Sunday, 10 July 2016

American Smoked Delights

There's nothing better in this weather than to head to a smoke house and gorge oneself in meats, craft beers and cocktails.

Melbourne is increasing it's American BBQ restaurants and makes me very excited. I love the varieties of smokes that add different depths of flavour to a brisket, pork or even chicken.

Up in Smoke located in Footscray is a smoke house that shouldn't be missed. Delivering an amazement of meats that are tender, juicy and perfectly smoked.

Starting the day off with some Hot Wings with ranch dressing and accompanied by a fresh cocktail, was a great beginning to the day. Coated in smokey spices and enough to get your palate active as small hits of chilli dances on your taste buds, but held with restraint so that they don't burn your senses.

The Meat tray is probably the best option to select here, ensuring that you get a taste of everything they offer. Brisket, pulled pork and my favorite Jalapeno and cheese sausage. OMG!!!!

Served with pickles, milk buns and a choice of 2 sides, it's the perfect and ideal choice when your with other meat lovers.

The brisket is melt in your mouth and falls softly away making you just want to continue to eat more and more. The sausage is perfectly balanced with heat and light hints of cheese. One of the best sausages I've eaten. We chose to enjoy with a serving of chips and the apple fennel salad. These I think were the perfect option, a touch of freshness to cut through the rich meats and something fried is always a great option.

Dessert enticed us with a banana cream pie and the special dessert of Smoked chocolate almond brownie served with raspberry and peanut butter.

The Banana cream pie is the BOMB! A shortbread based filled with fresh banana and for texture bites of banana crisps finished with a light cream. Sensational and loved every bite.

The brownie was rich and intense, glad is was served with ice cream. The smoked chocolate was decadent and delicious, and made the dessert to be remembered and different to other smoke houses.

I can't wait to go again, and am very excited that they have a little retail shop on the side so I can top up my kitchen with delights.


Up in Smoke
28 Hopkins Street
Footscray
9689 8188

Up in Smoke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 17 June 2016

And I Ate

Winter is putting on it's charm with all this drizzle and gloomy skies. Normally on a day off such as this I would be rugged up on the couch watching TV series back to back, but today there was a need a need for food.

Ten One Ate has been on my list for some time now, and one of my work colleagues keeps talking about it so there was no time like the present than to venture out into the streets of Essendon to experience it myself.

This all sustainable and organic kitchen using local produce, has designed a rather leisurely menu to make for pure enjoyment.

With a menu that offers Buttermilk pancakes with a limoncello curd or Truffle scrambles eggs served with mushrooms, goats curd and caramelized onions is sure to get the apertite thinking.

Our choice this morning through was for the Potato waffles served with a hot smoked salmon, pickled heirloom beets, crisp kale, salsa verde and oozy poached eggs.

This picture perfect breakfast was a true enjoyment to eat. With a well balanced flavor combination, it was a perfect start to my morning. Waffle pressed potatoes that had a perfect golden glow topped with a good serving of smoked salmon which with the pickles of the beetroot and salt from the salsa verde, made for delightful eating. A small spray of fresh lemon lifted it even more. Adding some fresh avo and of course some bacon (you can't have breakfast without bacon) left me comatosed it gluttonous eating.

The other dish of the day was the Eggs benedict. Now this is no ordinary Benedict, in fact the one at Ten One Ate is served with delicious slow cooked pork shoulder, crisp pancetta, apple cider hollandaise and finished with apple pearls.

Not only did this dish look amazing it too was amazing. It is a picture perfect breakfast with is glistening apple pearls that truly are bursts of granny smith apples. Perhaps a little to sweet for this particular dish, however absolutely delicious. So delicious I would eat an entire jar of these.

With an addition of roasted mushrooms and avo, the breakfast was great. Pork shoulder was perfectly smothered in a luscious sauce, but not over powering through the hollandaise. This rich and tasty breakfast is one not to pass up.

Now because I can and felt like I needed to gormatise myself even more and go that extra mile in spoiling myself, the crazy shake came out to play.

Giant over loaded milk shakes that really is a meal within itself are always a fun table discussion. It can also become a somewhat regret after you finish it and have a sudden overwhelming feeling that you shouldn't have finished an entire one to yourself. Never the less, I had to do it.

The choice of the Salted Caramel finished with popcorn, macarons and a giant marshmallow came out almost as big as the Eureka towers.

Creamy caramel goodness left me feeling very full, but so satisfied.

This delightful cafe is one that you need to try and also return to. The vibe is bustling and the staff very friendly and attentive through out. You really have to get there.


Ten One Ate
1018 Mt Alexander rd
Essendon
9379 4892

Ten One Ate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh is Best

A delightful bakery that serves fresh delicious delights and consistently has a line out the door for take away and full tables for most of the morning, is really saying something. It's a good place to be.

Rustica is a modern and quaint little bakery that is bustling with local trade.

Surprised in our luck we were able to stop in and grab a bite to eat and we were very happy we did.

A Croque monsieur was not like the normal. Made with a soft pumpkin brioche and coated in cheese goodness and stuffed with ham was expected to be rich, and with seeing the size passing our table as we waited questioned how we would conquer it.

To our surprise it was delicate and light and truly delicious and amazing to eat. So much so we went and brought a loaf of the pumpkin bread so we could make it at home. It's that good!

I went for the selection board, filled with a salmon croquette, smashed avo, fritter and a poached egg with an oozey yolk for the hot selection. For the cold a bircher museli jar and cold pressed juice.

What a fantastic idea, especially when you are so indecisive of whether you want hot or cold, savory or sweet.

Although the cafe may be small, the menu is bold and have some great delicious ideas to please all palates.

Once finished and your up and paying, check out the pastry and bread displays to take home. Delicate cream filled donuts and rich croissants was very welcomed in the afternoon with a cup of tea.


Rustica Sourdough Bakery
402 Brunswick street
Fitzroy
9417 7775

Rustica Sourdough Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Stunning

Morning sun beams shine through the tall bared windows, which stream across the dark timber tables and shining above the succulents that sit pretty on the window ledge. It is a relaxing and calm beginning to a Sunday morning, and to be frank I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Glass Den, positioned on the outskirts of the CBD and worth the extra drive to visit. Its tall windows and casual seating sets the scene of a relaxing and modern environment. It's everything you look for in a cafe, a stylish and hip brings nothing but pleasant moods to the scene.

Soaking up the morning sun on my back I begin with a luscious St Ali blend coffee and get excited about the menu.

Choosing something off the special board is always fun, it gives you more of what the chefs enjoy creating and lets them expand there minds and test new ideas.

The choice of the Spinach open omelette with herded infused fetta, beetroot mousse, kale sesame crumble and red chilli was a hit. I swear it looked just like I stepped into the garden. Amazing combinations of flavors and so pretty to look at. You couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Vibrant green omelet covered in an array of soft mousse, salty fetta pieces and a delicate crumb was truly a delight to have.

The other;  Egg au Gratin. Golden hash or Gratin with confit portobello mushrooms, broccolini and a runny poached egg finished off with rich creamy hollandaise sauce and kale sesame crumb.

A breakfast for the rich flavour seekers and this too was a pleasure to eat. Add a serve of the pork belly on the side and you will be set not just for breakfast but for lunch as well. A solid breakfast but really delicious to enjoy.

The Glass Den will have something for everyone's palate and to go with that is licensed and have also got a great juice selection to put a little bit more oomph to the start of the day.

As much as I wanted to continue to indulge my morning away here, I feel that I would have turned into Violet Beauregarde, but a little less blue and needing to be rolled back out through the door by the staff.

It is a cafe that I wished I had visited earlier, but must say with the current menu offer it will be one to tell friends about.



The Glass Den
14 Urquhart Street
Coburg
9354 5032



The Glass Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Super Delicious

Theres never a moment where I don't get excited about going out and finding delicious food combinations where it explodes nothing but flavours and textures. Where chefs have thought about the dish and how they can take it to the next level.

Being a home cook, I sometimes wish I had the resources to do what they do, to make my casseroles blow my husbands mind and have people lining up for hours to enjoy my cooking....wait take that back, please don't line up at my door to taste my food. You get the idea though.

An evening out at Supernormal was a perfect evening of cocktails and food delights. Staff where on point with service, friendly and efficient and fast. A sometime rarity, when you are in a busy restaurant the upping the ante doesn't always show.

Food at Supernormal is inspiring, and showcase some amazing produce with sublime flavour combinations. Nothing with so much power that it hides the main component of the dish. Everything is with restraint and respect.

Tuna with smoked tomato, pickles and a spring onion oil danced calmly as you enjoyed each mouthful. Tender raw tuna with crisp herbs for texture had slowly soaked up the oil and smoked tomato leaving a light and delicate combination of flavours. A perfect way to start the evening with a cocktail.

For something a little more intense, the smoked beef with mustard leaf and clam mayonnaise was beautiful. This creamy but yet delicate dish was a pleasure to eat and worked well after the tuna. The elements worked gracefully together and if able plate licking worthy.

Prawn and chicken dumplings in a chilli oil were a blessing of enjoyment. You can never say no to perfect dumplings like these. I have to say, dumplings in chilli oil are one of my favorites and these little bite sized flavour bombs did not disappoint.

The one thing that you have to taste and is worth going the full serve is the Duck Bao. A twice cooked duck leg or half, served with a sticky plum sauce that you pull apart and nestle it within cloud like bao's. The skin.... oh the skin is so delectable you wish you had a bucket of it.

Desserts were delivering a sweet sweet finish with a peanut butter parfait, with a thick salted caramel sauce and the softest chocolate that melts so smoothly as you glutonise over each mouthful. Such heaven of desserts, but rich all the same - so be careful or share.

The other the sour cream cake, with a black sesame ice cream , strawberries and yuzo sauce. Wow what a finish. This cake is easy to eat and not too sweet. A waiters choice and a good one at that too. Highly recommended.

It truly was a pleasure to eat here and surly would again. Cocktails and great food, always a fantastic combination with a friend, partner or group.


Supernormal
180 Flinders Lane
CBD
9650 8688

Supernormal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Mad About You

There's a place on Sydney road that sits quietly as busy punters drive past, you could miss it in a blink of an eye, but you would be truly mad not to stop in.

Maddox Cafe located almost adjacent to the Aldi or the Retreat, with its large glass window grasping the morning sunshine. Quaint and relaxing this small cafe is truly going to deliver some perfect coffees and delicious meals on your visit.

Take for instance my pancakes. Smothered in a delicate chocolate sauce with a good serve of raspberry finished with macadamia, micro herbs and freeze dried berries. A dish for a Queen as it looks so perfect on the plate.

Pancakes that are soft and almost the hight of a crumpet. Looking dense but is disguised well as they are pillow like.

Although I am one to share, on this occasion it was very difficult for me to part with such a deliciously naughty breakfast.

I was on holiday's so I was not to care, in actual fact I'm pretty sure if I wasn't on holiday I still wouldn't want to separate myself from these.

In the likes of others "nom nom nom".

A Big breakfast I shall call it and I apologise to Maddox for forgetting the dishes name. Served with perfect poached eggs, hallumi, bacon and fresh avo this dish was everything you could ask for.

A rich relish covered the blistered tomatoes and fresh spinach and potatoes. Full natural flavours made for enormous enjoyment.

Coffee here is pleasant and offering an arrangement of milks, of which with my new lactose free life, loved that there was soy and lactose free on offer.

The blend was smooth and medium blend, and best of all consistent.

Although a small dining area you can choose to sit at an individual table, but if you really want to embrace that morning sunshine, grab the communal table or sit on the street with the sound of the bustling Sydney road.

Staff were lovely and polite and I look forward to visiting again.




Maddox Cafe
295 Sydney Rd,
Brunswick
9041 5650
Maddox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Gingerbread Cheesecake

Ingredients:

125g Melted Butter
220g Gingersnap biscuits
80g Granita Biscuits
750g Cream Cheese
300g Sour Cream
150g Caster sugar
3 tsp Ground ginger
1.5 tsp mixed spice
Caramel topping
4 Eggs

To decorate:
Mini gingerbread men
Rock candy
Caramel wafers


Method:

Pre Heat Oven on a low 150c
Grease and line a spring form circular baking tin and line with baking paper.
In a processor, pulse down your biscuits to a fine crumb. 
Add melted butter and mix well together.

Press biscuit mix on the base of baking tin and make a wall around the sides.
Place tin in fridge to set.

Clean your processor and combine cream cheese, sour cream and sugar to a smooth consistency.
Add in your dry spices and blend in eggs 1 at a time.

Remove tin from fridge. Pour in 1/2 your cheese cake mix and swirl in some caramel topping.
Pour in remaining mix and repeat process with topping.

Place cake into pre heated oven for 1 hour.
When finished, slightly open oven door and leave to cool inside oven.

To serve, top your cheesecake with mini gingerbread men. You can also finish it in your own style with popping candy rocks, chocolate or wafers.

Enjoy.


Bakers note: to make lining of a baking tray easier, rinse your baking paper under cold water to soften it. It becomes more flexible and easier to line trays.

Have a Pleasant Day

There's nothing to be said when you find a location that is quaint and peaceful, and for those that struggle in the morning it's always a blessing in disguise when you stumble upon it.

John Gorilla Cafe is tucked in the back streets of Brunswick west and although a popular choice with the locals, it remains to be a charming and relaxing.

I enjoy the places where they are the perfect balance of busy, not over crowded but continues to have full tables inside and out. People aren't sitting of laps of the unknown and you can't hear the conversations of others.

Walking through the doors you are greeted by staff from a high counter filled with daily baked goods. Now I say high because I'm a shorty, for others it's probably just regular size. Anyway........

Seating can be chosen from street, to inside or out back in the courtyard (my choice every time).

The menu speaks simplistic flavours but each dish is packed of bold flavours making for an astonishing breakfast.

On my first visit I had the pleasure of eating the fritters of corn and jalapeño served with coriander salsa and relish, adding a slather of salty bacon enhances the enjoyment of a very huge breakfast that you need to defeat.


On the second time around were the beautiful picture perfect Brioche French Toast with fresh blood oranges, lime zest, toasted coconut and a ball of black sesame ice cream. Finish it with the glorious golden syrup and be whisked away to happiness.

Between each of my visits the service quality has been sublime, packed with consistent check ins and also the random conversations.

Coffee is of medium blend and great quality every time. Grab a take away coffee and get creative as you design the next take away coffee lid as you wait. Leaving for fun daily randomness, which is always good for personal amusements.

It is easy to relax as time goes by at John Gorilla and am so pleased to have it so close by to me.


John Gorilla
49 Pearson Street
Brunswick West
9005 8680

John Gorilla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Monday, 4 January 2016

Salted Caramel Pretzel Biscuit



Ingredients:
2 cups Self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
200 g softened salted butter
4 table spoons golden syrup
mini pretzels


Method:

Pre heat your oven to 180c

Cream together sugar and butter

Continue to blend and add syrup. Combined until mix if fluffy

Add in flour and mix until well combined.

On a flat baking tray, place small balls of the mix, spreading them out on the tray to allow for expanding.

Press a pretzel into the centre of the ball, flattening the mix slightly

Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave in for 20 minutes if you prefer a darker and crisper biscuit.

Remove from oven and cool on tray.

Serve with a cup of tea, and enjoy.


Bakers note: if you prefer a bitter less sweet taste, use a dark brown sugar instead of a light.



Monday, 7 December 2015

Don't be Rude

There comes a time in your life where all you want to eat are burgers. Delicious juicy meat patties with glorious goodness of fresh lettuce tomato and oozy melting cheese, squished together between a bun.

Talent of burger in Melbourne is a big thing right now, and the competitive structure of making the best burger is underway.

In recent events one of Melbourne's top 10 burger joints just so happened to open it's doors just only a few blocks away, and this is dangerous.

Rude Boy Burger located in Brunswick West and Brother to the siding cafe LoLo & Wren is sure becoming a staple in the local area, with gatherings of burger go getters from 6pm. Believe me the crowds are a good sign when it comes to eating a good burger, I have started eating dinner at 5:30 so I can get in before the others.

With Burgers such as the Onion Supreme, Wagyu burger topped with caramelised onion, golden onion rings, rocket, dripping melted cheese all in a soft seeded bun is mouth watering and gorgeous to eat.

Attempt the Big Popper and you will be having an explosive time with the monstrous creation of a juicy wagyu patty with jalapeño poppers, lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheese and onion finished with a chimichurri sauce.

There's no better way to compliment your burgers than to grab some of those loaded fries and finish it all off with a good old Milkshake.


On our first time there the Cubano fries stood out with it's slow cooked pork, mustard, pickles, chorizo, cheese sauce and may.

The Ghetto Fries. Loaded with jalapeño, cheese sauce, avocado and chipotle relish, also a great choice.

Golden fries smothered in amazing flavour combinations is one to share with a friend. To have a serve on your own with a burger will only make you explode. They are a meal in themselves.

Milkshakes vary from visits with the choices of the old fashioned Tim Tam slam to a strawberry cheesecake or a vanilla slice.

When I also say tim tam, cheese cake or vanilla slice, I am legit. Fill that blender with what seems to be a packet of  tim tams and and finish it off with a splash of milk and by golly me it turns into liquid gold.

At Rude Boy the service is far from Rude. It is polite and efficient serving you as fast as they can and still smile when under the pump.

Dine in or take those buns of heaven away, their will be no disappointment here. My fingers are crossed for Home delivery.... Wink Wink.

It's a good thing these guys are listed in the top 10 of Melbourne's best burgers, because they are droolingly delicious.


Rude Boy Burger
482 Albion Street
Brunswick West
9386 4302

Rude Boy Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato