Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cafe Review: Cacao

Location: Shop 7 / 525 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9629 4955
Overall Impression: 7/10

Please read our latest review of cacao here!
Having noticed the hype surrounding the macarons at Cacao, J surprised me with a bunch of them on a lovely afternoon. Even though I still maintain that the macarons from Emerald Deli are the best I have ever tasted, the macarons at Cacao are very good. They are smacked filled with flavour but due to their delicate sizing, the gooey centre is somewhat lacking. I would say it is the same problem La Belle Miette has with its macarons.
Nevertheless, at $2.50 each, it is definitely a worthwhile treat.

This time we opted for the salted caramel and pistachio flavoured macarons.

Salty Caramel and Pistachio
The salted caramel is a winner with its beautifully balanced flavours.

Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Cafe Review: Little Wish

Location: 530 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9621 1013
Overall Impression: 6.5/10 

Sneakily located, Little Wish takes a very minimalistic approch to its decor.
Latte
Short Macchiato
Friendly service and very good coffee, this place is a gem!
Little Wish on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cafe Review: Market Lane Cofee

Location: Victoria Market, 109-111 Therry Street, Melbourne
Overall Impression: 8/10
I love Melbourne. We have a proud coffee culture that fortunately translates to boutique cafes satisfying patrons with quality coffee. It is not surprising that Market Lane Coffee has gained a significant cult following. The coffee is exquisite. Fortunately for its fans in the CBD, a new store opened last week in Victoria Market, offering the same service to the original store at Prahran Market. Don’t try ordering a skinny anything or a mocha.  It is an insult to pure coffee. And more practically, they simply do not serve coffee in that fashion. They take their coffee seriously and for very good reason.
The ambience is quaint, humble and modern. Wooden benches bring a sense of warmth and earthiness to the bustling cafe.
Alongside serving delicious espresso beverages and pour over coffees, there is a minute selection of cakes and pastries on offer.
They also sell a range of coffee-related products.                                        
The coffees were beautiful with very apparent floral and fruity notes.
Market Lane Coffee on Urbanspoon

Event Review: The Micro Kitchen by Broadsheet & A Friend of Mine

JA prides himself in finding little niche spots around the inner urban areas of Melbourne. He spends his non-billable hours thralling through his artsy readings and lurking in exclusive wine bars, whilst sipping a glass of red and nibbling on a cheese platter with sweet Mimsy, the love of his life. Yesterday, JA was kind enough to invite S and myself along for a glimpse of one of his newest findings.
Unfortunately, this finding will cease to exist after tomorrow.
Broadsheet has combined renowned Melbourne chefs and designers in a temporary kitchen adequately named ‘The Micro Kitchen’.  
The schedule for the week:

Monday 25 July: Trent Jansen (Industrial Design) and Matt Wilkinson & Damien Styles (Pope Joan)

Tuesday 26 July: PAM (fashion and product design) and Andrew McConnell & Josh Murphy (Cumulus Inc.)

Wednesday 27 July: Edwards Moore (architecture) and Kate Holloway (The Premises)

Thursday 28 July: Susan Cohn (jewellery) and Maurice Esposito (St Peters)

Friday 29 July: A Friend of Mine (graphic design) and Joseph Abboud (Rumi)
Blacked eyed bean, Newmarket smoked ham hock, winter vegetable and baby spinach by Edward Moore and Kate Holloway (The Premises)

We were both thrilled to see this side of Melbourne. For $5 you will receive a soup of the day, which reflects the designer’s practice and the chef’s cooking style. To top that off, you receive a slice of fresh sourdough bread from Loafer Bread. There is also coffee from Sensory Lab for those who crave some delightful caffeine and local craft beer from Thunder Road.
Thanks for sharing this with us, JA!
The Premises on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 25, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bimbo's Deluxe

Location: 376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Phone: (03) 9419 8600
Cuisine: Gourmet Pizzas
Overall impression: 7/10

During certain hours, Bimbo’s presents you with an offer difficult to resist.
Any pizza on their menu for a mere $4! The great thing about the $4 special is that it isn’t during insane or impractical hours. They appear during regular lunch and dinner hours, wonderfully enough.
At the moment, the deal is valid during the following times:
Sun – Thurs 7 - 11pm
Weekdays 12 - 4pm
Saturday 7 - 9 pm

These gourmet thin crusted pizzas are delicious. For $4 they are everything you would expect and more. And if you really want to spoil yourself, for an extra $4, indulge in a dessert pizza to finish the meal off. It will give you that extra stomach lining in preparation for the alcohol you are about to consume.
Bimbo Deluxe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cafe Review: The Boyz 4 Breakie

Location: 1a Main Street, Mornington
Phone: (03) 5977 2888
Overall Impression: 6/10

 Entreé Tasting Plate A selection of our delicious entreés $30
Beetroot Risotto $20
 Pancakes $15
Topped w strawberry & raspberry compote, vanilla bean ice-cream & maple syrup.
Soy Chai Latte $4.10
 What a lovely brunch spot! It has a very casual and relaxed ambience. Everything is locally sourced, fresh and delicious. It is simple food, executed well. The service was warm and very prompt.

Restaurant Review: Peko Peko

Location: 181 Wells St, Southbank
Phone: (03) 9686 1109
Cuisine: Modern Taiwanese
Overall Impression: 6.5/10
This casual Taiwanese eatery is a bit of fun. Funky decor, edgy yet comfortable furniture, everything appears lively and inviting. We visited as a group of 8 on a Saturday night and the place was bustling. We waited for about 20 minutes before we were seated (understandably given our group size). I would suggest booking in advance if you can be bothered.
The food is very much contemporary East Asian food. The menu had quite an uncohesive range. It fluctuated from bento boxes to Taiwanese beef broth with noodles. Not that it matters, since that appears to be the norm with contemporary Taiwanese food, but you certainly notice it.
That said, everything was very cheap for what it was. Nothing on the menu was over $15. Although the food was not extraordinary, it was very pleasant. The whole place has a great vibe to it. This is a good place for a casual dinner that will certainly not break the bank.
Peko Peko on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 22, 2011

Restaurant Review: Brunelli Bar Restaurant Cafe (Revisited)

Location: 87 High St, Doncaster
Link: www.brunelli.com.au
Cuisine: Italian, cafe
Overall Impression: 5/10

HS, BB and I decided to catch up over dinner at Brunelli. Boys, do you know what your girlfriend does when she catches up with her girls? They all talk about you! No, really. There is no exception. Unfortunately for you, what we talk about is subject to special women confidentiality. And Brunelli was a great spot for that sort of casual catch up.

Again, the service was warm and friendly. We couldn't go pass the garlic foccacia so we ordered it again. But this time, instead of pizzas, we settled for salad and a pasta to share. 
Garlic Wood-fired foccacia $6
extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic & oregano
Calamari Salad $18
grilled calamari marinated in sweet chilli sauce served on a fresh garden salad with semi-dried tomatoes & black olives

The calamari was perfectly cooked. It was tender, rich and luscious (sans that awful rubbery sensation that comes with overcooked calamari). The salad was quite good. Fresh and simple.
Fettuccine Gamberi $22
garlic prawns pan fried in extra virgin olive oil & a touch of chilli, tossed through fettuccine& rocket leaves & fresh tomato

The fettuccine had unfortunately passed the 'al dente' point. The flavours of the dish as a whole though, were quite balanced and pleasant.
Latte $3
Coffee is not Brunelli's strong point. It is still better than instant coffee (which is not saying much at all) but not great for Melbourne standards. I was told that they make their own gnocchi (but not their pasta) so hopefully I will get to try that soon.
Brunelli Bar Restaurant Cafe on Urbanspoon