Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Eat. @ Cacao Lab

Driver Lane, Melbourne CBD 3000 ph (03) 9662 4777

Since H & M opened and essentially took over the entire GPO Building, Cacao has had to relocate from its little shop bang smack in the middle of the open space it used to occupy.  Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you go and make a super duper extra special crazy awesome jug of lemonade with it, and I reckon the team at Cacao has done just that by opening Cacao Lab in its new location, right at the foot of the brand spanking new Emporium Melbourne.  

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the launch of this new store when it  officially opened its doors recently, and I must say I was quite impressed with the new concept. 

We were treated to trays of delicious savoury snacks, from little brioche sliders, to some pretty interesting savoury macarons.  I am not usually a fan of macarons in savoury dishes but these little red bites were quite interesting, topped with basil, tomato and buffalo.  

These were followed by their sweet treats, from little choux pastry (with a smile) and beakers of mango mousse.....

 to cute test tubes of pina colada and little ice cream pops.

The staff (who are the regular staff that work in the shop) were friendly and helpful, which is good because there were a lot of interesting creations in their display!

The large display cabinets showcased the amazing creations that are whipped up by their talented team on a daily basis.  Little cakes, fancy eclairs, colourful macarons and luscious chocolates. I couldn't stop taking endless photos of them, so here goes!

My Hubby had not been able to come with me as he looked after our 3 kidlets at home, so it was great that we got given showbags full of goodies to take home and let me redeem myself  for him to try out the amazing goodies.

There is now limited seating in the store, so you can enjoy the sweet stuff with a hot or cold drink, and makes for an excellent place to have a rest after a shopping frenzy at the Emporium.

Cacao Lab on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer : I attended the Cacao Lab Launch Event courtesy of Cacao Lab and Tink PR. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Eat. @ Barry

85 High St, Northcote 3070 ph (03) 9481 7623

Now that I am working 4 days a week and Bubs is going to Kinder, we have one week day a week to spend together, and he always asks me to take him to eat "eggie", probably as the kid has been out to brunch so often since he was born he thinks brunching is just part of life!  When I caught up with Jo recently she suggested I try Barry so Bubs and I popped in here for "eggies" on my day off work.  The set up is modern and clean, and lots of Mummies and their Littlies were having catch ups on the day we were there.  The staff told me that it gets super busy on the weekends so I was glad we were there on a weekday!

Bubs has an insane love for poached eggs, so we ordered the Benedict poached eggs, with potato rosti, slow braised free range ham hock, apple cider hollandaise and granny's apples ($19).  The apple cider hollandaise is an interesting twist but to me it worked well, as I love my hollandaise tangy!  And just look at that oozy gooey beautiful yolk!

My mocha was super smooth and  pretty.  Yep, Melbourne standard reached!

If you have time there's a lovely display of baked goods at the counter for a sweet, and maybe another coffee?

Barry on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Eat. @ Hero Subs (Chadstone)

Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone 3148 ph (03) 9044 6794

Hero has opened a branch in Chadstone.  I'm so impressed that the "food court" scene has changed so much in the last few years.  There are so many choices nowadays, distinctly different from when I had my first part time job in high school where take away shops had few options  and most of the food from the take away shop I worked at were fried.  And now Hero has branched out from their CBD locations and added freshly made subs to the yummy options available at Chaddy.

Hero serves "gourmet subs", which you can buy as a Full serve for $12.8, Half serve for $8.2, or Naked (no bread!) for $9.8.  We ordered a few combos (full sub, chips and drink) and upgraded to shakes to share amoungst 2 adults and 3 kidlets.

In case you didn't know how to share your subs on social media, the names of the subs are all hashtagged, hehe!  The #Kidroyale is filled with hickory rubbed slow cooked beef with onion jam, honey djion, spinach and yes, those are indeed fried onion rings on top.  I really liked the filling and those onion rings are out of this world and I think I'll have to order them as a side next time ($4).   I am not usually a fan of onion rings, because I hate the taste of under cooked onion with an oily batter, but there are well cooked and the onion is sweet the batter is super crispy. 

The #Paradise is filled with lemon and thyme roasted chicken, lettuce, hard boil egg with tartare sauce and sea salt.  "Like a fancy chicken caesar" is Hubby's verdict and it was really very nice.  I must say the subs here distinguish themselves from others due to the fresh baked bread and the good quality filling, and the meal did not feel like a "food court" take-away at all!

For sides we had #shoestringfries and sweet potato fries, and Hubby and I discussed our theories on why sweet potato fries are never as crispy as potato ones.

We also tried out the milkshakes, which were strawberry and cream, peanut butter fudge.  They were super yummy and doubled as a dessert!  All five of us were full to the brim after this indulgent lunch, and hopefully next time I'll get to try their hot ball doughnuts!

There was a little wait as each sub and milkshake is made to order, but not too ridiculous, and is a relatively fast and delicious meal when you're out for a day of Chadstone retail therapy!

Hero Subs on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Eat. @ Industry Beans

Unit 2, Corner Fitzroy Street and Rose Street, Fitzroy 3065 ph (03) 9417 1034

Brunching with Hubby last week we visited Industry Beans in Fitzroy.  I'd previously been with Bubs but it was Hubby's first visit.  This coffee roaster serves up some excellent coffee, great brunch and has a wicked time with coffee alchemy.

The fit out is warehouse cool, with a couple of long tables for sharing and some smaller, higher tables with stools for smaller parties.  Each time I've been the staff have been accommodating with small children and prams, which is lovely to see.

The mochas ($3.8) we had were lovely and smooth as expected.

Hubby ordered the Salmon Souffle ($18) which was twice baked, and served with salmon skin, caper berries and a kale and frisee salad.  I don't usually like savoury souffles but this was very light and fluffy and the salmon worked surprisingly well with it.  And it was a very pretty dish!

I ordered the Industry Charcuterie ($21), which is of course the perfect type of brekkie for me, with a bit of this and a bit of that!  The "bits" here are : 

1) coffee and molasses cured duck bacon - my favourite bit, and duck bacon is a bit exotic even for Fitzroy!
2) tea marbled eggs and salt cured yolks - the whites are not bad but the salty kick from the yolks was a standout
3) citrus cured salmon - pleasant but citrusy enough for me!
4) goats cheese - nice but quite heavy and I couldn't finish it all.
5) fennel fronds - I didn't particularly love this part, especially the jelly bits on top
6) relish - which gave this dish the tart edge it needed to balance out some of the heavier tasting components, and last and not least,
7) brioche crisps - a good mix of sweet and crunchy, I could eat lots more of that!

All in all a good "tasting plate" of interesting breakfast-y bits and I quite enjoyed it.

The table next to us ordered a burger dish which came with lots of veggie chips and I was happy to see that you could order a side of Vegie Chips with smoked paprika aioli ($6).  Which of course was crispy and yummy and more-ish and I could hoodwink myself into thinking I'm having vegetables and they're healthy (hehe!).

You can also get some interesting and fun coffee "dishes" and on a previous visit I had tried out some latte pearls ($3) which are like the pearls in Asian bubble teas but these are made from the good coffee at Industry Beans.  You can also get cold drip caviar, coffee toffee and aeropress jelly!

At the end of the meal you can always buy some of the beans and tea to take home for another dose of Industry Beans.  I enjoyed our visits to Industry Beans and it is definitely on our list of great places to brunch around Melbourne.

Industry Beans on Urbanspoon