Rustica Sourdough Bakery- Melbourne series

I am a massive fan of Pierre Herme’s Ispahan macaron, so you could imagine the excitement on my face when I came across an Instagram photo of an Ispahan croissant from Rustica Sourdough Bakery; it was one of my few food requests while we were in Melbourne visiting TimmyC’s trendy cousin and she took us there for brunch.I was trying to concentrate on what I wanted for breakfast but it was a bit hard when their display cabinet had the most beautiful and enticing pastries and sweets. I believe this is the very definition of food porn! Wow, it was really amazing to see. One of the biggest food regrets that I have is that we didn’t order that blueberry danish pastry.

Our meals arrived pretty promptly which was good because we were getting hungry.Scrambled chilli eggs with spring onion, coriander, bacon, shaved pecorino and sourdough ($16.50). Once I eventually dragged myself away from the counter and sat myself down to look at the menu, I knew exactly what I wanted within 5 seconds (which never happens). This had everything that I would want in a savoury breakfast and it was delicious! I personally would have upped the chilli just a little.Eggs anyway on sourdough ($9.00)  potato hash ($3.00). Lobster eggs benedict lobster, apple, green salad, poached eggs, hollandaise and a brioche bun ($22.00). I believe this is when my sister would say “that’s what rich people eat”. Lobster for breakfast, why not? I particularly liked the sweetness and crisp texture of the apple and sweet salad.We finished everything but the brioche bun, it was too filling so we only ate half of it.Cronut salted caramel? ($6.50). Now I don’t remember the exact flavour of the cronut but it doesn’t matter because it was hands down the best one I have ever eaten. It was so buttery and sweet but what was perfection was the texture. As you bite down you could feel all the pastry layers break, I’m drooling just thinking about it again.Ispahan Croissant twice baked, rose, lychee, almond, raspberry ($6.50). I know this croissant is why we came to this bakery but in comparison to the cronut, it wasn’t as good. It had nice rose and raspberry flavour through it, although I couldn’t detect any lychee flavours.I seriously wish I grabbed a sour dough under my arm on the way out so I had something to munch on at the airport. I really want to come back here and eat more!

 

Venue: Rustica Sourdough Bakery

Address: 402 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Phone(03) 9417 7775

Websitehttp://rusticasourdough.com.au/
Rustica Sourdough Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bspoke cafe and bar

It would be by complete luck and nerdy reasons that I found Bspoke cafe and bar out in Fyshwick.

TimmyC had rushed into MSY for computer parts, leaving me in the car (with the air con on) to reply to messages but after I was done I turned my head to notice a cute cafe that I had never seen before and in true foodie fashion, I locked the car and went straight in to explore.If you’re somehow not tempted by their extensive cabinet, there is a small menu to choose from.Bspoke is actually inside the Pushys bike store. They have a cute small bar to one side, an open cafe next to it and plenty of seating which extended to an outside courtyard. It looked like there was  limited menu and not a single piece of bacon in sight but it still intrigued me. I wasn’t really hungry as I just ate my weight in popcorn but my eyes lit up when I saw home-made pies in the cabinet. I messaged TimmyC to come next door to meet me.

Smoothie of the day mango honey and coconut ($8.00). This was really light in texture, not all foam but frothed into light fluffy texture which made this very easy to drink. It didn’t have a strong flavour overall but you could still taste the mango, honey and coconut.Flat white medium coffee ($4.00). TimmyC said it was a decent coffee but it wasn’t good enough to just come just for their coffee.Homemade pepper steak pie ($9.00). I am the first to admit that 9 bucks for a small pie is a bit steep but I loved the outer pattern of the pie and I’m a sucker for pepper steak. The pastry was golden brown which encased big chunky pieces of tender steak with a good dousing of pepper. It was served with a side of delicious sweet tangy chutney but it could have done with some simple green leaves to make the plate more complete.I really liked the huge tender chunks of steak inside the pie.If my friend or partner wanted to shop for bike bits, I would definitely appreciate this oasis with a laid back atmosphere as they shopped on the other side of the store. I found the service to be very friendly and efficient.

Venue: Bspoke cafe and bar

Address: 79 Collie street, Fyshwick, ACT

Phone: (02) 6280 4984

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 6:30am – 5:30pm

Saturday 8:30am – 4:00pm

Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm

BSpoke Cafe and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fun filled weekend – Stand By Me

I had ulterior motives when I told TimmyC that I would take him out to Stand by Me in Lyons for breakfast, what he didn’t know was that it was conveniently located close to my friend’s house who I wanted to drop by and quickly see, but to TimmyC he just thought we were going for a lovely breakfast before I went on my foodie adventure.

It was very busy as we stepped into the cafe but we were still greeted by a friendly face who seated us pretty quickly. Water and menus were promptly brought to the table and they were very efficient in getting our drink orders. The wait for food wasn’t very long and it was a fairly quick breakfast without being rushed, which was probably a good thing as when we woke up we were already running late.Breakfast~ 7:00 – 11:00 am weekdays/ all day weekends

Vanilla and honeycomb milkshake ($7.00). Even though it wasn’t a thickshake, I couldn’t help but order one of a few interesting milkshake flavours at Stand by Me. I liked the flavour of the milkshake, it was sweet enough for me that I could easily drink it without feeling like I was going to get sugar sweats or really full. Unfortunately TimmyC also really like the milkshake and I only got to drink half. And yes, I do realise the price attached is a little steep for a milkshake.Large flat white ($4.50). The coffee came pretty quickly, TimmyC said he really enjoyed it but he didn’t order another one as he was too busy drinking my beverage.Eggs your way  two free range eggs on toast (10.00) with a side of bacon ($4.00). TimmyC just wanted something simple for breakfast and that is exactly what he got. I was just grateful he gave me some of his bacon. 🙂Samurai mushrooms mixed mushrooms sautéed in ponzu and yuzu kosho – topped with two sous vide eggs, fried chilli and garlic and some loyal soldiers ($17.50). I thought that the eggs were cooked perfectly to my liking but when I went to try to eat the mushrooms by themselves I found them really salty and very overwhelming, it needed the bread and eggs mixed through it. It was so salty that I found that my bacon started to not taste like bacon when I went back to it. I think there was too much ponzu and I pushed all my breakfast away from the small puddle that started to develop in the middle of the bowl. I enjoyed the breakfast when eaten together and I like how the soldiers were lightly toasted.*swim away!* The ponzu was too intense for this girl so I tried to push everything away from it.Lots of people come and go in the cafe, they must have a high turn over of covers without rushing the patrons.I really liked their throw pillows and cute little flowers that they had on every table.The staff at Stand By Me were lovely and I could overhear some conversations of them welcoming back loyal customers and remembering their drink orders. They obviously have a good following for their interesting menu, awesome atmosphere and friendly service. I look forward to coming back again and trying more of their menu.

Venue: Stand By Me

Address: 1 Lyons Pl, Lyons, ACT

Phone: 0458 962 716

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Stand By Me Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Bite to Eat

It probably wasn’t well planned going out for breakfast just before a brunch/grazing session, but my friends were just telling me about an awesome thick shake available south side and I sort of promised my stomach that I would have one at the first possible chance. I grabbed TimmyC and we headed to A Bite to Eat where I haven’t been to in years. We seated ourselves at the back outside area where I fell in love with the quirky miss matched furniture, it was well shaded and they had what looked like a dog friendly area with big outdoor cushions and a water bowl. 
Even the water and glasses were quirky and old school.We were a bit carried away and instead of just ordering a small breakfast for TimmyC and a thick shake to share we ordered something savoury, sweet as well as a chocolate thick shake.

 

Terricotta fresh ricotta doughnuts with roast banana custard, black berries and vanilla fro-yo ($19.30). I love the witty name and as soon as I saw this plate, I just had to have a bite. The doughnuts were nice and hot and while I didn’t really see a vanilla fro-yo everything wasn’t too sweet, but I think towards the end it got a bit too heavy and we couldn’t finish it.
Check out how crispy the doughnuts were! The ice cream tasted nutty even though at first we thought it was the vanilla fro-yo.
Even though they had a light texture, I wouldn’t be ordering a huge thick shake AND these doughnuts as it gets very filling.Toast sourdough served with condiments ($7.30). TimmyC really enjoyed the bread because he likes eating ‘Country split’ bread and this reminded him of that.
Chocolate thick shake ($6.60).This was very thick and borderline icy but an intense chocolate flavour just wasn’t there. It was still nice and very refreshing but after eating sweet ricotta doughnuts, what little sweetness there was had completely faded. I sent a photo of my thick shake to my friend and she said that her’s, albeit was a few months ago, didn’t look so icy.


The service was fast and friendly and the overall wait time for food was very short. I love when you walk into the cafe you get a sense of walking into someone’s living room, the vibe is very casual and homey. I think this would be a cute little quirky place to meet up with friends for brunch, if you’ve never been add it to your ‘to go’ list.

Venue: A Bite To Eat
Address: 8 Chifley Pl, Chifley ACT 2606
Phone: (02) 6260 3703

Opening hours:

Mon – Tues 8am–4pm
Wed 8am–9.30pm
Thurs-Fri 8am–10pm
Sat 8am–4pm
Sun 9am–8pm

A Bite To Eat, A Drink As Well Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Space re-run

TimmyC and I are not morning people, but everyone has a price so when TimmyC suggested that we wake up early and go to Space to have breakfast, I agreed although our early morning progress would be negated by said breakfast and we would just arrive to work at the time as we would normally.Polenta waffles lemon thyme sautéed mushrooms, goats cheese, poached eggs, corn puree, salsa verde and truffle oil ($18.90). I thought the addition of dry ice and truffle oil to create a ‘truffle cloud’ upon serving was more for showmanship rather than for taste, but it gives Space a more theatrics side of things setting them apart from their sister cafe Ricardo’s. The waffles themselves were rather crunchy with a soft centre and I loved it paired with the mushrooms and sweet corn puree but I found the goats cheese flavour too strong. I would easily order this again if I wanted a unique vegetarian option.The truffle cloud presentation.Space benedict pulled pork croquette with poached eggs, beetroot hollandaise, pork crackling brioche crumble and pea puree ($18.90). I loved the interesting presentation of this dish and I can’t resist a croquette. The crunchy croquette coating which encased the tender pulled pork was brilliant although I wasn’t a fan of the pea puree. I was surprised to see that I found the slightly sour beetroot hollandaise really addictive and kept dipping my fork into it. Definitely a breakfast classic with a twist that is worth trying.Served with beautiful violets and perfectly cooked eggs.
The dynamics and atmosphere of Space is really different to Ricardo’s, you can see that this cafe is more ‘mature’ and invites a different clientèle in that would be suited to the surrounding office buildings. I love the addition of this funky cafe to the south side and I would definitely recommend this to anyone for a great breakfast and lunch, although I am not sold on their cakes yet. I can’t wait to go back and try more of their menu.

Read the blog post that my awesome guest blogger wrote here.

Space Explorer

I wasn’t able to make it to a breakfast at Space recently, so instead a fellow blogger kindly offered to write her experience. So here it is, Tales of a Confectionist’s first GUEST BLOGGER: the wonderful Serina from Ms Frugal Ears.  How exciting! Her photos are crystal clear, she writes well and she wrote this much faster than I ever would have. Hahahaha, maybe we can make this a regular thing.

Thank you Serina for sharing your experience and making us want to run to Space and check it out for ourselves!


 

I’m heading off to Space. For breakfast. Only I’m not heading to outer space, but rather to a car park. In Woden.

Space, a new café/restaurant by Rick de Marco of Ricardo’s fame, opened three weeks ago in the Skypark car park. Yes, in a carpark. A pretty modern and funky NEW carpark in Woden with 940 spaces and plans for a lightshow. It is an unusual place for a café, but not so unusual for someone used to working hard and taking risks.

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Rick opened Ricardos in Jamison Centre ten years ago when he was only 18. I remember Jamison Centre back then; I used to regularly forage at the Sunday morning Trash n’ Treasure market that the Rotary Club of Belconnen runs. Before the Jamison Centre refurbishment the area was a bit of a dive. I remember seeing Ricardos when it first opened and wondering if it would stay in business in such a drab environment.

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But Ricardos Jamison has flourished, so much so that on weekends you have to queue along the red carpet before one of the staff will grant you a pass in. It feels more like being an at exclusive nightclub than the family friendly and fun café that it is. Not that staff behave like brusque bouncers – everyone is utterly courteous and service is brisk. It is just extremely popular.

The new business is not simply a new Ricardos. “I consciously chose to give Space a new name, a new brand,” explained Rick de Marco. “I opened Ricardos when I was only 18. This is like an adult version of Ricardos. I want to be able to experiment with new dishes, rather than having people wonder why things weren’t exactly the same as Ricardos Jamison Centre.” Rick also expressed passion for heading the revitalization of Woden to mimic what he was part of at Jamison Centre.

Before you ask – yes Space still does amazing cakes including Rick’s signature Golden Gaytime and macarons. But the feel is slicker, more modern, with subtle references to the ‘car space’ theme throughout. And Rick is even more courageous with his food creations.

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My visit was hosted by Rick as part of a social media event to showcase some of Space’s signature all-day breakfast dishes. Space does make some standard style bacon & egg type dishes, and these are also popular – according to head chef Russell, although Space has only just opened it typically cooks around 1,200 eggs on a weekend.

We began with vegetable fritters ($18.90) This is kind of like traditional corn fritters your mum probably made only more upmarket and served on beetroot humus and corn cous cous with salad and poached eggs. Remove the cous cous and the dish is gluten free – chef Russell makes them with a flour made from chickpeas, amaranth, quinoa and arrowroot. He also said that during the week this is by far the most popular breakfast item.

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I wanted to try more of the hot smoked salmon breakfast (hot smoked salmon, smashed avocado, coconut roesti, poached eggs and puffed grains, $18.90), but it disappeared quickly amongst our group. There was a substantial salmon serving and if ordered as a breakfast you would not leave feeling unsatisfied. I liked the gentle tea-smoked flavour, which was distinctive yet not overdone.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI noticed owner Rick de Marco plating something up himself. “Does he interfere often?” I playfully asked. “We take a collaborative and cooperative approach,” answered head chef Russell tactfully. Rick is clearly a perfectionist, evidenced when he presented a plate of the most beautiful bircher muesli I have ever seen. Adorned by fresh fruit and flowers, the bircher muesli ($15.90) was surrounded by circles of yoghurt and blood orange curd and decorated with passionfruit caviar (perfect pearls made through a chemical emulsion process). And yes it tastes good as well, augmented with freshly grated apple.

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Then came the two spectacular dishes that have a creative wow factor that will likely put Space on the galaxy map. Space benedict ($18.90) incorporates the Golden Gaytime theme that Ricardos has become famous for as a dessert – but here it is a deep-fried savoury pulled pork croquette, served on a bed of beetroot coloured hollandaise sauce with avocado, poached eggs and pork crackling brioche crumble. I loved the crumble texture, liked the concept of the croquette but it is not my preferred choice for breakfast as it is a bit oily. Russell said that Space plans to make it with smoked trout in the future, which I think will be nicer.

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My favourite dish was, quite unexpectedly, waffles ($18.90). I am almost over waffles after consuming way too many while in Taiwan – usually they were overly adorned with fake cream and fake maple syrup and looked much nicer than they tasted. But these were savoury waffles made with polenta and cheese and served with a side of mushrooms sourced specially from a grower in Yass, with a liberal sprinkle of popcorn. And served with goats cheese, poached eggs, corn puree and salsa verde. Yet there is more – as they are served, the waiter (in our case Rick himself) poured diffused truffle oil over the top, which wafts out in a (safe) cloud of dry ice. Spectacular and fragrant.

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We were served soft cooked poached eggs, but Russell assured us you can order them well done or prepared a different way if you like.

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If you are hungry, I recommend the boysenberry hotcakes, with blood orange curd, freeze dried raspberry and white chocolate crumble with coconut mascarpone ($17.90).  These were pretty, and also pretty filling.  I would have struggled to finish an entire plate.  Or perhaps I would have been greedy and managed the task – the hotcakes were thick yet inviting and moreish.

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Venue: Space

Address: Ground floor, Skypark, Furzer Street, Woden

Phone: (02) 6281 6668

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 7:30 am-5:30 pm
Sat: 8:00 am-4:00 pm

Guest blogger details: Serina blogs about mindful frugality and low-cost recipes at www.msfrugalears.com and about Taiwanese food and Chinese postpartum confinement at www.taiwanxifu.com.  She is an avid tea drinker and loves brunching with friends. She participated in a breakfast tasting at Space at the invitation of the owner, Rick de Marco.

A simple breakfast at Fox and Bow

I was meeting a friend for a catch up breakfast at Fox and Bow; the sun wasn’t really shining but the cafe was lovely enough to provide blankets. My meal choice might have seemed odd but we were later heading to a market where I thought I’d be eating most of the time so I tried to go with a lighter brunch option.

 

The ginger short bread smiley face is a really cute addition to any hot beverage.El macho pineapple, pear, lemon, cinnamon, vanilla and nopal cactus ($7.90). Sour dough toast served with butter and Lynwood strawberry jam from Collector ($6.00) plus a side of bacon ($4.00?). For something so simple, I was surprised how delicious it was and I would happily order it again. The bread was super tasty, the jam was perfect and they served it with Pepe Saya butter which is incredible. I added bacon for a savoury finish.
Old mate Stephanie Alexander’s ricotta gnocchi recipe, slow cooked lamb shoulder and mushroom ragout ($16.90). I could not believe how soft these pieces of gnocchi were, although I felt that the ragout needed a bit more salt as it was on the bland side.
It is always lovely coming here, the service is friendly, the menu names make me giggle and the food is delicious.

EQ Cafe and Lounge

TimmyC and I were taking advantage of our weekday break and headed towards EQ Cafe and Lounge in Deakin for brunch before the near by workers came and swarmed the place. I was really surprised how big it was and how it extended to another area as the ‘EQ bake house’.Lots of space inside and out; a really nice atmosphere.Eggs Benedict two soft poached eggs on toast with hollandaise sauce and bacon ($18.00). TimmyC said he really enjoyed his eggs benedict even though it wasn’t the best he has ever had.Coffee TimmyC said he has never had a bad coffee here and they are pretty consistent.House-made potato rosti stack with herb roasted mushroom, gruyere cheese, hollandaise topped with crispy poached egg ($18.00). I don’t know why but I’m a sucker for crispy potato so I ordered this for my brunch. I must admit, I don’t think I read much beyond ‘rosti’ so I was surprised it was served on mushrooms and topped with an unusual crispy poached egg. I really enjoyed the big juicy mushrooms but I found I had to add some salt to the dish as a whole because there wasn’t a salty aspect; a stronger sharper cheese might have helped.Two huge juicy mushrooms made this dish rather quite filling.Melted cheese, oozing egg yolk and dripping hollandaise, it looked like a very sexy breakfast.EQ juice orange, apple and passionfruit. I really enjoyed this juice combination and it is apparently a popular juice choice.I couldn’t help but grab something from the EQ bakehouse  as a takeaway.Do you want a juice to go? EQ Bakehouse has you covered!So many options!I really liked the creme brulee tart ($6.00) even when the top wasn’t hard.Home-made sausage rolls ($5.00). I was drawn to the size of their sausage rolls but I have to say that didn’t enjoy this sausage roll at all. The smell was rather potent of lamb(?) and it just had a really odd taste that I couldn’t put my finger on. Has anyone else tried it?I could not believe how attentive and fast the service was, it really impressed me. I also really liked how they have a sit down and enjoy type of menu at the cafe and an ‘on the go’ type of food from the bakehouse side and both sides had loads of variety. Now I know I have another option to get not OTT (in price and sugar) cakes and tarts in the south side.Venue: EQ Cafe and Lounge

Address: Equinox Business Park ,70 Kent Street, Deakin, 2600

Phone: (02) 6161 1666

Opening hours:

Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 4.30pm
Friday 7:00am – till late
Saturday 7:00am – 2pm

 

Milk Crate cafe

After their opening earlier this week, TimmyC has found himself going to the Milk Crate cafe every day and has decided he has finally found a coffee place in Civic he really enjoys. He said the coffee is nice, the menu is extensive and their daily made baked treats in the cabinet disappears very quickly. 

Case in point when they brought out their Nutella muffins ($4.50) on Wednesday and in a blink of an eye they were all gone. They made three times as much for the next day which allowed TimmyC to get one and bring it home to me.  TimmyC’s photos from one of his many visits to Milk Crate cafe. It doesn’t look like much because it has traveled in a lunch bag all the way home, but it was very sweet of TimmyC to think of me.The cold cupcake felt a bit heavy and gluggy with the hardened Nutella but when I microwaved it for several seconds, everything became soft, gooey and perfect.  Despite the competition of a being in a coffee shop dense area, I think the Milk Crafe cafe has stood out from the rest offering a variety of freshly made delicious food. They hope to eventually obtain a liquor license and extend their opening hours. 

Venue: Milk Crate cafe

Address: 12 Moore street, Civic ACT

Opening hours:  6:30am -4:00pm

Double Shot

It was a spur of the moment that we went to Double Shot in Deakin for brunch. At first I was going to go somewhere else in the south side region, but just before we got into the car I asked TimmyC if I changed our brunch area to Deakin would it be that much further away on our way to Fyshwick, when he answered ‘no’ we bee lined straight to the Deakin shops.

I have hardly been in the area, so when we were browsing the shops wondering where the cafe would be, we turned around to see a very very busy cafe with cool outdoor seating. I was dreading the waiting time but we were there already and made the trip out especially, so I was willing to wait. Looking around while waiting for a table, it seemed like babies and dogs are almost mandatory here with most people having one or the other.

There are basically four ‘sections’ to the cafe: out outside.Outside/coveredInside near the counterwhich is near this cake cabinet!Or their extended insideWith such a big capacity and still being very busy was a good sign that the food was worth waiting for.

I usually take note of timing in a venue, we were slightly dismayed by the length of the line to get in but after 15 minutes of waiting we were able to get a seat inside. We were given a menu straight away and ordered within 10 minutes. I was guessing we would get drinks in another 15 and food would take around another 15-20 minutes more considering how busy it was but after 10-15 minutes of ordering we were given drinks and food. I was super impressed!

I thought the upside down planters inside looked really cool. It must take a lot of time and care to water these plants.Make your own juice my go to juice is orange, pineapple and ginger ($7.00) and a flat white in a mug ($4.70). There was a lot of foam build up towards the end of my juice. It was very nice juice but it could have done with a tad more ginger. TimmyC really enjoyed his coffee. Eggs Benedict with bacon free range eggs, choice of bacon, salmon, baby spinach or gypsy ham topped with hollandaise sauce ($18.00). I didn’t start digging into the Benedict as I was busy with my two dishes but after three bites, TimmyC said he really liked his eggs Benedict and then in the breath of his fourth bite he exclaims they are “exceptional”, leading me to dip my fork in across the table. The hollandaise was nice and the eggs were cooked perfectly but I liked my choices of brunch better because they were different to the usual breakfast menus.Poached pear pistachio crumble, chai tea panna cotta, pomegranate and blonde agave nectar ($15.00). The pear was rather big and was poached perfectly. The sweet flavours of the fruit really balanced out the flavours of the subtle chai panna cotta and the coconut. A nice blend of spices and textures.Chicken breast, avocado, smoked cheddar and aioli toastie ($10.00). Simple ingredients but it was an awesome combination. I have a friend who loves chicken sandwiches and I think she would love this one too. I could not believe how delicious this simple toastie was! A close up of the toastie itselfI envisage lots of trips to Double Shot in the future and I know it’s early and a big call but Double Shot might quickly become one of my favourite places to eat if they keep their food standards and service up. I am super keen to try more of their breakfast menu as well as their lunch offerings.

Venue: Double Shot

Address: 7/18 Duff Pl, Deakin ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6162 2027

Sundays: 10% surcharge on Sundays
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Chris’ patisserie and bakehouse

I like a bit of variety in my shopping so when I went to Weston Creek and drove out of the car park, I had a double take on a shop front when I had a glimpse of ‘patisserie’ in the name. I started messaging locals to see if they had been to Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse which had apparently opened three months ago. My friend who was intrigued went there and bought a large tart ($29.00) to take to a dinner party and she said it was really tasty which prompted me to take TimmyC at the first chance we got.It was a busy morning but we were greeted with smiling faces at the counter. When I asked who ‘Chris’ was, a young polite handsome man smiled and put up his hand, it appears to be a family business where they assured me that all the bread, pastries, tarts, cakes etc were all made in-house.

A large selection of cakes, tarts, slices and biscuits to choose from.They also have pastries and muffins.And a selection of quiches and croissants with fillings.I was a bit hazy with the prices, not everything was labelled and I was too busy choosing something to eat but the thick shake, pie, croissant and large coffee came to $17.00.

Vanilla thick shake. I sat there waiting like patient bear as multiple coffees, table water and toasted sandwiches were served to other customers. All our food had been served and half eaten while my thick shake was no where in sight; just as I was about to enquire about my missing beverage it appears and I stir it around with the straw, it didn’t feel very thick. I had a sip and it tasted like a milkshake and nothing more. It was served at the same time as a child’s milkshake, maybe they had gotten the order wrong and I just got what that kid got. When we were served a vanilla creme brulee which we ordered later, we asked if the drink was really a thick shake, when the answer was yes and I said it felt very runny, the owner quickly ran to the kitchen and returned with a replacement thick shake moments later. The second one was much thicker (still not crazy thick) and had a lovely subtle sweet vanilla flavour.Cheese and bacon pie ($5.00). A meaty pie with a little bit more bacon than your average cheese and bacon pie, but nothing particularly exciting.

Croissant. It has a lovely pastry network inside but it wasn’t buttery and flaky. It felt more like a squishy bread roll.

Large flat white. TimmyC said it was mediocre coffee.Vanilla creme brulee ($5.90). I felt that I didn’t try enough of their menu so I told TimmyC to go choose another sweet from the cabinet, he got the creme brulee which I thought was odd to have in a bakery (it is served in a ramekin so I presume you can only have it when dining in?). They pre-prepare the base and store it in the cabinet and sugar is caramelized on top before serving. The toffee ‘hat’ broke beautifully under the knock of my spoon which revealed a velvety smooth custard. I didn’t understand that since there was a toffee layer, how there were still some granules underneath the sugar top that didn’t caramelize, it didn’t do anything to the taste it just took away from the smooth custard texture.I didn’t have an overall amazing bakery/patisserie experience here but I’m not convinced it is a bad bakery, maybe I just didn’t choose their specialty items, which the website suggests is their cakes and bread. I don’t know how much their bread costs but I thought the large tarts and cakes had a hefty price tag (tarts $29.00 cakes $50.00) but I’m determined to try one soon, maybe not this week though.Venue: Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse

Address: Unit 1, 27 Brierly Street, Weston ACT 2611

Phone: (02) 62880587

Websitehttp://www.chrispatisserie.com.au/

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am | 4:00pm

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 | 3:00pm
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Pancake trial #3

My lovely American friend invited me over for brunch which entailed bacon, home-made hash browns and very fluffy thick pancakes, she happily gave me the recipe and I needed to try for myself if it was as easy as she said it was. The recipe is supposed to be easy to remember: 1 of everything, although you have to remember it is only one tablespoon of sweetener or your teeth will fall out. 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1-3/4 cup milk (depends on how thick or thin you like your pancakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
  • Butter for cooking

Equipment

  • Fry pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup for easy pouring of the batter
  • Spatula

Method

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix only until all the ingredients have just been incorporated. Apparently it doesn’t even matter if you don’t get all the flour pockets, just don’t over mix it
  2. Let it stand in the bowl for 10 minutes
  3. Grab a measuring cup for easy scooping, I chose my 1/3 cup for smallish pancakes
  4. Heat the pan on medium heat and throw a knob of butter to oil the pan
  5. Once the butter is bubbling, scoop a portion of your pancake batter in and it should spread nicely to create circles. I was able to fit two in a big fry pan, because I only added 3/4 cup of milk, it was thick and stayed put
  6. Flip the pancake once bubbles have formed (should only take a few minutes).
  7. Once flipped, it only needs around another minute to brown the other side.
  8. Remember to adjust heat based on your stove top so the pancakes do not burn

Tips

This mixture made only 5 fluffy pancakes, it is good portions for one or two people and ensures you’re not eating pancakes for the next week.

They reheat well after a 10-15 seconds in the microwave.

You can also add some berries (frozen or fresh), after you’ve poured the batter into the pan

Throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix, rest for 10 minutes, scoop, cook, flip and eat, it is that easy.
TimmyC has his with maple syrup and ice cream, I prefer mine with Lyle’s Golden syrup.They’re so fluffy!!I think I have found a winner, these pancakes are thick and fluffy, the ingredients list is easy to remember and are basic staple to the kitchen pantry/fridge. I will just have to keep an eye on the cooking so they don’t look so brown around the edges. That is one out of five completed for my New Year’s resolution. It’s already August, eeep!

Lazy May’s

Whilst in Europe, I was reading Canberra Foodie’s adventures back at home and I had complete food envy. I knew instantly that when I came back to Canberra that I wanted to go to Lazy May’s immediately. Tuggeranong has NEEDED a good coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch for a very long time and I think this cafe is the answer to that.I love this wall.

I love their little salt shakers.Tim got a little greedy as he wanted the sweet sliders AND eggs his way and because I didn’t really have a preference I just went a long with it, as long as I got a good a photo (hahaha!) but I insisted I wanted bacon and a hash brown with his eggs and garlic mushrooms. We did have a stipulation that we would only order the hash brown if it wasn’t the frozen store-bought stuff and actually made in-house. After the waitress went to check they were indeed made in-house, we were all set with our breakfast order.
Build your own eggs on toast your choice of scrambled, poached or sunny side up served on artisan sourdough bread ($9.50) with optional sides ($3.00 each) bacon, baby roma vine tomatoes, hash brown, garlic mushrooms, avocado smash, baby spinach. After we ordered ‘eggs our way’ and everything else, at $3 a pop (which is pretty reasonable) it ended up being a double the original price. We really enjoyed the mushrooms but I wouldn’t bother with the hash brown again. It was cold and floury like a pancake with some grated potato, we informed the waitress as we paid for the bill and she was apologetic but we said that it wasn’t her fault and that the rest of the meal was lovely.We ordered the eggs over easy and they were cooked perfectly, look at that yolk.The cold potato pancake supposed hash brown wasn’t so great.
Brioche sweet French sliders mini brioche slider buns with salted caramelised banana and strawberry filling served with vanilla bean ice cream ($11.50). I didn’t think that the banana was caramelised at all or that there was enough vanilla ice-cream, but that didn’t make it any less amazing than it was. It isn’t too strange of a concept, think brioche French toast with delicious butterscotch sauce that you can keep drowning the bread into. It is a pretty messy breakfast but thankfully it wasn’t our first date.Eat now, wipe your hands later. I used a spoon to constantly douse my brioche in sauce.
Flat white coffee (large). TimmyC really really enjoyed his coffee; he said it was smooth and easy to drink. I think he felt relieved that he is able to get good coffee close to home.
 Lazy May’s milkshakes salted caramel and popcorn ($6.00). It isn’t as intense and rich as it sounds. The milk is slightly sweetened but to get that salted caramel and popcorn flavour you need to lick the rim of the glass. I think that the milk shake needs a little tweaking, but I do like how it is not OTT. I am loving awesome cafes that are tucked away in the suburbs; south side is slowly catching up to north side with places like Fox and Bow (Farrer), Red Brick espresso (Curtin), Common Grounds (Garran) and A bite to eat (Chifley). Now I can add Lazy May’s to the list as I really enjoyed their atmosphere, service and food. I will be back soon to try their lunch menu because whatever Food Porn Journal ordered looked awesome.
Venue: Lazy May’s
Address: 41/1 Colishaw Street, Greenway ACT 2900
Phone: 02 6174 1594
Opening hoursMonday – Saturday 7:00am–4:00pm

 

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California cafe

TimmyC has had a deep love for waffles ever since he came back from his America trip, so when I heard that there was a ‘takeaway diner’ in Mawson I took him there immediately. California Cafe has joined the many other cafes that have popped in recent years which has made Mawson a hive of activity and a location full of choice. Not as many cafes are open on a Sunday but luckily the diner was. TimmyC is a bit of a snob when it comes to waffles, he dislikes pre-made rock hard ones (but who doesn’t) and would prefer them to have deep wells so all the syrup and ice cream catch in the pockets.

There were waffles and pancakes on the breakfast menu served with bacon, banana and maple syrup, so TimmyC was set; although it was early I felt like a cheeseburger from this diner. We went to order at the counter and TimmyC’s first question was “do you make the waffles in-house?”, the waitress answered no, “do you make the pancakes from batter?” which I thought was a stupid question until it was also met with a ‘no’; he opted for an eggs benedict instead.The cake cabinet should have been my first clue not to eat here, can you see the huge chunks of carrot in the carrot cake?While we were waiting for our food, the woman next to us had ordered the waffles and she was super excited when three thick store-bought waffles topped with bacon and banana was placed in front of her. I had noticed that she shared some with her Mum and even then they only finished half a waffle each which meant there was plenty still left on the plate after they left.Caramel thick shake ($7.00). We watched them make this and it had tonnes of ice-cream in it and there was just enough topping without making me feel sick. YUM!Coffee (lge ($4.00). TimmyC said it was okay coffee. They also serve a ‘jumbo’ size here.Eggs benedict eggs with bacon on a sour dough roll with hollandaise sauce ($14.90). The hollandaise was nice enough but still tasted like it was bottled sauce and I’m a bit confused as to why there were unseasoned chips on the plate. A very underwhelming breakfast when I promised TimmyC waffles from a diner. I don’t see exactly what the kitchen is cooking when the sauce is from a jar, the waffles and pancakes are store-bought and the chips are from frozen packets.The plates that they serve on are massive.Cheeseburger with fries ($8.90). I was really disappointed with my burger, it was an okay patty drowned in tomato sauce and mustard topped with a plastic (at least melted) slice of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love plastic cheese but I couldn’t taste much of anything other than mustard and tomato sauce. The chips were hot and seasoned with something that I couldn’t pick, it reminded me of mamee noodle snacks. The thick shake helped with washing the acidity of the sauces from my mouth.

I couldn’t taste anything other than sauce.  The diner was getting busy with lots of staff from neighbouring business coming in for takeaway so some people obviously enjoy the food here but with so much better choices in the area, I won’t be coming back.

Venue: California Cafe

Address: 4 Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson ACT 2607

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday (and public holidays) 8:00am – 3:00pm
The California Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pancake like object trial#2 aka crepes

TimmyC’s love of pancakes quickly shifted to crepes when he discovered their crispy buttery goodness a few years ago and I thought while I was trying to get a good pancake, I could probably look into crepes as well.

A wonderful Belgian friend of mine made me some crepes for breakfast the last time I stayed with her; the crepes were delicious with a subtle sweetness from the vanilla sugar she uses. I didn’t find it needed much else but a touch of cinnamon to enjoy its buttery crispy goodness but she had hers with bacon, banana and syrup. Her recipe comes from an old photocopied recipes from Belgium and she was also nice enough to translate it for me so I could try to make them when I got home.


 

Crêpes (makes 15)

I had to double check with my friend that I had written down the right type of flour, I just thought it was an odd concept for something so thin and crispy to have self raising flour.
I forgot to make a well for my wet ingredients which just meant I had to mix a bit more but it incorporated together in the end.

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 500mL milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter for frying

Equipment

  • Fry pan with shallow sides
  • Spatula
  • 2x Mixing bowls

Method

  1. Sift flour into a bowl
  2. Mix through both sugars
  3. Make a well
  4. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl
  5. Put eggs and milk in the well and mix until everything is incorporated
  6. Ladle the batter into medium hot buttered pan.
  7. Swirl the pan instantly to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with batter
  8. Loosen edges with spatula when bubble start to form
  9. Flip the crepe without dropping it on the floor
  10. Cook for less than a minute on the other side or until golden brown

Tips

We were eating them by the stove top because we were impatient and we liked them hot. My friend placed all of the layers on a plate kept it warm in the oven until she was done cooking. You will have to keep adjusting the heat to the pan so the crepes won’t burn.

For my own convenience, I cooked them all in one hit and just microwaved them when I wanted one; they were hot but lost their crispiness. They looked ugly at first but it takes a few tries to get them thin and flip them without breaking.

Choose your condiments and you’re on your way! Tim likes maple syrup and ice cream (you’ll see a trend) but I like it plain and simple with hints of icing sugar and cinnamon. Layers of crispy thin crepes