Thursday, April 5, 2018

Piggery Cafe, Sherbrooke by Bureaucrat

Dining out with a toddler presents a few challenges.  No longer can the Lawyer and I have the luxury of going on gourmet road trips (how I miss the ginger treacle cakes at Red Beard Historic Bakery in Trentham and the gorgeous wood-fired pizzas at Birregurra Farm Foods) or linger over a seafood buffet at Melba or degustation lunch at Champions Bistro.

Piggery Cafe, Sherbrooke, waygu burger
Wagyu beef burger

With a wriggly and potentially cranky toddler in tow, I find myself critiquing restaurants and cafes on more than just their food and service.  What's the lack of accessibility in so many of our restaurants?  I'm astonished at how cramped and squishy restaurants are - how are people with a wheelchair, walking aids and prams meant to navigate their way through?  And my gosh, I feel for those with sensory conditions.  The prevalence of polished concrete, exposed bricks, loud music over speakers as the design de rigeur and the lack of sound-proofing not only makes it hard to have a conversation without shouting but must be overwhelming for people who are sensitive to loud noises (on a side note, bravo to Coles for introducing its 'Quite Hour' shopping - even those of us who aren't on the autism spectrum can appreciate a quieter shopping environment).

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Little Sparrow, Chadstone by Rockstar

I remember when Chadstone was a bit of a foodie destination. It’s taken a while, and I think it will continue to improve, but I love the options now - whether it’s food court, cafe or restaurant. Melbourne had some pretty terrible weather and I didn’t want to stay home but it was too wet and windy to be outside. I took my book and headed to Chadstone! By the time I got there it was 1.30pm and I was hungry!

Little Sparrow, Chadstone, scrambled eggs with lobster
Scrambled eggs with lobster, feta and chilli and bacon

I chose Little Sparrow cafe (which also has an outlet in the new food court) as it was close, it wasn’t too busy and there were a few things on the menu I wanted to try. It was nice to be out of the bustle of the shopping centre, and it was a little quieter too.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Nutrition Darling's Pop Muesli

Cinzia Cozzolino of Nutrition Darling is on a mission to get delicious wholefoods into our artificial, over-processed lives.  With the success of Smoothie Bombs (which adds a nutritional punch into your smoothie and baked goods (I use them to make healthier versions of pancakes and carrot cakes for Boy Chick), Nutrition Darling has released a new range of healthy, natural muesli.

Nutrition Darling, Pop Muesli
Pop Muesli (photo credit: Nutrition Darling)

Nutrition Darling's products are unprocessed and unfussy to prepare. I'll admit upfront that I'm not a cereal person and much less a muesli person.  I'll also admit that I'm not one for too much vanity - I'm happy to get old and I accept the fact that my body is not longer like it was when I was in my 20s.  However, as a 30-something year old with a little one to look after, I acknowledge that I do have to put more effort into looking after myself... less sugar, less unprocessed foods (*sob!*) and more wholefoods is the way to go.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Friends of Mine, Richmond by Bureaucrat

Friends of Mine is a cafe that I've been wanting to try for a long time.  Every time I drive down Riversdale Road/Swan Street I see this lovely while period building that has that quaint, gently decaying look to it.  There's not many cafes nearby so I figured it must be doing something right if punters are willing to come and queue up for a table.  It's situated right next to some industrial (electrical?) building/power station that lends an air of grittiness to the scene.

Friends of Mine, Richmond, iced tea
House-made iced tea

And queuing up for a table is a given here - at least during peak periods.  The Log Lady and I arrived around 10:45am on Sunday and, boy, was it crazy hectic here.  A crowd of 15 or so people all crammed into the small entrance area, all waiting for a table.  While there were quite a few tables available on the footpath, all of us wanted a table on the inside, which was packed full.  Being told that there would be a 10-15 minutes wait turned out to be closer to 25 minutes (*groan*). Sandwiched and sardine-d we were... not unlike squishing onto a packed peak hour train but with a lot more noise. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Southgate Melbourne's River Graze 2018

There really is no better way to spend an early autumn Friday night in Melbourne than to take part in an outdoor Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event - River Graze 2018. Thanks to an invitation from our hosts at Southgate Melbourne we enjoyed a delicious seafood feast along the promenade on the Yarra River.

It was going to be a long night of feasting so my dining companion Barry Mundy and I started with a refreshing Pimms cups. Then we began a slow and leisurely tasting of predominantly seafood dishes from five pop-up restaurants from the Southgate precinct.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Triakosia, Clifton Hill by Foghorn Leghorn

Once upon a time, Clifton Hill was quite Greek – around 25% at the 1971 census. There are still a few club-houses left from those days, as well as some restaurants and cafes. Along Queens Parade, probably the best Greek restaurant is Triakosia, a recent addition.

Triakosia, Clifton Hill, stuffed squid
Stuffed squid

On our most recent visit to Triakosia, we were greeted by the fragrance of a spit roast over the large charcoal grill – a mixture of chicken and lamb. All that meat was a tempting sight, but we knew what we had come for: the lamb kleftiko.