Somewhere over the river

[Ray’s Cafe, 332 Victoria street Brunswick 3056]

Well hellooooo!,

You’re probably wondering who the hell this is??!!! yes, its been way to long, and I’m just about ready to burst at my seams with breakfasty goodness. My apologies for my extreme case of “cbf”…

This second part of 2011 seems to have been a slippery little sucker and time has got the better of me.

However!!!, I shall break that cycle today whilst I “break my fast”… (wow, I am in Dad joke mood!) 😉

So!, shall we?

Let me introduce you to Ray’s cafe:

[image below is from: http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/?action=venue&venue_url=ray]source: http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/?action=venue&venue_url=ray

You could probably tell from my very “south of the river focus” blog entries that I reside on the south of the River – that being the Yarra River for those of you playing along across the states or oceans. And yes, I know all the culinary excitement is all very much happening in the Brunswick/Fitzroy neck of the woods, however by the time I get ready and get over to the “other side”, I’m so ravenously hungry I could’ve eaten my arm! (so to speak)

So, about 450 odd days ago (not kidding, apparently its been about that long since I wrote anything!!!), I ventured out far and beyond to the lands across the river to test how long I can travel for without breakfast. I’m not going to lie, I had a mini meal before I left incase I turned into some sort of monster on PT.

[image below is from: http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/?action=venue&venue_url=ray]source: http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/?action=venue&venue_url=ray

I had the French Toast w/ sweet Labna and maple syrup.

The service was lovely and friendly, well presented, and great price… however it just wasn’t amazing. In hindsight, it would have been great to have some sort of compote or fresh strawberries, even orange and cinnamon to play with on this dish.

Mr “All sorts of lovely” had Poached eggs (perfect) on toast with capsicum and dukkah playmates. This is really what I should’ve orderd – hello food envy! lol!

It was fresh, balanced and owners of two very perfect poached eggs!

As Ray’s source their produce from local middle eastern suppliers, every dish had a unique middle eastern flavour that only a cafe off Sydney road could have.

Ray’s cafe offered great value for money and is tucked away off the buzzing Sydney road in Brunswick.

It however failed to completely excite me based on my dish alone, and with that I can only conclude will have to try it again 🙂

Hope you’ve been good to your taste buds and tummies, and stay tuned for the next update of “My life as a food junkie” lol! 😀

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Ray's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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D) All of the above

. . .

[St Kilda Pelican, 16 Fitzroy Street St Kilda, Melbourne]

Food envy for me is part and parcel of my dining experience, that’s why I love when its tapas style – “mi casa es tu casa” (so to speak) & I’ve been to Pelican on numerous occasions, ironically never for breakfast and it’s always been on a warm summers eve getting amongst the warm summer vibe…

I know, I know, Melbs hardly experiences a TRUE winter (we’re currently sitting on 12.5 degrees….however, I AM COLD! …How did I ever survive a German winter…?

In this instance, I once again pretended it was summer and we sat outside… rookie error! Who can concentrate on pretending its summer, sipping a pretty summer drink when its freezing??

So we migrated to the cosy comforts of the indoors, surrounded by the aromas of the kitchen and the light hum of the conversation, normally quite busy – it was intimately quiet. 🙂

As I was too preoccupied trying to get my gear off at pretty much every mouthful and every drop of wine, this unfortunately hasn’t been properly visually documented.

However, I do have a little mish mash of photos from previous visits….(excuse the bad lighting and flashless phone camera)

Arancini balls lying on a bed of “heart attack” 🙂

(Fcking delicious)Moroccan lamb meatballs in sauce with yoghurt:

Char-grilled Calamari with a side of rocket drizzled with “delicious”

The one thing I couldn’t help but document was the dessert.

My English teacher taught me once that DESERT (as in “Bear Grylls stuck in the middle of a…”) has one “s”, and the other-DESSERT (the sweet delicious kind) has 2 “s” because you want more.

Fair enough.

And boy did I want more! We in fact went for an option called “All of the above” – I thought it was a joke, and cross my heart (Burz, this is for you beb) this was no joke!.

Please see below for “how I got diabetes”: (clockwise)

1) Creme Brulee with short bread (O.MY……..sweeeet Jesus, Mary and Joseph…..)
2) Minted lamington (hmmm, could’ve gone without)
3) Peanut brittle ice-cream (I went to the bathroom, and came back to find it mysteriously gone….so the verdict is good 🙂 )
4) Rich chocolate mousse cake (heavens above!!)
5) White chocolate Rocky Road with pistachio (mmmmmm)

Excuse the commentary, but seriously?? What in the world of decadent, moorish heaven was that??

I suppose “all of the above” options eliminates any chance of “food-envy”, it did however leave me in a severe sugar/life high.

(Pinky promise, my next Pelican visit will involve breakfast :))

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Pelican on Urbanspoon

Satisfy the “bodhi”, mind and soul.

. . .

[Monk Bodhi Dharma, Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava]

Open: Mon-Fri, 6.30am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-4pm

I’m not vegetarian, but don’t really eat that much meat (unless of course its Jamón ibérico, then its all a bit of “excuse me while I undress”) and Vegan? I doubt I could ever go there as I get my “bake on” way too often, and you have to agree almost everything that makes you go “mmmmm” has butter in it. (mmm butter…I’m really a heart attack just waiting to happen)

However, I will be honest say that and didn’t even notice Monk was a culinary heaven sensation for vegans anonymous. (what a mouthful, could’ve just gone with “vegan cafe”)

I often find Vegetarian/Vegan food and menus to feel like they are “missing” a key ingredient (derr, obviously), however on this day my eyes feasted, and my tummy left feeling loved, nourished and super satisfied. (yes, SUPER satisfied :))

Good deed for the day? *tick*

Juxtaposed on this beautiful day for breakfast lovers was my “newest cafe find”coupled with my oldest friend in the world!

I met this man when we were children – I was 5, he was 6, and it was lovely to see him again. It’s always surreal to reminisce about yesterday, be in the moment for today and ponder about tomorrow with someone who knew you a lifetime ago.

Lots had changed, and change is a beautiful element of life. Nothing is permanent, and we are ever evolving.

For instance, when I was 5, I hardly spoke any English and articulating my thoughts into words was a challenge… (I still find it difficult to say EXACTLY whats on my mind…pictures help :))

Today, I write this without much thought as to the words on this electronic page, but to the story I wish portray…(yes I waffle on a bit)

So…on to the main attraction, the food and coffee? Here goes:

No ridiculous latte art, just a beautiful creamy latte made with love:

Yucatan “peasant” beans, toasted carbs and vibrant Chilli jam that kicks a punch:

This deceivingly petite dish is a reminder not to judge a breakfast by its portions. It was very filling, and satisfying, and you have to say the colours were delicious!

Marlo sweetcorn ricotta hotcakes:

These were perfect balance of flavours, and were visually exciting too-I’m one to eat with my eyes first, and little Mr Marlo Sweetcorn here was easy on the eye ;).

Some cafes are great, but there is no urge to work your way through the menu from start to finish. And some – like Monk, are a real treat and keeps you coming back to try new dishes and/or relish in your “sunday favourite”.

Breakfast lovers beware, it is a little hard to find (in an alley, behind a carpark….very Melbourne) But I assure you, whether you are Vego/Vegan or not, you will enjoy every minute of this beautiful little hideout and will leave having satisfied your “bodhi”, mind and soul…

Tastefully yours,

Light reading:

About the Monk “Bodhi Dharma”: click here
Broadsheet review: Click here
Age review: Click here

Monk Bodhi Dharma on Urbanspoon

Can I be the girl that you met at the coin laundry?

. . .

[ Coin Laundry, 61 Armadale St Armadale]

phone: (03) 9500 1888

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Miss H and I caught up (a little while back now) with her man to finally try this “new” place out. (I say “new”, as I’ve been away for the majority of 2010, which was when it opened. So really it was only new to me)

She had brought this gift for me which was very fitting given the location we were in.

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Coin Laundry is situated in very family friendly, very polished Armadale and it actually used to be a Coin Laundry – fancy that! 🙂

We had been here just after New year period and sadly was closed for renovations, so being there today to experiencing all the “new and lovliness” was like the smell of freshly washed laundry…. mMMmmm. I’m a sucker for amazing smells like fresh laundry, baking bread, rain on a summers day…or a new puppy… :). Things that make you go “ahhhh” 🙂

Externally, the aesthetics are simple and a tad quirky as the establishment still holds the original “Coin Laundry” signage.
You then walk into the most serene, white, fresh atmosphere with a very strong positive, yet relaxed buzz. So fresh, so clean…
Perfect scene for a boy meets girl…

The menu was amazing and tantilising.
The decor is like a breath of fresh air, relaxed and easy on the eye… much like the waiting staff. 😉

I ordered corn& manchego fritters…. YUM!!!!!!!!!!

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Visually beautiful, and a mixed flavour sensation. The manchego does make it a bit heavy, but the fresh greens are nice to break it up.

Washed it down wit a perfect “Calmer sultra chai” (sexy chai)

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Beau ordered scrambled eggs on toast. Scrambled…. I didn’t think men over 12 ordered scrambled eggs, however the meal proved me wrong – it was delicious especially with the roesti accompanying it.

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Miss H ordered the fluffiest, smoothest, sexiest pancakes in town! Varied textures and sexy flavours make this dish one to go back for!.

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The atmosphere is light, bright, postive and clean.
The decor is clean, aestethic and fresh like clean laundry

The menu is varied, interesting and easy to read

Its really a ‘lovely’ place, for lack of another word, to catch up whether with friends or alone with the paper.
Going to the laundry has never been so satisfying!!

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

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Coin Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

Polished it all off.

. . .

[Borsch Vodka and tears, 173 Chapel St Windsor]

tel: (03) 9530 2694

Boasting more than 50 different types of vodka, this Polish Vodka bar and restaurant offers the best of the southside of Chapel street in a perfectly polish themed destination.

Whether you are a vodka fan or not, I’m postive either one of the following will win you over: Vibe, knowledgable friendly staff and amazing food – the kind of food that would give your grandma a run for her money!

We tried some flavoured vodka, some clear vodka and some truly amazing homely food.

Ang ordered “beetroot soup”…. I was dubious about this as I’ve never heard of it before, and couldn’t get the taste of canned beetroot soaking through bread out of my mind.

We were in for a surprise!

First, the colour was amazing and vibrant, and the aroma of the soup was overpoweringly goooood!

Most importantly, the taste was amazing. It was light and full of beetroot flavour, but not in a canned way.

Laura ordered Goulash, which was again amazing…. moorish, and full of flavour.

And I ordered a Polish style gnocci in broth which was also out of this world.

We had polished it all off in true Polish style, and sat back to enjoy the warmth of the food and vodka as we caught up on each-others lives.

(Yes, I have a tendency to add ‘non breakfasty’ type entries… In my defence however, I really think breakfast can be enjoyed many ways including last night’s leftovers or a traditionally ‘lunch type’ food. Breakfast is what you make it. Technically the first meal of the day, and I would be more than happy to enjoy a warm hearty soup some melbourne mornings 🙂 )

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Borsch, Vodka & Tears on Urbanspoon

Clothing and Comestibles combined

. . .

[Captains of Industry, Level 1/2 Somerset place Melbourne]

Miss H and I only ducked in here for a moment as we waited on the oh so fashionable Mr Adam, and it is just one of those places where you get swept away into another world – old world glamour mixed with that little bit of ‘je nais se quoi’ that Melbourne laneways offer.

They offer ‘comestibles’, which is just a really special way of saying food, glorious food. 🙂

But it is just so fitting, as they do offer a very special service to gentlemen in the way of bespoke footwear and leather accessories and oh so sexy traditional mens haircutting (I dunno about you, but there is something very “oooOOOoooh” about traditional mens shaving accessories and the technique involved. It’s from a different world, an old world full of its own classic ups & downs.

But it’s not just for gentlemen, there is a little spot for everyone here.

We sat by the window and overlooked the very NEW world below, and fantasized about once upon a time ago…

The menu is seasonal, and therefore I’m not too sure if what we ordered is still there ( although they were just drinks)

I ordered a very refreshing and colourful strawberry and cinnamon sparkling cordial. WAWAWEEWA!!!! It was truly refreshing and I let out a big “ahhhh” after enjoying my first invigorating mouthful!… heaven was surely in my mouth!

See the bubbles of invigoration here: 🙂

Miss H had a tea which was just as delightful…and never ending it seemed 🙂

Whether is for comestibles, or bespoke tailoring or just people watching or after, Captains of Industry will very quickly become “captains of your heart”

. . .

Tastefully yours,

A little European mid-week adventure

. . .

[The European, Spring street Melbourne]

Open: 7.30 to 3am

“…Breakfast to supper, 7 days a week, The European serves honest, simple food, sourcing only the best produce from Australia and Europe. This institution is a must visit, even if it’s just for one of this cities finest coffees…” (http://www.theeuropean.com.au)

It wasn’t our initial intention to be at The European (although, it is always a delight being there), Miss H and I started our day eager to try an ACTUAL breakfast at Cumulus inc

We’d previously been paralysed with culinary joy at a share platter of something sweet and savoury, but had never returned due to my adventure to Germany, so luck & fait were our ladies that day as Cumulus was a bubbling over with way too many people and we made our way to try something a little more “European” as there is nothing more frustrating than “enjoying” a breakfast whilst tactfully “crowd surfing”, and NOT eavesdropping on a billion (very fast paced) conversations. (What I didnt get was, they were all in suits – hello work anyone? hahah)

So, when we stepped foot into a less “stock market vibing environment” to a more relaxed one at The European, our tummies were looking for some yummies!

It was particularly humid on this day, and a hot breakfast was not really looking appetising – although, being inside the warm hues of The European, you immediately get transported to somewhere very Winter in Europe and long for that glorious aroma of “home-style, slow cooked” meals.(I immediately was transported to many a cosy feast in France, Luxembourg, Germany…)

So.. Miss H ordered her favourite Brioche with assorted jams:

And I opted for some fresh fruit salad:

It was very exiting to see the “usual suspects” of a fruit salad were absent, rather a myriad of delicious bite sized delights which simultaneously stimulated my 5 senses were very much present. 🙂

It was AS bursting with flavour as it was bursting with colour, aroma and the assorted textures. Uniting the flavour differences was a delicious natural yoghurt, and whimsically presented pot of honey.

I was in culinary, breakfast heaven. 🙂

There is nothing like the sheer, unadulterated joy of a simple, yet flavoursome breakfast. (or any meal really) Its exiting when the produce is so good, it really doesn’t need much else.

Upon leaving The European in one of my post breakfast bliss moods, we made our way to explore a little bit of Melbourne city that I had missed!.

Living in Melbourne allows us to experience such treats that transport our senses to another place. We live in tumultuous times, but its nice to know that a little adventure to Europe is a stones throw away.

. . .

Tastefully yours