Edible Posts

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." – J.R.R. Tolkien

Tag Archives: Cafe

Studio Movida

Sometimes suburbia is just that bit more attractive than the city center. It’s not so noisy, and the shopping strips and cafes aren’t overflowing with people, just busy enough to feel part of a cosy community.

Kew is an area that I rarely set foot in, but I’d been meaning to try Studio Movida for quite a while and so made the journey on a nice Saturday morning.

Studio Movida

Set out the front of a privately run gym, and not in any way related to the better known Movida chain, the clientele seemed to be a mixture of those who’d just finished their workouts, and those wanting a good meal and a coffee.

Roasted by Axil Coffee Roasters, their coffees were both excellent quality and well made.

Long Macchiato

This was actually M’s as I tend to drink long blacks, but long blacks tend not to make very interesting photographic material.

The breakfast menu is interesting with the usual suspects on offer, including toast and baked goods, muesli, and of course, protein-packed dishes.

M chose the vegetarian Nom-lette.

Vegetarian Nom-lette

Artfully presented, it was full of vegetable goodness, with soft, creamy eggs and a generous serve of avocado. The multigrain sourdough has a good helping of seeds as well and adds even more texture and interest to the dish.

I’d originally chosen the eggs with salmon, but the chef asked if she could make something new that she’d been working on for the menu. How could I resist that offer?

Chef’s Special

Smoked salmon, mushrooms and fetta on a bed of spinach, topped by a single, perfectly poached egg with the sourdough multigrain to serve. Amazing.

Chef’s Special

The saltiness of the salmon and fetta were just-right, and the entire dish felt nourishing, yet a touch special at the same time. I was impressed, and am hoping it becomes a fixture on the menu. Any ideas for the name though? Preferably a pun involved.

Studio Movida serves typical brunch fare but at an excellent standard. Good coffee, music and service seal the deal, and the option of a nearby gym just adds to the appeal (but only if you live in the area). My advice? Check it out before it becomes too popular, which I have no doubt it will.

Studio Movida
138 Cotham Rd, Kew
Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 8am-3pm

Studio Movida on Urbanspoon

Roule Galette

A circumstance would have it, when the craving for a lazy Sunday brunch set in, I was lucky enough to be in the city. I wasn’t about the pass up on an opportunity to indulge myself silly, so a decision was made (by me) to head to Roule Galette and feast on galettes and crepes.

I’d walked past this establishment many times, yet never ventured in, even though the dulcet tones of the french singers over the sound system in this small little cafe called to me. I couldn’t help but notice the interesting artwork, obviously produced by someone affiliated with the cafe, and whoever designed their logo certainly had a sense of humour.

Roule Galette

Roule Galette

Who could resist a seductively posed cartoon crepe/galette after all. Indeed, the same could be asked of the extensive range of galettes (thin buckwheat savoury pancakes) and crepes they make to order. After drinking our surprisingly good coffees (they didn’t advertise who their suppliers were), we hungrily dug into our galettes.

I’d ordered the Forestière, filled with béchamel (French white sauce) with bacon, mushroom and cheese.

Forestière Galette

You can’t see much here, but after carefully opening the envelope-like parcel…

Forestière

…the galette was gloriously revealed in its entirety. Amazing! So creamy and rich, without being too salty, the bacon added a nice texture while the galette held the whole dish together. Satisfying, I was definitely happy with this dish.

M chose the somewhat more ‘breakfast-like’ Complète with an egg, ham, shredded cheese and butter.

Complète Galette

I found it less interesting than mine, but it was good nevertheless. I’d mentioned before that I fully intended to indulge myself silly, so we each ordered a sweet crepe in addition to the galettes.

One glance at the picture of the Anne-So, with chocolate, ice cream and flaked almonds, on the menu and my decision was made.

Anne-So Crepe

Rich and decadent, I’m not sure you could ever go wrong with this combination. The crepe was thin, yet perfectly suited to soaking up the dripping ice-cream. M decided to one-up me, and ordered the Gourmande with ice cream, fresh banana, chocolate, strawberry and flaked almonds.

Gourmande Crepe

This massive dessert was definitely something to behold. Somehow he finished his crepe before I did, but maybe that’s testament to how good it was.

Both of us left Roule Galette feeling very satisfied and cheery, with bellies filled with good food that cost surprisingly little. Fast service and good food at a reasonable price definitely make this a great cafe to indulge in a delicious crepes, galettes and coffee, and for imagining that you’re in a tiny, cosy cafe in Bretagne, France perhaps.

Roule Galette
Scott Alley, 241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon-Thu 730am-8pm, Fri 730am-930pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

Sparrow’s Nest

After a tip-off from a fellow blogger, Catty, I decided to head to Sparrow’s Nest for a lunch catch-up. It was a miserable, rainy Melbourne day that felt decidedly like Winter (even though it’s still only Autumn) so I wasn’t tempted to straw far from work. As we’d gotten there quite early (1210), we managed to snare one of the brightly lit window tables in this cosy little cafe.

Sparrow’s Nest

It didn’t take us long to select our meals from the array of focaccias, salads, pies and soup. Cold days leave me with carbohydrate cravings (must be a store-energy-for-the-winter-months thing), so I decided to go with the Roasted Vegetable and Goat’s Cheese Focaccia. Honestly though, it was the Goat’s Cheese that got me – I can’t go past the stuff and indeed, was very disappointed that Merideth Dairy was closed last time I was down on the Mornington Peninsula.

Roasted Vegetable and Goat’s Cheese Focaccia

I’m drifting though. The focaccia itself was brilliantly satisfying in terms of both quality and quantity. With soft white bread was generously smeared with the slightly salty goat’s cheese, then filled to the brim with perfectly roasted eggplant, capsicum and pumpkin. The accompanying salad was uninspiring, but frankly I didn’t care. The focaccia itself would have been enough.

My friend on the other hand went for the vegetable soup, and a pie.

Vegetable Soup

The soup was delicious and nourishing, and the accompanying sourdough by Dench Bakers was very good (and he’d just gotten back from a year in Japan, so it must have been mind-blowing for him), but unfortunately it took a good 30 minutes for the pie to arrive. It hadn’t been heated properly so they had to return it to the oven. The staff were apologetic and surprisingly, didn’t charge us for it (although my friend did leave an $8 tip because it wasn’t all that much of an inconvenience). Alas, I didn’t manage to take a photo of it when it did arrive as he ravenously ate all of it. Must have been good in that case!

Sparrow’s Nest is a nice little cafe that has a steady stream of customers for both coffee and food. It serves good, simple, food and has great service, and is definitely somewhere I’d return to, especially for my next focaccia fix.

Sparrow’s Nest
95 Queen Street, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm

Sparrow's Nest on Urbanspoon

Coin Laundry

It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with any of my university friends, so I organised to have brunch one delightfully sunny Sunday at Coin Laundry (nothing like the cold, rainy weather we’ve had this week). We’d heard good things about the cafe, so were keen to try it out.

The nature of the cafe did mean that we were waiting well over 20 minutes for a table after we arrived, but it was nice enough to stand outside. In any case, I was itching to have my first cup of coffee by the time we finally headed inside.

It was, well, normal. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad sense, it was just rather underwhelming considering I’d heard great things about the coffee here and so my expectation were likely to have been too high. Perhaps they were talking about great lattes, but at least the long black was drinkable. It just didn’t stir up any great emotion in me.

We’d actually been seated late enough (after 12 pm) that the lunch menu was available to us in addition to the breakfast menu (the magic of brunch). After carefully considering the options, I chose the light Thai beef salad with roast peanuts, pickled vegetables & Asian herbs.

Thai Beef Salad

Or at least I thought it was light. There was too much beef for my liking, and it was rather tough. The dressing was well-balanced however, so it wasn’t hard to keep eating it. Something easier to eat might have made me happier though, so perhaps I should have just stuck with the breakfast menu.

My friend ordered the Wagyu beef burger with beetroot relish, aioli, tomato, cheddar, lettuce and French fries.

Wagyu Beef Burger

It was a large burger. My friend got about halfway through the burger before giving up on the meat pattie altogether, and just eating the salad and the bun. I don’t blame her in all honestly, that much mince meat can’t be good for you. The fries weren’t anything special, but we weren’t really expecting them to be.

So was it all worth the drive and the wait? No. It’s location is simply too out of my way for me to bother again, and if I want to wait for brunch, there are certainly places with better food to wait for. Sorry Coin Laundry, you just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Coin Laundry
61 Armadale St, Armadale

Mon-Sun 7am-4pm

Coin Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

Threefold

It was for a long-overdue catch-up with two friends that I made the trip from work down to Threefold for lunch. Other than being aptly named (because there were three of us, get-it?), it was relatively close to all of us and had fairly good reviews over the web. I did forget my camera though, so you’ll have to put up with my terrible phone camera pictures. This is probably happening more often than I would like, so I need to step up my game!

Moving on to the actual food though, Threefold have numerous toasted sandwiches, mains, salads and baked goods all on display. With such a tempting array to choose from, and the option to choose your own combinations, it was difficult to decide what to order.

Ultimately, I ended up going for the healthy option of grilled spatchcock and roasted capsicum with a side of broccoli, spinach, chilli and emmantale cheese salad.

Grilled Spatchcock with Roasted Capsicum & Broccoli, Spinach, Chilli and Emmantale Cheese Salad

The chicken was too salty for my tastes, but was tender nevertheless. I’m a sucker for grilled capsicum and wish that they’d actually added extra to the salad itself, if only to make it a bit more colourful.

One of my companions had the same salad as I did, and quite enjoyed it, along with a tomato and cheese toastie which she absolutely loved.

Threefold Tomato & Cheese Toastie & Broccoli, Spinach, Chilli and Emmantale Cheese Salad

Toasties are such a comfort food, and most places offer these tasty dishes for a reason. I still think the ones at Journal were better, being more adventurous, better presented, and perhaps tastier.

My other companion ordered two salads. My first reaction was, “What?” but any thoughts I had about insufficiency were dismissed when the meal arrived.

Roast Pumpkin Wedges with Crisp Parmesan Crust & Rustic Freekah Tabouli served on Smoked Eggplant Segments

When they say ‘Pumpkin Wedges’ I was imagining smaller pieces, but a wedge is a wedge, even if it’s a gigantic piece. I’m not sure it quite constitutes a salad, but we live in a world where these things can be freely interpreted. It did look quite tasty and the thought of ordering a take-away salad crossed my mind.

The food was decent here, though the serving sizes were small for the price paid. The coffee and service are both good though, so if you’re after a quick, relatively healthy lunch, it’s worth giving this place a shot. Other places do these dishes better, but there’s certainly something for everyone here (though maybe not enough space).

Threefold
381 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm

Threefold on Urbanspoon

Creperie le Triskel

Arrogantly French. That’s their tagline, but they’ve only got half of that right.

Of course, a truly arrogant cafe would not survive in Melbourne, so by elimination, they must therefore be quite french. Indeed, their decor, and their staff, would never suggest otherwise. Spread upon every available surface are posters, and maps, and signs proclaiming their ‘Frenchness’.

Creperie le Triskel

Creperie le Triskel

See? Mind you, I’m not game enough to order in French. A trip to Paris years ago was proof enough that my English would be better understood than my French over there. Thankfully, the menus are 99% in English. With a selection of both sweet crepes, and savoury crepes (made with buckwheat flour and called ‘Galettes’) it was a decision based on mood. Seeing as I couldn’t actually decide what was suitable breakfast fare, I ended up ordering a galette, with a sweet crepe to share.

With egg, Swiss Gruyere cheese, mushrooms and spinach, I’m fairly sure this dish can be safely classified as breakfast.

Egg, Swiss Gruyere Cheese, Mushroom and Spinach Galette

A neat little parcel that looked even more tempting when it was opened up.

Tasty! Light yet filling, I’m likely to choose a galette base over your standard toast any day. Pity the ones I make at home are nowhere near as well done, with more stuck to the pan than on my plate. Someday I’ll learn how to make the perfect crepe, but in the meantime, there’s this little cafe.

My friend ordered a more substantial meal; a ham and cheese galette complete with toast, a poached egg, spinach, and tomato relish.

I might have forgotten what this dish was called (bad blogger!) but it sure did smell and look good. I’m betting it would have tasted good too.

After fulfilling out breakfast obligations, it was of course, straight on to breakfast-dessert. An amazingly thin, simple crepe with fresh strawberries, bananas and lemon juice was all that was required.

Strawberry, Banana and Lemon Crepe

They have an extensive selection of dessert crepes to satisfy the times when something sweeter is required, with ingredients such as chocolate, marmalade and jams, ice-cream and whipped cream. Nothing overly fancy, but all decisively tempting.

Their display at the counter was also maddeningly tempting…

Croissant aux Chocolat

Must. Resist.

Not that you should of course, in fact, you should get down to this creperie quick-smart.

Creperie le Triskel
32 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Tue-Sat Breakfast & Lunch

Creperie le Triskel on Urbanspoon

Twenty & Six Espresso

Another year, another new cafe to check out in Melbourne. Now that I’ve moved away from the University, it’s a lot more effort than it used to be to check out places in the inner north. Having heard good things about this newly opened cafe though, I organised a brunch catch-up with a friend that I’ve seem all too little of in the last year.

The cool cafe seemed like the perfect escape from a somewhat unbearably warm morning. As my friend was running late (it was a lazy Sunday after all), I settled down with an aromatic long black and the morning paper. The staff were attentive and polite, and the wait was actually quite pleasant. It didn’t hurt that the decor is charmingly cute.

Hello Deer

When my friend did arrive though, it was down to the very important business of eating. I was tempted by many items on the menu (mental note that I need to try more of them!), but settled on the Raw Energy Salad with an extra poached egg. This was an educated decision based on 1. It was a very hot day and anything heavier would have made me very sleepy, and 2. I needed any energy I could get for a Chinese New Year performance later in the day.

Needless to say, I was very happy when this arrived:

Raw Energy Salad

That is a giant bowl of salad by anyone’s standards. With a perfectly poached egg, a generous serving of pepitas, a touch of beetroot for sweetness, and a light but refreshing dressing, I could have eaten this for dinner as well. Mind you, the salad would have wilted in the heat, but this was certainly one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time.

My friend ordered the appropriately named Hulk Smash.

Hulk Smash

Now that is a heck of a lot of avocado, perhaps too much. Then again, the Hulk never did anything by halves. I had a bit of what he couldn’t finish and it was very tasty, but I doubt I could have finished it either.

All-in-all, a nice addition to the North Melbourne cafe scene. I hope they get their outdoor seating license soon, though I’d rather sit outside in Autumn than in the middle of Summer.

Twenty & Six Espresso
594 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Thu-Tue 8am-4pm, Wed Closed

Twenty & Six Espresso on Urbanspoon

Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse

Facing an early Saturday morning drive, and with little motivation to cook, it was decided that a trip to North Melbourne was in order. There’s enough good cafes within a stone’s throw of each other that deciding was the tricky part, but after realising that the coffee needed to be restocked at home, and that a good coffee really wouldn’t go astray, we settled on the Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse.

The first thing you notice when you walk in is the variety of coffee beans available for sale. Being a roaster, this is of course hardly surprising. It was a beautiful morning so the cafe was opened up allowing a mixture of indoor and outdoor dining options. Settling at a table somewhat half-way between inside and outside, we ordered our coffees while perusing the tempting breakfast menu.

Latte

You can tell that from the bubbles in the foam that the milk was actually a little burnt.Definitely disappointing considering that I’ve had pretty amazing coffee from this place before. You can’t get things perfect every time I guess, but I had been really looking forward to my morning cup. Maybe I should stick to my usual order of a long black but I had wanted to mix things up a little.

Thankfully, I had an amazing breakfast lined up. I’d ordered a serve of poached eggs with asparagus, fetta, almonds, truffle oil and beetroot relish and was pretty impressed when it arrived.

Poached Eggs with Asparagus, Fetta, Almonds, Truffle Oil and Beetroot Relish

How well is that presented? It tasted even better actually. The eggs were perfectly poached and nicely runny (though you can tell they ‘cheated’ by using cling-wrap, but that’s alright), the asparagus was fresh and crunchy, the fetta was deliciously creamy, and the lightly toasted almonds provided a tasty counterpoint. I can’t say I tasted much of the truffle oil but I loved the slightly sweet beetroot relish. It’s also such a pretty colour (just indulge me, okay?)

My companion ordered a similarly tasty dish of poached eggs with avocado, tomato, coriander and chilli.

Poached Eggs with Avocado, Tomato, Coriander and Chilli

He certainly enjoyed his meal and polished it off rather quickly. The Asian inspiration lent an interesting twist to the traditional breakfast of poached eggs.

I’ve had nothing but brilliant experiences with the food here (the desserts aren’t bad either) and this is the first time that my coffee hasn’t been amazing. There’s nothing stopping me from coming back to this happy little cafe with fast, friendly service to boot. Here’s to more indulgent weekend breakfasts.

Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse
19-21 Leveson St, North Melbourne
Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm

Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse on Urbanspoon

Three Bags Full

I caught up for a brunch date at the wildly popular Three Bags Full with three out of the four beautiful girls (miss you S!) I’d sent 90% of my last semester at university with. It was a typical Melbourne day: a miserable rainy morning that warmed up into a beautiful sunny day. Unsurprisingly though, there was a significant wait in getting a table for four. I saw quite a few people give up, probably with the intent of finding food on Victoria St or the like, but there were those that steadfastly remained. Perhaps they knew that the food was definitely waiting for.

Three Bags Full

We were lucky enough to finally be seated in the small room adjoining the main dining hall. It had a chilled, suburban cafe vibe which is preferable in my opinion to the ‘hip’, crowded and noisy cafe vibe that was emanating from the other room. The essential coffees were ordered (cappuccino, latte, soy latte and long black – guess which one is mine) while we perused the extensive menu. The coffee wasn’t the best that I’d ever had, but it was pretty good and I can see why people would rave about it. As for the menu, with both breakfast and lunch options available, we were spoilt for choice.

Originally, I’d intended to order the vegetarian breakfast, but after seeing the specials menu and realising that I could get a potato and leek hash, with poached eggs and fried haloumi, my decision was made for me. If you’ve ever had breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner with me, you’ll know that I’m addicted to potato hash/roesti, eggs and goat’s cheese. I never stood a chance with this dish.

Potato and Leek Hash, with Poached Eggs and Fried Haloumi

The potato and leek were nicely balanced in the hash so that there wasn’t a great deal of oiliness, and was lightly flavoured. The eggs were perfectly poached with a satisfying oozing of the yolk when they were cut into. I usually prefer my haloumi slightly crisper but perhaps more of the actual cheese flavour came through in this dish. All in all, it was a very good dish. I’d be hugely disappointed if it wasn’t on the menu next time I visit, which is highly likely, but perhaps they’ll plate up something equally as awesome. I want to go back now, even though it’s Christmas Day and they won’t be open. Maybe I’ll settle for McDonald’s instead.

I’m getting a little distracted though. The other girls also ordered amazing dishes, all as it would turn out, from the breakfast menu. I guess we just weren’t feeling like lunch yet. Like me, F had already decided on another dish before seeing the specials and subsequently ordering corn fritters, poached eggs and chorizo instead.

Corn Fritters, Poached Eggs and Chorizo

I found the corn fritters lacking a little in taste and a touch on the heavy side but the chorizo was good quality and very tasty. More poached eggs arrived on the table

Parmesan: Poached Eggs, Prosciutto, Truffle Oil and Grana Padano

Quite a decadent dish, but it was eaten in a flash by A, who pronounced it delicious. I actually had to Google Grana Padano before I realised the name of the dish was a dead giveaway. I think this indicates that I’d be a terrible detective. No detective work required for the last dish though, as C ordered the slightly more standard Benedict.

Benedict: Poached Eggs, Ham and Hollandaise

The coffee and food were good, and the prices were reasonable, it’s only a matter of whether you want to brave a wait and the crowds. If you have plenty of time to spare and don’t mind, or even thrive, on the hustle on bustle, then head down to Three Bags Full.

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford
Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3.30pm

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo Cafe (NSW)

Adriano Zumbo Cafe

Ta da! It’s not really hard to guess where we were on a sunny Spring day in Sydney based on the picture above. I was absolutely adamant that a trip to Adriano Zumbo Cafe was made on the recent trip to Sydney after watching his DVD. Strange as it may be, I’ve barely watched any MasterChef, and indeed have only heard about his macaron cakes and crazy leaning towers. No matter though, I’d rather taste the product than watch it on television.

As is the trouble with any event that you look forward to, the hardest decision is always where to start.

Adriano Zumbo Cafe

With a huge selection of cakes, pastries, cakes and ‘Zumborons’, we had first order coffee before our brains even kicked into gear in order to make a logical decision. One of the nice things about this cafe is that it really does seem local with a constant stream of customers coming in to buy some bread, with an order of a pastry or macaron, and a coffee on the side. (The coffee wasn’t great, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Sydney coffee just isn’t as good as Melbourne). The other is that you can watch the dessert-making process. Unluckily for us, it seemed that the day’s work was done. I’d guess that mornings are typically busier, and if you’re lucky, you might even see the man himself creating away.

On to the more pressing issue though, after some consultation, we decided on two desserts. My choice, the passionfruit tart otherwise known as the
tarte aux fruits de la passion.

Tarte Aux Fruits de la Passion

Look at those beautiful colours! Fancy and rich, but not too sweet. I love the tartness of passionfruit, and the summery vibe suited the sunny day outside. Utterly delectable, and relatively affordable at only $6.

The boy went for an almond berry tart.

Almond Berry Tart

Not quite as pretty as mine, but definitely well made. It certainly wasn’t as sweet or rich, but the nutty flavour of the almonds was definitely satisfying.

Of course, no trip to Zumbo’s would be complete without trying his famous macarons, so we had a couple (or perhaps a few more) to share. Some aren’t pictured because we ate them before I remembered to bring my camera out.

Lime and Mint Mojito, Hot Chocolate, Coconut Chilli and Lime

My favourite of the bunch was definitely the mojito. I doubt that it’s alcoholic (I’m sure that would just mess with the baking chemistry too much) but the clean taste was spot on.

Even though we’d had quite a number of desserts, an extra trip was made to the Adriano Zumbo Patisserie just up the road where an even greater selection of cakes awaited.

We restrained ourselves however, but only barely. It’s simultaneously a fortunate and an unfortunately circumstance that Zumbo hasn’t opened up a cafe in Melbourne yet.

Adriano Zumbo Cafe
114 Terry St, Rozelle
Mon-Fri 630am-4pm, Sat-Sun 730am-4pm

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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