Friday, 20 December 2013

Hammer & Tong 412

It’s Hammer time! I don’t mean MC Hammer, although I do love that song... I’m talking about one of Melbourne’s hottest cafés, Hammer & Tong. We went for lunch today but it is also open for dinner. Situated just off Brunswick Street, you can find the entry for Hammer & Tong in Westgarth Street. It is quite a narrow space made up of three rooms. We sat in the open window section so we had a great view of some of Fitzroy’s amazing street art.

View from window
 


 
The service at Hammer & Tong was absolutely faultless. Probably some of the best service I have come across in Melbourne. Also, the waiters here are seriously gorgeous... My latte ($3.80) was delicious and full-bodied. Hammer & Tong use Dukes coffee.

Latte
Now, for the food... You may have already tried their infamous Soft shell crab burger ($16.00). I thought I would try something different. I just had to choose the Duck egg, asparagus, truffle butter, and parmesan briont ($18.00) because it sounded extremely tempting. I am so glad I did as it was fantastic! I thought it may be too rich for me but it was just so luscious I ate the whole thing. My friend was eyeing off my lunch and I was like ‘you can’t touch this!’ Sorry another MC Hammer reference... 
 
Duck Egg Briont

My dining companion chose the English muffin with poached eggs, istra bacon, and hollandaise ($17.00).  This was also a wonderful dish with the added bonus of mountains of spinach. My friend was as strong as Popeye after her meal...
 
Eggs Benedict
The cafe certainly lived up to its hype and I highly recommend you try Hammer & Tong for yourself.
  

Address: Rear 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC

Phone: 03 9041 6033

 


Opening Hours: Tues - Sat: 07.00 - late
                  Sun: 08.00 – 05.00
 
Hammer & Tong 412 on Urbanspoon
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Pillar of Salt

Looking for something completely decadent? Then go no further than Pillar of Salt’s Mango, raspberry and walnut bread with passionfruit curd. Anyway, I’ll tell you about that later... Located in Richmond, on the corner of Church Street and Willis Street, Pillar of Salt is buried amongst the many showrooms along Church Street. Look for the black and white stripes and the crowd of eager diners waiting for a table.

 
We sat on the communal table today and didn’t have to wait. There’s also a courtyard out the back and a couple of tables out the front. Usually communal tables are great for a sneaky peak into the lives of others but today we sat next to the dullest guys ever. And the language! Didn’t know you could use the ‘F’ word to describe so many things... Anyway, the dishes on the weekend menu include the Vegie Burger- three bean and cashew burger with yoghurt, haloumi, kasoundi, wilted kale on ciabatta ($16.00) and Warmed organic rice pudding with stone fruits and blood plum coulis ($13.50). I chose the ‘Mango, raspberry and walnut bread with passionfruit curd’ ($14.00). Every mouthful just screamed decadence. Sweet, tangy, and scrummy, this was just a brilliant dish. It was a lovely change from the usual banana bread served at cafes. It could have perhaps had a little bit of cream to cut back the sweetness.

Mango, Raspberry and Walnut Bread

My dining companion chose the ‘Pillars red chilli scrambled eggs, julienne bacon, spring onion, parsley, parmesan, toast’ ($16.50)’. This was another delicious dish and had just the right amount of heat. As with this type of bread, it was a little bit difficult to cut through the crust though. I’m so over poached eggs now and this dish has made me revert back to good old scrambled eggs.
 
Pillar Red Chilli Scrambled Eggs

Five Senses coffee is served at Pillar of Salt and our lattes ($3.80) had some pretty fancy coffee art. They also tasted spectacular which is even more important.


The staff efficiently served us even though the place was packed. Pillar of Salt has definitely become one of my favourite cafés in Richmond.
 

Address: 541 Church St, Richmond, VIC

Phone: 03 9421 1550


 
Trading Hours: Mon - Fri: 07:30 - 16:30
              Sat: 08:00 - 17:00
               Sun: 08:00 - 17:00

Pillar of Salt on Urbanspoon
 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Mart 130

Charming is a word often used to describe Mart 130 and indeed it is. You might be thinking why it is called Mart 130? Well, mart is tram spelled backwards and it is located at the 130 tram stop... The cafe resides in the old stationmaster’s building and is so cute and quaint. We sat on the deck out the back as it was a sunny day. A pot of impatiens sat proudly on our table and it really was lovely and cosy on the enclosed desk.


Now, for the menu... There were so many delightful dishes to choose from! It’s always a good sign when you can’t decide what to have. However, I desired something sweet today so I ordered the ‘Organic brioche coconut French toast, pineapple, lychees, mascarpone, and caramel sauce and passionfruit syrup’ ($16.90). As I was eating my meal, I was thinking that it was quite savoury but then half way through I realised it didn’t have the caramel sauce! That would explain it... If it had the caramel sauce, it would have been a much better dish. I also think it could have had a little more time soaking in its eggy mixture before cooking. 
 
French Toast

My dining companion chose the ‘Roast chicken and sausage-onion stuffing in a toasted brioche bun with aioli, rocket, tomato, and crispy bacon’ ($13.50). This was very good but she thought that the sausage element dominated the dish.

Chicken and Sausage Stuffing

The coffee at Mart 130 is Genovese and our lattes ($3.80) were beautifully made. Vintage saucers came with our coffees which added another kitsch element to the cafe.
 
Most of the staff were friendly and they were also very efficient. Although there was a slight blunder with my meal, I would definitely come back to sample some of their other tempting dishes.
 

Address: 107A Canterbury Rd, Middle Park, VIC
 
 Phone: 03 9690 8831
 

 Mart 130 on Urbanspoon
 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Third Wave Café

Some of you may already have visited the Third Wave Café in Port Melbourne but now they have opened a second establishment in Prahran.

 
Located parallel to Chapel Street in Cato Street, Third Wave Café has a massive menu that includes Russian, American and even a Paleo menu. Their chef is Ryo Kitahara, a protégé of Iron Chef Sakai. Third Wave has a super cool interior and I love the vertical garden on the back wall.

  

They use Five Senses coffee and my latte ($3.80) was good, but I would have preferred less foam and more coffee. A cute meringue accompanied our coffees.

 
The dishes we chose today were the Mushroom Blintzes and the Reuben Sandwich. The ‘Mushroom Blintzes - fried mushrooms, cheese and spices ($18.90)’ were so gorgeous... Full of flavour and sprinkled with dill, the blintzes also had a pot of sour cream to go with them but I think they were rich enough on their own.


 
The ‘Reuben Sandwich - slow smoked beef brisket in a toasted rye with layers of pickles, swiss cheese, coleslaw, and house made zesty BBQ sauce ($16.90)’ was also fantastic. This came with a big pickle and some super crunchy chips.
 
 
The service was very friendly but their food really was the standout. So, head down to Third Wave and try their menu if you are craving some food that has lots of flavour...
 
 
Disclaimer: Miss Sage Sugar was invited by Third Wave Café. Although our dining experience was complementary, this review is an honest account of our time at Third Wave Café.
 
Address: 30 Cato St, Prahran, VIC.


 

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

Adriano Zumbo, the king of the macarons (or Zumbarons in this case...), has finally opened an outlet in Melbourne! It was definitely time to see what the fuss was all about...


Of course I had to try some macarons. The flavours of the Zumbarons change regularly but today we chose the ‘Passionfruit and basil’ and the ‘Salted butter caramel on toast’ ($2.50 each). Both Zumbarons exploded with flavour and were absolutely delicious. The salted butter caramel Zumbaron was rich and luxurious but I preferred the passionfruit one. The basil and passionfruit made a lovely combination and was lovely and zingy. 


 
 
I was also keen to try a Zonut ($5.00). A Zonut is Zumbo’s version of a cronut. If you don’t know already, a cronut is a croissant-donut hybrid originally created by Dominique Ansel in New York. It became quite the world-wide sensation with many people creating their own knock-offs. Today’s Zonut flavour was Cherry Ripe.
 

Imagine some really greasy fish and chips. Now times that by five... That is how greasy my Zonut was. The first bite was delightful but so much oil squeezed out of the thing, running between my fingers and dripping off onto the cardboard tray. Really it was quite unpleasant but maybe they were just having a bad day in the kitchen... Neither of us were big fans of this creation, with the uneaten half ending up in the bin.
 

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie has lots of other cakes and pastries for you to sample as well. I thought they were very good value and will be back to taste some of the other lovely Zumbaron flavours. Maybe not the ‘Pie and Sauce’ Zumbaron though...

 

Address: 12 -14 Claremont St, South Yarra, VIC


 
 
Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Onshore

This cute restaurant is located all by itself on the corner of Point Nepean Road and Morris Street in Tootgarook. We decided to have dinner here but they are also open for breakfast and lunch. It was a Saturday night and the place was booked out apart from a couple of tables of two which were soon filled. Candles created ambience and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. The service was also warm and friendly.


As we were dining in Tootgarook, we both chose wines from the Mornington Peninsula. I selected a glass of T’Gallant Pink ‘Premium’ Moscato ($7.00). It was absolutely lovely and I hope to sample some more soon... My friend chose the Box Stallion Sauvignon Blanc ($7.50) which was also excellent. Now, for the menu... This consisted of six mains that were very well priced. The dishes on the menu were simple but appealing. I picked the vegetarian option: Gnocchi ($18.00) housemade gnocchi tossed with roasted pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and a white wine cream sauce. A small but plentiful bowl of shaved parmesan accompanied the dish. It did have some uncooked pieces of pumpkin but apart from that it was scrumptious.

Gnocchi
My friend opted for the Chicken Breast ($24.00). Herb and garlic marinated, pan roasted chicken breast with chat potatoes, steamed bok choy and romesco sauce. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the dish was very flavoursome.

Chicken Breast
We were very tempted by the Blood Orange Tart ($10.00) with Chantilly cream and raspberry coulis for dessert. We were both very full and after a lot of consideration eventually decided to pass this time to avoid total gluttony... So, next time you and your loved ones are down on the Mornington Peninsula, Onshore is a superb restaurant that you should absolutely try...

Address: 1917 Pt Nepean Rd, Tootgarook, VIC
 
 Phone: 03 5985 4005
  

Onshore on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 14 November 2013

D. O. C. Mornington

Mornington is a great place to stretch your legs on your trip down to the beach. It’s even better if it happens to be around lunchtime as you can try one of Mornington’s many eateries. This time we thought we would try D.O.C. as we had cravings for some pizza.

  
Although the place was very busy, we were seated immediately at a table. Our table was crammed in the middle of a row of abutting tables. The menu was printed on a large piece of paper that later became our placemats. I lifted my cutlery to find lipstick on my serviette which was slightly off-putting. It wasn’t my shade of lipstick after all... I quickly swapped it with the recently vacated table next to me. We decided to share a pizza. A long list of pizzas are available but we chose the ‘Pizza Capricciosa Nuova– San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, leg ham, mushroom, artichoke and olive’ ($20.90). This was so bland it was very difficult to get down. It was soggy in the middle too. The best part was the crust... Sweaty, tasteless button mushrooms and an insipid tomato base did not help the cause. The pizza at Innocent Bystander is 100 per cent better.

Pizza Capricciosa Nuova

Our lattes ($3.80) were really, really cold. Coffee should not be boiling hot but this was very chilly. The best element of this place was the service. The team of Italian guys worked the floor like pros. However, this was not one of my favourite dining experiences...
 
Address: 22 Main St, Mornington, VIC
 
Phone: 03 5977 0988
 
  
  
 
D.O.C Mornington on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Follow the Leader

The Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition is on at the moment at the historic Rippon Lea estate in Elsternwick, so I thought I would take my Mum to see it as she is a huge fan of twenties fashion. Prior to visiting the exhibition, we thought we would have lunch somewhere at the Ripponlea shops. We came upon Follow the Leader and studied the menu in the window. It looked tempting so we decided to give it a go.
 

We sat inside but you can also sit in the courtyard. We started with some coffees. The coffee at Follow the Leader is St. Ali so I had high expectations. My latte ($3.50) was creamy but had that yucky burnt taste which makes it quite unpleasant to drink. I felt like having a burger today and considered having the ‘Flathead Burger: rocket, house made thousand island sauce and Challah bun’ ($12.00). However, I opted for the ‘F.T.L. Burger: pure Angus beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese, tomato chutney, sesame aioli, pickle with chips’ ($15.00). This was a delightful burger! The patty was nice and thin (I hate it when burgers are like a fat, dry rissole...) and sandwiched between two slices of cheese. It had a lovely bun and was one of the best burgers I have had for some time. The chips and sesame aioli were also great.

F.T.L. Burger
Mum decided to have the ‘B’fast Burger: fried egg, bacon, cheese, avocado, chutney, aioli, spinach’ ($14.00). This was another well executed dish. She thought it was brilliant and would definitely order it again.
 
B'fast Burger
Whilst the service at Follow the leader was extremely efficient, it did lack warmth. They did refill our glasses of water a lot which is great, but a smile would be even better... So, if you are looking for some wonderful food and don’t drink coffee, try Follow the Leader in Ripponlea...

Address: 65 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, VIC

Phone: 03 9530 0415



Follow the Leader Cafe on Urbanspoon
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