Posts Tagged Breakfast
Hotel Urban in St Kilda have just opened their new café Hub. It has a new name, a new fit out, and a new menu.
The first thing I realised about this little café was that it is the opposite of what comes to mind when you think of a hotel café. It’s not large and impersonal but it’s cosy, small and has spunk to it that you rarely see in a hotel café.
The walls have art and books from local businesses and each piece of furniture looks like it was chosen especially for the specific spot that it has taken up.
I loved the menu here. It is broken up into two sections –The Classics and Modern Takes. In the classic section you’ll find regulars like Eggs Benedict and Crumpets with honey and lemon. The modern takes section offers more unique dishes like Autumn mushrooms on brioche with Persian feta and thyme, or House cured salmon with soft cooked eggs, salmon caviar and dill on toast.
The coffee, bitter and strong held us over as we waited eagerly for our meals.
The table shared a serve of the House made crumpets with lemon and creamed honey ($9.5).
These were delicious. They were moist and fluffy and reminded me of breakfast with my Grandmother. The combination of honey and lemon was beautiful as the sweetness of the honey was accented by the sharp tart flavour of the lemon. Even though we only got a mouthful of these babies, you could tell they were a crowd pleaser.
For my breakfast I chose the Cinnamon Porridge with caramelised pears and oat crumble ($9.5).
This was exactly what I was hoping for. It was a freezing Melbourne morning and the porridge was the warming dish that I was expecting. The porridge was creamy and light while the caramelised pears added sweetness and great flavour. The crumble; a lovely touch to often more traditional porridges added sweetness and great crunch to what can sometimes be a texture poor meal.
My dining companions ordered the Eggs Benedict ($17) and the special of Scrambled eggs with smoked eel, potato rosti and green tomato chutney ($18). They kindly let me take some pictures.
Hub is a lovely little breakfast spot offering a unique hotel dining experience, and with the on street entrance, it feels like just another café to those passing by.
Also…I think they want people to follow them on twitter
You know how there are places you want to visit once, and then there are places you keep coming back to…well for me Friends of Mine is one of those I keep coming back to. Friends of Mine has two sibling cafes, Porgie and Mr Jones and Snow Pony. You will find a lot of the same amazing dishes across all three venues.
Breakfast, brunch, lunch, hung over, straight from the gym, cheeky weekday catch-ups…I’ve done it all here.
The menu is delicious and has its own flare. It starts with a Pick.Me.Up.Please, which is a small brioche roll with bacon, tomato chutney, scrambles and Maffra cheddar. It continues with toasts, croissants, muesli’s and herb and cheesy toast.
The ‘favourite friends’ section holds some of the main attractions. This includes the famous smashed avocado with Thyme buttered mushrooms, marinated feta, torn basil on wholegrain toast and the Mr Jones’ golden ‘folded’ eggs. There is even a dish called ‘Hung’ over, which consists of herb and cheesy toast with poached eggs, bacon and smashed avocado.
Lunch items range from toasted sandwiches, salads and larger places including risotto, a steak sandwich and even a braised Ox cheek. The menu really has you covered.
After many a breakfast visit my favourite items have to be the Smashed Avocado with Thyme Buttered Mushrooms, Marinated Feta, Torn Basil on Wholegrain Toast ($17.9). On the particular occasion photographed below I ordered it with bacon on the side.
The flavours in this dish are amazing. Creamy avocado with strong herbed mushrooms are contrasted with the rich feta and fresh basil. They also use really nice bread here, which acts as a great backdrop.
Another breakfast favourite of mine is the Toasted Banana Bread with Maple Syrup Mascarpone, Fresh Banana, Berry Compote and Crushed Pistachios, ($14.9).
This is a very decadence breakfast. The bread is light and fluffy and tastes more like banana cake and is perfectly toasted to make it slightly crisp on the outside. The mascarpone and berry compote make it moist and the banana offers a fresh element. The crushed pistachios complete the dish adding texture.
On a later visit my friend and I ventured into the lunch menu.
I ordered the Toasted Piadini with ham and swiss cheese ($14.50 w a side salad).
It was a crisp light toasted sandwich and was accompanied by a lightly dressed green salad. It was simple yet tasty.
My friend ordered the Thai calamari salad.
We ordered some of their delicious chunky chips with garlic aioli to share and we were very happy diners.
While I have only had one thing on the lunch menu, it is definitely the breakfast/brunch options that keep me coming back here. The staff are also lovely, always with a smile on their face even though there is usually a wait on the weekends.
To top it off, you can order a Berocca, a Bloody Mary and French Champagne with your breakfast. Anywhere that sells French Champagne for breakfast and names a dish ‘Hung Over’ is off to a good start in my eyes.
You know that moment when you find out your local café is awesome…yeah this was that moment.
After moving to Northcote, I have been overwhelmed with great dining options. Red Door Corner Store was one of these.
While moving in I hadn’t really had the chance to go to many cafes and restaurants so when a girlfriend stayed over after a very unexpected night out, I jumped at the opportunity to give Red Door Corner Store a chance.
(The Thursday night that preceded our visit to Red Door Corner Store, I was at work planning to head to the gym on my way home and spend a quiet night in. This however took an unexpected turn when a girlfriend messaged “Drinks at Charlie’s Bar?”…Well I was sold. I will share our adventures from that night in my next post….In my new attempt to be honest with you all I might even tell you about my unexplained ability to accidently ‘like’ awkward things on Facebook. Although you might think I’m making it up, they really are that awkward. )
Anyway, I digress.
So there we are, Friday morning and I had nothing in my house to eat due to only being in my place a few days. Red Door Corner Store was open and only a sleepy stumble away.
I was a very happy café goer as I walked in. It has a lovely relaxed cozy atmosphere. Wooden tables and white walls are accented with steel water jugs and cute sugar holders. Baking trays are hung on the walls, making it feel like your grandmothers’ baking isn’t too far away and service was given with a smile.
Our coffee’s came quickly. My soy cappuccino ($3.50) could have been a bit stronger, but had a lovely taste.
We got down to the menu. It is a lovely breakfast menu with a little bit of a twist. It included Bircher trifle, breakfasts tarts, Coconut Crumpets with creamed rooftop honey, berry jam and Mytleford butter and Grilled Semolina with mushrooms, lemon thyme, spinich, tallegio, poached egg and parmesan curls. I ordered the Breakfast Roll, which was filled with egg, bacon, avocado, rocket, aioli and tomato kasundi ($12).
This was really delicious. While the egg and the bacon were fried, the fresh avocado, rocket and tomato kasundi balanced it perfectly. These sorts of rolls can often feel heavy and oily, but this was fresh and flavoursome. It was also the perfect size for brunch.
My friend ordered the chicken sandwich of the day, which came with a small bowl of bean salad on the side. She said it was fantastic. The chicken was really good quality and the mango chutney matched it perfectly.
The wonderful world of twitter introduced me to guys over at The Victorian Café in Albert Park and one sunny Sunday morning a friend and I decided to take a drive and try it out.
The café is in the beautiful corner building on Beaconsfield parade with gorgeous high ceilings and a wooden interior. The beach is meters away making it a perfect spot for a sunny Sunday morning.
The menu sticks to classics with a few little twists. There is something for any craving. They also use Brasserie Bread products, which is always a plus for me.
On this particular morning I decided to order the Grandmother Ham, Goats Feta, Avocado, Basil and Heirloom Tomatoes on thick cut Sourdough toast ($18.50). I added a hash brown on the side ($3.50).
They really did mean thick cut toast! This was just delicious. The beautiful sourdough was spread with avocado and topped with a very generous amount of pan-fried grandmother ham, fresh tomatoes, huge basil leaves and feta.
It was a perfect combination of fresh and cooked ingredients and even though there was only one slice, I couldn’t even finish it. The hash brown was also quite impressive; crisp on the outside and mixed with what seemed like garlic and herbs it was beautifully flavoured. I will say I could have used more feta, having said that I am of the opinion that there can never be too much feta.
They also make a mean coffee here and have a number of blends available each day.
My friend and I both took home a Brasserie Bread chocolate brownie and a bag of Gridlock Coffee which Sebastian behind the coffee machine kindly ground for us according to our different machines.
There is a Wagyu Beef burger with heirloom tomatoes, haloumi, lettuce and aioli served with rosemary and lemon salted potato chips on the lunch menu that is calling me back there soon.
It’s worth the drive. Thank you very much to Stu and Sebastian for having us and making it a great morning.
Lately there has been a lot of buzz around a little café named Coin Laundry. In a little side street of Armadale you’ll find this gem.
A friend of mine lives walking distance from the cute find and we decided, that was more than enough reason to give it a go.
As you walk into Coin Laundry you are automatically hit with the calm and relaxed vibe of the wait staff and the atmosphere. Chilled waiters run the show seamlessly. On a Thursday morning, we were lucky to secure the last free table and word on the street tells me the weekend usually involves waiting a while for a table.
Coffee’s came quickly and we took way too long to decide what to order. Gossip often gets in the way of choosing meals at breakfast catch-ups.
The menu offers your standards like eggs, toasts, banana bread and porridge. It then has more exciting items like the Caramelized French toast with crispy bacon and organic maple syrup or the Olive Bread Bruschetta with fresh ricotta, fresh tomatoes, basil oil and parma ham.
On this particular day I wasn’t in the mood for a large breakfast so opted for the Fruit bread with ricotta and thyme honey.
It was simple and delicious. The fruit bread was out of this world. It had whole dried apricots and whole dried figs studded through it. The ricotta and the honey, smooth creamy and flavoursome was the perfect addition to the crunchy bread.
My dining partner ordered the Corn and Manchego fritters with guacamole, corn relish and crème fresh. It was served with a huge salad of rocket and coriander, which made my friend very happy; she is a serious rocket fan. It is often joked about just how much she loves it!
If you’re in the mood for something sweet after breakfast choose a take home pastry or muffin from the very cute selection on display.
We will be returning very soon to try the other delicious options on the menu.
For more information:
61 Armadale St, Armadale
Today I had the opportunity to have brunch at ATPE in Alphington. Easily missed by drivers by, this place is among car dealers and busy roads!
It is worth a stop though, I tell you that.
The all day breakfast menu has all a breakfast menu needs. Nothing out of the ordinary, yet all the essentials. Eggs, big breakfasts, banana and coconut bread, hot cakes (both of which looked to die for!), and smaller options like muesli and toast. Gluten free bread and muesli is also available.
One stand out option for me was the Mixed Platter, which was half a serve of banana and coconut bread with honey labna and pistachios and half a serve of the ricotta hot cakes served with poached fruit and honey infused ricotta.
In a savoury mood however I ordered the poached eggs with a side of avocado and feta, as well as my standard soy cappuccino.
My cappuccino was lovely, creamy and the perfect strength.
My breakfast was equally well done. The eggs were runny yet cooked through; and the avocado was fresh and creamy. The feta was delicious, it was the real stuff…creamy yet salty, crumbly and with a real bite. Feta and avocado really were made for each other. If you haven’t tried it with eggs…you need to.
I will be heading back to APTE for the mixed platter very shortly!
For more information:
538 Heidelberg Rd
(03) 9482 2991
Pope Joan, located strangely close to my apartment has become a favourite among locals and visitors a like. My street is always its busiest when the weekend brunch crowd wanders sleepy eyed to the welcoming doors of Pope Joan. Popping up out of car repair stores and run down houses, it was a sight for sore eyes.
As you enter your welcomed by a warm and cozy dining room, with smiling wait staff, laid back patrons, a cabinet filled with freshly baked goods and a smell that assures you you’ve come to the right place. Take a seat either in the wooden dining room, or open the sliding door and venture out the outside. There are tables lining the undercover deck and then outdoor tables taking you all the way to the homegrown herbs and vegetables found in the garden.
There is an attention to detail demonstrated here that is rare in a small brunch/lunch venue. Each dish is served in its own original setting. The rice pudding is served in an old school jam jar, the fruit toast served in a toast stand and the porridge is served using three matching pieces of crockery. One to hold the porridge, one to hold the fruit and a matching jug to hold the milk. It was just a beautiful sight to see.
The menu, while not your standard breakfast/brunch menu offers so many delicious looking dishes. It ranges from baked ginger bread with maple butter, to rice pudding, to pressed ham hock and lentils with fried egg and sauce gribiche, to even W.A Sardines and tomato on toast with feta, pine nuts and currents.
In addition to this there are a range of gourmet sandwiches including The Cornish: Milawa chicken, stuffing and jalapeño peppers to tantalize those who are in the mood for lunch.
My friend and I had trouble deciding what to order so opted to share. We chose the warmed ginger bread which was served with smoked maple butter and the Boiled eggs, soldiers, bacon bits and herb salt.
As it arrived by friend looked at me and said “I know this is weird, but I need to smell it” as she picked up the plate and brought it to her nose. Of course once she had done this I was unable not to follow suit. It has been a good choice, the ginger aromas filled my nose and it took all my strength not to eat her half as well as mine!
The ginger bread was amazing. It was light and fluffy with a strong ginger flavour pushing through. Perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the maple butter was able to add moisture and subtle sweetness without interfering with the bread itself.
Then our eggs arrive. They were adorably served in a porcelain egg carton, eggs in their own section, bread in the centre and the bacon bits filling one corner and the herbed salt filling the other. It was a gorgeous picture!
As we sliced the top of our soiled eggs, we revealed perfectly soft boiled eggs! The toasted grainy buttery bread, which accompanied it, was excitably dunked in straight away. The bacon, expertly crisped added everything bacon should, while the herbed salt was flavoursome and delicious. I couldn’t tell you which herbs they used, but along with the salt it cut through the richness of the egg yolk and completed the dish!
I should also say here, that my soy cappuccino, topped with love heart coffee art was also lovely. Rich and creamy.
From the vegetable garden out the back to the gorgeous antique looking crockery, eating here feels like you’ve come home. We sat for hours in the busy dining room people coming and going as they please, not once feeling the sometimes-watchful eye of waiters in a busy venue. I honestly think we could have sat there all day with no one having a care in the world.
All in all Pope Joan offers delicious coffee and exciting fun and innovative food that really hits the spot.
For more information:
77-79 Nicholson Street
(03) 9388 8858
There has been so much positive buzz surrounding Three Bags Full, I don’t know why it has taken me this long to go! Meeting a friend who lives in Richmond for brunch seemed like a perfect reason!
The old brick warehouse on the corner of Nicholson Street Abbotsford, doesn’t give away the cute café awaiting you. The outdoor tables, filled with brunch goers enjoying themselves does give a little away.
As I arrived, 15 minutes early for my Friday morning brunch, I was surprised at how busy they were already. I managed to get a cute table for two against the wall. As I sat down I took in my surroundings. The main room of the café is open and has beautifully high ceilings. It has a cute wooden bar, which has bar seating situated below coffee cup hanging lights. To the right of the bar was the freshly baked section, showcasing muffins, slices and sandwiches. A huge communal table in the middle creates a fun atmosphere and the second dinning area allows for the huge space to feel cozy and private. I was alone for about 20 minutes and at no point did I feel like an imposition, the staff were lovely and welcoming and more than willing to help where they could.
The breakfast menu is broken down into 6 categories. Eggs on Toast offers things like Peas and Eggs: poached eggs, crushed peas, tomato vinaigrette and feta, along with standards like Eggs Benedict. The Savory section has things like the big breakfast or Beetroot Cured Salmon on corn pea and feta fritters, which was served with avocado, rocket and dill sour cream. Sticky Black Ginger Bread served with vanilla bean mascarpone, candied cumquats and pistachios stands out on the Sweet section, while the Vegetarian section offers Braised Leek and Potato Omlettes with seeded mustard and gruyere along side the more expected brunch of smashed avocado on toast. Finally, the last two sections are Oats and Toast offering the standard muesli’s, porridge’s and plain or fruit toasts. They also offere gluten free toast for their breakfasts which I will always appreciate!
What I loved about this menu was that it has the standards for when you want to know what you getting, but then offers new and exciting meals for when your in the mood for something different!
The coffee menu, rotating and written on the black boards behind the bar, allows you to choose your coffee based on flavour.
I ordered the coffee which was promising cocoa and nutty flavours in the form of a soy cappuccino. While I normally order a strong coffee, I figured they knew what they were doing here and didn’t bother. I was very right! This coffee was beautiful. It was, as it promised nutty and delicious. It was also the perfect strength.
To accompany my cappuccino I ordered the Organic Sourdough served with their homemade apricot jam. This was divine. The bread was delicious, it was soft in the middle and had the perfect amount of crispness on the outside. It also had that beautiful sourdough flavour coming through nicely. The jam that came with it was such a lovely combination. Sweet, yet not overpowering, it went perfectly with my buttered sourdough.
I was very pleased to find out as I was paying, that their bread, Jams and muesli are all available for sale at the café. There were also a number of coffees available for purchase.
I would highly recommend a visit to Three Bags Full, and am already looking forward to returning to try something different and buying a few take home treats!
For more information:
Three Bags Full
Corner of Nicholson St and Mollison St, Abbotsford.
As a lover of brunch I thought it was the perfect activity to start my birthday celebrations!
I had been to Rococo once before when I was on a gluten free diet and had been very disappointed. I was disappointed because the menu was so amazing, yet all I could eat was the fruit salad. So…I thought I needed to venture back and try something different!
Their breakfast menu is huge and amazing! They have freshly bakes sweets, breads of all forms, muesli’s, pancakes, eggs and sides in all ways you could ever want and even cheese on toast with home made baked beans.
On this particular morning I couldn’t go past the Smashed Avocado on grilled sourdough with feta, fresh tomato, and basil served with marinated mushrooms and poached eggs. It was delicious!! The avocado fresh tomato and basil was fresh and flavorsome and the eggs were soft and runny. The mushrooms were also yummy, sautéed to perfection. The fresh crunchy sourdough topped on the meal. The soy cappuccino was, while nothing out of the ordinary, what I needed!
My sister ordered the Creamy scrambled eggs with feta fresh tomato and basil. While quite similar to my meal, this had an extra rich creamy note. She was very happy!
While nearly everyone else also ordered the smashed avocado, there was a side of freshly baked scones with jam and cream ordered. I sneaked a little taste and was jealous I didn’t order my own! Warm and light, just how scones should be.
As we were leaving, we saw a number of lunch orders being taken to tables. Huge thin crust pizza’s topped with large meatballs and large focaccia’s, sliced and served with an array of dips went past us. This has made me swear to return for dinner and tapas!!
For more information:
797 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn
(03) 9818 8212
Over the Easter break I travelled to Tasmania with my family for a sort of food and wine tour of the east coast.
One morning in Launceston, using our Iphones, we found what looked to be a nice restaurant 30 minutes away. So off we went, phone map in hand to wander the streets until we found our desired location.
While this can often be a risky move, we arrived at a stunning water front restaurant with a beautiful décor, which coupled sophistication with a homely feel to create a welcoming atmosphere.
After ordering five coffees we examined the menu. It just screamed gourmet breakfast with a twist: Toasts, Bircher muesli and eggs in new and exciting ways.
I ordered the Eggs Benedict with a side of roasted Mushrooms. A classic I thought…yet this was the best Eggs Benedict I have ever tasted. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, bursting with yolk when cut. The ham was fresh and the ciabatta, which was baked in house was fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The mushrooms were roasted in some heavenly mixture of flavours, which hinted at truffle oil. Finally the hollandaise was light and tart and far from overpowering.
Opting for a more unique choice my sister ordered the Eggs Royale, which was two truffled eggs scrambled on ciabatta toast served with house made hot smoked ocean trout and a side of crème fraiche. I think this may have been the happiest I saw her the whole trip, and after tasting it I was not surprised! It was rich and creamy and delicious!
The serves here however were on the small side and due to this two of my fellow diners were still puckish after their meals and decided to order the Ciabatta with butter and house made plum jam. After tasting the jam, they both demanded that I try it. This jam was amazing; it was sweet yet offered a slight spice, providing a warming flavour. I fell in love. Sadly when I asked where I could buy this the waitress told me that it was made in the kitchen and they didn’t sell any. She did however inform me that they added ginger and cinnamon to their plum jam, which explained the warmth and spice. I will one-day endeavour to recreate this masterpiece!
So as you have probably gathered we had a fantastic breakfast! Stillwater also provided us with our lunch for that day from their gourmet Providore located above the café.
Stomachs full from an amazing breakfast and bags full with amazing cheese, pate and crackers for lunch we left Stillwater with a smile.
For more information:
(03) 6331 4153