All posts tagged: featured

Four Pillars Gin / Healesville

The large and a bit drab facade of the distillery hides the beauty inside. Before you even get to the distilling equipment (which are basically functional works of art) the retail space really pulls you inside. The high ceilings, on trend blend of black and wood tones and impressive gin wall behind the bar create a beautiful and welcoming space. The friendly staff add to the appeal, giving us a run through of the tasting options before giving us time to look around and wander back when we were ready.

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Why I’m Living Below the Line in May

This year I’m Living Below the Line. Running a food blog, I spend an awful lot of time eating, thinking about and writing about food. I’ve always felt lucky to be able to eat out and indulge in delicious meals but have taken it completely for granted that I would go to bed with a full stomach each night. Just putting food on the table is almost impossible for those living on the poverty line. There’s no breakfast out, no morning coffee, no sneaky 3pm chocolate when you need a pep up at work. 1.2 BILLION people live on less than $2 a day ALL THE TIME. The least I can do is try it for 5 days.* Living Below the Line is a chance for me to do something for those who haven’t been as privileged as I have. I’m starting my fundraising by donating $25 – what it might cost for a coffee** and a meal*** at a cafe on a Saturday morning. So help me help others, come have ‘virtual brunch’ with …

East Elevation / Brunswick East

I would wonder what’s behind the red door as I pass it each and every time. I’d heard whispers of a chocolatier, and others of coffee and meals to delight the senses. Not knowing which of the little birds to trust my only course of action was to check it out for myself. We arrived at 8.30am on the dot, when such places were said to open, and found it strangely quiet. Apparently Melbournians don’t brunch this early, or perhaps we had indeed stumbled upon the chocolatier. As it happens both little birds were correct, this was both home to Monsieur  Truffle, chocolatier and East Elevation, a popular brunch spot. We’d clearly stumbled upon a combination  dreams are  made of. East Elevation is a nicely converted warehouse with a cafe on one side and chocolate making facilities on the other. It has high ceilings and a front window that light just floods through, the raw red brick walls giving it an edgy feel and just what you’d expect from a Brunswick East eatery. The staff …

Fifty Acres / Richmond

 On Bridge road in Richmond, traditionally a haven for bargain shoppers you’ll find a delightful foodie surprise. Fifty Acres is a charming cafe with a wonderful atmosphere, sure to draw you in for a break from shopping!  The interior is absolutely stunning. It’s simple, a play on light with industrial fittings and sleek minimalist decor. The service made an equally good impression. The staff at Fifty Acres were friendly, polite and professional and put you in a great mood as soon as you sat down.We started the day with a couple of lattes. Once again we were impressed by what we received. The Dukes blend was creamy, rich, bright and punchy. It was a wonderful way to start our morning and we ordered a second each soon after. Our second brews were equally delicious and arrived promptly, another tick for the service. Our first dish was pumpkin pancakes which we chose to add a little crispy bacon to. In this dish the pumpkin acts more as a carrier of flavour and adds moistness, so don’t be put …

Belleville / Melbourne CBD

   Some of the greatest pleasures in the food scene are to be found in places you’ve probably overlooked. There’s a joy in finding your way to beautiful and unique places and feeling like you’re sharing in a secret with other diners. Belleville certainly has this allure for us. It sits above a bank on Swanston and Little Bourke, you’ll need to walk past and down the alley. When you see the X you’re in the right place, just make your way up the stairs!  It’s raw around the edges in the right sort of way. It’s a ramshackle sheek that means there’s always something to catch your eye.   We wandered through until we found a table we liked the look of, pondering the menu and heading to the bar to order. We were momentarily distracted by a person with a very well behaved dog waiting patiently at their feet but couldn’t be dissuaded from our task. The menu at Belleville is mainly about the rotisserie chicken, a fusion of American and Asian influence makes for an …

Pho Cycle / South Melbourne

The newest Vietnamese joint to open in South Melbourne, Pho Cycle is generating quite a buzz. It’s conveniently located near my office and it wasn’t long before a gaggle of co-workers decided to give it a go. We were very impressed by the fit out, it was a bit West, a bit East, just like the fusion of Vietnamese favourites and some interesting Western additions you’ll find on their menu. Crunchy Asian salad with lemongrass chicken and sweet potato fries? We’re there!   We found our waiter to be charmingly hungover, affable, friendly and rather excellent despite what must have been a bit of a headache. Being so newly open they were still ironing out some of the service processes and were a bit slow, potentially surprised by the throng of customers. After only being open a few days the chatty and friendly service says a whole lot more about what we can expect from Pho Cycle than the speed does. I was captivated by a Beef Pho which aromatically drifted past our table. We also …

Asado / Claremont

We spent a lot of time in Claremont before we moved and coming back we were delighted to discover Asado had opened in our absence. It’s a long and narrow venue, inviting you in with the allure of space and modern sheek decor.    We went all the way through to the back for the intimacy of the lounge and the view to the garden. The cafe was empty when we arrived but people began to filter through soon after. The staff were initially attentive but seemed to forget about us tucked in the back corner. We eventually had to walki back to the front to get the attention of someone to get our order taken. Not the best start to our meal but we persevered. When our latte arrived it was hot but rich with a wonderfully fruity flavour. The table staff needed some work but we can’t fault their barista.When you’re offered the opportunity to have steak and chips you take it, the egg on it is really just for show… We knew this meal …

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts / Melbourne CBD

If there’s something Melbourne seems to have a lot of it’s donuts. Believe me this isn’t a complaint, the more donuts the better, actually is there anything better then donuts? I digress, after hearing fantastic things about Shortstop’s donuts, we couldn’t resist dropping by their Sutherland street store in the CBD. There were plenty of choices on offer and the decision was agonizing. We started with coffees using Market Lane beans, one of our favourites from our last holiday in Melbourne. The espresso brought out flavours more subtle and fruity, so much so that it almost tasted like a filter coffee. It had a creamy mouthfeel and lovely latte art. Now what you’ve been waiting for, the donuts! Our first selection was the traditional vanilla glazed donut. The glaze was light and sweet with a vanilla flavour that complemented the soft and light pastry. Next up was the decadent Boston cream donut. We obviously had to try a filled donut too, and the rich chocolate and glossy finish immediately drew our eye. The tender and light pastry …

All Day Donuts / Brunswick

  Doughnuts are wonderful. I don’t think I can recall anyone who actually dislikes them, and whoever first had the thought that a cream filled hoop of delicious-ness would be a great breakfast has my thanks.   Now having a handmade doughnut shop in your neighborhood is surely living the dream. Especially such a charming little shop as All Day Doughnuts in Brunswick!   You can buy donuts for $5 for filled donuts and $4 for a glaze. There’s a few options to choose from and you can see them being made fresh in the kitchen!   I went with a strawberry cheesecake donut, unable to resist the pink frosting! The donut was light and soft, the icing tasted as good as it looked with a delicious strawberry flavour. The filing though was an absolute star, a delicious custard with vanilla and that cheesecake tang.   Ultimately these donuts are so fantastic because they’re so fresh, it really is the difference between a good donut and a great donut!  All Day Donuts are open Wednesday …