Saturday, 23 February 2013

Miss Polly

Britannia Mall in Mitcham is comprised of three cafes next to each other with numerous tables stretched out over the mall. If you approach from the Coles carpark as I did then you will first come across Dark Horse on the Brit, then a bakery cafe, and finally Miss Polly. We chose to sit outside today as it was a delightfully warm day and we wanted to make the most of it. We were lucky enough to score a table shaded by an umbrella and a plane tree which helped us avoid possible heatstroke... Cute herb pots adorned the outside tables, perhaps in need of a little love. The waitress swiftly offered a menu and water. Miss Polly offers an all day breakfast menu as well as a lunch menu. For breakfast you may consider the Bircher Muesli ($9.50) with organic apple juice, seasonal poached fruit, berry compote, and grated apple. Or maybe Polly’s Big Breakfast ($17.50) which involves fried or poached eggs, bacon, tomato, spinach, mushroom, chorizo, relish, and toast. The lunch menu offered dishes such as Tuna Fishcakes ($12.50) served with a green salad and aioli or Risotto with mushroom and wilted spinach ($15.50). We both decided to have Toasted Turkish Pides ($10.50) served with chef’s selection of greens. I chose the Roasted pumpkin, caramelised onion, ricotta, roast capsicum, and pesto pide which was a very substantial meal. My friend chose the Poached chicken breast, celery, aioli, cheddar, and avocado pide. Both were very much enjoyed. Our water bottle was replaced during our meal when it was only a third empty indicating very efficient service here. It was lovely sitting outside with the roaming pigeons that seize the odd crumb offered right out of your hand. My latte ($3.50) arrived first which was on the tepid side but when my friend’s turned up it was nice and hot. Overall, great value food and an excellent cafe if you are seeking an outdoor dining experience.

Address: 26 Britannia Mall, Mitcham, VIC

Phone: 03 9873 8246

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Pie in the Sky

I used to come here all the time as a teenager with my family but haven’t been here for a few years now. The service was becoming rather slow so we ended up expanding our horizons and trying out other cafes in the Dandenongs for festive occasions. Anyway, today I wanted to revisit my old favourite and see if maybe it had returned to its former glory. The cafe consists of three levels. The bottom level is always best to be avoided in winter with the opening and closing door causing a rather chilly dining experience. This was of course not an issue today as it was very warm outside... and summer. We were quickly greeted and escorted to a table on the second level and provided with menus. We had a delightfully friendly waitress assisting us today which made me very optimistic that things have very much improved here. Our food arrived promptly which was also a sign things have improved. I decided on the Spinach and Potato Quiche ($15.40) as this was a much loved choice from when I used to visit here. A huge plate of food appeared comprising the very green quiche and lots of steakhouse chips with a wee bowl of tomato sauce. A salad chock-full of goodies also came with my meal. Mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber, red cabbage, red onion, beetroot cubes, grated carrot, and last, but not least, alfalfa. I thought I would not be able to finish my meal but as it was extremely tasty I managed to just fit it in. One of my friends ordered the ‘Gold Medal Winning’ Aussie Meat Pie with chips ($10.90). This was full of flavour and no gristle which is always a winner with pies. My other friend ordered the Country Pie ($6.40) on its own. Mashed potato, boiled egg, diced bacon, onions, capsicum, diced tomatoes, and carrot. A yummy creation indeed. We usually go with chips as a side as the mashed potato tastes kind of like Deb. Of course they may have improved this since we were last here... My friends had cappuccinos ($3.80). These were not too bad but had a slightly burnt taste. I opted for the Irish Tea ($3.50). This came with one of those massive teabags and was flavoursome. I used to always have the Pecan Pie ($7.00) but glancing at the cake display that seems to be the only cake that has not shrunk to a teeny weenie size! Bring back the normal size wedges of cake please... Devonshire tea is also on offer ($9.40) that includes a hot drink with the price and thankfully is served with raspberry jam. The main problem that seems to be still persisting is that when it is time to pay, there is usually a mass of people buying take away pies making it a very long wait to just pay your bill. Maybe more than one person is needed down there to get things moving along. In any case, the service here was very good today and the food was excellent so I think I shall be returning soon to this old favourite.

Address: 43 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda, VIC.  

Phone: 03 9751 2128

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Spot + Nosh

I’m in Heathmont today and thought I would try Spot + Nosh. The front of the cafe was opened right up and looked very inviting. A lovely modern cafe that is clearly popular with the locals. We were quickly provided with menus. Breakfast is available until 2.30pm. I considered ordering The Slightly Seedy (half brekkie) ($12.00). Egg, bacon, mushies, tomato, hashbrown, and toast. Or maybe a Roly Poly ($6.00). A fresh, soft, flour roll stuffed full of stuff. There are three different filling options to choose from. Very good value if you are looking for a lighter meal. The lunch menu presented dishes ranging from fish and chips ($16.00) to their fancy beef and bacon burger ($17.50). There are also a variety of Toastie Pides, all about $10.00, and have fillings such as chicken breast, cheddar, baby spinach and avocado. I felt like having something a little bit naughty today. Something sweet perhaps.... Ah, the specials board had just what I wanted. Crepes with cinnamon pears, maple and mascarpone ($13.00). Three folded crepes arrived in a huge bowl with the accompanying slices of cinnamon pear, maple and mascarpone. This was unbelievably delicious! I hope they put this permanently on their menu. My friend chose Our Eggs Benny on Turkish bread ($12.00). This was very enjoyable with the thin slices of ham lightly grilled. Our lattes were $3.70 and tasted beautiful. I noticed many people were enjoying cold drinks which came in very tall glasses. Something to try next time... A slice of Carrot cake was $5 or you can even have a half serve for $3 if you have maybe overindulged during lunch. An even smaller option is the Lemon slice ($1.50) which would be a perfect treat with your coffee. Table service was provided and we had a very friendly waiter attending to our needs. Definitely will be back again!

Address: 126 Canterbury Rd, Heathmont, VIC. 

Phone: 03 9720 3499

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(This venue has now closed. It has re-opened as the Village Food Store)
 
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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Thai Tables

I know I am meant to be reviewing cafes... but I thought I would go a little crazy and review a restaurant for a change. Thai Tables is in Bayswater and is very popular. This restaurant is even full on a Monday night and it is quite a large restaurant. Therefore booking ahead is a must. The restaurant consists of a front room that extends down a corridor to another room at the back with the kitchen in the middle. I have been to a number of Thai restaurants in the eastern suburbs but this still remains the best. Their Pad Thai with prawns ($16.00) is definitely the best I have tried. Well, so far... My friend and I were greeted at the door and then shown to our table in the front room by the waitress. Water soon arrived and our BYO wine was poured into our glasses. Corkage here is just $1.00 per person. You can BYO beer, wine, and spirits here. We glanced at the specials board which had some tempting dishes, especially the entree. Our menu showed a diverse range of the usual Thai fare. We chose the Golden Bags ($8.00) to start our night. A prawn, some vegetables, and vermicelli noodles wrapped in spring roll pastry to form a little bag. The five of these were served with sweet chilli sauce. These could maybe do with some more flavour. For my main course, I went for a stir fry. Pud Med Mamuang with pork ($17.50) was a combination of vegetables, cashew nuts, and mild chilli paste. The sauce was delicious and there were piles of tender pork. My friend chose the Khao Pud with prawns ($16.00) which is a Thai style fried rice. Very yummy and I managed to sneak some for myself. For dessert we had a banana fritter ($8.00). A battered banana with lots of vanilla ice-cream, covered in honey and sesame seeds. Again, this tasted beautiful. The service was efficient and our food arrived promptly. Overall, a quality restaurant that is perfect for a relaxed night out with friends and/or family.

Address: 737 Mountain Hwy, Bayswater, VIC

Phone: 03 9729 0377

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Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Maling Room

Back in Maling Road again! Today I want to try The Maling Room as for some reason I have never tried it before. Clearly this cafe has the most ideal location in the street. Right on the corner of Maling and Canterbury Roads, The Maling Room is situated in a lovely old building which was the former post office. The old, stained glass windows are delightful! We grabbed a table inside and were quickly offered a menu. Such a lot of yummy choices and extremely great value for what was on offer. Breakfast is served until 3pm. The first page of the menu consisted of breakfast options including Truffle Eggs ($17.00) which sounds lovely. 18 month aged cheddar with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomato, and drizzled with truffle oil served on sourdough toast. The other page showed a variety of interesting lunch options that really enticed us today. I chose the Mushroom Burger ($13.50). Field mushroom, feta, rocket, char-grilled capsicum, pickled onions, and chipotle mayonnaise on a brioche bun. It was served on a wooden chopping board with an accompanying side salad of mixed leaves, tomato, and cucumber linguine with a yummy dressing. This was one of the best meals I have had for some time and I am now obsessed with brioche buns. My friend chose the Croque Monsieur ($10.00). Grilled sandwich with leg ham, tomato, cheese and b├ęchamel sauce. It was large and luscious and highly recommended. We ordered a couple of lattes ($3.70). A special note in the menu informed us that the milk is steamed to 60-65 degrees giving it a sweet and creamy texture but if you want it to be hot like my friend did then all you do is ask and it is no problem at all. The coffee tasted beautiful. The house-made cakes look very tempting and very well priced. Service was awfully efficient. Our food was served soon after ordering. Can’t recommend this cafe enough and it would have to be my new, favourite cafe in Maling Road...  



Address: 206 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC.  

Phone: 03 9836 9889

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