Friday, September 18, 2009

Gourmet On Gamon

It’s been 5 months since our last visit to what I will name the “homeliest” of cafes in SKY. The lovely waitress whose name I learnt was Felicity is a local mum and has a very natural way about her. They were much busier this time. Funnily enough it was a weekday, as opposed to the last time being a weekend. We still found a seat but we did have to wait a while for our tea although it was a lovely cup of tea when it did arrive.

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!


The Corner Shop

It’s still got the buzz! I have to say I think the corner shop has permanent atmosphere, if there is such a thing. The last review for this lovely cafĂ© was in March, just a few months after opening. Since then I have been there, for breakfast, lunch and supper. My favourites have been the soup and the cakes. After our last review and the comments left I only felt it fair to give it another go for breakfast, although I did order something completely different from the first time. If we remember rightly I ordered eggs and a few sides, the standard breakfast that I was reviewing all over SKY. It was the most expensive breakfast, but I have to say that since that review was written both Java and Le Chien have increased their prices so maybe, just maybe The Corner Shop was just ahead of their time.

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

Aqua e Vino

18a Anderson Street
9687 9006
Tuesday through Saturday5pm till Late
Sunday2:30pm till Late
Closed Monday

I know this is at the other end of the spectrum for dining experiences but sometimes I like to share the joy of other adventures I have had in SKY and surroundings. Aqua e Vino has been with us for some time now and it never ceases to amaze me. I feel like I am walking into a time warp. A time warp that I would increasingly like to spend more time in. There was an era of time when I could regularly visit a bar like Aqua e Vino, but alas I am now living in a world where that is not possible and I have to make do with just a couple of times a year. (What a bummer!)
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?