Tag Archives: Brunch

Bacon Steak – Ora Cafe

Bacon steak is definitely the new BACON :) So many cafes are now doing it and I’m so glad they are! Because there is so much more flavour with thick cut bacon. Ora Cafe in Kew is one of these cafes that do a great bacon steak dish. I’ve actually visited a few times but never got around to blogging about it ~

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe is one of the few cafes close enough to where we live that serve interesting dishes and most importantly good coffee. It rarely happens but I actually visited them twice a week a while ago, first visit was with Steph a Uni friend. We’ve been keeping in touch with Facebook and email but haven’t had the chance to meet up, so after what feels like 3 years we finally caught up :)

Iced latte $5

Iced latte $5

It was quite warm so I started with an iced latte which is a shot of coffee with some milk and ice. I really enjoyed it because it was essentially an espresso topped with cold milk and ice. The coffee wasn’t diluted and was strong enough which is how I like it ~

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Steph got the yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit, I was so jealous because it sounded amazing and tasted even better! It was like a legit dessert for breakfast, the fruit compote cut through some of the sweetness of the yoghurt panna gotta if anyone was worried. But what got my attention was that crunchy honey biscuit on top! Highly recommend this!

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

I know it’s a surprise for all that I didn’t go for a sweet option for breakfast, for once I was really craving bacon! And when I saw ‘bacon steak’, I simply had to order and try it! It didn’t disappoint, the bacon steak was full of flavour and the BBQ bean was slightly caramelised and sweet. I found the apple cider scones a little dry though but was great for scooping up the sauce left behind.

Chocolate beetroot brownie

Chocolate beetroot brownie $4

Who was I trying to kid, of course I needed something sweet :P Steph was too full, so I got something small for myself. The friendly waitress suggested the chocolate beetroot brownie, a great choice! It was so moist and moreish, it actually resembled more like a fudge.

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Then a couple of days later on Valentine’s Day, Mr Bao and I went back to Ora for brunch, because he also wanted to try the bacon steak. I was one lucky girl because Mr Bao got me a new camera for Valentine’s day YAY!!! So I used my snazzy new camera to take a very awkward photo of him hehe

Canon 100D

I had been eyeing the new Canon 100D that was recently released, it claims to be one of the smallest DSLR cameras on the market, and to make a comparison it’s smaller than my iPhone 5! Mr Bao also got me a new lens the 40mm which Fatboo (Let’s Get Fat Together) recommended :) I’m totally in love with both the camera and the lens! Hopefully my photos will improve and you will also like my photos!

Magic $4.20

Magic $4.20

Moving onto the food and drinks, Mr Bao got his usual Magic, he commented it had a light floral flavour with some nutty undertones. He really enjoyed the coffee and went on to order another flat white after our brunch ~

Latte $4.2

Latte $4.2

I got a latte using the same coffee and agree it was quite floral but I really liked the nutty aftertaste that comes a few seconds after you’ve taken a sip. The coffee was at a good temperature too not too hot or lukewarm.

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Mr Bao got the same dish as I did last time, the bacon steak and he was also blown away by the flavour of the bacon. His only compliant was he wanted servings to be a little bigger because he wanted more bacon haha

Swimmer crab hash with salad $18

Crab corn and fritters with salad $18

I decided to get something on the specials board, the crab and corn fritters with salad. The fritters were quite fluffy and reminded me more of potato hash with crab mixed through it because it’s quite fluffy. I really enjoyed the sauce beneath it which was like a spicy hollandaise/mayonnaise.

Crab corn fritter

And because it was Valentine’s day they had a little something special on their sweets cabinet hehe and I’m a sucker for cute things. So that’s how we came about ordering this heart shaped macaron with a chocolate. The macaron shell was a little soft but I really liked the chocolate filling and its so perfect for Valentine’s day! It will put a face on any girls face :D

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Always a pleasure to visit Ora cafe, it’s close to home, service is friendly and efficient but most importantly it is still the dishes they make and the bacon steak!

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

Brunch Dates – Fandango & Crabapple Kitchen

I’m sure My Dearest Readers, all know my love for brunching so today, wanted to share with you two brunch dates I’ve gone on lately :) The first date was last week, Michelle (The Bakernista) is going home to Malaysia for a couple of weeks, so we decided to catch up before she jetted off ~ We had a couple of ideas about which cafe to go to and eventually settled on Fandango in North Melbourne. Most people may be more familiar with the cafe next door Auction Rooms which always has a queue in front.

Iced-Coffee $5

Iced-Coffee $5

Fandango has actually been on my radar for a while, in the ‘Oldie but Goodie’ list. Just haven’t had time to cross it off, Michelle and I have both read great things about the cafe so was excited to try it out. I was quite surprised that it was such a small little cafe, and the front was already full so we sat out in the courtyard. It was a nice sunny day, but with the sun shining it was getting hot, so I ordered an ice-chocolate with vanilla ice-cream to cool down. I really enjoyed the strong coffee hit that was diluted nicely with the ice-cream.

Beetroot eggs $16

Beetroot eggs $16

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I first saw the menu, it was quite limited and nothing seemed that unique. But I reread Ash’s post and she made the beetroot and fetta relish sound absolutely irressistable, so that’s what I got ~ The relish is served with thick cut sourdough toast, poached egg and I added a side of mushrooms. Even though the poached egg was slightly overcooked and not as runny as I would like, the beetroot and fetta relish did not disappoint. It was absolutely delish! And don’t underestimate this dish, it was so filling :)

Pesto Scrambled Egg with bacon $19.80

Pesto Scrambled Egg with bacon $19.80

Now even though my brunch was awesome, I had serious food envy when Michelle’s dish came, she had the pesto scrambled egg with grilled tomatoes and bacon. It smelt so good and of course I stole a bite, the scrambled eggs were so soft but not oily and that light flavours of pesto through it. Must remember to order this next time I can.

Fandango is one of those cafes, you can judge by its cover, their menu is simple but they do the simple things so well and will blow you away! I already have my heart and mind set on the pesto scrambled eggs and also pancakes next time I come!

Fandango on Urbanspoon

My next brunch date was with Mr Bao and Shy (the little poodle we were dog sitting), it was the first time we’ve had brunch with a doggie and wasn’t sure how it’ll turn out. I chose Crabapple Kitchen because I’ve been before and remember I sat outside as well and it was quite nice with a little white fence around the tables.

Crabapple Kitchen

Crabapple Kitchen

Crabapple Kitchen is in Hawthorn on their busy Glenferrie Road, parking can be a pain so it’s best to allow 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike Fandango, Crabapple Kitchen had an extensive menu with a good range of brunch dishes.

Soy Chai Latte $4

Soy Chai Latte $4

I started the brunch with a Soy Chai Latte, it came in a plunger and I could see the wet chai leaves in the bottom, which is always a good sign, in comparison to those made out of powder. I don’t think I gave it enough time to develop the flavours because it was a little weak but nice and comforting.

Latte $3.8

Latte $3.8

Mr Bao ordered a latte, he commented that it reasonable but was slightly hot and a little bitter.

Creamy porridge with fresh nectarine, boysenberry and vanilla compote $12

Creamy porridge with fresh nectarine, boysenberry and vanilla compote $12

Even though they had so many items on their menu, I really felt like porridge that day. I know it’s relatively easy to make porridge at home, trust me, mine never look or taste like this. It’s always a little thick, gluggy and never as creamy. This porridge was served with fresh nectarine which was a little firm and that yummy boysenberry and vanilla compote with honey. It might be a little sweet for others, but it was just right for me, perfect for a chilly morning!

Big Brekky $18.5

Big Brekky $18.5

Mr Bao was starving that morning (actually he’s always hungry) so he opted for the traditional Big Brekky with scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms. The scrambled eggs was definitely the highlight with a velvety texture, the other elements were nice but nothing really blew us away.

Lamington $4.5

Lamington $4.5

To finish up, I definitely needed something sweet (yes even though my porridge was sweet :P ) they have a nice cabinet of sweets with homemade muffins, cakes and cookies. I had the lamington before and really enjoyed it so that’s what we got. Just as good as before, the sponge cake was moist with a strawberry jam filling, covered in chocolate and shredded coconut. Probably one of the better lamingtons I’ve had in Melbourne. Gosh they’re hard to find ~

Brunch with Shy was a success

Brunch with Shy was a success

Brunch with Shy was a success! Crabapple is quite a dog friendly cafe providing dogs with a large bowl of water and the waitresses were very friendly and accommodating. Shy even got a few pats and sat underneath the table while we were eating our brunch ~ Crabapple Kitchen is a great local cafe to have serving great food at reasonable prices, I think next time I will try the more interesting dishes such as the corn and chilli fritters. They also serve dinners every named ‘Friday Night Flight’ where they serve a 3 course meal with a theme from a different country for instance when its a USA theme they serve burgers and ribs. Mr Bao and I definitely want to come back and try that out :)

Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Honeycomb Butter Crumpets – Seven Seeds

Hello My Dearest Readers! I am back! After a short hiatus due to laptop issues it’s finally been fixed with a new screen and logic board (no idea what it is :P). It’s so good to be back and blogging again! Thank gosh for Social Media I have still been able to keep in contact with some of you :) I’ve got so many stories to share with you again, but going to tackle them one by one ~ A couple of weeks ago Jack and Cindy came to visit us and after a week of eating out and having fun, it was time for them to go home. They had a pretty early flight at 10am, but I was adamant that we have breakfast at a good Melbourne cafe.

Seven Seed

It’s actually quite hard to find a cafe that opens early on a Saturday because most cafes open 6am-7am on weekdays but on weekends they open at 8am or even 9am. I had to search high and low then I finally found Seven Seeds and they open at 7am woo hoo!!!

Seven Seeds1

We walked in at 7am on the dot and surprisingly we weren’t the first ones at the cafe, there were other people who I suspect were tradies there with their bright fluorescent yellow vests ~ The waitress told us to choose any table we wanted and coffees would be a 5 minute wait as they were warming up the machine.

Magic $4

Magic $4

It was a little early for Mr Bao and me so we needed a strong cup of Magic to wake us up. The coffee was their house blend and we found it to be quite fruity and a little acidic. I prefer my coffees to have a sweeter finish but Mr Bao really it ~

Mocha $4

Mocha $4

Jack and Cindy wanted to sleep on the plane, so they went for a mocha instead, I’ve had this before the last time I came and remember it to be lovely good balance between chocolate and coffee.

Balsamic button mushrooms on brioche toast with pecorino and poached egg $16

Balsamic button mushrooms on brioche toast with pecorino and poached eggs $16

Jack went for a vegetarian option and ordered the Balsamic button mushrooms on brioche toast with pecorino and a poached eggs. Even though it’s a very simple dish, I really liked the way it was plated with the edible flowers ~ I think I was staring too much because Jack ended up giving me a bite to try hehe and it was just as delicious as it looks.

Bacon & Chipotle baked beans with cornbread and poached eggs $14

Bacon & Chipotle baked beans with cornbread and poached eggs $14

Cindy and I both got the Bacon * Chipotle baked beans with cornbread and poached eggs, I found the baked beans to lean more on the sweeter side and I would’ve preferred it more with a little more heat or spice.

Perfect!

The eggs were perfectly poached with the yolk pouring out. The corn bread came in handy to soak up all the yolk and Chipotle sauce. The cornbread was also sweeter than I expected as well, I don’t think I’ve had many cornbreads before and expected it to be blander in taste like a Yolkshire pudding. Now I’m curious to what cornbread in America taste like hehe

Toasted Reuben sandwich on light rye with corned beef, gruyere, sauerkraut, Russian dression and dill pickle $13

Toasted Reuben sandwich on light rye with corned beef, gruyere, sauerkraut, Russian dression and dill pickle $13

I managed to convince Mr Bao to order the Reuben sandwich because that’s what I felt like hehe he happily obliged :) We really enjoyed the sandwich, our only complaint would be filling vs bread ratio. Mr Bao would’ve liked it more corned beef and gruyere.

Home-made crumpets w/ honeycomb butter $9

Home-made crumpets w/ honeycomb butter $9

To finish up we ordered the homemade crumpets with honeycomb butter to share. When I asked the waitress if they made the crumpets install she said that they actually stock from the Dr Marty’s Crumpets. Mr Bao has never been a fan of crumpets because he finds the ones from the supermarket to be too hard and often has a rubbery kind of texture. While Dr Marty’s were lightly toasted on the outside but remained wonderfully fluffy inside. Paired with the honeycomb butter my breakfast was complete. Having said that I would add a scoop of ice-cream on top if I was at home :P

IMG_5769

We had a wonderful time at Seven Seeds enjoyed the food and coffee and was a great way for Cindy and Jack to end their trip to Melbourne. We had such a blast with these guys, can’t wait for them to come back and we’ve decided next time we’ll go somewhere else with them :)

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

C&J Melbourne Travels – Proud Mary

2013 has sure turned into a crazy year, I have lost count of the family and friends who have to come to visit. About 3 weeks ago Jack and his girlfriend Cindy from HK emailed me saying ‘We wanna come to Melbourne for a holiday what you think?’. It was a bit of a shock for me as I had no idea they had plans to travel and definitely not to Melbourne! But of course I welcomed them, I love taking and showing people around.

Proud Mary

Because C&J were only here for a week and I had work we only really had one whole day free to spend with them and that was the Sunday where I planned a day trip to take them to the Mornington Peninsula :) Will be sharing our itinerary and other adventures with you shortly. But before we made our way down the Peninsula we had to have breakfast. They are probably the easiest people to travel and eat with hahaha because they gave me full control and trusted me! So pressure was on to take them to the best places!  Nearly without thinking I knew I wanted to take them to Proud Mary for breakfast.

Proud Mary

I’m sure most Melbournians would have visited or at least heard of Proud Mary. It is one of those long established cafes who do their coffee and food well, regardless what day of the week, there will always be long queues. Given that we went on a Sunday morning at 9:30am, we knew there was going to be a good half an hour wait. The lady at the front told us to go get takeaway and come back in half an hour, so I took C&J to another cafe for hot chocolate. We came back to Proud Mary’s with our takeaway  and was lead to our table. The waitress then said in a stern voice ‘Let me bin those for you’. It really startled us, because there was no signs that outside food wasn’t allowed and it was only hot chocolate. I told her nicely, ‘We’re nearly done with those, would you like us go finish it outside and come back?’. She simply replied, ‘No that’s fine let me bin them for you our hot chocolate is MUCH better’ and quickly took our half-finished hot chocolates from us. I can understand a cafe wouldn’t like outside drinks brought it and we would’ve happily thrown it away, it was more the tone of her voice and attitude that really put us off.

Latte house blend $3.5

Latte house blend $3.5

Definitely not a good start to breakfast, and we all ordered a drink as we always intended to. I ordered a latte in their house blend, they usually have the Ghostrider which is their seasonal house blend, however, had run out so had a different blend. I found it to be quite sour and acidic to taste and needed a good spoonful of panela sugar to balance out the flavours.

Magic $3.5

Magic $3.5

Mr Bao being a creature of habit, ordered his Magic which was a single origin from somewhere I’ve forgotten :P Once again though he found it to be very sour and slightly bitter towards the end, he prefers his coffees to be more fruity.

Cappuccino $3.5

Cappuccino $3.5

Jack ordered a Cappuccino and commented this was one of the best coffees he has had in a very long time, because the coffee in Hong Kong are often very watery and simply not as robust and brewed as well as ours in Melbourne.

Axl Rose Juice $7.5

Axl Rose Juice $7.5

Cindy doesn’t tolerate caffeine very well so ordered the Axl Rose juice which has orange, apple and strawberry. I really like the name and colour of the juice, she said that it was lovely and not too sweet because most places in HK will add sugar to their juices.

Frank n Beans $17.5

Frank n Beans $17.5

Remember how I said C&J are super easy, I basically ordered 4 breakfast dishes for us to share. The first was the Frank n Beans which was cannelli beans cooked in a tomato based sauce, topped with a pork and fennel sausage, poached egg and served with garlic fried sourdough. It was a warm and comforting dish and our favourite was the fried croutons which gave the dish some crunch.

Proud Mary1

I think the best way to tell whether a cafe is good, is to look at how well they can poach an egg :)

Potata Hash $18

Potata Hash $18

One of their signature breakfast dishes at Proud Mary is the Potato Hash where the potato is grated into shreds then made into a little cake and pan fried to give it that crunchiness on the outside but still soft inside. Since the last time I came they have replaced the thin cut bacon with the thick bacon steak! Which elevated the dish to another level :)

Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich $15

Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich $15

Another must order is the Crispy Pork Belly sandwich, it’s good that Proud Mary servers their menu all day so you don’t need to wait till 11am to get this ~ The sandwich is smeared in smoked paprika relish and aioli then slices of crispy pork belly, it may seem a little heavy for breakfast, but its so delicious. My only suggestion is it could have been a little more seasoned as I found the pork to be a slightly bland.

Ricotta Hotcakes $17.5

Ricotta Hotcakes $17.5

Different people come to Proud Mary for different reasons, some come for the coffee, some for the potato has but for me it’s for these RICOTTA HOTCAKES! These are still some of the best I have had in Melbourne. That day they were served with roasted stone fruit, yoghurt and blood orange ice-cream and cookies cream. C&J and Mr Bao found the roasted fruit and syrup a little sweet and because we had this last the ice-cream sort of melted. But the texture and flavour of the ricotta hotcakes were still perfect, they had small chunks of ricotta through them, dense but not too still. Let’s just say, if you like pancakes, hot cakes or pikelets you’ve gotta come try these!

The quality of the food definitely made up for the unpleasant waitress. Mr Bao and I have always liked Proud Mary and whenever guests come to visit we always bring them here and food is consistently good. The service and wait for tables is the main deterrence for us not coming back as often as we’d like. But I would still recommend you trying if you haven’t, just bear in mind of the long wait and the inconsistent service.

Proud Mary on Urbanspoon

City Brunching – Operator 25

Us Melbournians are crazy about cafes and brunching, but you might be surprised most popular cafes are actually in nearby suburbs but not many are actually in the CBD area. I’m not sure why, but I  suspect it’s because people want to get away from the city on their days off and explore a new area. I know that’s how I use to feel, when my office was in the city. But now that I’m working in the suburbs, I will find every excuse to go back into town :)

Operator 25

It’s also nice to know that a few more cafes have popped opened lately in the city, and Operator 25 is one of them. I checked it out with my girls Shellie and Lianne last weekend, I had Operator 25 on my list as others have raved on about it. Situated on the quieter side of the city on Wells St parking was a breeze and getting a table wasn’t too difficult either, which is really nice.

Operator 25

The cafe has a really modern and chic kind of feeling to it, we sat on the end of the bench on these super comfy high chairs. Not too high that I was going to fall off but high enough to allow my legs to swing back and forth comfortable :P

Latte $3.8

Latte $3.8

I had a long night, so I ordered a latte to wake me up. They use Code Black coffee beans here at Operator 25. I really liked the pretty and elegant latte art, it was a rather light tasting coffee and quite smooth.

Chai Latte $4

Chai Latte $4

Lianne and Shellie are both Chai girls and got a chai latte. It’s really nice to see that they tried to do latte art on a chai, and I’ve actually never seen it done before. I didn’t try it but it sure smelt lovely and they both seemed to really enjoy it ~

Sweet corn fritters, avocado mousse, fried eg, tomato and coriander salsa $16

Sweet corn fritters, avocado mousse, fried eg, tomato and coriander salsa $16

Apparently I ordered the corn fritters last time, so Shellie said it was her time to order them :P Fine by me because I had my eyes on something else :P I managed to score a bite and it was divine. The corn fritters were like fried dumplings with corn pieces all through it and was paired up very well with the avocado mousse and salsa which gave it more flavour.

House Benedict with Potato rosti, ham, poached eggs and Chives Hollandaise Sauce $15

House Benedict with Potato rosti, ham, poached eggs and Chives Hollandaise Sauce $15

Eggs Benedict such a classic brunch dish, but it’s hard to find cafes that make a good one. The Hollandaise sauce is either too buttery or too think like mayonnaise, eggs can sometimes be overdone. But we think they NAILED it here! I swear I was getting food envy, the eggs were perfectly poached, the ham was thinly sliced but most importantly was the Hollandaise sauce! So creamy but not too rich or heavy. I also really liked the crispy potato rosti.

#YORKPORN

#YORKPORN

Proof that the egg was perfectly poached! Look at this river of york! Classic #yorkporn shot :D

Tonka Bean and coconut sago, citrus curd, mango and pistachio and salted caramel crumbs $9

Tonka Bean and coconut sago, citrus curd, mango and pistachio and salted caramel crumbs $9

I already knew I wanted to order this before I even looked at the menu, recommended by Ash – Tonka bean and coconut sago, citrus curd and topped with diced mango and pistachio and salted caramel crumbs. Perfect dessert for breakfast dish! Really liked how they used medium sized sagos to give it a more texture, matched with the mango but the salted caramel crumbs was definitely the winner. I want to come back just for this dish again and it’s pretty good value for $9 and was a generous serving.

Piccolo $3.8

Piccolo $3.8

Shellie then ordered a Piccolo and it came with the cutest little face on it! I’m pretty sure it’s a little kitten with the whiskers and heartshaped face.

Brioche French Toast with Baked apple, vanilla mascarpone, maple and raspberry coulis $15

Brioche French Toast with Baked apple, vanilla mascarpone, maple and raspberry coulis $15

Having only one dessert for breakfast wasn’t good enough :P So we shared the Brioche French Toast with baked apple, vanilla mascarpone with maple and raspberry coulis. Shellie and Lianne both thought it was a little too buttery and sweet, while I thought it was just right ~ Having said that I did find the baked apples a little soft and probably too sweet for most people.

Operator25 is a great addition to the brunch scene in the city, serving wholesome and delicious brunch options. I also appreciate that it’s on the quieter side which makes parking a lot easier and not having to wait too long for tables, but I think that’s going to change very soon as more and more people discover them :)

Operator25 on Urbanspoon

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