Sunday, November 29, 2009
Pistachio is no longer trading! Why?? It's all still there but they just aren't opening the doors anymore. Apparently they are paying their lease so it's not even available to potential new businesses. I went into Pistachio twice in its lifetime which I think must be approx' 4 years (let me know if you know different). On both visits I felt the lack of atmosphere, but I did think that was just because there was no one else in there but me. The breakfast was great and very reasonably priced.
So Why didn't it work??? What do I think?
I think that Pistachio did not stand out on Charles St. The frosting on the glass prevented you from seeing what you were walking into, and when you did walk in (if you did, as obviously a lot of you didn't) there was no bright welcome, no joy! What other reasons are there for a cafe to
close it's doors.
Please let me know what you think!
There are all different flavours, some alcohol, some child friendly. Mint,
raspberry, orange, praline, caramel etc. My first impression is I'd
like to try more! I'd like to go there for dessert or for an iced
chocolate and spend more time over tasting the chocolate.
I was told by Paul who works there that they buy the chocolates from a family in
Caulfield who have been making them for more than 30 years. What's interesting about this shop is that it is the first shop in the new block to open. The New Block being the recently built one behind the Sun Theatre. It's exciting, waiting to see what else will open there. Let's hope that this new building and the businesses within it will be a success.
I know where I'll be heading tomorrow. I had seen them setting up but didn't know it was going to revolve around the greatest substance the world has known! I'm assuming they're all low fat and will make us slim and beautiful! By the way where are the chocolates you bought for me to try??
Thursday, November 26, 2009
55-57 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9419 4888
I will be very short and sweet on this one. Last night I went to Cutler and Co for dinner. It was my girlfriend's birthday and she had 8 people in total at the table. All went very well, food great, service great, atmosphere great, all living up to what had been heard or read about, UNTIL, YES UNTIL we got the bill. On the bill they had charged an extra 10% because there were 8 people on the table. When questioned about this the waiter said that 8 people was considered a large group and a large group made it harder for the kitchen staff and they needed extra waiting staff. What a load of BALONEY. What sort of Pansy’s are working in the kitchen that they can’t cope with a table of 8. Extra waiting staff???? MORE BALONEY. In a restaurant you allow staff for the amount of seats, the size of the tables makes no difference as at the end of the day the restaurant can only seat so many people. So disappointing! As Derryn Hinch would say SHAME SHAME SHAME!
What I would have given to see your face when they told you that!! It makes me laugh just thinking about it. Wish I had been there.
(03) 9687 7194.
Touks is the 1st restaurant/cafe to stay at this address. Before Touks
there was the Charles St. Bar and before that there was ... oh, can't
remember, but what I am trying to say is that there must be something
good at this place because it has succeeded where others have failed.
Matthew and Carrol Thurley obviously know what they are doing. The restaurant looks great, modern, airy(the garage style doors are great for these wonderfully unseasonal hot spring nights we are having) and it has what a lot of other restaurants in SKY don't have and that is SPACE. You can easily wheel your pram in here, you can sit down without fear of sitting on someones bag or skirt and you can get to the bathroom without having to hold in your stomach as you pass through tables.
On my first breakfast ever at Touks I found it really difficult to decide what to order. The menu is lovely. So many delicious items to choose from it took a while to make that most important decision. However as it was the first time I thought it would be a good idea to try my standard brekkie. It's like my benchmark now. If they can poach an egg well that is always a step in the right direction. For a twist to the norm I added the 'many ingredient beans' as a side. It was
delicious. Perfectly cooked, everything on the plate was delightful.
The cost of a brekky here is on scale with most other cafes in SKY. Eggs and Toast $9 and sides 2.5 - 3 . I was a bit disappointed to see no muesli or porridge choices on the menu but at the same time I understand that just because every other cafe is doing that doesn't mean that they
have to as well. As my younger kids were with us this particular day they had the toast with rhubarb jam, they loved it . But the Prize of the day went to the Ricotta Pancakes with orange blossom cream. It was light and fragrant and melt in your mouth stuff. Highly recommend this
dish. Lovely cup of tea and I have heard that the coffee is okay here.
Touks is only open on weekends for breakfast, after some research I found out that on Sundays Emma Mackay is the chef for the day. Emma used to run the Commercial in its HEY DAY when the food was Top Class but is now a mum of three. Not only does she doing the cooking on Sundays but she supplies Touks as well Petit Tou (review to come) with her magical cakes. And if that is not enough (with three children in tow) she runs a cooking school for children (contact Touks), which apparently is fabulous. Emma also has recently been seen on Ian Hewitson's television cooking show as his pastry chef , what a busy lady! Touks is more about dinners than it is breakfast, but they still do a mean one so I would recommend getting down there on the weekend and trying it out.
I haven't had a chance to go to Touks for breakfast in ages - I'm a fan of their hot chocolates which come with a variety of different flavoured chocolate buttons. Such a lovely idea.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Williamstown VIC 3016
Open Tue-Fri 7:30am-4pm; Weekends 7:30am-4:30pm
WELL HELLO RACHAEL!
Finally you have a voice!
I Hear what you are saying but I don’t get it, because YES I am huge foodie. I love FOOD! I think about every meal that I eat. I get so excited about food that even choosing a cereal in the morning for breakfast is a major executive decision. One that I relish. I think about morning tea, I think about lunch, I think about afternoon tea, I think about dinner and dessert, then I think about supper. So NO I don’t look like Monica in the picture, how could I after all this food, but YES I am as anal as the Monica in this picture about the food I get served.
Now, when I pay for food I do want it to be good, very good in fact, but if for instance you or any friends were to invite me to their house for breakfast I would love everything that was served to me because it would be rude to say otherwise. And Hey it’s a free feed! (Nobody will ever invite me now!)
You would think that living in SKY the options are endless and they are, but sometimes it’s nice to step outside the box and do something a bit different. So today we went to Williamstown!
Growing up on the other side of Melbourne I had never ever heard of Williamstown . It’s amazing how this seaside gem is kept a secret to the rest of Melbourne. It really is a beautiful inner city suburb of Melbourne, with much to offer. There are many cafes, restaurants and pubs in this area but to be honest I have never found any that stand out. Until today that is. Obviously I had just not been going to the right places because Rachael introduced me to Pludo. What a DELIGHT! Gorgeous! So Cute! Actually I think Pludo fits in better at SKY than at Willi, it actually has a sky feeling to it!
It is quite small, seating about 20 people, with quite a small menu. There is a lovely young girl behind the counter who has a 50’s look about her. The whole place has that feel to it. There is a great big surfboard up on the wall which puts me in beach mode (luckily the beach is about a 5 min drive from here). They have a very cute display of a few homemade goodies. I ordered the house Muesli and at 12.50 I was thinking this better be good because over in SKY I know I can get really good muesli for about $8 Good? This was Sensational! It was like having a healthy sundae for Breakfast! Dried cranberries, figs, almonds, pistachios amongst other muesli goodies topped with Gippsland Yoghurt and house preserved strawberries. The most divine ingredient however was the unprocessed corn flake. This was heaven, it added a crunch to the muesli like no other.
Lovely old fashioned, mismatching teapots and tea cups pouring lovely cups of tea. Just delightful. $3.20 for a pot of tea, very reasonable.
Notice Rachael, I hadn’t had one glass of wine to be able to say all those nice things. It was just that the owners of Pludo got it so right!
Quite frankly I am just relieved that my suggestion met with such a positive response! Phew! If anyone else has a cafe suggestion, let me know, the pressure is getting to me. I think Pludo has changed ownership and I'm so pleased it still retains the lovely feel it has always had. It's one of my personal favourites.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tonight we focus on an Indian restaurant – The Taj Palace! It is an institution! It has been in Footscray for 22 years and we have been visiting it for the past 10.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Rachel had a muffin which she thought was divine, heaps of fruity goodness and big and fat. I know in my last post on feedback I said I would try the muffin, but really I could not fit it in. Funnily my teacup set from the early nineties showed up as the tea cups our tea was poured into. (I’m not sure about that though as I did give them away because I didn’t like them anymore, so it’s all a bit weird. Or is it Karma?)
Overall the breakfast experience at Feedback is still one of the best in SKY especially in the food department. It is very laid back, unpretentious and seriously casual, maybe, a bit like me. Or Not?
You definitely missed out not having the muffin - fantastic! In the interests of our readers I think you should have gone the extra mile and fitted one in. You owe it to your readership Mon. Soft, that's what you are!
Friday, September 18, 2009
This time Rachael had the Eggs and I wanted to have a departure from eggs so I tried the French Toast. Unfortunately the eggs were overcooked, ordered runny and arrived hard. Luckily she said everything else on the plate was delicious. It was a full breakfast and once again at a reasonable price. The French Toast with maple syrup was lovely but lacked imagination or garnish. Some dishes don’t need anything to have eye appeal, but others do and just one strawberry can make the world of difference to how something looks.
I think that is why I call this the homeliest of cafes, its no frills, it’s like going to your friends house for brekkie, they don’t garnish either!
This particular cold winters morning I decided I would have porridge, I am a huge fan. The porridge was served with the most beautifully coloured rhubarb. It looked sensational! The porridge was not made from oats but from quinoa. Quinoa is a protein rich seed, eaten like a grain and hails from South America. It is fantastic because it is gluten free and has all the essential life-sustaining nutrients. Exotic but good for you! The porridge was a lot runnier than I have had before but not unappealing, however it was ever so slightly burnt and you just got a faint whiff of it. It was still fine to eat and with that beautiful rhubarb it was barely noticeable. At $8.50 this falls into the average price range for the SKY area for porridge or muesli.
Naturally a new business has some teething problems but I guess the key would be to listen and take on board any information that comes your way. I have to say that I am a bit reluctant to mention this, as we are not coffee drinkers but we have been told on multiple occasions that the coffee is sometimes less than hot. It has actually stopped customers from going to The Corner Shop, which is a shame because as I have mentioned it has so many great qualities. Another quality that Ian and Claire have bought over from Le Chien are the teapots. They are fantastic. Great size, not like those canteen ones that have been mentioned, unfortunately, over and over again. The last couple of times I have been there the tea has been spot on! At $4.00 a pot of tea it is really great value because you can usually get over two cups of tea. They are also extremely generous with the milk, so if you are still thirsty you could always take advantage of their generosity and finish the milk!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday through Saturday5pm till Late
So what a treat when I can go! I don’t go for the food (I haven’t had a meal there), I go for the atmosphere, the music and the drinks list. I could spend a whole evening just on reading the drinks list. If I drank while I read I imagine I could get myself into quite a state (Not a good look for a responsible mother). Reading in those lovely chesterfields in front of that fire, with a great big glass of red, wow what a great way to while away an evening, (although I am sure I would look very odd and probably be asked to leave as reading is probably not why you go to Aqua e Vino). You go to Aqua e Vino for drinks and socialising. They do have one of the largest drinks menu in Melbourne and it is award winning.
On the particular night that I went, I went with a friend and we were sort of in between destinations and we thought we could grab a quick drink before moving on. It was delicious! I had a mojito (rum, mint lime, sugar and soda). I watched the bar man make it. By the way, I love how the bar men dress themselves here with the braces which creates an atmosphere of old times gone by. Anyway the drink! I watched the barman load the glass with mint (beautiful fresh and unblemished mint), pour the rum and other ingredients in, then shake it and I thought he was going to serve it, but then he did something that I was totally not expecting, he sprayed it. I was totally intrigued and when he delivered my drink I asked about the spray and he said it was Rose Water. AAhh! Because I could smell it by that stage and it smelt just beautiful and it lingered the whole time I was drinking that drink.
Aqua e Vino is an experience I highly recommend and not just for one drink. One of these nights I would like to be able to stay for more, in fact their Sunday Afternoons with gospel singing sounds so enticing. Alas, what would I do with the children? Any Takers?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Some of you may not know that Matt is actually very rock and roll - he is the guitarist for BEDFORD, and it turns out this is one of the reasons he has left us - to concentrate more on his music.
So although we miss him we wish him the best of luck and hopefully we'll still see him around the hood when he's not off being famous!
WINNER of L.A. Music Awards "Single of the Year" for "I Am Alive"
Awarded Album of the Year on Australian Internet Radio.
Two songs 'Pray' and 'Free Spirit' hit number one on the top 33.3.
As I had Bircher Muesli a couple of weeks ago at Haus Frau I thought I may as well stick with that choice as long as I could and Le Chien certainly do offer it. However, and there is a big however, it just wasn’t as good as I was hoping it to be. In fact it was just too sultanary (I think I just created a new word). A few sultanas is nice but when there are too many sultanas it just makes the dish too sickly sweet. Also the kind of oats used (pinhead oatmeal- Scottish) was not what I was expecting and not my first preference.
I must say though that after almost completing my first round of cafes in SKY that Le Chien still stands out as one of the fav’s. It was noted by a friend the other night that when he walked into Le Chien and Andy was there he always acknowledged him and said hello. That made him feel good! Andy certainly gets the vote for best café owner in SKY!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I don’t know anybody who hasn’t been there and the feedback has all been good. It was about my third time of eating there and I hate to say it but I have to burst the bubble. I had a disappointing experience! Now let me tell you, this will not stop me from going back but I think it needs to be put out there. I ordered the gnocchi with the pork ragu and meatballs. The gnocchi was fine and the few meatballs that I tasted were nice and the sauce was really nice but, and it is a big BUT The pork had not been cooked in a ragu. The pork was either left over pork chop or pork roast thrown into the sauce at the end. So disappointing! Were they using up leftovers this is my question?
In a ragu the raw meat of choice, beef, pork or veal (traditionally ground but cubes acceptable) is cooked in the sauce(usually tomato based) until it is tender and melts in your mouth. It is simmered for hours so the meat absorbs the flavour as well as being tender.
This is a reminder that cafes and restaurants are only as good as their last meal. when you have a bad experience you probably will do a lot more talking about it than you would a good experience. Don’t let high standards slip because word of mouth is a powerful tool!
Java Java Java.
What a lovely breakfast! Beautifully poached eggs, a whole baked tomato (looked gorgeous), lots of mushies and the spinach (soooo good for you!). Lightly toasted sour dough, perfect thickness for toast, but HARD butter. Frustration! However this seems to be the only problem and I guess it can be forgiven because everything else tasted so yummy. Up there with the best of the breakfast’s in SKY! I had the egg brekkie, my cup of tea and today I treated myself to a hot chocolate, $20. The Big Breakfast with a cup of coffee advertised on the door $12! Great Value for money!
The English Breakfast (Brodies) was great and served in a plunger. However I didn’t like the cup at all. Too thick around the rim and I would hate to have a chubby finger because it would be difficult to put your finger through the handle.
Pistachio needs more people in there to help create an atmosphere. It is a little bit bare and spacious. I’m not quite sure why there isn’t more people in there because it has a lot of good ingredients to make a groovy café. Great food, great prices for breakfasts, plenty of room to sit( a lot of our other local café’s you have to wait for a seat) music in the background, art on the wall and a communal table . What are you waiting for? Get yourselves down there!
As I am not a coffee expert I do like to get other people’s feedback on coffee, and generally you hear people talk about where to get the best coffee, however I have never heard any talk about the coffee from pistachio, so I asked a friend to check it out for me, and unfortunately the feedback wasn’t great. Apparently the barista put too much sugar in the take away coffee and it was undrinkable. I would really like to hear from other people about their experiences with coffee here, if you have had a great experience here please make a comment. Believe it or not we really want all cafes in SKY to have great press! Its good for all of us!
courtesy - The Age
When I think of Haus Frau I think of my childhood. I think of one particular auntie who was very clever at making delicious cakes, and cakes is what they do best here. The display cabinet is filled with beautiful temptations - Sacher Torte, Hummingbird Cake, Madeleines, miniature orange and poppy seed cake, I could go on and on. But as you know we are not here to sample the cakes, (today anyway, that could come at a later date) we are here for breakfast. They don’t do eggs! Those of you who know the area would know that Sally and Christian (owners of Haus Frau) were the original owners of the Gravy Train and in my opinion would do the best breakfast in Melbourne. When they moved to Haus Frau they left the breakfast trade behind. They do have a few items on offer, so I won’t write them off as a breakfast venue and will endeavour to eventually try and review everything on their breakfast board.
What tempted me first? Bircher Muesli! If done correctly it is one of my favourite breakfast indulgences. If you don’t know what bircher muesli is, it is a traditional Swiss breakfast dish. It is a mixture of rolled oats, apple or orange juice, yoghurt, chopped fresh, dried, or stewed fruit, grated apple, sultanas and chopped almonds. It is left overnight and served chilled. (for extra indulgence some people fold whipped cream through it). Yummo!
Was Hausfrau’s up to scratch? It sure was. It was excellent! It had beautiful poached fruit on top and was sweet as well as refreshing, exactly how it should be.
All the above ingredients were there and of a fine quality. I highly recommend it.
courtesy - food intuition
The tea came in nice little white teapots and was of a fine quality. (It has to be noted that Christian (part owner) has won barista of the year in the past and is renowned for making a great coffee.
I also just wanted to add a part on the service. I have read other reviews on the web. I’m not sure about what has been said, I guess everyone has their own personal experience, but when I go to a café I like the waiting staff to be pleasant but not over the top. I don’t my mind if they are friendly, I don’t really mind if they are not. I certainly wouldn’t let it bother me. One of the words used in one of the other reviews, was surly. Surly means to be arrogant or bad tempered or angry. I don’t think Christian or any of the other staff are any of these things. They are just very busy and sometimes it is hard to smile when you are waiting on so many customers. Some people are smilers and some aren’t, we shouldn't take it personally. I have never had to wait too long to be served. I have always been served excellent food and my experiences in their café have always left me with a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy. No better way to be!
Monday, June 29, 2009
8am - 4pm, 9am Sundays.
03 9689 2566
What a relief! Dancing Dog Café no longer does Egg breakfasts. It’s not that I was opposed to the Dancing Dog breakfasts it’s just that I am a bit over the poached egg thing. It was nice to have a break from the norm.
The Dancing Dog Café is Groovy. Everytime I walk in there I go into a relaxed state and stare at the walls. All the posters, make such interesting reading, all the pictures of dogs are entertaining and the music in the background encourages you to take it easy. When it is time to order it’s really simple, it’s either toasts with spread, fruit toast with butter or muesli. No major decision making, not too many choices. Life is filled with so many choices now I think it is great that this is one easier decision I have to make. Fruit Toast Please.
My god! A serving of fruit toast here consists of almost a loaf. Extremely generous! Too much I think! I could not finish it. I tried but it was just too rich after slice number mmm, I had lost count. The fruit toast is laden with fruit, mainly dates and is really lovely but they could save themselves some money and serve at least one less slice.
Hot Chocolate. One of the best in Melbourne! Nowhere in SKY or Footscray can you get a hot chocolate like the Dancing Dog’s. In fact it was after having a hot chocolate here that I decided that I would no longer order it anywhere else because, it just cannot be beaten. The Tea, also brilliant. They are using flowers, which appear to be the latest in tea drinking. Magnificently the flower opens slowly as you drink it and all you have to do is keep adding hot water. It looked beautiful, as it is drunk in a clear glass and you can watch the process. Fruit Toast, Hot chocolate and tea cost me about $11. Excellent value for money.
The Dancing Dog Café has once again evolved. They are using one of the rooms as a theatre/cinema! Very exciting! As always the Dancing Dog Café has so much to offer the local community, you would be mad not to visit this quirky café with all its extras.
Café Urbano has a lovely display of food at the far end of the café. Everything looks fantastic with once again that rustic feel to it. The food looks fresh, colourful and inviting and even though I’m here for breakfast I’m wondering when I can get back here for lunch.
There seems to be a combination of table service as well as ordering at the counter. The lovely young girl who we found out is in love with Chuck Bass(Gossip Girl) brought us our first cup of tea. And I’m cringing as I say this but there they were again, those hideous generic teapots. I must say I was quite shocked because the last time I was here this was not how the tea was served. Moving right along!
Breakfast was great! Beautifully poached eggs and beautifully seasoned spinach. Yummy tomatoes and mushrooms. Funnily enough I can’t remember what sort of bread the toast was but it couldn’t have been bad because I would remember. Rachael had a fabulous looking omelette which she said hit the spot. With these cold winter mornings eggs and sides sometimes aren’t quite enough and occasionally I get a craving for something sweet afterwards. Usually another cup of tea would suffice but this particular morning I wanted more and decided to order a friand. A friand is a little cake originating from France. They should be made with almond meal and generally have some fruit folded through. The Urbano friand was not crash hot and I was a little disappointed. When the second pot of tea came out surprise, surprise not the generic tea pot but the tea brewer( is that what you would call it R). Anyway whatever it is called, it is much more preferable. Much nicer second cup of tea.
A nice little touch is the collection of grandma spoons. Did you have a grandmother (usually of Scottish or English descent) who collected souvenir teaspoons where ever she went? She may have donated her collection to Café Urbano. Cute idea.
As busy as any other café in SKY it is really worth a visit for the breakfast. It’s great value at around $15 including a cup of tea.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Does anyone remember The Bowser Cafe? The Bowser Cafe is where I first saw Kaz in action. I thought then that she was a fantastic waitress and all these years later I still think she is a fantastic waitress. However her place of work, now in South Kingsville, is so different to 'The Bowser'. Thank God! The Famous Blue Raincoat, what a fantastic name for a café.
It’s been a couple of years since I have been here and I have never had breakfast. I have to say I was a little bit excited about it.
Back to Kaz, such a bright spark. Obviously running behind in setting up she still had a smile on her face and managed to chat with us as she worked, taking our order. As she had just turned on the coffee machine I don’t think the water had reached boiling, when she poured our pots of tea. Not quite boiled water on tea bags in teapots didn’t quite hit the spot for me however I loved the tea cups. Rachael made a very astute observation whilst we drank our tea, as much as we love these tea cups they don’t appear to keep the tea hot.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
P: (03) 9687 4130
Friday, May 22, 2009
When we go out for a cooked brekkie we don’t generally go to the bakery. We go to a café. We go to the bakery for bread, rolls and sweet baked treats. The Alpha Bakehouse offers both and more. As well as the board breakfast menu, it has a few items in the bain marie which actually look really good. The croque monsieur looks great and apparently is, while the foccacia with mushroom, spinach and cheese looked very tempting and I look forward to trying it at some point on my rounds. Ok, so I had the usual - runny poached eggs (free range), on two big thick slices of simple white bread (what a treat), tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. A very, very generous serving of brekkie. Quite nice and very filling. Gritty Spinach. Spinach always needs to be thoroughly washed and this wasn’t. Most unpleasant and had to leave the spinach on the side.
Over the years I have watched the Alpha Bakehouse change from a continental bakery to a more sophisticated bakery. I like the way it looks now. I like the tables in a row along the wall and how you can sit and look directly at the counter with the display of beautiful cakes. I even like the colours. I like the heating, very slimline hanging from the ceiling and very effective. I’m not the only person who likes all of this. The place was packed. So busy! Why aren’t all these people at work I asked. It’s after 9am!
Perhaps I have not mentioned this before but all the cafes we go to for breakfast are busy, it’s amazing. No recession at breakfast time in SKY! ( hope you haven’t forgotten that SKY means Seddon Kingsville and Yarraville). I really didn’t expect much of the Alpha Bakehouse but I have to admit, it has surpassed my expectations. It’s a happening place in the mornings at least.
Tea. Can’t say much, it was a generic teapot with a tea bag (Harris's). Not happy Jan! Don’t they know the water goes cold really quickly in these things. Could do much better!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
My first snippet is from The Station Hotel in Footscray.
Luckily, for the Station Hotel, I will still go back and encourage people to keep going just because every other time I have been it has been sensational.
If I was Sean Donavan I would probably interview new suppliers for the steaks for his bistro.
Photo - The Age
Footscray, VIC 3011
(03) 9689 3244
Open Tue-Sun 8am-6pm
Last week we ate at Feedback which was once owned by the lovely ladies of Happy River, so it felt only right to have our breakfast at their latest venture, (although they have been here for some time now).
My previous experiences at Happy River have mainly been morning or afternoon tea out the front. On sunny days it is a lovely spot to hang out, providing toys and of course lots of grass for the kids to run around on. Space is always a bonus with toddlers.
Going inside to sit was a first for me and being a cool morning I was very interested to see how it would feel. It was bigger than what I thought it would be and I really didn’t know what to make of it and I’m not sure if I do now.
One of the things that put me off were the tablecloths, they just didn’t do it for me, however for R they reminded her of her childhood with lots of warm fuzzies. Maybe I would call them cute, maybe!
I love the open kitchen mainly because I can watch what is happening by the stove but also because I can see the hot boy (in his early 20’s) quietly doing the dishes, nothing like some eye candy to keep you coming back to a place!
Table service starts well but falls behind as the hours slip by, (yes again it was 12.00 before we left). Unfortunately their selection of tea is limited and was not overly appealing and can you believe it, those damned tea pots again. (see picture at the gravy train review) . I’m sorry if my usage of words is a bit harsh but I just don’t get it. Why can’t people see through these teapots and use their imagination a bit. A café is not just all about coffee, put some thought into the Tea!
The breakfast was fine but I’m afraid to say I think they left the better chef at Feedback. Last week I raved about the breakfast at Feedback and I had very good reason to. This week the breakfast at Happy River has gone back to the middle of the road breakfast that I have been getting around town. Just a couple of points, when poaching an egg has anyone heard about the whirlpool method. You make a whirlpool in the water by swirling it with a spoon and in the middle you gently crack the egg in. This method produces a very presentable and professional poached egg. The eggs I received today were not whirlpool eggs, they were feral poached eggs(and while some of you may prefer feral) they just don’t look that good. The other thing to remember when serving poached eggs is that the customer prefers you to leave the poaching water in the pot and not add it to their toast. Soggy toast is extremely unappetising. On a good note, they served lemon with the spinach which was lovely.
As I said earlier, to get our second pot of tea, it took quite a while. Every time the waitress came by I thought at any moment she is going to stop at our table and see if we want anything else. She didn’t, so we had to stop her . The café had a lot of staff, all seemingly busy but as far as I could tell not achieving much (the café was by no means full). From a business point of view I would think that selling food/drink would be a part of the waiting staff’s job, in the time that we were sitting there we could have had 3 pots of tea.
The Happy River café’s breakfast falls within the average price range of other cafes reviewed and it is certainly worth a visit.
Atmosphere - 7/10
Food - 6/10
Service - 7/10
Tea/Coffee - 6/10
Price - 8/10
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
(03) 9689 1955
Short and Sweet!!
Amazingly this was the best breakfast I have had yet in Sky!
Although we were on limited time this morning I still managed to eat my usual (yes the poached eggs, tomato, spinach and mushrooms) and enjoy it more than I have in weeks. Until last week I would have said “oh please can we move onto something else on the menu”. Now I know that this dish has just been benchmarked! This is the best, and this is what the rest of the cafés have to live up to.
This is what I have been looking for! It’s funny how most of my reviews have not started off talking about the food but today when I walked away that was all I could think of. 30 minutes later the cherry tomato flavour is still lingering in my mouth. That’s when you know you have had a fantastic feed!
The simplicity of a dish! Perfectly Poached free range eggs, I didn’t even have to ask for them to be runny. Beautifully steamed spinach containing all that goodness and mushrooms mingling with whole roasted cherry tomatoes.
The eggs were on slightly undercooked ciabatta bread and guess what, it wasn’t too hard to cut. There is our answer to a previous week’s question about using ciabatta - Ciabatta bread toasted too much is too hard to cut.
So did I have time to take in the rest of feedback while I was indulging in the food?
Of course I did. I can eat, talk, listen and observe what’s going on around me, very well actually. Feedback is probably the smallest café in SKY. It has laminated tables and seats about 20 people at any given time. It has a showcase of quiches, lasagne's, spinach and ricotta rolls etc. It has local art on the walls and local advertisements for things going on around town. At the moment it appears that Trivia nights are all the go and a poster of Myf Warhurst and Alan Brough doing the St Augustine's Primary School Trivia night stands out.
This is also a very popular place for take away coffees. They use Genovese coffee but as you know I don’t indulge so can’t tell you about it. But please be my guest to leave a comment on the coffee. That would be very helpful, actually. Our tea was fine, nothing spectacular. Regular little white china pots, with a regular cup. R had a muffin and I have to say that I was very tempted to have one because they look sensational. Very rustic looking and filled to the brim with berries, R says they are the best in the village.
It feels like a hip place to be with the staff giving off this relaxed and peaceful vibe. $18 for the best breakfast in town (tea included), great value. Next time I go I will hang out longer, and try that muffin.
Atmosphere - 8/10
Food - 9/10
Tea/Coffee - 7/10
Price - 9/10
Monday, May 4, 2009
Yarraville, VIC 3013
(03) 9687 9866
I remember the Gravy Train when it first opened. It was about the same time I moved into the area. S.K.Y. had a few cafes and the area was still finding it’s feet. The original Gravy Train was in the building that now houses Gourmet on Gamon. This is where the foundation of their business was laid. The original owners then moved across the road to their current address. They had already built up a fabulous business with sensational food and coffee and when they moved (into the old stables restaurant) they showed a flair for creating a wonderful space to eat in. Using fantastic furniture, red walls with original art work for sale and an open fire place it was always a pleasure to visit.
The Gravy Trainhas new owners and the Façade has had a facelift. Like a lot of Facelifts it has not been done well. This is unfortunate and I keep hoping it’s not finished and it’s just an undercoat but if there is another coat to go on then it is taking an awfully long time! Disappointing. However, there is a saving grace and that is the lovely herbs planted out the front. This is encouraging and perhaps suggests not is all lost at the Gravy Train.
On walking inside, the previous owner’s flair is still in place. Thank God. The walls are still red and the furniture etc is still the same. There is a function on in the backroom and a few other patrons. There’s plenty of choice as far as sitting is concerned. Shall we sit on Gamon St or should we sit in the front courtyard, or inside by the fire or perhaps towards the back room. Wherever you choose to sit you get a good view of the goings on in the café. There is one familiar face in the café and another staff member. They must have been busy with the function because it took quite a while before our table was approached and an order taken.
On delivery of the food I was not given the relish that I ordered. In the good old days of the Gravy Train I thought their breakfast was the best in Melbourne and part of that breakfast was the relish. Although it is not part of my weekly regular order I could not resit it. It did not appear and I did not chase it.
There is something that is lack lustre and although the décor is there the atmosphere just isn’t. I can’t put my finger on it and it made me feel like I couldn’t be bothered. My breakfast was nice but I really did miss that relish! R had some toast and showed me a corner which could have had mould on it, she put it to the side and we discussed whether or not it was mould. It was questionable but it could have been discoloured flour. Funnily enough the girl sitting just opposite us had the same problem and she spoke to the waiting staff about it. The waitress dealt with this extremely professionally and was quick to quell the myth of mould and brought out the loaf of bread to show her that this type of bread had that appearance. She had a very effective argument finishing with the bread comes in fresh everyday.
Have we discussed tea in those teapots that are so generic. Is that the right word? These teapots are in some cafes, but they are also in canteens, in hospitals in pokie joints, you get the picture. Why would you use them in a café??? They are horrible and should be banned from all local cafes at least.
At the end of the day though the Gravy Train serves a good breakfast and is among the cafes that are good value for money. Personal taste does account for a lot and you may not feel as I do, so check it out for yourself .
Atmosphere - 6/10
Food - 7/10
Tea/Coffee - 6/10
Price - 7.5/10
Why is it so easy to NOT leave Le Chien? Regularly we sit at the bar that looks onto Gamon St, and beyond to the half modern, half 80’s Sabrosso building. Not really a great view. So what keeps bringing us back to Le Chien?
Is it the owner, Andy, the other staff, the clientele, the Food, the Tea or the Coffee?
Let’s start with what is most talked about, THE COFFEE! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that The Best Coffee in “S.K.Y.” comes from Le Chien. Over and over again I hear this! It is almost driving me to drink coffee, but alas I just don’t get the coffee thing! I know, shame on me! But Hey do you get the Tea thing? I know R does!
Not only does Andy make a great coffee, but he is such a likable chap. He always offers a warm welcome when you enter and immediately you feel at home. Perhaps that’s what attracts the clientele that he has. One morning the Western Bulldogs are taking up all seats and the next morning an actress or an actor from recent television are rushing in for their caffeine hit. Mum’s with prams line up outside while one delegated mum runs in orders and collects the coffees and muffins to take down to the park.
We have talked a lot about the coffee but what about the tea? We love it! Probably the best cup of tea to be poured in S.K.Y. and the best value. Reason being, they give you the biggest pot of freshly brewed tea! They give you a lovely cup that does not have a rim as thick as a small novel,(one of R's pet peeves) and the tea seems to go on forever.
And now the actual Breakfast. This was a really hard one for me because I have been here heaps for breakfast and I have to admit, I have a fave. I LOVE the promite special. What is that you ask? Well it is two runny poached eggs on promite ciabbata toast with avocado, tomato and parsley. It really is fantastic so for me not to be able to order that was so hard. So I ordered the norm! Runny poached eggs, tomato, spinach and mushrooms. And it was great! However I do think the tomatoes could have been a bit riper. A question I would like to send out to all our readers is - Does anybody else struggle with cutting ciabatta toast? I do love it but it is so awkward to cut sometimes I feel like I’m going to lose all the food onto the floor. Any suggestions! (we thought it might need a steak knife!!)
Earlier on I asked why is it not so easy to leave Le Chien. Above are all the reasons I think that keep you coming back and keep you from leaving but maybe the obvious reason is the door. How long does it take to get used to that door? As you sit there watching customers come and go it is quite amusing to watch people trying to work it out however it should be noted that is has probably been put there for our own comfort so persevere (push the big red button on the wall) because the rest is worth it.
Atmosphere - 9/10
Thursday, April 16, 2009
03 9689 3092
An old fav!! Used to come to Seddon Deadly Sins once a week on the way to New Mothers Gym. Who remembers the new mothers gym at Footscray swimming centre?? Wasn’t it fantastic. Somewhere to exercise with your babe by your side. But I digress!
Going into this local after an absence of lets say a couple of years I wondered if there had been any changes. On first impression all seemed pretty much the same. R and I walked straight out the back into what has to be the best courtyard in S.K.Y. An inner city courtyard on a beautiful day with church bells ringing, grape vines hanging and the sun shining through the tips of the big trees. The walls are painted in that colour that makes you feel you are on the mediteranean, possibly Greece. Are you there yet?
What a lovely atmosphere to have your brekky in. But this is just one of the spaces where you can eat at Seddon Deadly Sins. If you walk your way back to the front of the shop, you have to walk through the fire place room. Another great space particulary in winter with the fire going. Very cosy. The front of the shop is where you sit and watch the traffic go by, pedestrian and car. It’s also where from a tiny space Simon and his staff administer the café fare. The great music that plays through out the café sets the scene.
The staff at Seddon Deadly Sins is consistently excellent. Simon (owner) and Partner (do you know his name R) (No, sorry M, but I'll get on it) is always there. I don’t think I have been there and he was not there. That is how to run a business! As soon as you reach a table you are handed a menu . I love the way the menu is presented. (Hadn’t seen that before) Menus in Little Golden Books! How Clever! How Cute!
Our drinks order is taken straight away while we peruse the menu. The first thing I noticed was that there is weekday menu and a weekend menu. Is this a good or a bad thing? I’m not sure! As I was able to order what I wanted (and we all know what I had to order, yes that’s right, poached runny eggs, tomato, spinach and mushrooms) it did not effect me. But if you had come for pancakes, sorry you would have to wait till Saturday. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Another Brekky staple missing off both the weekday and weekend menu, was porridge. Is that sacrilege?? My daughter thinks so!!
Serving Tea! R and I have discussed and pretty much agree that we do need to do a segment on the serving of tea. How should it be served, what sort of cup, what sort of Pot. How should the milk be served? Don’t know that I have found the perfect cup of tea yet , but will keep searching.
On arrival my breakfast is pretty much stock standard, but I would have to say that it probably had too much seasoning on it. The most annoying thing is, and Seddon Deadly Sins is not the only guilty party, hard butter. How are you to spread it on your toast?
The fare is fine but it’s definitely the atmosphere that I love here. It just feels good. I don’t think a lot has changed over the years, but there’s not much to change except perhaps soften the butter?
Reviewed by Monica
Atmosphere - 8.5/10
Food - 6/10
Tea/Coffee - 7/10
Price - 9/10
Friday, April 3, 2009
PH - 9396 1916
You would think that reviewing breakfast would be all about the eggs. But it is so much more! This being our second review couldn't be more different than the 1st.
Gourmet On Gamon Gourmet On Gamon
Gourmet On Gamon is not right in the centre of the Yarraville village, but it is lucky enough to be on the street that connects Seddon and Yarraville. This cafe does not get the village shoppers but it does attract loyal locals and lots of mother's groups. The owner has dedicated the back room to the kids and she keeps it stocked with big boxes of toys, with heaps of magazines and papers for the adults. This serves the double purpose of allowing the parents to relax and keeps the front room free for those customers who don't want toddlers underfoot.
Gourmet On Gamon
On arrival I ordered my cup of tea which was pretty standard, however I did see a local lady order her cup of tea and ask for her mug! The front of house guy knew exactly who she was and which was her mug. It's always a plus to know your customers by name and Gourmet On Gamon obviously has a lovely rapport with it's regulars.
My order was taken by a friendly waitress who seemed lovely and relaxed. There is nothing worse than grumpy waiting staff.
I ordered the usual (the one in the picture) and after a reasonable amount of time the food came out. It was like a home cooked brekky!! This is a good thing, because as we all know there is nothing like home cooking, especially if you haven't cooked it yourself. The eggs were runny and the tomato, spinach and mushrooms were all very nicely seasoned. I do like my golden toast with butter even if my waistline doesn't and that was all that was missing.
As I ate it was fairly quiet in the cafe and I thought this would be a great place to read my book or the paper. As already mentioned we know it is a place for local mums and kids but obviously I was there early enough to miss that trade.
The price was perfect! $16.00 Almost $10 cheaper than last week's breakfast. I know money shouldn't dictate your lifestyle but the reality is that it does.
So I guess if I'm looking for a belly full of eggs in the morning on a budget Gourmet On Gamon would be the place to go.
Reviewed by Monica
OUR RATINGAtmosphere - 6.5/10
Food - 7/10
Tea/Coffee - 7/10
Price - 9/10
Thursday, March 26, 2009
As we waited in anticipation for the new cafe in the Yarraville Village to open, it was hard to imagine what could be done with the tiny space they had. Was there room for another cafe in Yarraville? Of course there was and now it's hard to imagine the Village with out this particular cafe. We knew that the owners had been successful before and the talk was that they would be again.
Since opening I have been to The Corner Shop a few times, for lunch or a cuppa. I love the decor, the table, the courtyard with pram access and the feel of the place. It is buzzy! It always has customers and the staff are very relaxed and welcoming.
My most recent visit to The Corner Shop was to try the breakfast. I was really looking forward to it as all other food consumed there had been fabulous, especially the semolina rhubarb cake.
This particular day The Corner Shop was in fine 'buzzy' motion. In fact it was a beautiful day and not easy to get a seat in the courtyard but we managed to squeeze in.
Our order was taken by the lovely Matt (more about him later) and delivered in good time. The thing is with this cafe, even if you have to wait, you just don't mind. Plenty seems to be happening around you and if you are a 'people watcher' you are in a prime location to do so.
Breakfast was not disappointing! Runny eggs (perfect), grilled tomato, tomato relish, mushrooms and spinach, all delicious. My pot of tea was a bit weak but even that did not seem to worry me. I was having a delightful time, chatting away with two lovely ladies. I thought - what a fantastic way to start my life as a reviewer. Very positive!!
The Corner Shop The Corner Shop
But all good things must come to an end. It was time to wrap up the relaxing part of the morning and move on to some chores. Time to pay up. So, as is the procedure in The Corner Shop, I went to the counter to pay. Yes, bonus, they do take credit cards (a big plus in my books).
However, when the waitress asked for $25.00 I thought there must have been a mistake. I asked her to check with the owner and she came back and said that there had been no mistake! The tea had been $4.00 (English Breakfast) and the sides were around $3.50 each. It was the most expensive breakfast I have had so far.
As I left The Corner Shop (another problem is that I can't seem to remember the name - I've been calling it The Corner Store until recently!) my mouth must have emptied the shop of all flies. Too expensive. I don't feel the meal was worth that amount of money. Sooooo disappointed. My principles dictate not to visit again but my stomach cries out for the Semolina Rhubarb Cake. That must be the solution.... cake and coffee but not breakfast!
Reviewed by Monica. The Corner Shop Yarraville
Atmosphere - 8.5/10 The Corner Shop
Service - 8/10
Food - 8.5/10
Coffee/tea - 7.5/10
Price - 5.5/10