Monday, 14 September 2015

Get your Freak on

Birthdays only come but once a year, but sometimes I wish I could have a birthday everyday. It would give me more reasons to celebrate and feel less conscious about eating all things naughty on any particular day.

Speaking of all things Naughty... it so happens that on my Birthday this year I had the pleasure of dining at Naughty Boy cafe, located on Lygon street.

The name of this cafe says it all really. 

A warm modern café with a giant cheeky boy painted as a feature wall makes for a quirky dining environment.

It is no surprise to grasp that first coffee as you gaze across the menu hoping for something to launch at you. However on this occasion, I had it all planned. I had imaged for days that I was going to indulge in the Red velvet pancakes and join it with a Freak Shake.

It’s my Birthday after all and I need no judgement on my choices.

Soft cloud like Red velvet pancakes donned with mascarpone cheese, freeze dried mandarin, berries, citrus powder and burnt meringue was exactly what I expected it to be.

Not an overly sweet breakfast but texturally made for an adventure on your palate. Meringue and chocolate fudge like pieces added the hint of sweetness, but with the tartness of citrus and berries it evened it back out. Add that creamy mascarpone and it’s a luscious exotic experience.
The Benedict was a lovely savoury option and a crowd pleaser.  Beautifully poached eggs exploded as you cut through them, which lay atop of grilled sourdough, pulled ham hock and smothered with apple cider hollandaise.

The hollandaise was lovely and light compared to the norm being made with the cider, which was very pleasing.

Now lets get to the sugar explosion of the day. The Freak Shakes.

Hitting the Melbourne food scene with an explosion these crazy shakes are monstrous but fun.
With my frutilicious Pavlova shake; it was a full powered sugar high in itself. Coconut milk based shake with passionfruit curd, mango sorbet, Pavlova, fresh fruits and finished with fairy floss.

The other was A Salted caramel shake with sticky date rice pudding, nutella rim, bitter praline and chocolate floss. Rich, decadent and a definite challenge in itself to complete.

The menu at Naughty boy has exciting dishes that will make you return, such as a Knuckle sandwich, the Hot Hanoi Roll or the Buttermilk waffles.

Service is friendly and welcoming adding to the overall experience. We will be visiting again very soon.

Naughty Boy Cafe
499 Lygon Street
Carlton North
9041 7870

Naughty Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Happiness is.......

Where did the blue skies go? 2 days ago we were all praising the first day of spring and today we are back in out woollen jumpers venturing to grasp a hot coffee and comfort foods.

Twenty & Six is a quaint little cafe away from the main street of North Melbourne. Here it sits with it's cozy and calm interior making it the perfect spot to get out of the chill in the air.

Staff greet with a pleasant welcome and have ensured that coffee is ordered as soon as you are seated.

The menu speaks fresh and flavoursome and being filled with an array of dishes, showcasing a large use of fruit and vegetables.

For me the Sticky black rice pudding with banana, coconut cream, passionfruit and buffed rice. As it is presented the aroma of passionfruit surrounds you. Your mouth instantly connects with your senses and can't wait to hoe into it.

Elegantly presented in a large bowl that you can wrap your arms around as your spoon is dug through the fresh ingredients.

Not overly sweet and well balanced with the sprinkles of the puffed rice and crisp sugary corn flake pieces.

The problem for me was that I couldn't finish it. I wanted to believe me, it's delicious, but alas I met my match.

Twenty & Six is a lovely quiet place to sit and unwind during the week, watching the world go by, read a book with a coffee and just escape to some peace.

Weekends they are packed with locals and being a place that can sit about 20 inside at 8 or so outside, you'd need to get in early for your morning brew and breakfast.

I'd be interested in returning again to try some savoury dishes with the Herb crusted kingfish ceviche or the lamb shoulder being my next picks. Otherwise I'm going for the Brioche french toast, but taking a friend so I can steal some of theres to compare.

Twenty & Six
594 Queensberry St
North Melbourne
9329 0298

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Mighty Desire

With a big appetite for food but wanting to get away from the usual breakfast flavours I stumbled by Mighty Boy Eatery and am glad that it happened.

This small eatery decked with cement polished floors, simplistic white brick walls and wooden seating, made for a calm feel. Not being over crowded in design work made for an open and relaxed environment to diners.

An all-Asian inspired menu speaks unique to the palate when going for breakfast. Different from the surrounding competition of Fitzroy, leaves it to be one of a kind.

It’s difficult to decide as it is far from what I am used to and for a person who hasn’t been to anywhere in Asia leaves me nervous to choose. But hey, it’s all about the adventure right?

With a menu that says “Our Favourite” next to a dish made for ease of mind. Coconut Soup with roasted banana, peanuts and black sesame seeds was a delightful sweet dish. Warm coconut milk exposing slight roast banana essence as it lay at the base of your bowl. On a rainy winter day this was nothing better to experience.

Now I have to say, I was by myself when I had the Coconut soup and was so excited about it, I had to return with Paul so I could try more things. That’s got to say something right!

On my return visit it was just as amazing as the first. Paul even showed excitement to the choices.

The choice to have the Soul egg and the Potato hash was on the cards.

Soul Eggs, delicately cooked with brioche soldiers, smoked salmon and a citrus ricotta with Thai basil leaves was a delicate and rich breakfast. With touches of chilli it made for a great well balanced breakfast, but nothing to intense.

The Cheesy Potato hash served with chilli, poached egg and spring onion too was delicious. Crispy thin potato hash added a complex texture and caught the flavours of the chilli heat. We added a side of spiced sausage, which was bold in flavour and added depth to the dish.

Now I am normally one to laugh at those who eat out and just order the toast with condiments. Because seriously… why wouldn’t you try something outside the square?

But here I will commend you in trying the Kaya toast. A sweet egg custard topped brioche slices lightly toasted, sprinkled with coconut. On the side lightly poached eggs and soy sauce.
Confused as to how to eat it, on it’s own with no egg or soy the brioche is overloaded in sweetness making it similar to the custard buns and can make it difficult to get through. To cut through the sweet flavours spread some egg and pour some soy over the top and you have just created this sweet salty combination that brings your tastebuds alive.

It was a pleasure to experience and on both visits left with a very happy stomach and excited tastebuds. It's always nice to get out and try something new, and heres a place to do it.

Mighty Boy Eatery
61 Gertrude Street

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Eat Better Feel Better

Exposed brick walls decorated with old create boxes and industrial lighting is just the beginning of your experience at Lux Foundry. The pleasant feel of an organic inspired interior always makes for a pleasant experience and well suited for the Brunswick scene.

Local brew of Proud Mary never goes astray with the knowledge that the coffee will be respected and deliver on a full-bodied blend. It is always a great to support your local businesses and with me being a fan of Proud Mary, I fell it can only deliver just as much on the food.

With warm welcomes from multiple staff the relaxed atmosphere is heightened knowing you will be looked after well. Both diners and staff all seem to be smiling and watching the floor as I often do I couldn’t feel the stress of what you would usually see on a busy Saturday morning. All tables inside and out are full, but yet the staff are relaxed and so to are the diners.

So what to eat…..? The menu speaks to you in fresh and delicious flavour combinations but yet not over loading in overpowering produce that would leave to an undesired meal.

This morning we abolished some rather tasty breakfast of the Smoked Salmon and the Breakfast Quesadilla.

The Smoked Salmon breakfast served with cauliflower fritters served on top of a horseradish crème fraiche, capers and lemon. Your choice to add the poached egg of which I highly recommend, it is done perfectly and oozes nothing but yolky goodness over the fritters.
If you would like to add a hint of spice to the dish I can also recommend the most amazing well-balanced accompaniment of the caramel chilli. Oh my such a glorious thing, if the heavens were opened they would be singing sweet choir songs of happiness.

The Breakfast Quesadilla is filled with subtle spiced refried beans, cheese, cactus, and tomatillo salsa verde, chilli and coriander. A pleasant meal but would have liked more of a morning kick of spice in there. To ours we added some chorizo and a side of green chilli relish, which assisted in the kick we were after.

With the ordinary choices of the usual Big Breakfast to the more unique of the Smoked Salmon or the quesadilla I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to venture and explore the horizons of flavour combinations at breakfast and go for something you wouldn’t cook yourself at home.

With service being on a high and meals that are respected and look amazing it is a place you wouldn’t want to miss for much longer.

Lux Foundry
21 Hope Street
9387 8075

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Getting the background story

It all started one afternoon when I needed a coffee. It's not uncommon I know a lot of people crave the addiction of caffeine, but I wanted the brew that was just roasted and send straight out to the counter line.

Aunty Pegs is where Proud Mary’s brew is created and where you can set in for a short break and experience the caffeine pleasures.

Serving only black brew you can experience the true hidden senses of the bean and capture the passion of the in house roasters.

 Enjoying some Costa Rica Sonora Bourbon blend presented by filter you can taste the essence of sweet praline, honey and apple with notes of citrus. A well-balanced brew with delicate flavour notes makes for a pleasant easy to drink black coffee.

For something completely different you should try some cold brew. Cold coffee slightly carbonated and served on tap. On a hot day this will make for a pleasurable cool escape whilst you unwind in the afternoon.

We were offered the chance to see the site and watch the rosters hard at work. The story behind Proud Mary’s brew and the beans itself.

The smell of roasted beans surrounds you as you walk the roasting areas with the fresh beans that have just been placed through the process delicately.

As we are shown around we are told about the research that is gone into each brew and the regions of where it has come from. We are shown the foie gras of beans where the last of it’s kind is existent and studies of roasting are in action to ensure the essences of pollination will be heightened to ensure the flavours of the beans are respected.

What I valued most about Aunty Pegs is the passion that is shown when talking about the history of the beans background and how much research goes through to ensure that the most is captured for our drinking pleasure.

After finding out the story behind Proud Mary Coffee there is only one more thing to do to add to the experience, and that’s to go visit the café itself.
Proud Mary on a Sunday is always hard to get into and now I know why. Visiting on a Friday for a late lunch this café is still bustling with diners enjoying fine produces and modernised plating.

A serve of shredded Ox Tongue served with smoked almonds, red peppers, and amaranth and finished with a soft poached egg on a slice of thick sourdough bread.

Well-balanced and rich in flavour. With a soft poached egg spilling it’s yolk enhances the richness of flavour. Bursts of smokiness flows through with each bite and the amaranth a pleasant texture and pepper flavour.

Of course you can never go past a Pork Belly Sandwich for a lunch option. Thick lightly toasted bread covers pork belly slices with a smoked paprika relish, aioli and fresh watercress.

Fresh pastries are on hand that are in house made over at Aunty Pegs. Pastries like caramel popcorn donuts, croissants and anything that you can think of that is filled with buttery goodness.

An enjoyable day getting to know the people behind the coffee blend and eating delicious light meals.

Staff in both Aunty Pegs and Proud Mary were energetic and more than happy to serve you. I am looking forward to visiting again for some fine coffee and respected fresh produce.

Proud Mary
172 Oxford St
9417 5930

Aunty Peg's
200 Welington st
9417 1333

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