Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Elceed

 Elceed
610 Queensberry Street
North Melbourne

Sunday brunch with Mother is becoming a regular appointment now. Admittedly, there isn't much we agree on, even in terms of food, but it's still a major commonality. For example, we love our durian (much to the chagrin of the rest of the family when the smell diffuses throughout the house). She was also the one introduced me to the world of teatime and cake. While it has evolved into a less than healthy habit of coffee appreciation, at the end of the day it's just nice to be able to relax and forget our troubles, as we nip the cream with the teaspoon head, and trace the swirled pattern of the leaf.
Mother became rather enamoured with the coffee at Seven Seeds, and hasn't enjoyed many others since. While Elceed didn't break the pattern, the wide window in the backroom that allowed the sunlight extended entry did serve to brighten her day. I just stared at the initials HW by the firefly and thought of what I should have been doing.
Beetroot, pumpkin and feta tart. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this was good. Pastry was very flaky, couple that with smooth feta and delicate pumpkin pieces and you've got two happy customers.
















Vertical picture is how it was originally presented, and the horizontal, rather mutilated one was me trying to show you a better picture of it. I'm sorry I had some avocado first.

After Reading Room Cafe, I've been going with the fritter option whenever it's available. I'm going to declare these as my favourite so far. The fritters weren't floury at all, so while it didn't hold itself together on the fork very well, it did taste good. And anyway, you can't win them all :)


Corn kernels were bursting with sweet juice. Couple that with the salsa and avocado, and I could only smile widely as the wonderful flavours melded together in my mouth. I'm sorry to say that the flavoursome whirlwind wasn't enough to take the high salinity levels of the smoked salmon off my mind (well, tongue) though, but it does increase the value of the dish, considering this was about $16 or so.

Verdict is: I regret delaying our visit to Elceed for several weeks, and I'm keen on returning :D

Elceed on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Henry and the Fox - BrimCC

Henry and the Fox 
525 Little Collins St, CBD

The fact that we came here two days in a row is a good hint that we like Henry and the Fox (their motif is adorable). On the day I happened to instigate my coffee-diet, which lasted no longer than the time it took for L to declare her cup as great, and for me to order my typical latte. The foam is thick and the rest of the latte is just as sleek and dandy.
Honestly it's been a bit too long since i had these corn fritters to remember much about them (blogger didn't save my notes on it, the reliable thing) . Just something about being salty, but otherwise mildly crispy, not too floury and on the lighter side. Avocado salsa contained cubed red onion as well, which made for a refreshing chomp now and again.





I'm normally not one for passionfruit, but this wasn't bad at all. The yoghurt sorbet acted as a delightfully cool palate cleanser so that as soon as the saccharine flavours became too much for me, a spoon of sorbet wiped the slate and i was back to tackle the place. Given that the cheesecake was deconstructed, the biscuit 'base' was much on the crunchier side.


Chocolate panna cotta, which was more mousse like. Too sweet for my liking (i'm a darkchoc fan) L particularly enjoyed the crackle pop of the chocolate sprawled across.

Henry and the Fox on Urbanspoon

BrimCC
501 Lt. Collins Street, CBD

Potato was really smooth and creamy, with a good zang - the addition of mustard? Assuming BrimCC is consistent, I declare them the makers of my favourite curry. Slightly viscous, but not so much that it clumped together into less than attractive lumps, and not so little so it dripped sloppily over the rice.

Vegetables were sooooooft, as was the beef. There really needs to be a better word than 'tender' for this.

Nevermind that I just had coffee and cake. I finished both of the bowls because it was just that good, for only 9.50 too! And it was the good bloated, not the type where i need to find a place the empty the contents of my stomach, then a gutter to pass out.

BrimCC Organic Soup and Japanese cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Middle Fish

Middle Fish
122-128 Berkeley St
Carlton

 Thursday lunch with A, B, and K. Following three, albeit short, enriching lectures we popped over to Berkeley street with the intention of eating at Seven Seeds. Given that it was lunch time, we were in for a wait, but decided to forego it in favour of Middle Fish, the Thai place several meters away. 


Eateries converted from warehouses and other old buildings we're all used to by now, but with an oriental touch? That's new, for me at least.

 There you've got faded brick walls. Next to it you have sleeker, modern red booths whereas the next tables over are looking more modest.  Water comes in ceremonious looking metal bowls.


Table of ingredients and sauces, to sell, maybe? Then there's that oddly placed circular table. It's in plain sight, and seems to be a table for two, given the two cutlery sets, but then there's only one chair. While I'm gradually getting used to solo dining, the awkward placing of the table would horrify me xD

B's hot chocolate. That's actually a very nice blue.


My stir-fried pork. After being soaked in the sauce, it really wasn't all that crispy. The first bite confused me. It was mildly spicy, but also very dry. More peppery in characteristics since it left my throat with this itchy feeling and wanting to cough. Eventually the chilli revealed itself and left my tongue in a constant pinging state, which was strangely nice and far from how painful it sounds.

A's beef salad - something about the sauce being really sweet.

Alot. Of beef. That hid a few pieces of potato and carrot. K couldn't finish it and needed to take away about half of it. I'm guessing she would have preferred more proportions, given the slight aversion she eventually developed to the meat and her longing for extra roti ^^;

Middle Fish  on Urbanspoon

This post comes over a week late because I've only just discovered the single place in my room where the internet will not bail out on me. The floor is far from being a comfortable place TT

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Juxtaposition

Twenty & Six Espresso
 
 Creative presentation :)
Superbly fragrant.

Took me long enough to update this, I know ^^; I'm not a fan of the ocean - or of alot of the creatures to be found in its murky depths - but the presentation of L's dish (first picture) was creative :)

On the other hand, my dish had a warmer, fiery element. I think it was haricot beans stewed in duck fat. Rich, as one would expect, and superbly fragrant, with a not-so-juicy sausage. If I ever learn to cook, it's a dish I'd like to serve at a small dinner party with friends.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Auction Rooms - Twenty & Six Espresso - Palookaville - The French Quarter


Auction Rooms
107 Errol Street
North Melbourne

It's amazing what we miss when we don't pay attention, which only brings up the question of what else has escaped our sight in our moments of minimal awareness. I've lived in the area for approaching two decades* without once paying attention to my surroundings, whatever shops lined the streets, let alone the actual names of the streets themselves. Bragging about the foods I've eaten to online passerbys may not an ideal way of enriching my life or taming my ego, but at the very least, it's teaching me about where I am and the thousands of treasures just waiting to be unearthed, whether they're hidden in lanes, or in plain sight.

Auction Rooms is among the easier eateries to locate - look for a standout blue building and the chatty crowd, eager to step in for a brunch and good coffees to match.

Friday 9am: Planned breakfast with T. She took a wrong tram. I was at the wrong bus stop.
9.40 am: T becomes un-lost and makes her way to the destination. I'm standing at the pedestrian crossing, amazed at the new fangled sensors and waving my hand over it. 
9.45 am: Mmm. Coffee. (T's mocha)
While I enjoy my lattes, I hate that they come in glasses and not in pretty coloured cups on saucers. According to that Chinese podcast though, it's a part of Melbourne's coffee culture, so I'll respect that. This visit marked the second time I've come across a delightful coffee with a wonderful aroma. It's not too strong however, to the point where even Mother, (she comes in later) who's used to her weak lattes dealt very well with a normal strengthed coffee. Menu wise, I loved the more interesting breakfast/brunch options here, in addition to the typical eggs and toast. 
 
 My lamb and tomato stew with eggplant, olives, feta, poached eggs and flatbread. Hearty and not too heavy on the seasoning. It may look dull in the photo, but once you break into the yolk and unleash the gold, the colours are beautiful, rather like the setting sun against the darkened sky. No plastic-y eggplant skin here of course, just soft, mild flesh. Tastes even better if you wrap the tender lamb in the lightly toasted bread.

T ordered the onion soup with kaiserfleisch (google has confirmed my spelling) and some other components I've forgotten ^^; All I know about it is that the pork is a pain to saw through xD

Sunday brunch was take two, this time with Mother. Again it was a <5 minute wait, so while it's nice to bask in the company of numerous friends, the fewer there is, the faster you get food :P
 
 Mother's poached eggs, sourdough, and additional side of avocado. Eggs were cooked for a bit longer so the yolk wasn't as runny. Slightly vinegary.
Ocean trout, on avocado and toast with beetroot pickled egg, cucumber and radish slices. And a latte! 
Doesn't it resemble a pond with koi, lily pads and a lotus flower?
  Trout wasn't as relenting as the salmon at Seven Seeds (could be characteristics of the fish. I'm no expert) but still smooth and tender. The millimetre thin slices of radish and cucumber added a welcome degree of freshness and the sweetened boiled egg was so simple, but so good! I couldn't help but wish there was some wasabi to add a more thrilling element though ^^;

Both experiences at Auction Rooms were fine and dandy! Orderly wait system with a guy and his trusty clipboard to take down the name and number of seats required for entering customers, and generally patient and friendly staff :)

 *vague attempt at sounding old to imply that I have some sort of wisdom attainable only with age. Another several decades too soon!
Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

Twenty &Six Espresso 
 594 Queensberry Street
North Melbourne

Horribly great idea to have come here straight after filling the stomach with lamb stew from Auction Rooms.
They have Bambi glasses too~

A wonderful equation.
 

What makes some foam so bubbly?
But heck, this was great! An indulgent forkful of lightly toasted, though still very moist banana, raisin and walnut bread. Two thick slices sandwiched a layer of lusciously creamy, nutty ricotta lightly dipped in the berry coulis. A sip of comparatively bitter coffee to balance out the sweetness, then the sigh of contentment.

Who could resist?

...Just make sure you come with an empty stomach.

1/9 Edit: I came back~

Twenty & Six Espresso on Urbanspoon

Palookaville 
 416 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy

  Moroccan Soup Bar was packed, with no available seats until 8.30. As great as their food is said to be, our stomachs weren't waiting 1.5 hours, so we ended up at Palookaville. I'll admit, I had very low hopes for this place, but as usual I was proven wrong. Sure it didn't blow my mind, but $15 for an open steak sandwich (of good size too), I don't have any major complaints ;P
T's Persian lamb shanks

Open scotch fillet steak sandwich on garlic brushetta, rocket, tomato salsa, onion marmalade & seeded mustard mayonaise, hand cut chips

Steak wasn't too thick and had been overcooked so there weren't much juices. Rocket and mayonnaise somewhat supplemented for that though, with a small amount of tomato and onion salsa under the steak. Beetroot gave it an overall, nice tang, and chips were thick and crunchy.

If it weren't too far (relatively) from the city, I wouldn't mind returning for the cheap eats.

The French Quarter -  Patisserie Boulangerie
570 Queensberry St
North Melbourne

Take-away treats. 
$4.50
Tray of petit fours ($7)
 I've only tried the little lemon tart. Buttery shortbread pastry. Lemon is initially very tangy, but further bites unveiled its sweet side.

Week's End


 
So much for covering those four places ^^;


I only got through Auction Rooms (preview to the side), though, technically, I went to 6 other places, which is more than enough to balance the missing three ;P

See the 'Pending' page to the left for the other 2 I'll soon get round to. At the moment, their names escape me ==

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Hardware Sociéte

The Hardware Sociéte
118-120 Hardware St
Melbourne

...Someone tell me how to pronounce the last word?
Coffee comes with a little cinnamon donut.
  Scrambled eggs + chorizo ($17)
It's hard deciding whether I want to be a risk-taker and tackle the food with my hands, or ambush it with some well sharpened cutlery. Today I did both, and both had equally disastrous results ^^;


 
My poor eating habits and etiquette aside, this was a good meal. Eggs were on the runnier side with a touch of seasoning. Pack it between the sourdough and it is absolute glory. Nuts provide the needed crunch and the chorizo gives a little kick to (hopefully) stop you falling asleep at work.