Hawthorn

Bagelicious

July 7, 2015

To this day I have never had a bad bagel experience.

Would the cutely named Bagelicious buck this trend? No – thank God.

Bagelicious kindly invited us to join them in their new store in Hawthorn. When I first walked into Bagelicious, I let out a sigh of relief. Finally, I thought, we were going to eat somewhere that wasn’t plastered with an industrial chic interior. Without a hipster in sight, Bagelicious offers a clean and crisp setting. It’s not uncomfortably clinical, but rather quite modern and inviting. Think a local exhibition space with high ceilings and brilliant lighting. You lucky Swinburne students!

     

Vincent – Smoked Salmon / Cream Cheese, Capers on an Everything Bagel $9.90

Yes, I was boring and went for a safer option, but in my defence if you nail a classic surely it’d reflect your overall ability. The bagel itself was perfect. It wasn’t so hard that you’d confuse it with a discus and not so soft to make wonder what additives could be in it. It’s what you’d come to expect from a good bagel. The luminous cream cheese, blanketed by the protein packed smoked salmon and with just a sprinkle of capers. Bliss.

Sandy – Chicken Mexican / Avocado, Aioli, Lettuce, Tomato & Onion $12.90

A good bagel makes me happy. Not too dry and not too hard. Bagelicious has aced that. It was warm and tasted like it was just taken out of the oven. I chose the “Everything Bagel” simply because it had everything. Unlike Vincent, I chose a Bagel under Hot Fillings. The chicken was tender and did not need to be carried with sauce. This bagel had no fault.

Together we also tried the new item on the menu; wedges served with sweet chilli aioli which was a good snack on the side.

We also tried a warm Blueberry dessert bagel that was accompanied by Bagelicious’ homemade 4-cheese cream cheese. This was the best dessert bagel I’ve ever had. The pineapple bits in the cream cheese gave the cream cheese a sweet twist which was quite different to the plain cream cheese bagels you would usually get.

 

Ratings:

Vincent – 4/5

Sandy – 5/5

Click to add a blog post for Bagelicious on Zomato

Melbourne CBD

Bowery to Williamsburg (Midtown)

June 22, 2015

Hardware Street, and its surroundings have become staple brunch destinations. Very much where you would take your interstate friends in order to make some conceded point of how trendy and cool Melbourne is. Does Bowery to Williamsburg (BW) establish itself as another must-visit culinary hotspot? Yes.

Entering BW you’ll find yourself weaving pass other patrons and staff until you reach your seat. The place is incredibly narrow, but claustrophobics fear not! With it’s relatively high ceilings, BW feels like an open New York-esque delicatessen. The food-prep battle stations and the dinning area share a common space. You only need to peep over your shoulder to see the mesmerizing materialisation of your order. Be prepared to have other patrons to hear your scandalous brunch gossip because there is only one long communal table. Space efficiency is key.

Vincent

Chickpea and Green Pea Falafel Wrap – $14

Let’s not play around, I should have ordered the bagels. I love falafel more than I love meat, so that wasn’t the issue here. That damn Tzatziki however, was so overpowering that it’s sourness just ruined everything. The Tzatziki, like that ingrown hair on your inner thigh, just had to go. Without the sour white evil paste, the wrap was pleasant, but not out of this world amazing. I really wanted to like this place.

Sandy

Lechon Asado – $13

Served on a cafeteria-like tray, Cuban praised pork, pickled zucchini, fennel and celeriac slaw, and garlic aioli on a brioche bun sounded absolute amazing for the whale that was calling from my stomach. And… it sure was! The lechon was moist and every element completed each other well in this burger.

Ratings:

Vincent – 3/5

Sandy – 4.5/5
Click to add a blog post for Bowery to Williamsburg on Zomato

Brunswick

Code Black Brunswick

May 22, 2015

Code Black Brunswick is pretty famous for the overly pretentious Triple J/hipster crowd, so when Sandy suggested we eat at Code Black, I honestly expected to be served by someone who shopped solely at Savers. As Sandy was engaged in, what seemed to be, an eternal struggle to find parking, I wondered into Code Black alone. The lighting was dim and a sensual RnB feel to the room. The place was simply set up with no focus on trying to be pompously Avant-Garde. No shade on the other places we’ve reviewed though.

Vincent

Pork, Duck & White Bean Cassoulet, Poached Egg, Gremolata & Toasted Sour Dough $20

First things first, round of applause to me for pronouncing “cassoulet” correctly. Now for the food, I inadvertently ordered yet another tomato-base dish (my bad). The cassoulet was almost like a minestrone soup. Just like the expensive fur coat you inherited from your wealthy estranged aunty, the dish was warm, full of character and appropriate for the miserable Melbourne weather. The most magical moment comes when you break into the poached egg and witness the sea of yellow yolk just seep everywhere. I love bread and, more often than not, I find eateries are just stingy with their portions of carbohydrates. The reverse is the case with Code Black. There was just too much bloody buttery bread.

Sandy

Crispy Chickpea, Chorizo, Dried Tomato, Roasted Kipfler Potato, Parsley & Shaved Manchego Salad with Tahini Dressing & Toasted Sesame $16.90

My dish was quite different from what I usually order. There were earthy undertones from the greens, but when eaten in a mouthful with the other components it was quite pleasant. The roasted kipfler potato chips and chick peas added a nice crunch to the salad.

Ratings:

Vincent – 3/5

Sandy – 3/5

Code Black Coffee on Urbanspoon

Melbourne CBD

Krimper

May 4, 2015

Situated in what appears to be a former warehouse, Krimper offers an industrial interior no different to what you would expect from other alleyway cafes. You might miss this one if you’re not looking properly. This is of course with the exception of the large wooden crate out back, which you may dine in if you are lucky enough to allocated such excusive seats. The big wooden box in the middle of the room and the frantic staff, these are two most memorable elements of Krimper.

Vincent

Chicken – Stuffed with Sage and Chillli, Crushed Carrot Harissa, Peas, Mustard Seed $20

The last time I was at Krimper I ordered the awful Quinoa salad (please avoid this like you would the plague). I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. I ordered the chicken to be safe this time, because how can you screw up chicken? The dish was strikingly presented on a black plate, effectively highlighting the pool of the sweet potato the chicken breast delicately sat on. It was certainly appealing to the eye. The flavours were subtle yet still aromatic. Middle eastern in inspiration perhaps?

I went with the safe option and that’s, quite frankly, what I got.

Sandy

UPMA – Crispy Polenta, Yoghurt, Eggplant Relish, Manchego Custard and Poached Eggs  $16

I went with the polenta chips as I quite enjoy them. This dish had no surprising element that I really adored, though the eggplant was nice and sweet. The flavour of (not sure what it was, kumquat?) overpowered my taste buds. I felt like the elements in this dish didn’t compliment each other well. The poached eggs and sour cream were a bit too heavy to have on the one plate.

Rating:

Sandy – 2/5

Vincent – 3/5

Krimper on Urbanspoon

Carlton

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink

April 14, 2015

This was the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life.

If our reviews were based on the coffee alone, the Vertue of the Coffee Drink would be the only café worthy of 5/5 rating. I’m begging you on my knees to please go and enjoy a cup of that illustrious black liquid, before the weather turns absolutely feral. The Vertue is completely tucked away in crevasse of some god-forsaken alleyway near Lygon Street. It looks more like a path to a certain death by confrontation with a meth addict, rather than a pleasant dinning experience. The interior can be described as industrial chic fused with a green house. The result? Spectacular. Natural light rushes in and engulfs the place with a saintly glow. How could not be in love with the Vertue already? P.S There’s also a little hidden dining area upstairs for those who want the place to themselves.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Vincent

Chickpea chips with charred asparagus, preserved cherry tomato & basil salad, shaved parmesan and poached eggs – $18

The poached egg was faultless. Cutting into it immediately followed the oozing of creamy yolk. The sizeable chickpea chips were creamy and were wonderfully complemented by the sweet cherry tomatoes and the pungent shavings of parmesan. The asparagus offered itself as a refreshing palate cleanser, contrasting the stronger elements of the dish. I was at pains when deciding what rating I would give the Virtue. The food was good, the atmosphere was too and you already know how I feel about the coffee. It wasn’t, however, great to the extent that it would garner a perfect score. Sorry.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Sandy

Eight-hour lamb shoulder, tabouleh, baby broccoli, dukkah, tahini $22

That satisfaction when you bite into meat and it just melts in your mouth. This lamb shoulder was so damn moist. The side elements to this dish was pretty bland, however the saltiness of the lamb balanced this dish out and pulled the dish together. It was quite a Mediterranean maybe even Greek-like dish with the tahini and lamb combo.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Rating:

Vincent – 4/5

Sandy – 5/5

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink on Urbanspoon

Melbourne CBD

Operator 25

March 30, 2015

Goodness. The day that I have feared has finally arrived. I am sad to announce that that I have become a coffee snob. Typical pompous Melbournian behaviour. The exterior of Operator 25 looks like any other brick building you would pass in Melbourne’s CBD. I, being the snob I am, assumed that I was going to be glugging down mediocre and nibbling uninspired dishes.

How I love being wrong in these situations.
The new age, synth-pop and Lorde style beats will seduce you to come inside to have a peak. I knew where this was going. Soon I was seated and gently fingering my way through the menu. I knew what I wanted.

 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Vincent
Braised Eggs in Spiced Tomato Sauce, Grilled Morcilla, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Labna served with House Corn Bread $18

Hello Braised Eggs! I’ve been waiting. I absolutely love corn bread, but it’s always a hit or a miss whenever I order it. In this case, it proved to be amazing. It was sweet, moist on the inside and yet crunchy on the outside. Much like how you would want your French toast. The eggs were braised in a sea of beans, tomato sauce, chickpeas and sweet potatoes. In the centre of storm was a dollop of Labna (a yoghurt product similar to cream cheese) combing all these elements onto my fork, I nervously took the first mouthful. I was expecting warmed up death, but instead I got a hearty mix of flavours. I was quite pleased (who am I kidding it was bloody divine!). At this point I was too exited to take down any more notes. This rustic broth of flavourful elements was hot, but I didn’t care. I probably burnt the roof my mouth, but it didn’t matter. I was finally satisfied.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Sandy

Sweet Corn Fritters with Fried Duck Egg, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Goats Curd and Basil and Dill Herb Oil $18

Having been here before, I knew what I was expecting from previous dining experience. I love this place.
Corn fritters are my absolute favourite brunch food therefore; I had to order this dish. You would expect a corn fritter dish to come out as one or two little patty-sized fritters as the bed of the dish, but Operator 25 has uniquely presented this dish as a decomposed-like dish with dollops of goats curd, basil and dill herb oil in between each fritter. These fritters melted in my mouth!

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
Can I just mention how perfect this duck egg looks? Almost wax like!

Rating:

Vincent – 4/5
Sandy – 5/5

Operator25 on Urbanspoon

Melbourne CBD

The Mule Café

March 17, 2015

A stone’s throw away from Little Mule Café is Captains of Industry and just down the other alley way is Manchester Press. Fair to say, that this little alleyway eatery has some stiff competition.

So how do they try and stand out? Well…by not doing much at all, literally. Bare essentials – perfectly describe the interior of the Little Mule Café.

Like many other before it, the Little Mule Café décor is very industrial. It feels familiar. You’ve seen this before. It has been replicated over and over again. I can’t help but feel that this is the mood the Little Mule Café wants to exude. You’ve tried all the crazy, now come back to what you know.

Vincent

Tuna & Wild Rice Salad: Tuna & Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Rocket & lemons $12

“Tuna and Wild Rice Salad please blow me away” – I quietly thought to myself. It arrived in front of me and I instantly dismissed it as something I could have made at home. I took my first bite and my dismissive judgements were confirmed. I wasn’t upset but damn this was a let down.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Sandy

Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo Beetroot Relish, Avocado & Rocket $10

Though I am not quite the fan of sourdough when it is toasted, this sandwich was quite delightful. As a chicken sandwich is usually quite dry, the textures from the chipotle mayo, beetroot relish and avocado made every mouthful ever so delicious.

                  Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Rating:

Vincent – 3/5

Sandy – 4/5

Little Mule Cafe on Urbanspoon

Collingwood

The Farm Café

February 10, 2015

Sipping lattes surrounded by chickens and menacing goats might not sound like a hygienic way to spend the afternoon, but we promise the Farm Café offers an experience beyond the enticing aromas of animal droppings.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Alfresco-Provincial-Living is the only way to justly depict the charming set up of the Farm Café. Your dream garden wedding would look like this. The wooden greenhouse-like seating area is dotted with dimly lit light bulbs and is, of course, surrounded by rich and vibrant vegetation. The only sounds that fill the air are the quite whistles of the blowing wind and the calm chatter from the other tables.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Vincent

Goat’s Toast to be accompanied by an aromatic latte (goodbye mochas). I ordered the Goat’s toast consisting of creamy goat’s curd, a poached egg, house beetroot relish, herbs and a side of spinach. $16.50

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

The sweet spaghetti like beetroot and the sharp goats curd, twirl on your taste buds in complete unison. The spectacular, however, didn’t begin until I sandwiched everything before into the toast. The creamy yolk from the egg and the zesty spinach were a pleasure to scoff. Do yourself a favour and forget the utensils. Get into this dish with your hands. Like my outfit that day, everything was on point.

Sandy

Swiss Brown Mushrooms. This consisted of Swiss Brown Mushrooms, Goat’s curd, Sautéed silverbeet and Poached eggs on a bed of Crispy Polenta with a side of Avocado. This dish is also Gluten-Free and Vegan friendly! $16.50

Farm Cafe 3

The goat’s curd made out to be the perfect spread for the polenta and could not get anymore fresh than this. As the poached eggs dribbled down the mushrooms and silverbeet onto the polenta bed, this dish turned out to be delectable.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The Farm Café is just a stone’s throw from the city, though you feel as you’ve travelled for miles into the heart of the country.

Rating:

Vincent – 5/5

Sandy – 5/5

Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon

Carlton

Le Miel Et La Lune

January 29, 2015

    Located in Carlton just a few minutes walk from Melbourne University, this little café is quite a unique addition to Melbourne’s brunch scene. French word “Le Miel Et La Lune” translated (with the help of Google translate of course) means Honeymoon. Quite strange as the menu was screaming Korean-fusion.

Le Miel Et la Lune is armed with enormous windows that immediately boost beams of colour and life into the café. This corner café is the perfect place to wind down with a book over coffee and great food or to catch up with some friends.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv03 preset

No need to venture out to Collingwood for those who enjoy Proud Mary’s coffee. This is the place to be, they use Proud Mary’s roasted coffee!

Sandy

Pork Belly Potato Hash $17.90

Le Miel 2

The decision was not hard, as you don’t see a collaboration with pork belly and potato hash everyday. The pork belly was not much of a stunner it sought out to be. It was quite thinly sliced, so you could not taste much. The Shimeji mushrooms and creamy (and boy do they mean creamy!) sesame sauce complimented the dish well, however was quite empowering. Also topped with a poached egg, this dish made out to be a very heavy dish. It was in need of something to refresh the palette.

Not to say I didn’t enjoy the dish, it was actually really good, just a bit too much for myself.

Le Miel 1

Other dishes ordered by friends over a much-needed catch up after University exams:

Bulgogi Burger, Sweet Corn Fritter, Cheesy Spicy Chicken

 Think picnic on a lovely sunny day, Le Miel Et La Lune is a breath of fresh air.

Rating:

Sandy – 3.5/5

Le Miel Et La Lune on Urbanspoon

Abbotsford

Three Bags Full

January 19, 2015

Three Bags Full. Let’s get right into it!

Located in Abbotsford; the suburb right next door to it’s oriental neighbour, Richmond. This little gem is suave, smooth and laid back.

Three Bags Full only adds to the irresistible appeal of the Caucasian side of the Abbotsford/Richmond area. The industrial interior is dimly lit in a charming way and the place is simply furnished. Soothing folk music (Ed Sheeran-like) serenades diners, while they heap morsels of goodness into their mouths. This warm aura of place immediately hugs and makes you feel at ease. If you ever go for a weekend getaway, this is what it should feel like.

 Three Bags Full 2

After two minutes of agonising over the menu, we ordered the following:

Vincent

Beetroot Cured Salmon with a Pea, Corn and Feta Fritter served with a side of Lemon, Avocado, Rocket and Dill Sour Cream $18.50

Three Bags Full 5

Don’t be put off by the beetroot salmon! It’s an unorthodox mix of flavours, BUT they dance very well together. The beetroot transforms the salmon from vibrant print into a rich ruby red. Fair to say it’s the crown jewel on top of this rustic dish. The fritters, rocket, dill and avocado unapologetically stand together as a monument of scrumptiousness. If you live for creamy goodness, this dish will have you scraping off every last iota of joy from your plate.

Sandy (Specials Menu)

Bacon & Cheese stuffed Savoury French Toast, Cauliflower Soubise, Poached Eggs & Herbs $17

Three Bags Full 4

The pillar of comfort that was stuffed savoury French toast, also proved to be quite a delight. The French toast was dense and savoury. There was an obvious egg and onion flavour that instantly came through, very much reminiscent of an omelette or quiche. There were also bacon bits nestled inside the thick cuts of toast, that will no doubt remind of the calorie rich cheese and bacon rolls you use to get in primary school. Beneath the square of carbs lays a sweet Cauliflower soubise. This allows for an excellent balance in flavours. The dish overall is rich, heavy and creamy. So you may feel that the dish becomes repetitious.

Three Bags Full 3

What makes Three Bags Full worth going to? It’s simple food, done well. It doesn’t yell extravaganza. It doesn’t even suggest it. It doesn’t have to. It’s the simple things in life that make you happy. The food from Three Bags Full embodies this mantra.

Rating:

Sandy – 4.5/5

Vincent – 4/5

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon