kensington

Frying Colours

Table

In mid-January my parents came over for a brief visit. Unlike their usual 4-6 week stays, on this occasion it was only for a week. They were meant to have a relative with them, and I was tasked with organising a restaurant for dinner, with the usual ‘just book anything, anything is fine’. At the last minute our relative pulled out of the trip, but mum and dad ended up coming anyway.

I had booked a table at Frying Colours in Kensington Village. When Ma arrived, she asked me where I’d booked, saying suspiciously: “It’s not Chinese, is it?”

“No, it’s Korean.”

“Okay good.” (Yes, my Chinese mother doesn’t like Chinese food, something that she feels the need to remind me, not like I would forget being her daughter and all.) Then this was followed up by: “It’s not Korean bbq, is it? I don’t like bbq.”

Sometimes finding a place to eat out can be very trying!

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Don’t Tell Charles

Don't Tell Charles

I found out about Don’t Tell Charles thanks to a bicycle.

Really, a bicycle.

Normal signage is so pervasive that it’s easy to ignore. But Don’t Tell Charles (DTC) advertised themselves on a bicycle propped on a lamp post – and it totally worked!

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Jerry’s Burgers ‘n’ Shakes

Burgers and fries

It’s not just me who’s pretty much stopped going to fine dining, right? Food trends have become much more casual over the past couple of years, haven’t they?

Or am I just being lazy? Because I seem to be frequenting much more casual places – for example, burger eateries – than before.

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Mr Ed

Coffee

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course,
That is of course, unless the horse,
Is the famous Mister Ed.

Does anyone else remember this show? And did anyone else ever want to now why Mister Ed talked? Or why he only talked to Wilbur? Did Mister Ed *really* speak or was Wilbur crazy? So many questions!

Fortunately Mr Ed the cafe doesn’t throw up quite so many questions. It’s a newish cafe on Racecourse Road, and must have opened in the past couple of months because I noticed it the other week when we drove past.

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STREAT

Note: this is a scheduled post while I’m away. Replies to comments/emails will be even slower than usual. :)

Streat is great. Here’s four reasons why:

1: Chipotle spiced beans with pork belly. For breakfast.
2: It’s a social enterprise and assists homeless youth with hospitality training.
3: They have a breakfast called Dogs breakfast that has hushpuppies. CUTE.
4: See reason 1 again (it deserves to be noted twice).

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Fifty-Six Threads Cafe

“Hey Azzie. I’m in your hood,” Haz messaged me one day. “We’re going to Fifty-six threads.”

“Where? Are you buying sewing supplies?” was my response.

She told me it was a social enterprise venture that had launched at the end of last year by AMES – an organisation that helps new and recently arrived migrants and refugees to settle in Victoria. The main aim of the cafe is to provide employment and training for new migrants who want to work in the hospitality industry.

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Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen

There’s an inner glutton in me. She is mostly tamed and kept deep down inside, but occasionally she rises to the surface. Normally she comes out in the presence of other gluttons ie Ms Kat. However, I discovered the other night that my glutton is only a glutton in training in comparison to Kat.

Kat wanted to go to Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen to eat Sichuan food and “shit on sticks” (my terminology – translation: meat/vegies on skewers). Since it’s my side of town, I was keen and we gathered up Thanh, Kat’s partner Josh, Alastair and Bro for a visit one night last week.

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The Premises 2

Alastair and I are quite different, but we have a really good relationship. Part of that is because despite our differences, we have the important things in common. We hold similar political views, are non-religious, and most importantly – neither of us are morning people!

Even though we’re not morning people, we’ve recently started getting up earlier in the weekend. And you know what? There are so many more hours in the day! The day never seems to end! It’s amazing!

Recently on one of our “get up early” Saturdays, we returned to The Premises for coffee and lunch. Because we had been up for several hours already, we had eaten toast for breakfast at home several hours before.
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The Premises

I love a leisurely weekend cafe brunch, but I have quite specific brunch desires when it comes to eating out – the café must have interesting sounding savoury options. I don’t want to eat somewhere that just does eggs and toast and muesli. I can eat that at home!

Alastair and I were down in Kensington Village the other weekend, and there appears to be a couple of new cafes that have opened up. We had breakfast at The Premises, located on the corner of Bellair Street and Macaulay Road. If you’re familiar with the Village, it’s the funny L shaped shop that has an entrance on both streets.
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Tonik

The other weekend we headed to Tonik with our regular dining pals, Benisa (Ben + Lisa) plus Nathan. Tonik is a bar located in Kensington Village, which does some rather good food. It feels very cosy inside, with couches and an open fire place on one side of the room and tables on the other. At the back is the bar, along with a staircase that leads upstairs where more tables are located.

Tonik

We started with the Tonik Tasting Plate – “a selection of delicately prepared morsels designed to share” ($12.50 per person with a minimum of 2 people). Menu descriptions makes me chortle sometimes! Anyhoo, sometimes when I order a “tasting plate” I get disappointed because what comes out is mostly dips and bread. This wasn’t the case with this one! I was quite impressed by what we received. There were two little cups of a curried lentil soup, two beef skewers, polenta chips, calamari, roasted mushrooms, pita bread and tzatziki. The calamari, polenta chips and mushrooms were particularly good.

Tonik

For mains, Ben and I both had the potato gnocchi covered in a creamy blue cheese and broccoli sauce finished with rocket and toasted walnuts ($17.90). I’ve been in a gnocchi mood lately – and the gnocchi at Tonik were pretty good. It was a mild blue cheese sauce, creamy and rather tasty. But I got a bit tired of the rocket after a while, it was fairly bitter and I had loads!

Tonik

Alastair had the other gnocchi option – the pork and veal meatballs, cooked in a spicy tomato ragout ($17.90). It’s hard to go wrong with meatballs in a tomato sauce!

Tonik

Lisa had the chicken mushroom, leek & juniper berry ‘pot pie’ with sour cream flaky pastry and iceberg salad ($21.00). Lisa’s meal was massive – almost bigger than her!

Tonik

After our meals, Alastair and I shared a dessert. I know how much he loves sticky date pudding, so that’s what we had, a big slab of it sitting in butterscotch sauce ($10.50). I let him eat most of it.

Tonik

Benisa shared the self saucing chocolate pudding laced with brandy and accompanied with ice cream and fresh cream ($10.50). It looked super pleasingly gooey inside.

During the week, Tonik does some bargain dinners. On Mondays there’s $6 pizzas, and Wednesdays is steak and a beer for $12. I can recommend the steak and beer evening – it’s a good, inexpensive way of celebrating the middle of the working week.

Tonik
524 Macaulay Road
Kensington
Phone: (03) 9376 9928