Monday, May 21, 2018

Two Little Pigs, Brunswick by Rockstar

Melbourne - so many cafes, so hard to find somewhere when you haven’t booked on Mother’s Day! Luckily we were able to have a late lunch at Two Little Pigs, a casual comfortable little cafe specialising in charcuterie goods.

Two Little Pigs, Brunswick, breakfast board
My fairy god-daughter's mother couldn’t resist the breakfast board, as she had to have their pate. The breakfast board was a great option for a little taste of things including eggs, toast, tomato and feta, as well as the pickles, pate and cured meats. I managed to sneak some pate which was deliciously rich - I liked that it wasn’t too smooth but had some texture to it.

Friday, May 18, 2018

La Cocina Peruana, Randwick (NSW) by Foghorn Leghorn

You’ve probably heard the old jokes about how heaven and hell apply the talents of different nationalities. For example, in heaven, the English are the policemen, the Germans are the engineers, and the Italians are the cooks. Whereas in hell, the English are the cooks, the Germans are policemen, and the Italians are engineers.  I don’t know how all those jokes work in South America, but I think I know where the Peruvians fit in: marvellous cooks, terrible organisers.

La Cocina Peruana, Randwick, ox hearts
BBQ ox heart

We happened to eat at La Cocina Peruana on a quiet Tuesday night. There were four customers (including us) and three staff. Normally this would be a pretty good staff-customer ratio, but there turned out to be some gaps in the organisation department. It didn’t really matter, because the food was so good.

We ordered four dishes, two warm and two cold. After that, not much happened for half an hour, apart from an occasional rattle or clang from the kitchen. That didn’t faze us, because the online reviews had warned us to be patient. Also, we had eaten at this restaurant years ago, when it was further up the road, and we knew roughly what to expect.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Vietnam Bar, Mt Waverley by Bureaucrat

Vietnam Bar is fast becoming a family favourite of ours for good value and great tasting takeaway.  Formerly known as Po Hing (a Chinese restaurant), the owners have renovated the place and it was reborn as Vietnam Bar.  Despite the changes to the name and menu, if you're still hankering for the old Po Hing dishes, they are still on offer.

Vietnam Bar, Mt Waverley, vermicelli noodle salad
Warm vermicelli noodles with lemongrass pork, spring rolls, pickled veg and salad

While Po Hing was alright, I much prefer it as Vietnam Bar.  Firstly, the interior is much improved - it's brighter and has a few more decorative touches.  Secondly, the food is much nicer.  During a recent flurry of work, I relied heavily on Vietnam Bar for a quick and easy dinner - I never went to Po Hing for takeaway.  And while I can't remember what the opening hours were for Po Hing, I love the fact that Vietnam Bar is pretty much open all day - this is brilliant when you need to have dinner before 5pm because of a hungry toddler.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Chinacy, South Yarra by Rockstar

I jumped at the chance to go to a Chinacy when they invited us along - it’s a spot on Chapel Street I’ve walked past so many times. 

Chinacy, South Yarra, chicken and scallop dumplings
Chicken and scallop dumplings

Monday, April 30, 2018

Arboretum Kitchen & Pantry, Caulfield South by Bureaucrat

A spot of early lunch was in order when I spied Arboretum Kitchen & Pantry.  A mix of diners were already enjoying their meal out on the sunny street pavement which is fenced off with a "hedge" of pot plants.  Clearly a favourite among locals, there were lots of young families, golden oldies and office workers taking in a meal and a coffee or two.

Inside, the plant motif continues, with creepers meandering their way across the rafters and pot plants hanging from the ceiling.  All the greenery added a nice touch to the cafe, although, truth be told, the plants seemed like they could've done with some water.

Arboretum Kitchen & Pantry, Caulfield South, fish tacos
I perched myself on the communal high table and ordered myself a serve of blackened barramundi fish tacos.  These were pretty tasty - good chunks of barra on a bed of fresh coleslaw, avocado and dressing. The corn tortillas were nice and warm.  The only improvement could have been more seasoning on the fish.  With my birdlike appetite these days, I ate two of the tacos and already felt full, but I managed to squeeze the third one in (where there's a will, there's a way!).  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mr Burton, Ashburton by Bureaucrat

After a morning of channelling our inner child with Boy Chick at the rather fabulous playground at Markham Park (seriously, why didn't we have playgrounds like this when we were young?), we trundled up to High Street, Ashburton for a spot of brunch.  

Mr Burton, Ashburton, fish and chips
Kids' fish and chips

I do quite like High Street, Ashburton.  There are quite a few nice cafes (The Oak Room, Two Seeds and Mr Brownstone are among the better ones).  Towards the very end of the shopping strip, opposite the local library, is Mr Burton.  Despite being located a bit further from all the other cafes, Mr Burton has a serious buzz to the place.  Inside it's a little bit squishy and a little bit too loud, but the sunny courtyard was a perfect spot for us.