Top Paddock, top shelf.

[Top Paddock, 658 Church Street Richmond 3121]

Bircher muesli[The visually tantalising Bircher muesli with natural yoghurt & green tea poached pear]

Its been way to long since our last chat so best we dive straight in shall we!?

Some truly excellent friends of mine gathered to share stories of hilarity and deliciousness on this fine day whilst basking in love, sun and vibes at Top Paddock, Richmond. (I’m sure by this stage you have already had a cheeky visit, and agree it’s a pretty spesh place.)

Over the past couple of years, I have developed a rather obsessive need to order soft shell crab on pretty much every possible occasion. And just when i thought I was safe within the trusting arms of the breakfast category, not only was I confronted face-to-face with the crab itself, but it came armed with some brioche… I mean what’s a girl to do?

Soft shell crab
[Fresh soft shell QLD mud crab roll with fennel, dill & lime mayonnaise in brioche bun]

I am partial to a bit of food envy, and this was no exception.Ricotta Hotcakes[Ricotta hotcakes with blueberries, organic maple, seeds & organic marscarpone]

If you have had the pleasure of meeting Jamon, you will understand my absolute “weak at the knees” situation right here.

Jamon anchovies 2[White anchovies & jamon serrano with fried eggs, padron peppers & manchego on toast]

How you going there? Its way past dinner time here in Melbourne and let me tell you, I AM DROOLING!!!! Do yourself a favour and head on down with your loved ones to share some good times, food and togetherness.

Wishing you a truly spectacular week, and may every mouthful be as delicious as the next.

Tastefully yours,
Joanna

Light reading:
Click here for menu.

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon

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Ate, drank, confused woman.

[Eat Drink Man Woman, 413 Brunswick street, Fitzroy, Victoria]

If you’re here to read a review of the Ang Lee film bearing the same name, STOP… wrong way, turn back!

Meanwhile, if you’re here for some breakfast action, let me assure you, you’re in the right place. Stay for a while, let me entertain you. 🙂

For those interested in some light reading, please click below for the Broadsheet review:
Click here!! 

Map:

The lot of us met up from all corners of the globe… (ok Melbourne) and we settled on Eat drink man woman for some breakfasting and playing the old catch up.

Now, I’m from south of the river, and breakfast is really for me the most important meal of the day – especially on a Sunday where I’m most likely to eat only that until dinner. And if I’m going to travel for more than 30 minutes on an empty stomach, the destination better present something better than a sausage roll… so to speak. (You know, long way and all… geddit? *side eyes*?) Unless that sausage roll is from the Halls Gap bakery, then you’re cooking with gas!

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty tasty… but something just wasn’t right. Maybe I hadn’t been to Brunswick street in a long time, and I’m just out of the loop…

Broadsheet informs us this is supposed to be affordable and blah blah, but I beg to differ. It wasn’t all that exciting and the prices weren’t all that affordable. Granted they were average for Melbourne, but I guess I just didn’t feel like it was great bang for buck. Apologies, to be honest, I can’t even pin point what it was – it was just average. (But, by all means it wasn’t awful)

J ordered scrambled eggs (of course, but once again of course they weren’t as good as “the Rad”. And I have finally had a taste of his eggs, and they are silky and smooth and creammmmmy!!!) The bacon wasn’t to the “thin and crispy” level J is used to, and a fair bit of it was left on the plate to protest! (lol)

I had the smoked salmon (surprise, surprise) which was topped off with toasted corn kernels – that was fun, but overall the dish wasn’t really AMAZING. Tasty for sure, but just lacking some jazz.

Poach-poke-ooze factor was there – that was delicious!

I have to admit, after watching Heston’s cooking show last night on SBS (click here for info on his show) I will now be watching these little eggs much closely – it’s so easy to get right, so when its wrong… it’s just plain sad. 😩 (see, the sad face right there!)

Mr “Tall glass of water” had something quite exciting – it was black sausage in a one pot Spanishy number – that was pretty delicious (but again, really hard to get wrong)

Unbeknownst to us, we had a little poet on our hands. The gorgeous  Miss Tominey wrote the below whilst we were picking apart our breakfasts!

Please see below, and apologies for the dark photo… it says:

One, two lets brew some stew
Three, four cook some more
Five, six let’s make a mix
Seven, Eight – Bake a cake
nine, ten – let’s do it again

-Tominey

And that! was all worth it!

While the “adults” (debatable) dined,
little miss Tominey rhymed…
(lol!! I’m totes a poet and didn’t even know it)

Hope you’re relaxing and doing not much this Good Friday (or better known as a public holiday to some) and catch you real soon!

Tastefully yours,
Joanna 🙂

Eat Drink Man Woman on Urbanspoon

There was a party on the hill, did you want to come?

[Red Hill Brewery, 88 Shoreham Road RED HILL SOUTH 3937 ]


We all love a bit of fresh and new, and already this new year is gearing up to be filled with adventures and explorations of the culinary and epicurean kind.

As we get ready for a brand to fresh start, I will be playing catch up with a few of my favourite (edible) things from 2011… So bear with me as we run through some of the finest that never made it onto the pages of 2011….

Somewhere, well into the thrust of 2011, The Lovliness and I ventured out into the wilderness (Mornington Peninsula…hardly the wild) for the start of many road-trips to come.

First stop: Mornington Hot Springs for a proper relaxing soak
Second stop : Red Hill Brewery, just down the road for some ice cold bevs and a share platter.

* If you’re one little indecisive bunny like me, then its best to opt for a beer paddle (to sample a selection) and a share platter (ploughman’s platter as below).

T’was a truly wonderful day, and was just the very start of some serious road tripping.

Hope y’all had a wonderful start to 2012, and may this year be prosperous, joyous and filled with many lasting memories.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Red Hill Brewery on Urbanspoon

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

Third time’s a charm

[St Edmonds, 154 Greville Street Prahran]


Just over a month ago I finally got to try some of St Edmond’s finest breakfast offerings, however I’m not going to lie… I did have a few sneaky peaks prior to this visit….

My first cheeky visit was a very chilli Wednesday eve for German “class” with my beautiful tutor (which reminds me to book in for another sesh soon!) & I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of “hustle and bustle” that goes part ‘n’ parcel with “newest kid in town”

On that occasion, I had the Calamari, and it was delicious! (but not enough) I had thought THEN the portions were quite small for this “working mans all day eatery”

Even the second little visit I had before the big “breaky date with the fellas” was a little (very teeny) disappointing… not as bad as going to SAT2, but it was still a very teeny let down.

The foundations were there though:

a) Great buzz in and out of the eatery.
b) Adorable staff that are well-informed with the menu and the design (a la Scanlan and Theodore, Projects of Imagination)
c) Pretty excellent atmosphere and design (They were playing they very beautiful self titled Bon Iver and that made everything dissolve away into a buttery dream…)

*In case things got a bit heated during your breakfasting…. 😉

 

Third times a charm as they say, and it was surely a charm…

Breakfast was with the “fellas” and it was a feeding frenzy on/off chapel street that morning!! We had just missed the ravenous queue that we successfully ignored as we feasted, none of us were willing to sacrifice a “slow breaky” experience for that fast crowd.. sorry!

Mr “wrapped to be back” and I ordered “Spanner Crab, Chilli omelette and Sesame crumble”:

It was delicious and crisp like a fresh winter’s morning:

Mr “I eat for two, but don’t look it” ordered the big breakfast with a perfectly poached pair of eggs:

Mr “good, thanks” ordered the scrambled egg and bacon (in a very teeny teeny) roll:

Someone once described Melbs to be like one big “small-town”… and I’d have to agree – I was discussing the very ups and some downs of St. Edmonds, and it wasn’t until I had spilled my guts to a particular waiter at my local lunching hole (aka urbanspoon’s “worst server ever” haha!! :)) he decided to advise of his connection to the all day eatery *insert embarrassment here*

Bother dinners were lovely, but not amazing…
Price vs Portion vs wait time was a little imbalanced, however not worth disregarding a repeat visit for.

Breakfast with the boys was a very excellent combination of Great food/friends/vibe.

The food was fast and delicious much like the waiting staff 😉

Don’t let my inconsistent experience deter you from trying the cutest little hangout south of the river. Much like any great eatery, the menu is ever evolving and they are amongst a handful of “new kids in town” so give ’em a chance and hit it up next time you’re in the Prahran area!! 🙂

Tastefully yours,

St Edmonds on Urbanspoon

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 JamĂłn ibĂ©rico, 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