This year must be the year of the B’s. Every cafe I have been to has started with the letter B! So in keeping with the trend for January, today I am trying Bekendales. This cafe is located on the corner of Main Street and Lacey Street in Croydon. It’s quite small but has a wonderful atmosphere. You could easily think that you were in an inner city cafe. A modern style cafe is something that is finally starting to take off in the outer suburbs... and thank goodness for that!
The menu had a range of options including quite a number of breakfast style dishes. A specials board also showed some tasty options. I ordered the Avocado Toast with added smoked salmon ($12.00). Smashed avocado with lime juice, sea salt and cracked pepper served on sourdough toast with a spinach and red onion salad on top. This was so good! So much avocado and the spinach salad had a delightful dressing that I would love to know the recipe of. Yes, I know I ordered smoked salmon again but at such inexpensive prices I thought I should indulge a little... and I’m glad I did. My friend ordered a toasted pide ($10.00). Herb poached chicken, house made mayonnaise, tasty cheese, avocado, and salad greens served on a large pide. Beautifully cooked chicken was melt in the mouth. Very much enjoyed. The cakes in the glass cabinet looked homemade and intriguing. Finally some cake originality! We ordered lattes ($3.50) which were very flavoursome. The organic sugar was also an added indulgent touch.
The service was excellent with extremely friendly staff that show a genuine interest in their customers. Undoubtedly the best cafe in Croydon and can’t wait to return... oops I already have!
Address: 1/50 Main St, Croydon, VIC. Phone: 03 9725 6812
Bambaleros is located smack, bang in Maling Road. It always looks busy but today we managed to score a table. We sat inside but there are ample tables outside if you are lucky enough to get one. I haven’t been here before and was keen to see why this place is so popular. Once seated, we were quickly offered some water and menus. I finally decided on the Bambaleros Smash ($18.50) with a poached egg. This consisted of two slices of rye bread topped with smashed avocado, marinated fetta, mushrooms cooked with thyme, the poached egg, and a wedge of lemon. It was delicious, especially the addition of thyme which really made the dish. It was a little on the pricey side compared to other cafes but at least it tasted great. My friend chose the Chicken, Asparagus, and Cheese Fingers ($12.50). This came with a side salad of mixed leaves, tomato, grated carrot, and cucumber with dressing. The coffee ($3.80) here is so flavoursome. This cafe takes their coffee seriously with the website stating that ‘All coffee beans are roasted on site in a state-of-the-art Probat German coffee roaster, by Alfonso who draws on his expertise to skilfully roast the beans to bring out their best flavours.’ The service was very friendly and offered table service. The barista was kept busy, obviously due to the wonderful coffee... The cafe had a warm and relaxed atmosphere making it easy for customers to pass away the ‘thyme’ with yet another amazing coffee.
Bliss is perfectly located in the Burwood shopping strip (ok, ok it’s now called Camberwell), with a corner position allowing lots of outside tables. Today, every table was taken except the large communal table running down the middle of the cafe. But then one of the larger tables became free so we quickly acquired it. Big, movable benches made it quite difficult to make a graceful landing, especially when wearing a dress! Once we finally managed to settle into position we could look at the menu. I ordered the Eggs Benedict ($12.90) with smoked salmon and spinach (yes I know, I order smoked salmon a lot...) This dish looked appetising so I quickly dug in but shock, horror, my eggs were ‘hard poached’. And these were not just a little over-cooked. Rarely does this happen but unfortunately it did spoil an otherwise very good dish. Two of my friends ordered the Breakfast Wrap ($9.90). Scrambled egg, hash brown, bacon, and BBQ sauce wrapped up. Very tasty. My other friend ordered the BLT ($12.90). Turkish bread filled with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and two fried eggs with an aioli. Also tasty. My friends ordered coffees ($3.50) which tasted pretty good but were a bit on the cool side. I decided to have tea ($3.50) instead as it was a hot day and also as they had T2 Irish tea, which is one of my favourites. The tea came out in a tiny metal teapot and a clear, plastic cup and saucer to put it into. Not a big fan of the plastic cup and saucer as the tea gets cold pretty quickly rather than in your usual ceramic. The milk came in one of those mini, ceramic latte cups which of course I spilt everywhere because I am the most clumsy person in the world. A little jug for milk would be a better vessel for folk like me. Cakes were your usual mass produced, bought in cakes that really don’t tempt the tastebuds. Service was excellent. Greeted when entering and overall very attentive. The fact that they were mostly young men didn’t hurt either...
A trip to Maling Road but alas a lot of the places are closed because it is the Christmas/New Year period. We were intending to go to Cafe Eden for lunch but it was so busy. We kept walking and came across Bohemia Cakes where we spied an empty table inside. Bohemia Cakes is a small cafe with five tables inside and some more tables out the front. Clearly cakes are their main fare as the menu is quite limited. Sandwiches and pastries make up the menu. Pies and pastries are $6.10. I debated whether to get a pastry dish but instead went with a sandwich option. I chose the Salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, capers, and rocket sandwich ($7.90). My friend chose the Egg, lettuce, and mayo sandwich ($5.90). The sandwiches arrived on sweet, glass dishes which were very endearing. The sandwiches were small and on wholemeal bread but sadly some ingredients were missing. My sandwich tasted yummy but did not include the rocket specified on the menu and my friend’s sandwich didn’t have any mayo! An egg sandwich without mayonnaise will simply not do. Cafes around Melbourne seem to have forgotten how an egg sandwich should be made. A cafe I go to in Bayswater is the only place I have been to that make their egg sandwiches the correct way. Chopped, not sliced, egg and then mixed with mayonnaise plus shredded iceberg lettuce. Coffee tasted good but was cold. My cappuccino ($3.50) at least came in a nice, big cup. There are a number of cakes (around $6.30) to choose from including a vanilla slice, Vienna ring, apple strudel, and fruit tarts. Service was adequate, perhaps a little slow. Food is good value and this cafe is a good option if seeking a less hectic venue in Maling Road.