Saturday, August 22, 2015

Eat. @ Pillar of Salt

541 Church St, Richmond ph (03) 9421 1550

We've been to Pillar of Salt quite a few times and I can't believe I haven't blogged about it yet!  Bubs and I had another visit the other day on our brunch roulette adventures.  We used to come with the pram, and we would be quite comfortably seated out the back in the backyard.  More and more now we get to sit at the communal table out the front, on high stools which can be a little challenging for little ones but Bubs enjoys the "grown up" chairs.  The coffee here is always nice, my mocha ($3.8 ) never disappoints.

Our go-to dish here is the Benedict ($17.5), poached eggs with braised and shredded Ottway ham hock, smashed peas, and their apple cider hollandaise on toast.  The combination is perfect and always ticks the boxes for a hearty Melbourne brunch.

The cafe is always full and bustling, with coffee drinkers dashing in for their brew and take-away baguettes and baked goodies, as well as groups of diners catching up over breakfast, brunch and coffees.  I think it speaks volumes that they remain so busy, with the popular Top Paddock just down the road.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Eat. @ Legacy

347 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell ph (03) 9041 1796

We ventured out to Legacy for lunch during the most recent school holidays.  It's a busy little brunch spot on the ground floor of a new low rise apartment block on Camberwell Rd.  (Look for the nearby Beacon Lighting!)

The first time I was there with Bubs there was a big wait so we just grabbed some of their delectable donuts to go.

I next visited with all 3 kidlets in tow.  They started off with a couple of cool milk shakes ($6.5, comes in caramel, chocolate, strawberry or vanilla) served in jars of course.

I had a chilli mocha ($4.6) which I must admit was not very strong in the chilli at all (I actually asked to confirm that I did get the chilli version), so next time I'm gonna ask for one with more kick!

First up came the Sweet Potato, kale and amaranth fritters, with goat's cheese,Kaiser bacon and cherry vine tomato relish ($17.5).  A good standard Melbourne brunch dish, I did like the combination of sweet potato and kale in the fritters, and the chutney adds the tang in a good way.

My favourite was the Seared Sesame Tuna Tataki ($22) served with soba noodles, avocado, snow pea sprouts, spring onion, pickled ginger and an Asian dressing.  A really fresh fusion dish that was quite healthy and tasty.  

We couldn't decide between the sweets and ended up ordering 2 dishes!  (That's the great thing about eating out with the family!!!)  First up the Hokey Pokey Pancakes ($17.9) which of course was Macaron Monster's favourite! With house made honeycomb, ricotta, orange, vanilla bean creme fraiche, pomegranate and strawberries (and figs too as you can see).  The honeycomb was the bomb, and needs to be included in all desserts in my opinion!

Then we had the passion fruit pannacotta ($16.9), which was a very pretty dish with crushed pistachios, figs, strawberries, blueberries and an orange and poppy seed tulle.  The pannacotta was lovely and smooth and the fruits were refreshing with the pistachio and tulle bringing the crunch.  A perfect dish for those who like desserts for breakfast like I do.

The service was efficient and friendly, the music a little too loud but made for a bustling atmosphere.  I liked all the dishes we tried and am looking forward to coming back for some butter fried chicken on my  next visit!

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Eat. and Shop. @ Hinoki Japanese Pantry

279 Smith Street, Fitzroy ph (03) 9417 4531

I'm always on the look out for a good place for Japanese groceries and a good place for sushi.  Hinoki Japanese Pantry has both!

I really like the range of Japanese groceries available at Hinoki.  They have a great selection of essentials like sauces, noodles and cooking aids, as well as a fabulous range of rice crackers, sweets and snack foods that brings me back again and again!

The draw for most people of course is the fresh sushi bar on site.  There's limited seating available for eat-ins, but mostly I tend to grab take away for a great sushi meal on the go.   I find that aburi salmon sushi is not readily available in Melbourne but they make both nigiri as well as aburi salmon topped rolls here!

And of course a kicker of a match milkshake for $2.8 is always good!

A favourite place to eat and shop for our family!

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Eat. @ Lights in the Attic

38 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East 3123 ph (03) 9813 5042

Bubs and I ventured down to Lights in the Attic on one of our brunch roulette adventures.  Like a lot of new cafes in the area, it's on the ground floor of a new small apartment complex.  I've always wondered what it's like to live above a cafe, would the fragrance of coffee and breakfast wake you everyday, or would you get sick of the smell?

Anyway, Lights in the Attic is bright and cheery, and we were quickly seated when we arrived.  I really liked the pendant lights in the over the counter, and also over the bar seats.

I ordered a mocha ($3.8) which utilises Atomica beans.  It was sweet, dark and rich.

I pretty much chose to come here because of the amazing photos of the Birds Nest ($18) I had seen on instagram, so ordering was easy!  This was a scotch eggs with potato chips nest and kransky chilli beans base, and grated parmesan cheese on top.  The beans were delicious and the nest was of course an absolute hit with Bubs, but somehow I didn't love the coating on the scotch eggs as I found it quite sour.  After chatting with the staff who spoke with the chef, I was told that it had vegemite in the mix and bingo!  Not being a fan of vegemite that might explain why I didn't really like it.  The eggs themselves were quite nice though.  

There were lots of interesting menu items I'd like to return to try and hopefully I'll get a chance to pop back again soon!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Eat. @ Hash Specialty Coffee and Roasters

113 Hardware Street, Melbourne CBD ph (03) 8529 0284

Brunch roulette this week landed us at Hash Specialty Coffee Roasters, as I had to pop into the CBD to pick up something.  It's a newly opened cafe right across from The Hardware Societe.

The staff were friendly and accommodating with Bubs and we were quickly seated.  Their standard water is actually carbonated, and whilst Bubs was fascinated with its presentation in a beaker, he's not a fan of fizzy drinks and the staff were very thoughtful and offered him some good old H2O right off the bat. (Sorry, cricket reference, Hubby has been watching the Ashes!)

We ordered the HASH hot chocolate ($6) which is their signature "hot chocolate wonder", made with Mork Dark Chocolate and served with fairy floss.  It's presented in a beaker with a mountain of fairy floss in the cup.

Pouring the hot chocolate onto the fairy floss rapidly shrinks it into the cup.  Bubs was absolutely fascinated with the whole thing!  By the time the beaker was empty I had a cup of thick hot chocolate which was absolutely delicious.  I had worried it was going to be way too sweet even for me who is an absolute sweet tooth, but it was actually really lovely, sweet obviously, but also smooth and silky in texture and a deep chocolate taste that comes from top quality cocoa.

Bubs and I shared the Leek and Cheddar Croquettes ($19.5), which was served with cauliflower puree, ham hock, cavallo nero, and a tuneric poached egg.  The croquettes were fabulous, super crunchy coating embracing a soft mashy centre with delicate leek flavour and stringy cheese.  Bubs is a hash/croquette/rosti connossieur and he gave it a big thumbs up!  The rest of the dish was also really well put together, the cauliflower puree was really tasty and the cavallo nero had a slight tang and the ham hock were appropriately smokey.  The poached egg was also nice but I'm not if the tumeric made a lot of difference taste-wise but the yellow did give the food pictures a nice pop in colour!

We came early on a weekday so there were no queues.  I can't wait to bring the whole family back to try the other dishes on the menu, and the older two will no doubt be just as impressed with the fun hot chocolate.

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Eat. @ Waffee (Emporium)

Lower Ground, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD ph (03) 8609 8185

For a sweet treat, Waffee in the basement of the Emporium is a favourite of ours.  Waffee = waffles + coffee of course.

Their waffles are sweet and crispy, and even Bubs is pretty good at holding onto one and munching on it as we wander around the Emporium without getting too sticky. 

We've always gone for the sweet waffles, either in its original flavour ($2.8), or with chocolate glaze ($3.3), which is obviously a tasty but much messier affair for my kids!  I often get a pack of 6 to take away, and they can be kept for 3 days and heated up in your toaster.

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