kensington

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

Blush Foodroom (closed) – Happy Birthday, Bro!

It was Bro’s birthday on Friday – 08/08. How lovely that the Olympics were scheduled especially to celebrate his birthday!

On Friday night, we went to Blush Foodroom to kick off the eating weekend. Blush is located on a corner, in a cottage that was once a milk bar. Nowadays, it’s a split-level restaurant that also does a busy trade during weekend brunch time.

You may notice a strange blue twinge in my photos – it’s from a blue light that was outside the window.

Blush Foodroom

Alastair and I started off with the pork belly – twice cooked, served on a ginger and apple puree, with sesame seeds, spring onion and snow pea salad ($16.90). The pork belly was lovely and tender – initially I thought it was a tad salty, but it was just right when eaten with a bit of apple puree. The best part was the piece of crackling – like a salty pork chip! Yum!

Blush Foodroom

Pat had one of the specials – pea and ham soup served with a dijon crouton. I have a wee issue with peas (I don’t like them) so I didn’t have a taste.

Blush Foodroom

For mains, I had the Moroccan braised veal shanks on saffron mash, roasted baby root vegetables and served with a red peppercorn sauce ($31.90). Wow, this was huge! I found the meat very tender, but lacking in flavour. I would’ve liked a bit more oomph, particularly for something that was “Moroccan braised”. At least the mash was smooth and creamy.

Blush Foodroom

Pat and Alastair had the herb and garlic crusted lamb rump with dauphinois potatoes, orange and thyme braised fennel and crispy prosciutto served with a port wine jus ($31.90).

Blush Foodroom

And then, dessert. We all had separate ones (must have been feeling greedy that night). Alastair had the sticky date pudding ($13.50). The Boys decided that sticky date pudding is the best dessert – I don’t know if I agree with that assertion. I think creme brulee might be a winner for me. But Alastair’s sticky date pudding looked pretty good, particularly with the slowly melting ice cream….

Blush Foodroom

Bro had the cheesecake ($11.90) – on the menu it was raspberry and vanilla, but he was advised that it was unavailable and it was substituted with a Bailey’s version instead. It came with coffee bean syrup and caramelised banana.

Blush Foodroom

I had a chocolate and macadamia nut mousse with strawberry sauce and white chocolate ice cream ($12.90). The mousse was rich and smooth and I even enjoyed the ice cream, despite my general dislike of white chocolate. I also loved the crunchy chopped macadamia on top of the mousse too.

We spent the rest of the weekend eating. Stay tuned for more birthday eating adventures!

Blush Foodroom
43 Epsom Rd
Kensington 3031 VIC
Phone: (03) 9376 1222

KitcCh

Last weekend Alastair made a small bet on the NZ versus France rugby World Cup game. He bet on France (what a bad kiwi!) so we headed to Kensington Village to pick up his winnings. We stopped for brunch at KitcCh, which is across the road from the TAB.

The Boys and I have our own jargon that helps us recall things and places. We call KitcCh “the dark one” due to the dark wood panels and the painted black floor. The walls are lined with artwork that is available for purchase.

During the weekends, KitcCh does breakfast all day, but there is also a lunch menu. Since we’re late risers in the weekend, I generally have breakfast even when it’s closer to lunch time.

Kitcch

I had the Black jack cheese and baby spinach wrapped in a double smoke ham served with poached eggs, basil oil and hollandaise on english breakfast muffins ($12). It looks like eggs benedict – the cheese and baby spinach were hidden in the ham. Despite one of my eggs not being as runny as I like, it was still good. The spinach and basil oil helped cut through the fattiness of the hollandaise and egg yolk.

KitcCh coffee

Good breakfast, but the coffee was only average – mine was rather sour. I finished off with a raspberry smoothie (that I didn’t bother taking a photo of). Very yogurty, with a bare amount of sweetness, it made me happy and made up for the sour coffee.

KitcCh
512 Macaulay Rd, Kensington
(03) 9376 5694