i certainly am not bragging to be the most well-travelled person out there, but i’m slowly working my way through a ‘travel wishlist’ (i’m not kidding, i have a list posted to the fridge + my desk at work). and by working my way through, i mean it’s growing faster than it’s shrinking. but that’s totally ok.
i love the saint augustine quote “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
if the guys at dip in cafe (located in melbourne cbd’s mckillop lane) were counting their travels in pages, they’re on to multiple books already! the interior of the cafe, a previous italian restaurant now converted into a spacious + eclectically decorated relaxed cafe, is inspired by the owner’s (also best friends) and their respective partners travels. there are antique suitcases and a world globe in the light wells, travel books in the shelves + a pillar covered in photos of their adventures. and you can’t miss the bright + cheerful mural taking up an entire wall of the space, inspired by their food journeys.
from acai bowls to french toast to bagels to african shakshuka, the menu is extensive + (i think) caters for tastes and desires of all kinds. while they serve all-day breakfast, there is also lunch and a snacks menu on offer for later in the day.
shakshuka – a north african dish, traditional slow-cooked tomato sauce served with two baked eggs on top + a side of grilled chorizo.
firstly, i love the bread dipping theme that flows through the majority of dip-in’s menu. the bread is baked in-house daily + is soft and fluffy. my shakshuka came served inside the scooped out bun, which was great when you got to the end + got to pull apart the bun to savour the last of the tomato sauce, which by the way was rich + sensationally flavoured. the spicy chorizo added another kick of spice + flavour to the dish. needless to say, i did not need lunch!
bacon + poached eggs with chilli paste, hollandaise sauce, multi-grain toast and herb + garlic butter
eggs were perfectly poached + the bacon was a very generous serving of crispy middle bacon pieces. the hollandaise was lovely + light, the dill totally enhancing the flavour. at the encouragement of ron, my husband decided to give the chilli paste a try. this paste packed a punch! pure baby chillis, this sucker was spicy… but in such a good way! we both loved it, to which the chef said “welcome to the family!” which left these two aussies (well one aussie/south-african) feeling pretty proud.
the coffee was a brazilian house blend this morning. strong, vibrant + delicious.
i’m always so disappointed by bland dishes. they leave me wishing for salt, pepper, herbs, spices, heat. but throughout our brunch the word left in my mind was … SEASONING! (in a good way!)
and after a chat with the chef i knew exactly why. taught to cook by his moroccan mother, the explanation he gave us: “its your choice whether you will season or not… but if you do choose to season, then pack it in so much that you have to stomp it in with your boot” (or something to that effect). and this belief and passion is so evident in their food! it tells an unashamed story of flavour, culture and heritage.
i certainly left inspired, not just by the food, but also by the hope of future adventures and discoveries. oh, and thanks guys… my travel wishlist just grew to include israel, turkey + morocco! 🙂
verdict: sensational flavours + perfect unashamed seasoning