Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eat. @ Giddiup

269 Coventry St, South Melbourne 3205 ph (03) 9682 8820

Giddiup is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it coffee nook on Coventry Street, diagonally across the street from the Made In Japan Warehouse in South Melbourne.  I must have walked past it a thousand times without even realising it's there, as the shop doesn't "declare" itself at first glance.  The fit out is simple, with basic stools, tables, and even a few milk-crate-converts for seating.  Friendly and efficient service makes it a place you want to come back to.  Bubs and I stopped by for a mid-morning pit stop after some market shopping.

I  ordered a little BLT slider from the menu, which was simple, delicious food and hit the spot perfectly.  (It comes in 2, but the waitress let me order just 1 as I wanted to have sweets after.)  Coffee is good here, as expected in this neck of woods.  I enjoyed my mocha with a little cherry danish by Noisette.  Other pastries and cakes are available daily from the front counter.  Not a lot of room in the shop itself but patrons were accommodating and I had no issues with Bubs in a stroller.

Definitely a great spot to have a break when shopping in the area!

Giddiup on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eat. @ Coffeehead

8-10 Railway Parade, Camberwell 3124 ph (03) 9831 1400

A rare day off to do some medical tests for myself meant that I could have lunch out with Hubby on a weekday!  He always complains that I try all the cool new places without him (as it's less busy on weekdays) so we went somewhere we both hadn't been before.  Bubs was in full co-operation mode and slept in the pram for the whole meal.

Coffeehead is a spacious converted space just a bit further down Railway Parade from Brunetti's Camberwell.  The fit out is retro and the ambience is casual.  Plenty of room meant that maneuvring our pram to our table was easy and unobtrusive to other diners.

After all the fasting for tests lately I was hanging out for a coffee.  I sipped on my mocha with the pretty latte art and felt a sense of familiarity.  I looked up and spotted my favourite barista from Coffeehit at the machine!  He makes a fantastic coffee and this of course was no exception!

We ordered 2 of their mini wagyu burgers ($8.9 for one, $17.5 for two).  The brioche is all the rage now, and housemade which is great, albeit just a tad dry for my liking.  The wagyu was certainly juicy though and made up for that!  There was quite a bit slaw and ironically I made quite a dripping mess eating this but it was very tasty!

I loved the pulled pork tacos ($17.9) though.  A perfect serve of pulled pork on soft toasted tortillas and a a side of fresh salsa, mayo and lime.  I really liked this dish and would definitely have it again.

Coffeehead also do their own roasts and there are lots of bags of beans for decoration and for sale. I really quite enjoyed our visit here and would definitely come again for both the coffee and the tacos and stalk the barista!)

Coffeehead on Urbanspoon

Highchair - Yes
Toilet - yes, and big enough to fit a pram.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Batch 21 - The Wedding Macarons

I am very flattered that my brother-in-law and my now-sister-in-law asked me to make my macarons as their bonbonieres for their wedding earlier on this year.  They are known to be hard to impress so it was a real honour (and challenge!) to be part of their special day!

We decided to make Lime Butter Cream and Raspberry White Chocolate Ganache flavoured macarons, as they are my most consistent and reliable flavours, plus the pink and green colours look so preeeetty!

All up I needed 100 boxes of 2 macarons each with extras.  100 x 2 macarons = 200 macarons = 400 shells + extras!  All in all Hubby and I made over 500 shells 3 nights prior to the wedding.  We couldn't start till about 8pm that evening after work and sorting the kids out for bed first, and baked till 1am the next morning.  Luckily we made extras as I got plenty of maca-wrong shells! (of course that ALWAYS happens when you LEAST want them to!)

Then I spent the next day making the filling and then piping and assembling the macs together.  That night we had fun matching the macarons and packaging them into little boxes with the bride and groom.

I have to admit that I did lose some sleep whilst planning on timing the macaron making for them to be perfectly matured for the reception, whilst still juggling work, and kids school and activities in the week prior.  Fortunately the obsessive planning worked out in execution! The wait staff at the restaurant must have thought I was crazy as I was ultra protective of the storage and handling of the macarons right up to the moment they were placed onto the tables as bonbonieres. 

The effort was well worth it in the end.  The wedding went off smoothly, the bride and groom looked relaxed and radiant, and I got lots of compliments from the guests for the macs at the end of the day!  I know I will never be a professional macaron maker but it was great fun having a taste of what it felt like to make such a large quantity of macarons!

Lessons Learned - I bow my head down to pastry chefs everywhere.  I love my baking but I don't think I will ever be able to handle doing it as a profession!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eat. @ Le Flaneur

5 Church St, Hawthorn 3122 ph (03) 9853 8587

I keep meaning to blog about this lovely cafe in Hawthorn.  It's become one of my favourite places to visit for a coffee and a meal.  As you will see in just a small fraction of the many photos I've taken here, Le Flaneur is cute as a button, cool and quirky and homely all at once.  Needless to say I've been more than once so get ready for tons of pretty pics!

The first time I visited was in the Summer. (Oh I miss you Summer, are you back yet? I love wearing everything with my boots but I'm REALLY over winter!)  We drove past on a 33 degree day on the way back from Parenthood (another lovely store) in Richmond and my shocking air conditioner in the car stopped working.  Thank goodness it stopped right near this cute cafe so we hopped out and I had my first cold drip coffee here.  

It was fantatic, I had some of it as is, then added some milk and made a rather grown up ice-coffee!  In the mean time Mini Me had an Ice Chocolate.  Again this was a little "grown up" for her, I had a taste and it's less sweet but more dark chocolatey than her usual.

We finished the visit with a couple of  Macarons by Josephine on a pretty plate.

Fast forward to winter and the lovely coffee with the gorgeous coffee art brought me back again and again.  Some of my most popular pictures on instagram came from here!

I'm told they source their products fresh and plan their menu for the week from there.  The Lamb Special I had here was one of my favourite dishes this year.  Served with pumpkin and purple carrots the dish was beautiful to look at as well as tasty.

Mini Me has been going through a soup phase and really enjoyed their soup.  My favourite bit  has to be that buttery brioche served on the side (yes I was a bad Mummy and ate half of it!)

Another main we enjoyed was the Pork Belly.  What more can I ask for in our cold Melbourne winter than a big slab of beautifully cooked, juicy pork belly?

Dessert of course! Yes we followed up with some delicious Brioche French Toast, served with BACON and MAPLE. Brioche + Bacon + Maple = my favourite ingredients EVER, so this dish was a dream for me!

We also can't resist the baked goods on display in the front cabinet.  I have lots of pictures of these, but here's one of a dainty raspberry syrup cake and of course, more macarons.  

In between courses I just couldn't help snapping pictures of EVERYTHING.  I love the interior styling, with whimsical touches everywhere.  The pictures!  The lights!  The chairs! The cushions!

As you can see we love this place.  Maybe when you visit you'll want to grab a quiet corner for a coffee.  You'll probably spy us over at the big communal table trying to stop our excited kids from knocking over their cute glasses and tableware. (Yes it's already happened....)

Le flaneur on Urbanspoon

Toilets - Yes, very cute, spacious and can fit a pram!
Highchair - No