espresso Martini; quite self explainatory, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Apple Pie and Menage a Trois.

A honourable mention to the writer of the cocktail menu with wonderful cocktails named “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries” (quote from Monty Python) and “You’re turning violet, Violet” (quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

A night here isn’t fully experienced until you’ve had the borsh (soup), plenty of vodka and hangover tears.

Borsh Vodka & Tears
173 Chapel St
Windsor, Melbourne
www.borshvodkaandtears.com.au 

Borsch, Vodka & Tears on Urbanspoon

May 31, 2011

Three Bags Full, Melbourne

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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

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May 28, 2011

Dukes Coffee, Melbourne

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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