Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mr Ed Cafe - Flemington

Flemington has changed a lot over the years. In recent times we've seen an explosion of laksa joints, Japanese restaurants and dumpling houses squeezed in between kebab joints and fish and chip places; now Flemington can add a trendy new brunch place to its list.

Mr Ed Cafe, located on racecourse road is the latest addition to the Western suburbs growing brunch scene. It's a relatively large space decorated with Dom Sowersby artwork but the large display case is equally beautiful in comparison with lots of pies, cakes and other treats to choose from.

I ordered Braised pulled pork with a potato and feta hash cake and a fried duck egg whilst my friend had the bubble & squeak from their breakfast menu. I was really impressed by their bubble & squeak, it's a lighter, more attractive take on your traditional fry up. My only complaint is that there was a lot of pork on my plate for such a small hash cake, a piece of toast would've been great.

A sweet treat from their cabinet is of course hard to resist. I'm still so intrigued by their Cranberry, hazelnut, meringue cupcake. The outside is crispy and sweet like a meringue but fluffy on the inside, it's not really like anything I've had before.

285 Racecourse Road, Kensington, Victoria, 3031
Phone - (03)9376 6444
Email -

Trading hours: Mon-Fri 7am-4:30pm Sat-Sun 8-4pm

Friday, May 23, 2014

Kong BBQ coming soon!

Occupying the previous spot of Pearl Cafe on Church Street, Chris Lucas' Kong BBQ is set to open up May 30th, Friday!

Headed by Chief Panda Benjamin Cooper and Pit Master Dan Briggs (from Chin Chin), Kong BBQ is a fun take on Korean BBQ and Asian street food.

Photos taken from Kong BBQ twitter

Some of the things to look forward to are fried chicken, pork belly and soft shell crab bao. If you can't wait, hop over to Collins Street where you can try something from their pop up restaurant.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Supernormal スーパー・ノーマル

Supernormal Kitchen's has relocated to its new and beautiful location on Flinders Lane. Adding another restaurant to Andrew McConnell's vast repertoire, Super Normal is his interpretation of Asian flavours inspired by his time spent abroad.


The space is modern and clean but with subtle traditional Japanese touches; especially because of the cloths hanging above the kitchen. McConnell has successfully encapsulated the unique Japanese style of blending traditional and modern aesthetics

Supernormal's menu is meant for sharing with a selection of raw dishes, dumplings or bao, veggies and larger meat dishes.

I thought the Pig head bao in particular was really good. He used an unconventional part of the pig but deep frying and packaging it in a Taiwanese bao was a great way of presenting it to a Western palate. The saltiness and spice of the sauce and the acidity from the pickles balanced out the flavours as well. We ordered a second helping before I even finished my first.

With McConnell in the kitchen, everything came out swiftly and beautifully. He did very well to capture typical Asian flavours, whilst eating I was reminded of my own travels through China and Japan.

Cobb Lane Cafe & Bakery

Matt Forbes, an enthusiast pastry chef from the UK who is quickly dominating the Melbourne sweets and pastry scene. Having been trained by Culinary royalty such as Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux, it wasn't a surprise that Vue de Monde, Maze and Mr Hive all wanted him in their kitchens.
Finally in 2013 Forbes opened up Cobb Lane bakery which has been delighting Melbourne with his freshly baked bread and heavenly sweets.

A quaint little cafe in Yarraville adorned with gorgeous blue tiling, it is the best place to finally enjoy Forbes' treats made fresh.

With lots of unique and extraordinary flavours such as Earl grey, passion fruit and chocolate or Ginger and Toffee there's a little something for everyone. You can also come in early for a delicious savoury weekend brekky.

If you can't make it to Yarraville, Forbes' products are stocked in 16 different cafes all around Melbourne so there's no excuse not to get your hands on his cookies, cakes or doughnuts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mr Big Stuff

Mr Big Stuff has recently opened and they are serving up some serious Soul Food! 
Located in Meyers place with just an Afro-girl sign at the door, Mr Big Stuff is the newest addition to Melbourne's alleyway gems.

It's all about bold southern flavours and good vibes over there. The place is stylishly laid out and has a DJ in the corner, pumping out music that makes you wanna get groovin'

All the food exceeded my expectations. The pig ear chips were an addictive treat (would've been great with beer) and their ox tongue and cheek was incredibly tender.
I was particularly impressed by the Chicken and Waffles though. I had been disappointed before at other places by bland chicken and a sad limp waffle but Mr Big Stuff's was amazing. 

Crispy, well seasoned skin on a moist leg accompanied with a fluffy and crisp waffle dusted with just a touch of icing sugar. Perfection. 

My one complaint is that they say their menu is for sharing but if you're a big eater, one dish is more like a portion for one.
 But don't forget to wash however much you order down with something from their awesome drinks list. They've got plenty of Iced teas and even cold pressed Kool-aid with witty and clever names. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Champion’s Bistro - Mother's day Lunch

In my opinion I had chosen the perfect place to celebrate with my family. Clinton McIver and his team are serving the most incredible food in the most unlikely of places.

There, you won't find ornamental decorations, you won't find Christofle cutlery and you won't find a 55th floor view of Melbourne but when the food is this good none of that stuff really matters in the grand scheme of things.
What you will find is McIver and his amazing team dishing out first class food and first class service in Clayton's local bowlo.

Everything was simply divine from the duck egg with hand foraged mushrooms to the luxurious Belgium chocolate mousse for dessert. The beef was definitely a highlight, a ridiculously tasty cut of Blackmore wagyu brisket that was cooked low and slow at 55 degrees for almost 24 hours.

Finally to top everything off, Lunch was 4 courses with a glass of prosecco for just $60. What incredible value for money.

Aline (Clinton's gorgeous girlfriend and superstar pastry chef/floor staff) has recently informed me that they've finally gotten through their VERY long wait list and that the new online booking system is now running so getting a booking will be a lot easier from now on. There'll be many more events happening in the future as well so stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NOMA - Pop up in Tokyo

After much anticipation, Rene Redzepi has finally announced that he and his team will be opening their pop up restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo for one month.

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds as they'll be ditching their usual Scandinavian ingredients and forages for the gorgeous and diverse produce of Japan.

I'm very excited to see how Noma will interpret Japanese food and culture as well.
There is no doubt that getting a booking on June 23rd will be utterly insane but this girl has her fingers crossed!

Visit for more info

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Commoner

The commoner's aim is to embody the honesty and skill of modern British cuisine. Jake Kellie, the head chef at just 23 years old has a deep appreciation of quality produce and seasonality, which has resulted in one of the best meals I've had all year.
The whole restaurant oozes honesty and charm, despite a recent fire The Commoner has still retained its gorgeous interior and courtyard, where I was able to eat on a warm evening.

The whole menu is designed to be shared, which is great except when your realise how good everything is and you want it all to yourself. A few highlights were the chicken skin with potatoes and my naughty housemade lemonade with a splash of gin. All the dishes are brilliant and demonstrate great skill but still let the traditional flavours shine through.

After our meal Jake gave us a small tour of the restaurant, which was just a delightful end to my night. I think he's a great chef, very young and talented. He's also apart of a lot of exciting food events in Melbourne such as Stage is Set, so expect ct great things from him.

Alice Nivens Cafe

Take a step into wonderland and join Alice Nivens for afternoon tea.

Janet Wong's alter ego has manifested itself into the hidden gem that is her cafe. Tucked away in Port Phillip Arcade, Alice Nivens bakes delicious new treats everyday that are served alongside lovingly made coffee and tea (from Storm in a Teacup). 
The cupcakes, muffins and cakes change on a daily basis so there's always an excuse to come back and try something new.

If the sweets aren't enough to lure you in, simply popping by to chat with owner, Janet is as good a pick me up than any coffee will ever be. Her energy and passion is simply remarkable.

Open Monday to Friday, it's perfect for your early morning coffee or for a bit of afternoon tea.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rue & Co - Kong BBQ

Rue & Co have brought to our CBD 3 pop up restaurants to add to Melbourne's growing street food culture.
Today I tried Kong BBQ, an Asian bbq pop up located on Collins Street. Although bbq is written in Japanese on their sign, the place focuses on Korean inspired flavours. Their menu includes fried chicken, bo ssam (lettuce wraps), steamed buns, soups, salads and sandwiches.
All the meat is cooked very well. My wings were moist and covered in a rich Gochujang glaze and our pork belly had a crispy crackling. I found their kimchi was saltier than most though. 
If you're not feeling Asian food, next door to Kong BBQ is Jimmy Grants (George Columbaris' souvlaki joint) and St Ali's church of secular coffee (they play some pretty awesome music too). 
They'll only be around for 6 months but I really love that Melbourne is trying to build a street food scene. It's definitely one of the things that our city is lacking. I think everyone should experience the joy of snacking on freshly grilled meats whilst sitting outdoors on a cold winter's day.