Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cafe Cirino

Cafe Cirino
133 Nelson Place

Breakfast in Willi is a pleasure at Cafe Cirino. When you walk in your senses are heightened by the true authenticity of the owners. They are Italian, you can hear it in the accents and how lovely it is. The Second hit is the smell, the smell of the coffee and although I am not a coffee drinker I love the smell of good coffee. Here they ground the beans per order and the brand being used is Coffea. The third hit is visual, the glass deli cabinet filled with fresh lovely looking ciabiattas, bruschettas, foccacias, croissants and small olive bread rolls. All looking so fresh and tempting me to go back for lunch.

The breakfast menu is very small, with a choice of a toasted sandwich, a ham and cheese croissant or a plain croissant with jam. There is also a chocolate croissant, which I had to resist as I had already ordered a classic hot chocolate (more about that later). Muesli with yogurt and fruit was also an option. As at the moment there appears to be no kitchen out the back we have one of those situations where everything is being done front of house.
Normally I have suggested that perhaps some imagination be used in situations like this but and this is a big but I don't think they need this at all because at the moment it reminds me of being in Italy where on your way to work you grab your coffee and pastry. So when in Rome................. I ordered a toasted croissant with my Italian style hot chocolate.

They have a very special selection of hot chocolate drinks from Fraus. Fraus has a cafe in Victoria st North Melbourne serving these very European blends and now wholesaling to other lucky cafes in Melbourne. Classic chocolate, Orange, Hazelnut, tirumisu, orange and coffee are just some of the 20 or so flavours on offer. This is a real hot chocolate experience, none of the tepid and watery hot chocolates some cafes give the same name. This is like drinking pure velvet , it is impossibly rich but the most delightful sensation in a hot drink.
Drinking this whilst eating a gorgeously buttery croissant was like going to heaven. At $7.70 I thought this one of the most simplistic but Delicious breakfasts I have had since being in Rome itself.
This cafe has managed to give you the feel of being in Italy,there is Italian music playing in the background, people are coming and going and the atmosphere is enticing.
So enticing it seems that they will be expanding. I noticed some work going on out the back and have confirmed that they will be opening a restaurant. How exciting, but the question is will they be able to hold on to the Little Italy feeling once it becomes a restaurant. I guess we will just have to wait and see, if they can create an Italian restaurant with the same atmosphere as their cafe I'm sure it will be one of the best restaurants in Williamstown.
QUOTE - Ferran Adria of El Bulli -

"I prefer eating to cooking!"

Did anyone see the documentary on SBS about this most Amazing Chef. He is an inspiration!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A few cake tibits!

Cakes, Cakes, Cakes! Two new shops that I have heard about.

1. Already opened(apparently in Spotswood) is a take away cup cake shop. Owned by Ariana, formerly of Try this in Yarraville. Let me know if you have been there, I haven't got there yet, but look forward to checking it out. It's across the road from the Duchess of Spotswood.
2. Coming to Yarraville a new cake shop, opening where Recoleta Boutique was. This is exciting I really hope they do something unique.

Whilst we are talking about cakes I have to let it be known that I am a huge fan. It is one of the biggest conflicts in my life. I love to Bake Cakes, I love to Eat Cakes and I love to talk about cakes, so why oh why can it not be a daily indulgence. Because my dear friends cake is the enemy of my body! If I ate Cake everyday I would resemble a Jam Roly Poly. As much as I love cake I do not want to look like one, so these days when I'm going to have cake it has to be pretty dam special.

Making a resurgence in Melbourne this year has been the 'High Tea'. The Hotel Windsor, The Park Hyatt, The Sofitel are all places where you can indulge in all sorts of cake.
Chocolat Gateax, Lemon Tarts, Upside down Cakes, Tortes, Pavlovas, Mousse Cakes, Cheese cakes, Fruit Flans, Roulades, Nut Cakes, Pastries, Muffins, Apple Pie and the Australian Piece de resistance, The Lamington!
Well, have you had enough yet, I'm drooling, my stomach is rumbling and I just wish I had something like this in my fridge, but alas, the sensible Monica doesn't have these sorts of things in her fridge. That's why I have to go out for these and that's why I chose the Hopetoun tea Rooms for my cake indulgence.

Have you been to the Block Arcade in Melbourne it is a lovely arcade to shop in and it has the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. If it's cake you want this is a great place to come and eat it. I had a piece of the latticed Cherry Pie and OH MY it was absoulutely delicious. Not to sweet and not to tart , lovely crumbly/buttery pastry. I would love to work my way through the window display. However(yes, there is almost always a however with me)the cup of tea I had with my cherry pie was the worst cup of tea I have ever, ever, ever had. I sent the first pot back thinking that they must have made a mistake, but no it came back just the same the second time around. I was in shock, Is this not the Hopetoun Tea Rooms where they serve Tea! MMMMMMmmmmmm. Mystified! And the service? Well apparently The Hopetoun Tea rooms have been undergoing some changes, where they want to lift the standards one more notch. As far as the service is concerned I just thought is was appalling, I saw a waitress(very young and inexperienced) drop some cake on the floor and ignore it, I thought she must be coming back to clean it up but she didn't. All the staff are very young and modern which does not match the tea rooms. The Hopetoun tea rooms are from a time gone by. The 1800's, and the rooms are decorated as such(orginal I'm told), this calls for respect and grace and calm, but the young staff had none of this, such a mismatch!
SO! The question is would I go back for just the cake and not bother with the tea! I'm not sure that I would. But you see the window display is JUST so enticing and if I happened to be walking by doing some shopping in the Block Arcade, then maybe, just maybe I would have to pop in for a bit of cake and a glass of water.