My friend Cherrie and her brother Ed own Dahon, a tea lounge in South Melbourne.
Yup – tea lounge. They serve tea and there’s no coffee, which is a bit unusual for an eatery in coffee obsessed Melbourne. Also unusual – the food there draws from Cherrie and Ed’s Filipino backgrounds.
Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of Wayside Inn.
Located on a stretch of City Road that doesn’t seem to have much else around it, Wayside Inn was taken over late last year by the team behind Station Hotel. Being a big fan of Station Hotel (see posts here and here) I was pretty keen to check it out. And so when I was invited a bloggers dinner there before Christmas with stickifingers, Claire and Gem, I was a happy gal indeed.
I know that I’m not the only food blogger who struggles with this. Basically, I eat more than I blog, which means I have a rather large amount of photos accumulated. In order to get through some of them, I’m going to cram several places into a couple of posts. After that maybe I’ll tackle the photos of food I’ve cooked but haven’t blogged?
We went to Dead Man Espresso with Maria and Daz a couple of months ago. They had a very short food menu on the weekend (I’m not sure if it’s different during the week) which was a shame. I suppose the focus is on the coffee? I thought my coffee was okay, but others weren’t that impressed with their coffees. (more…)
The other weekend Alastair and I started things off with a rather good brunch at Q Eleven. It must’ve been a sign of things to come because we enjoyed good eating for the rest of the weekend. That evening we met up with Maria and Daz for dinner at Horoki before going to see Tripod. Dinner was great, and Tripod were fantastic. On Sunday we had a home made breakfast (pictured above) with scrambled eggs, fried chorizo, a big fat grilled mushroom and hash browns (supermarket ones… I’m not ashamed to say that I like them!). For afternoon tea later that day there was freshly baked banana cake with a cup of strong tea, and then finally for dinner Bro and I made Hainanese chicken rice. It was so good. I just about had to roll my way out of bed on Monday.
But back to Q Eleven. Alastair and I were in South Melbourne for my regular market wander. Food shopping bores Alastair senseless, so he rarely gets dragged out for food shopping these days. Bro and I normally go together, but as he was busy Alastair had to be the dutiful husband. I thought that he needed some food to shore up his patience so we headed to a cafe for breakfast.
Q Eleven is “cozy”, and seems pretty popular, so we were fortunate to get seats! It’s popular for good reason – as soon as I opened the menu, I was excited. It’s not just bacon and eggs here! With items like the creamed sago pudding with lime, coconut, berries and yogurt, or the warmed rhubarb and apple compote with pistachio crumb fingers of French toast, or the refried beans, with fried eggs, pumpkin and coriander roesti, salsa and chipotle mayo, choosing only one thing to eat was difficult!
Alastair had the omelette with crispy potato, roasted capscium, feta and gremolata ($13.50). He gave me a taste, and even though I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like open omelettes, this was pretty good. No rubberiness here!
I had the ham and roesti stack ($16.90). It truly was a stack – out came a soft poached egg on top of a slice of Kassler ham, a quinoa and potato roesti, and spinach. Perched at the very top was onion jam, and on the side of the stack was rosemary roasted tomatoes. It was good, the rather salty ham providing the seasoning to the gooey egg, soft roesti and spinach. I really enjoyed it.
Fortified by a good breakfast, we were able to make the market rounds. As for Q Eleven, I would definitely go back – even now I’m still wondering about the creamed sago pudding. Next time!
It’s Friday, and I’m home today! This is not a fun at home day, this is more I’m home because there’s tradies on my roof and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE? Are they fixing the roof or whacking pigeons with a baseball bat? It sounds like the roof is going to cave in. Hopefully a spot of food blogging will take my mind off it…
I think I may have mentioned this previously, but South Melbourne Market is my favourite place to go for fruit and veg. It started operating in 1867, and went through a refurbishment and upgrade over the past couple of years. As part of the upgrade, new food stalls opened up on the Cecil Street frontage.
We popped into one of those newish ones, Simply Spanish, for brunch a few weeks back. The brunch menu had all the usual favourites, but with a little twist. For example, bacon and eggs came with a caramelised onion and tomato relish, scrambled eggs were served with sliced chorizo and eggs benedict had a saffron lime hollandaise.
Unfortunately we arrived too early for paella – a massive pan had just started cooking when we were seated. The smells kept wafting our way as we had our brunch, making me wish we had shown up just a little bit later!
Instead of paella, I had the Gypsy Eggs – soft poached eggs rolled in a Middle Eastern dukkah served with wilted spinach on grilled sourdough and a romesco spread ($15.50).
The eggs were perfectly poached – check out that oozy goodness! The sprinkled dukkah helped lift the eggs and complemented the capsciumish tasting spread on the toast.
Both of the boys had the Spanish claypot eggs with smoked chorizo ($16.50). This was a poached egg in a tomato and herb salsa, served in a claypot with toasted sour dough. This looked rich and full of flavour, although I noticed that the salsa seemed quite watery.
Unfortunately the coffee was a little lacking – I found it too sour to drink, much less enjoy! But the food was fine, and I’m sure that we will visit again. Perhaps next time we’ll time it right and try the paella!
We seem to visit South Melbourne every couple of weeks, probably because I like going to the market there. We tend to have brunch before visiting the South Melbourne market, and recently we brunch at Bunyip. Bunyip is located in an old Victorian, which looks like it once may have been a house. It was a glorious day, and we ended up sitting outside underneath a couple of large, yellow umbrellas. I didn’t notice until I uploaded the photos to my camera, but the umbrellas gave an unpleasant tint to my pictures that I haven’t been able to totally correct. Doh!
I ordered the Spanish eggs ($14). Two poached eggs came in a rich napoli sauce, with chorizo and black olives. The sauce was thick and a touch spicy and the eggs were happily runny. Initially I thought there was only one egg, but there was one hidden underneath the sauce. Happy days!
The Boys had corn fritters with roast tomato, bacon and relish ($12). I love corn fritters for brunch, and these looked pretty good.
The scorching weather last week was a surprise, as was the fact that at Red Star I had a sweet breakfast, while Alastair had a savoury one. I started off with an iced coffee, which was large and full of milk and ice cream. It wasn’t very strong coffee wise though, which was slightly disappointing.
I ordered the french toast with maple syrup ($7.50) adding grilled banana and bacon ($2.60 each). I think I could’ve skipped the banana, and I did wonder where the other half of my banana went (in the photo you can see a nub of the other half)! They were very generous with the bacon however, and that was great with the french toast. Points off for the fake maple syrup though.
Alastair and Pat had the big breakfast which came with two eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown, tomatoes, mushrooms and scwhob’s toast ($19). I thought it was a bit on the expensive side, even for a big brekkie. The toast was great – Pat took one bite and drooled due to the generous buttering. I ate a piece too and it was gooooooooood.
Red Star 315 Coventry Street South Melbourne, 3205 Phone: 03 9682 1678
I have blogged about the fabulous gnocchi bolognaise previously, and Panette also do a spinach gnocchi. For some reason I haven’t noted down any details about this one, but from what I can remember the spinach gnocchi is served with a napoli sauce and topped with mozzarella.
It’s not as light and as tasty as the other gnocchi but it’s pretty good. And if you’re watching your weight, just try and ignore the massive amount of cheese!
The other weekend we were in the Brunswick East area because I had to drop by a friend’s house, and we took the opportunity to try a new cafe.
El Mirage was very busy when we arrived, and we had to wait a few minutes for a table. As we ordered, the waitress advised us that meals would take about half an hour, due to lots of people ordering at once. That was okay with us, so we ordered and waited.
Everyone in the cafe, especially the staff, seemed very trendy, and I felt like we weren’t cool enough to be there.
My long mac was very enjoyable, although I tried to delay drinking it. I knew that drinking it 30 minutes before eating would make me all jittery from the caffeine!
Either the time went very quickly, or 30 minutes was a worst case scenario, but it didn’t seem to be too long before our food arrived. Bro and I both had the Gringo ($15) which came with poached eggs, mexican beans, tomato, bacon and “home-fries”. The eggs were soft and runny, and I loved the beans and the home-fries. I always like it when you can get something a bit different from regular eggs and toast.
El Mirage 349 Lygon St Brunswick East Phone: 03 9388 0966
A friend of my Bro’s came to visit over New Years, and during his visit we gave him many good eating experiences. One of those was to experience the wonder of a parma, as he had never eaten one before. Those who read superparma.com (sadly, it looks like the domain hasn’t been renewed) will recognise the Palmerston Hotel, a pub that held the #1 spot for a while.
The key to a good chicken parmagiana is a juicy chicken breast, topped with ham, a flavoursome sauce and melted cheese. At the Palmerston, a large crumbed chicken breast is topped with Virginian ham, Napoli sauce and melted mozzarella ($16). You can choose between chips and salad or mash and vege.
The parma is gigantic! The chicken breast was juicy, and the Napoli sauce, although there wasn’t much, was decent and even had real basil in it. The edges of the parma that weren’t underneath sauce or cheese went nice and crispy. The mash was good too – mostly smooth and buttery, and the boiled vegetables were acceptable. I didn’t eat much of the sides though, because I was trying to focus my efforts on the large slab of chicken in front of me (ultimately I was defeated). The boys had chips with their parmas, and these were good pub chips, thick and crispy.
There was some debate among us as to whether this was the #1 parma in Victoria due to the lack of sauciness. However, #1 or not, it would be hard to go home hungry or unhappy after eating this parma.
Palmerston Hotel 51 Palmerston Crescent South Melbourne Phone: (03) 9690 5749
If you’re in the South Melbourne vicinity, stock up on some fruit and vege at the market, then head across the road to Caffe Panette to replenish your energy. The coffee is good, and there is one dish in particular that blows my socks off.
We were in the area last weekend as I had a voucher to spend at the Coventry Street Bookshop. The voucher was a farewell gift from work and naturally I bought cookbooks! I was terribly indecisive, flicking through most of the cook books there while the Boys waited patiently. We were all starving by the time I decided and headed to Panette for some lunch.
The Boys had the homemade gnocchi bologna veal and pork sauce with red wine, tomatoes and fresh herbs ($15.90 for the main size). This is what I tend to eat when I go to Panette. And seriously – it’s the best gnocchi (the Boys agree). The gnocchi is light, delicate and fluffy plus the bolognaise sauce is rich and meaty. God, I could rave about it for ages. I didn’t order it on this occasion but I kept stealing pieces from Alastair’s plate. I should’ve just ordered my own, really.
Instead I had the white chicken salad with poached and sliced chicken breast with saffron kipfler potatoes, taragon mayonaise and salad greens ($14.90 for the main size). The potatoes were hidden under the salad greens, and as you can see there was no skimping with the chicken! This was a good salad – a little bit too much mayo for my liking, (and it wasn’t the gnocchi) but I soldiered on and enjoyed it anyway. :p
If you order lunch, they bring you bread and butter, which is a nice touch. Service can seem a tad abrupt during busy market days, but one bite of that gnocchi and any minor quibbles are forgotten.