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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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Irish Passion

When I think of the Irish my mind used to think of four leaf clovers, leprechaun and stew. But now when I think Irish my mind instantly says The Last Jar.

Close to the Victoria Market this Irish Pub sits on the corner inviting all those who are keen on Guinness and pints. Although I am not either one of those I was told about their story and how amazing their food was. Being an enthusiast of those 2 things there is nothing keeping me away from entering through the doors.

A dark bar is what strikes you first with the traditional Bar set up and men on stools catching up over a pint on a Friday afternoon. To the back is a day lite restaurant area decked with 1980's tables and vinyl chairs leaving for a very casual and now what we call retro decor.

On the specials are the Sweetbreads served on a glistening and silky pumpkin puree, roasted hazelnuts and pickled mushrooms.  Heavenly and a well balanced dish, that is almost plate licking worthy. The sweetbreads cooked perfectly and adds a caramelised richness into that perfect sweet pumpkin pure.

Out waiter told us that she cried when she had the chance to taste this dish because it was so good. If your waiter tells you that when she is explaining the specials to you, you should dive onto it and enjoy the pleasures.

The Guinness Welsh Rarebit smeared on house made toast with a grilled cheese is intense and rich. Share with a friend or be greedy and eat it on your own. Either way you must have this. I'm going back just for this.

A pot of mussels with fennel and chorizo sitting in a cider broth is a great light option. It's something that if you enjoy seafood will understand that it is a feel good moment getting into a bowl of fresh mussels that are all open and soaking in a light broth. The slight salt and spice captured from the specks of grilled chorizo and the freshness of fennel is always a perfect accompaniment.

The Scotch egg is so different to those that you usually enjoy. A soft egg surrounded by apple and celeriac coated in a golden crumb is sensational. It's crispy, flavoursome and encases a rich soft yolk.

 I have to say that I am overzealous about the Last Jar. The food is more than what you would expect from an Irish pub. It's taking food to the next level on keeping the Irish flavours alive but incorporating a more modern technique.

The thing that got me most excited is that they make as much as possible on site from scratch. From the butter that you spread on your in house made bread, of which it dense and on this day was a combination of a honey oat and white to the plates of unbelievable flavours.

I enjoyed everything on this one sitting and trust me I will be going back until I have eaten the entire menu.

There is true passion in this kitchen and it shows. When you sit and listen to your waiter express her excitement on the specials and through the explanation of the menu to the deliverance of your meals it really touches a spot in my heart.

This is why I live for the food industry, to find places like this.

The Last Jar
616 Elizabeth Street
Carlton North
9348 2957

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Yes Sir, Yes Sir

A place that has been open for more than a couple of years in the food environment lately I feel is achieving a mile stone and is clearly doing something right in capturing the publics attention.

It's a hard industry with tackling on the competition and ensuring you are staying up to date with the trends and making it modern and none the less eye catching and amazing for the consumer.

Three Bag Full is truly delivering what we want and they are doing it well. Warm decor with a large dining hall that is filling up early on a Sunday morning with happy go lucky diners for there morning brew.

An Ethiopian blend with a slight citrus taste is the brew of choice but is bold and perfect for the initial wake up if it is your first for the day. With the rays of sun beaming through onto the tables through the large windows really helps warm you up and relax you.

Now let me tell you how excited I was for my choice this morning. As I gazed over the menu's and across to the specials there was 1 dish that cried out to me. Don't get me wrong the menu is amazing and well thought about but this 1 dish was like a 5 year old child wanting my attention.

The Ricotta Hotcakes are seriously heaven sent. I'm being serious. This ricotta hot cake was topped with mulled wine fruits, orange infused marscapone, toasted almond flakes, lemon verbena and finished off with crystallised white chocolate.

Tell me you too wouldn't go and order that.

Beautiful light and flavoursome. Soft slightly spiced fruits added a subtle sweetness and blended well with the marscapone cheese. This dish wasn't overpowering in sweetness which you often find when ordering hotcakes/ pancakes for the morning breakfast which is what I think made me really excited about the dish.

On the specials board was French toast stuffed with spinach and grilled mushroom, served with poached eggs. This too was a gorgeous and rich breakfast which delivered a harmonious dish. For the savoury choice I would have dived into this one myself but my sweet tooth was taking charge today. Paul enjoyed it and would order it again too if he had the chance.

You can't go to wrong with a combination of mushrooms, spinach egg and a slight touch of cheese. They are ingredients that are meant to be together.

Three Bags Full offer a great dining vibe whilst enjoying the pleasures of just a coffee or a meal. Read the paper or catch up with some friends. The service is friendly, welcoming and engaged which always adds to your experience.

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson Street
9421 2732

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Friday, 10 July 2015

The Kettle isn't Guilty

When I think about food I think about the combinations that address your palate when eating and where the design or story of the dish has come from. Is there a story of where the ingredients have come from, have they been gown by them or perhaps is there thought behind the delicate and natural flavours and textures?

I ventured to the Kettle Black and really happy that the time had come for me to sit down and eat here. With a beautiful natural decor, ceiling to floor windows and the feel of an organic nature expresses a calm retreat from the busy life.

The menu speaks delicate and pretty, and if you have seen the amount of pictures on social media it proves to be just that.

I wanted to experience the blend of flavours to get the most out of the experience, so I headed for the King Island Crayfish roll with a light spread of lime and yuzu mayonnaise and finished with sorrel and local leaves. The roll itself was meant to be an Ash roll however as all restaurants experience supplier dramas today it was in a squid ink roll. I'm not complaining, I got excited about it.

The flavours were light and delicate and overall a pleasure to eat. Sweet cray meat off set with the lime mayo and with the sorrel adds a slight sour element. As the waiter expressed the squid ink roll would not over power how the dish is supposed to taste and with that he was right. I would although go back again to have it with the Ash roll just to see what these fine chefs have invented.

 The seasonal mushroom dish was exquisite with a combination of both cooked and raw mushrooms, seasoned with mushroom powder and served with a fresh goats curd. There is nothing I can say that will make you understand how exciting this dish is.

You can often go to other cafes and get a serve of mushrooms where they are smothered in butter and seasoned beautifully but those dishes do not compare to this.

Delicate sautéed mushrooms combined with the raw added an extra level of flavour and texture. You can truly respect the earthy flavours and really enjoy the pleasure of this one vegetable. 

The final and most refreshing palate experience is the house made coconut yoghurt. Light coconut yoghurt is made for eating pleasure with the balance of citrus powder, grains, seeds, nuts, rhubarb and delicate sweet fresh fruits. Not only do you get excited when this one plate is delivered to your table due to it's picture perfect presentation but the flavour combinations will take you on w whirl wind of adventures. Texture balances and although a sweet dish it is not so sweet that you feel ill.

It was a pleasure to experience such subtle combinations that made for a well balanced experience. Kettle Black will do nothing but grow in delivering such mind opening dishes that will excite not only foodies but anyone who comes to gain an experience.

Sourcing perfect produce and making it different to the competition is what makes Kettle Black different to everyone else in the Melbourne vicinity. But you need to experience it yourself to truly understand.

The Kettle Black
50 Albert Street
South Melbourne
9088 0721

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Boom Boom Shake the Room

Some like it hot and some like it well...... you know how it goes but on this occasion you all must like it hot.

An extraordinary Jamaican Restaurant in Yarraville 'Bax Food' is delivering nothing but delicious and spicy cuisine and all things Jerk.

The interior is vibrant in colours and welcomes by staff ensures to be homely.  The bench styled seating makes for a cozy atmosphere and a casual ordering system somewhat like a yum cha style.

With cocktails on the way and after a friendly chat to our waiter food has taken over our thoughts. Spice and heat is nothing to cringe at, but more to understand the threshold you can enjoy. The boundaries of heat to break you
but yet still enjoy the complete dish.

To order you will need to understand that it is casual and there is no line between entree and main, unless you order in that manor.

To begin we set our mouths on an electrifying wake up with Jerk Roasted corn with coconut and a jerk  mayo. Sweet succulent corn with a slight burnt Jerk flavouring and added heat from the mayo, and clear wake up for your mouth with the explosions of flavour.

Shortly followed on the Jerk flavouring was the Picpaapeppa Hot Wings. One dish to truly start those hot sweats with, but the chicken is succulent and so tender that the meat just falls away and melts in your mouth. Truly outstanding.

For something to reduce the heat, or for those who shy away for such powerful flavoured dishes I would look at enjoying the Pull pork sliders with a slight honey BBQ flavour and a hint of slaw on a sweet brioche bun, will truly assist you with a refresh on the palate before you continue taking on the heat or something to enjoy for those that say no to thee burn.

For the main we went for the Goat curry which is served with potato roti. By golly me this dish is so incredible it's unbelievable. Beautiful full spiced flavoured curry that glistens under the light  with the most well treated and tender goat I have ever had.

Match it with some slaw or some rice and happy days you will want to eat it every night. This truly was the most magnificent dish of the night and I am still talking about it days after.

Dessert brought a much desired refresher to the tastebuds with the sweet potato cake and fresh grapefruit with condensed milk. The sweet potato cake is fudgy and fairy heavy but lovely and sweet like a pumpkin pie. With the grapefruit it is on the other end of the rector scale bringing a tart and sour combination. if you combine the 2 well it's a fantastic balanced combination that your palate will thank you for.

I really did have a great adventure here and although I did reach my threshold of spice, it was absolutely delicious to say the least. It was a truly a powerful flavoured evening and one that I will go back to time and time again.

Bax Food Co
83 Gamon Street
9689 2854

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