phat milk, flemington

arrived home in melbourne today to absolutely stunning weather, the view over the grampians as we flew in was breathtaking! … and in true form, we went straight to brunch!

phat milk is conveniently located along mount alexander road in leafy flemington. it’s an area i don’t often frequent, but if this morning’s brunch is any indication of the food in the area i may be back a bit more regularly.

Phat Milk St Ali Flat White Coffee (1 of 1) first off is the st ali coffee, which was beautiful. pride of place in the front room of the cafe is a huge antique wooden serving coffee table and just a few small tables, but the cafe has a large sunny courtyard out the back with extra seating.

having been up since 5am for my flight home i was starving and in need of something more lunchy, so went with a more savoury option.

Phat Milk Flemington Fritters Duck Confit (1 of 1)

confit duck on zucchini + corn fritters with fresh watercress, poached egg + beetroot relish and drizzled pomegranate molasses. i’m always a bit anxious when ordering fritters (nothing worse than powdery under-cooked fritters), but these were amazing! crispy, crunchy + plenty of corn! yum! the beetroot relish + pomegranate molasses was sweet + perfectly complimented the duck. double yum!

Phat Milk Flemington Polenta Hotcake (1 of 1)

polenta hotcake with fresh seasonal fruits + berries, whipped mascarpone, and a house made mixed berry coulis. first off, i loved the consistency of the polenta – italian origins, cornmeal boiled like porridge + then baked, fried or grilled – hotcake! it was light + less sugary than a standard hotcake. secondly, the fresh fruit on top – figs, finely sliced fresh peach – were juicy + tasty. the berry coulis contained blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries (a possibly a few other hidden varieties) – delicious! and all wonderfully pulled together by a creamy mascarpone… this dish is drool worthy + a creative variation on the other hotcakes found on numerous melbourne cafes.

Phat Milk Flemington Flat Lay (1 of 1) Phat Milk Flemington Takeaway coffee (1 of 1)

verdict: creative, unique + delicious!
find: phatmilkcafe.com.au

Phat Milk on Urbanspoon

the kettle black, south melbourne

my younger sister was recently in town for work + managed to stay an extra night to hang out with my husband + i briefly. so i thought it only fitting to give her a true melbourne brunch experience by checking out the little sister of top paddock… the kettle black. plus, i’d been hanging out for an occasion to visit the much talked cafe since it opened last year.

the first thing you notice is its incredible presence on albert road in south melbourne. sandwiched between the botanical gardens and albert park lake, the cafe is an ode to the history of melbourne – surrounded by ominous modern architecture. literally, surrounded… the high-rise building has been built to completely encompass the old victorian townhouse, only serving to give it even more grandeur.

Kettle Black South Melbourne Exterior (1 of 1) Kettle Black South Melbourne Interior (1 of 1) Kettle Black South Melbourne KB sign interior (1 of 1)

clean, beautiful lines can be found throughout the interior – from the elegant front counter to the wooden KB on the wall. the seating layout is also pretty cool. the right front room is inside what was the old victorian house, complete with ornate cornices, and then you step down into what is the high-rise next door with big open glass aspects + bar stool benches. there is exceptional attention to detail in all of the finishes.

Kettle Black South Melbourne Cold Drip Market Lane Coffee (1 of 1) Kettle Black South Melbourne Cold Drip 2 Market Lane Coffee (1 of 1)

iced batch brew rwanda nyarusiza – roasted by market lane coffee.
i love that my glass of coffee was served with a beautiful card about the origin of the coffee + region where it was grown. it not only gave me insight + appreciation into the region this cup of liquid cold had come from, but also helped me verbalise the flavours that i was tasting.
the tasting notes accompanying my brew said: soft orange acidity, with honey, butter, brown sugar + baking spices. and i could certainly taste that – a silky texture softened with the sweetness was finely balanced by the spices. this was a beautiful cup of coffee + a perfect induction into an iced brew for me.

Kettle Black South Melbourne flat white (1 of 1)

house blend flat white 60% ethiopia yirgacheffe zero, 40% costa rica san guillermo. tasting notes of toffee, stone fruit, milk chocolate, floral + citrus. smooth, consistent and delicious. a perfect melbourne coffee (or 3!).

Kettle Black South Melbourne smashed avocado (1 of 1)

seasonal avocado with citrus, toast + local kelp salt.
this was my sister’s choice. poached eggs were perfectly cooked – runny and gooey yolks – and the fresh avocado was perfectly ripe. the bread was freshly cooked. light + healthy – this was a simple but beautifully executed dish.

Kettle Black South Melbourne bacon and eggs (1 of 1)

poached eggs with bacon steak + sourdough.
no guesses who’s breakfast this belonged to! (i think my husband should start a spin-off breakfast blog called “poached eggs + bacon”) again, the eggs were cooked perfectly + as far as bacon steak goes this was pretty good. while not our favourite type of bacon to accompany eggs, more and more cafes are opting for bacon steak, so we’ll get on board at some point!

Kettle Black South Melbourne hotcake (1 of 1)

hotcake with ricotta, blueberries, pure maple, double cream + seeds.
if you’ve ever been to top paddock or even looked at instagram for just 5 minutes – you would know about the infamous blueberry ricotta hotcake. and i am so glad they carried this one over to the kettle black menu too. not only is it pretty as a picture, but the flavours are divine. the inside is fluffy + soft, with nuggets of ricotta and blueberries throughout. the crunch of the seeds and sweetness of the berries will leave you salivating… 
i wasn’t letting my sister leave melbourne without trying it – and she loved it!

Kettle Black South Melbourne coconut yoghurt 2 (1 of 1)

house made coconut yoghurt with gluten free grains, seeds + nuts, rhubarb, citrus powders, fruits + flowers.
i am a huge coconut fan and have been searching high and low in organic and health food stores for coconut yoghurt since trying this dish (if anyone has any recommendations in melbourne i would greatly appreciate it!)… fresh + light, this dish popped with vibrancy and colour with beautiful bursts of flavour. the mix of dehydrated, poached and fresh fruit in one dish was exciting + the light scattering of seeds, nuts and citrus powder made this a delicious dish.

as i would’ve expected (given my previous experiences at tp), the service was professional, friendly and efficient. these guys know how to run a cafe – it’s what makes for a magical combination in melbourne (food + service + atmosphere). i think it’s a pretty safe bet that this one is going on to the favourites lists! 

 
verdict: the whole package! find: http://thekettleblack.com.au/The Kettle Black on Urbanspoon

Kettle Black South Melbourne tabletop (1 of 1)

my top 7 french toast spots in melbourne

this article was recently featured by foodie magazine


if you’re craving a sweet treat for brunch, there is little more satisfying than a delicious french toast! essentially bread soaked in eggs and then fried, there is certainly skill involved in making sure the bread of choice (i’m impartial to a brioche) has been well egg-ified, that the egg has been cooked through properly (no one wants raw egg and bread), but also that the bread is still nice and fluffy inside (drool) and most importantly, that there is a delicious crispy outer crust.for those interested in a little bit of french toast history, the earliest known reference to is in the apicius (a collection of latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century). there are also known german and scandanavian recipes from the 14th century, and mentions in 15th century english writings. so perhaps, not so french after all!? regardless of heritage, this has got to be one of my favourite brunch dishes, and here are some of my top spots in melbourne where you can try your own.

1. mr hendricks café, balwyn Mr-Hendricks-French-Toast Balwyn brioche french toast with vanilla poached pears, caramel sauce + double cream. this is one seriously thick piece of brioche which has been toasted to perfection – the perfect balance of egginess but with crispiness on the outside. the caramel sauce is sweet and delicious, without being too gluggy or over-reduced. and those pears… OMG – delicious! perfectly poached, sweet and slightly golden. presentation was simple + it may not look like much; but put it all together and the taste was unbelievable. if you’re a french toast fan, then you are missing out until you’ve tried this one. Mr Hendricks Cafe on Urbanspoon

2. chez dre, south melbourne Chez Dre French Toast 4 (1 of 1) brioche french toast with spiced apples, pain d’épices crumb, blueberry gel, caramelized pecans + vanilla mascarpone. pretty as a picture and beautiful complimenting flavours. this dish is not overly sweet like some french toasts + the crunch of the walnuts are divine. Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

3. hannah, st kilda Hannah St Kilda French Toast brioche french toast with fresh figs + strawberries, cinnamon sauce + pistachios. this weekend special hit the mark in every way! beautiful presentation! the little cup of cinnamon cream in the middle was so cute, and the figs looked so beautiful on the plate! the taste was not overly sweet, but the combination of the beautiful fresh brioche perfectly toasted + the fresh figs and strawberries was outstanding. the crunch of the pistachios was beautiful + the mint (a stroke of genius!) really lifted the dish. and then, for me, the thing to tie it all together: the cinnamon sauce! it was the consistency of a slightly thickened pouring cream, beautifully smooth and creamy, and the taste of the cinnamon was really evident. totally satisfying + enjoyable! Hannah on Urbanspoon

4. hardware societe, melbourne cbd Hardware Societe French Toast Melbourne Strawberry Cheesecake fried brioche with raspberry cheesecake, pistachio meringue + fresh berries. pink + flirty this brioche with raspberry cheesecake was light + playful. not overly sweet, the cream cheese of the cheesecake added a lovely balance to the meringue. brioche was golden + fluffy and the fresh berries were lovely. a seriously huge serve – attempt this one with a big appetite! The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

5. chez dre ii, south melbourne i admit to coming back for more than one of these bad babies!  Chez Dre French Toast (1 of 1)

brioche french toast house made brioche, seasonal fruit + vanilla mascarpone. well balanced – this french toast isn’t drowned in maple syrup and the rhubarb creates an excellent contrast to the crunchy candied nuts and sweet pear. Chez Dre French Toast 2 (1 of 1) 6. stagger lee’s, fitzroy Stagger Lee French Toast 2 (1 of 1) coco pop + salted caramel french toast with coco pop cream pat, vanilla ice-cream, salted caramel, honeycomb + raspberry crunch. this was like combining my favourite childhood cereal with my favourite adult breakfast! the toast was crispy and crunchy around the corners, but soft and fluffy on the inside. my favourite part was the crunch of the coco pops and honeycomb. and the dehydrated raspberries added a really intense flavour. the ice-cream wasn’t really necessary, but the coco pop cream pat had a light chocolate undertone to it. Stagger Lee's on Urbanspoon 7. gas eatery and supplies, south melbourne GAS French Toast (1 of 1) french toast with salted caramel and grilled banana. whilst not the best presentation, this french toast is packed full of sweet goodness. the bread was egged and grilled just perfectly – soft and buttery on the inside – dusted with cinnamon sugar and topped with salted caramel and grilled banana. Gas Eatery & Supplies on Urbanspoon

needless to say, melbourne is flush with french toast options to suit any sweet tooth out there! enjoy!

p.s. some other notable mentions: Auction Rooms, North Melbourne – brulee french toast Industry Beans, Fitzroy – coconut crusted brioche french toast Loading Dock, Docklands – french toast with caramelized banana

inspirational blogger award

very-inspiring-blogger-award

a huge thank you to the simple beginner for nominating me for an inspiring blogger award.

rules of the inspirational blogger award:

  • thank the blogger who nominated you
  • list the rules and display the award
  • share seven facts about yourself
  • nominate other amazing blogs and comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them

seven facts about me:

1. i was born in south africa, moving to australia when i was in primary school
2. my favourite city in the world (that i’ve seen so far) is new orleans
3. i was once the face and voice of an ad for foxtel – one of my proudest singing achievements ever!
4. i’m an aunty to 2 beautiful nieces + 1 nephew (and a few other extended-family nieces and nephews too!)
5. one of the saddest things about moving to melbourne is that i never get to wear any of my 100+ pairs of stilettos because of all the walking we do
6. i love dogs! (and given i don’t have my own at the moment, i attempt to cuddle my friends’ dogs whenever i can!)
7. i can’t wait to go back to hong kong this year for the first time since i was a kid – i’m so excited to try egg waffles!

for the inspirational blogger award, i nominate:

the mustard jumper  – funny, interesting + great makeup/beauty tips
the imperfect kitchen – beautiful inspiring writing + delicious recipes
the travelling pantry – amazing food + recipes
brunch addict – amazing brunch reviews

muharam, hawthorn

a couple of weeks ago, pictures of red velvet pancakes kept appearing on my instagram feed and i just had to find out to find out if the visual appeal translated in real life. so the husband + i headed out to hawthorn to muharam café on burwood road. these guys have been open for a while, but recently underwent a renovation and overhaul of their menu, so i was excited to see what the buzz was about.

muharam serve niccolo coffee which i was stoked about – love their coffee – and my husband opted for the green smoothie (coconut water, spinach, kiwi + banana) which is an unusual choice for him but he really enjoyed it… nothing like some super greens to kick off your weekend! Muharam Hawthorn Niccolo Coffee Flat White (1 of 1)Muharam Hawthorn Niccolo Coffee Flat White 2 (1 of 1)Muharam Hawthorn Green Juice (1 of 1) poached eggs + bacon. the eggs were cooked well with runny yokes + the bacon was crispy and tasty. Muharam Hawthorn Bacon Eggs (1 of 1) spiced sweetcorn fritters with red pepper salsa, bacon, avocado + poached eggs. egg yolks were runny and the salsa had a good kick to it. the bacon was excellent. avocado was creamy and fresh. i was disappointed with the corn fritters, they were undercooked so the texture was powdery + a bit doughy. Muharam Hawthorn Corn Fritters (1 of 1) Muharam Hawthorn Cafe Tabletop (1 of 1) the cafe itself is beautiful, with a gorgeous timber counter running the length of the front room + plenty of foliage and wood decorating the walls and tables. there is also a small sunny courtyard out the back. Muharam Hawthorn Cafe (1 of 1) Muharam Hawthorn Cafe Interior 2 (1 of 1)

and finally, the dish i had been waiting for…

Muharam Hawthorn Red Velvet Pancakes 2

red velvet pancakes with cream cheese, strawberries + warm chocolate.
firstly, visually this dish is divinely appealing. beautifully decorated with micro herbs, icing sugar, chocolate powder, finely chopped strawberries and a couple of blueberries. the cream cheese was addictive – sweet + creamy. the chocolate sauce was rich + silky. overall, the flavours in the topping were to die for + i thought for sure this dish was about to make its way into my favourites list. however, the first cut into my pancake yielded a cold gooey raw batter which quickly left me disappointed. whilst i did move on to the 2nd and 3rd pancakes which were thankfully cooked, they were still cooked quite inconsistently.Muharam Hawthorn Red Velvet Pancakes (1 of 1)

unfortunately, there were a few things that didn’t run so well for these guys on the morning we visited. the majority of it had to do with the lack of consistency in the food, particularly the fritters and pancakes. this definitely impacted my overall experience, whilst all of the rest of the savoury elements were lovely. the other issue was timing. we waited 40 mins for a table despite there being an unoccupied reserved table and spare seats around the communal table up the back of the room. also, from seating to completion our brunch took 90 minutes. i’m a pretty patient person but the wait for our food was unnecessarily long. i’m sincerely hoping that i can put it down to a new chef + menu that just need some ironing out, but unfortunately i was left a bit disappointed.

verdict: some issues to iron out – but the potential is there
find: http://www.muharam.com.au/

Muharam Courtyard Cafe on Urbanspoon