Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eat. @ Lil Boy Blue

309 High Street, Kew 3101 ph (03) 9583 5003

Lil Boy Blue is an "all day eatery" that opened up in Kew recently.  I had visited 3 times already within weeks of its opening but haven't blogged about it for an extremely selfish reason - it's fast become one of my favourite places to eat out and I wanted to keep it as a secret and therefore always get a table with no queues! *evil laugh*

My first visit was for a quick stop with Bubs after we shopped at Leo's around the corner. We sat in the front part of the cafe.  Bubs got to sit in a funky new wooden highchair whilst I enjoyed my mocha in a cute Ecology "not a paper cup".   

I opted for the brioche bun filled with pulled pork shoulder, mustard pickles, truffle pecorino & wilted spinach  ($12).  Pulled pork and brioche go together so well, this lovely slider hit the spot for a quick brunch perfectly.

I popped back for a coffee with my friend S without any of our children for my next visit and had a lovely breakfast. 

 I had my usual mocha whilst S enjoyed a latte.

ordered the  poached & crumbed eggs with trio of mushrooms, soldiers, salsa verde, pickled capsicum & goat’s curd ($16) and kindly shared some with me (for the sake of the blog of course!)  The egg cooked 2 ways was delicious in itself but made for an impressive dish with all the other elements.

I tried their salmon gravlax with potato & zucchini fritters, poached egg, mustard, dill & crème fraiche sauce ($17), and even though I didn't think it was as spectacular as the crumbed and poached egg, the dish was a very decent breakfast dish.

I finally got a chance to bring the whole gang here one Saturday afternoon.  I rang ahead to make a reservation and warned them about the kids and I was told they would hold a table  out the back for us, but as the tables and stools were higher than those out front the high chair would sit lower than the rest of us.  It was nice that they told us ahead, but fortunately we had timed it so that Bubs would be asleep in the pram (*more evil  laughing*) so it didn't pose a problem.

I was quite excited that we'd get to try the lunch.  We shared a few menu items because I ready had my eye on dessert!  It was a pork belly (read COLD) kind of day so we had the  pork belly cooked twice with sweet corn puree, caramelised apple, charred baby leeks, preserved lemon & caper dressing.  The pork belly was really delicious and my only complaint was that the serving was a bit small for the price. 

Mini Me was really keen on some soup, so we ordered the Seafood Bisque from the specials of the day.  I don't usually likely seafood soup but this one one was very pleasant and had a lovely flavour without being too fishy.  The crunchy toasted bread was great for dipping into the rich soup.

We again ordered the pulled pork brioche so Hubby can try it, and also tried their BLT slider ($8)  This was yummy but I still preferred the pulled pork!

Finally it was dessert time!  I'd had my eye on the turkish delight doughnuts with cinnamon ice cream & Allpress espresso syrup.  Fried little balls of dough with melted turkish delight, served with a little jar containing the ice-cream and a pour-over of sweet espresso syrup was a perfect end with lunch.  

We enjoyed ours with a pot of tea.

As you can tell by the number of times I'd visited and the number of pictures I've taken that I quite like this place! The staff were friendly and helpful at each of my visits and the food is  simple yet interesting.  A fantastic (and different!) addition to Kew providing all day food and drink.  Don't fight me for a table when you visit please!

Lil Boy Blue on Urbanspoon

Toilet - yes, and large enough for a pram to fit
High chair - yes, great for the front dinning area but would be too low for the tables in the back.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Batch #20 - Blueberry and Anpanman Kaya Macaron

So this was going to be a post about BLACKCURRANT macarons because I was going through a craze for blackcurrant flavoured things.  A local cafe stocked Macarons by Josephine and even though I try not to buy them since making my own macarons, I could not resist and used to indulge in the blackcurrant ones whenever I was there for a coffee.

We decided to try and make a version of the blackcurrant macarons by boiling down some ribena and making a ganache out of it.  Hubby usually does the boiling down of fruit syrups for me but on this occasion the syrup was heated for a bit too long and we ended up with a ribena caramel!  I still made a ganache out of it but didn't like the flavour much.  In the end I only filled a handful of macarons with it and ended up making a blueberry white chocolate ganache instead for the rest.  On a more positive note I thought this batch of macarons produced the most uniformly sized shells and petite feet out of all the ones I've ever baked.

I also left some macronage uncoloured and made some Anpanman macarons by filling them with store bought Kaya for my nephew's birthday, which turned out pretty well I must say considering the minimal effort that took!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eat. @ Red Cup Cafe

1124 Maroondah Hwy, Box Hill 3128 ph (03) 9899 1893

Look at that Sunshine! Yep, a good day to look for yummy food!
Next stop on our search for cafes outside of the CBD and inner 'burbs that serve great brunches and decent coffees is this unexpected gem, just down the road from the shopping precinct around Box Hill train station.  Box Hill is much more famous for its Asian Cuisine and cheap eats, but this deceptively spacious cafe just down the road offers up some surprisingly "inner suburb" fare.  

The front of the cafe was packed with weekend brunchers when Hubby and I rocked up with Bubs having an early nap in the pram. (Yes to uninterrupted brunch date!)  It felt like we were at one of my favourite cafes around Hawthorn or Fitzroy.   We were shown to the back room which housed about 6 or so tables and it was actually a very pleasant area to dine in, with plenty of room for prams and high chairs.  

Hubby and I both had a mocha each ($4.2).  A surprisingly nice mocha with a good balance of chocolate and coffee.   They do serve large sized coffees for 50c more, but I've never understood the concept of having a more dilute coffee for the sake of volume, especially since the balance of each of the components in a cup of coffee can make such a big difference to its taste.

We decided to share a serve of their Eggs Benedict ($18.5).  Rough cut bacon on toast is the twist here.  Quite nice in contrast to the usual delicate ham. The Hollandaise was quite nice and tangy.

The yolk was sweet and gooey. Yum!

Hubby was going to have the Bubble and Squeak but in the end we just shared the Benedict as I had my eye set on the Sticky Date Pudding ($8.5).  Despite (and because of) going to the gym that morning, having a large breakfast AND an indulgent dessert at 11am was probably not going anywhere but my hips.  And I'm so very glad we had this as it was an excellent Sticky Date Pudding, as judged by my self-professed Sticky Date Connoisseur Hubby.  It's a pretty decently sized serve for the price, and is perfect for sharing.  Our Waiter Dude told us that when he had the day off on his birthday last week, he came back to work to have THIS as he enjoyed the treat so much.

I know that lots of people complain about the cost of the coffee, and the food IS quite pricey for a suburban cafe.  But for us, this is really quite a nice cafe that is closer to home, so the cost of the petrol saved balances out the higher prices.  We'll definitely be back for the Sticky Date Pudding!

Red Cup Cafe on Urbanspoon

Toilets - Yes
Highchair - Yes