Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bakery Hopping, Part 1

It's been a great couple of weekends. A trip down the Great Ocean Road, and then a tour of some of the bakery cafes of Melbourne's north. And the residential streets. Anyone know what this plant is? There were a few .
Where I'm living is a residential college, but people don't necessarily stay for the whole year. Maybe days, weeks or a couple of months.. most of the residents are from overseas. Generally we're all busy during the week (some more than others: we coursework students are on holidays at the moment.) and on the weekend, well, there's the whole of Victoria to see.
Having heard complaint of a lack of bakeries in the area (compared to Germany), I wanted to show my friends Babka and Dench at least, but with limited time, when were we going to fit in all the lunches required?
Thus was born the bakery tour. Five of my favourite bakeries in an afternoon made for a very enjoyable Sunday of looking, smelling, eating, walking, sitting on the tram and of course, taking (and posing for) photos. Singing Beethoven's 5th shamelessly, to the amusement/embarrassment/annoyance of the other patrons. Whatever. We waited ages for that table, and by TART was it worth it.

Here we go.
First stop, Lygon St, opposite the cemetery. I first came here in 2002 with my aunt and very young cousin and had hot chocolate, and it was hot!, spilt on my lap, and my jeans smelt like sour milk for months. But that wasn't Filou's fault. They have beautiful breads, pastries, and especially quiches and the like. Their spinach pie, with poppy seeds on top, is really good.

Because this was our first stop of a tasting tour, it was only just after midday, we didn't want to fill up too much. So C got a mini strawberry tart, which S and I also tasted. They'd used perfect strawberries.

M said her mini white chocolate tart was good.

Aaaand northward bound.

Guess where?

But of course. No northern Melbourne bakery tour would be complete without Sugardough.
A little custard bombolono ($2.50) was different to what I'd expected. Not as sweet, not as rich. Kind of bready. Not as much filling.. the dough was actually a bit dry. I wasn't that blown away, but it was pleasant enough.
M had one of these little berry tartlet things, for which she asked for a knife and then to have it heated up. I'm not sure how much it was. It was nice, but not the best thing you can get at Sugardough.

What was really enjoyable this time, though, was S's Croque Monsieur. The mustard was yummm.. the white sauce creamy but not too much, balanced nicely by good ham.
To be continued...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Las Veganagain

It is a warm, sunny June afternoon in Melbourne, and all is well.

DELICIOUS... Las Vegan Nirvana Lentil Patty with gourmet salad.

Depending on the place, 'gourmet' is such a crap word. It's a crap word because the fact that it's used usually seems to mean the opposite of the word's supposed meaning. Like, 'we just like our meat + 3 veg, but we'll put some token other combination of ingredients on the menu and call it gourmet to please you weird hippy people who like raw spinach.'
I realise that this is a strong and somewhat angry statement blindly stereotyping any users of the word 'gourmet'.
But tell me anywhere you had a 'gourmet' pizza that was better than Bimbo's?
I guess I generally mean, if your food is good, it's good, and it will speak for itself.

But at Las Vegan, the 'gourmet' salad is different to the normal salad, and they've named it so because it's a green salad plus avocado and marinated stuff (little bit of eggplant and mushroom), oh and dried olives. Fair enough.

There was a decent whack of oil in this meal, to be sure. Might not be able to see it under all those beautiful bright colours. Deep fried patty with oil on the salad and oil-marinated eggplant and stuff. And avocado (oh, this was some good avocado). After some initial squeamishness -squeam?- I don't feel bothered, though. It was yum. And ohh, the crispy, sweet edges of the lentil patty! aaah. It was a monster thickness, too. What can I say about the flavour and the texture? Pleasing. Very.

Me mate had the TVP Calzone with gourmet salad and a cup of the bottomless Chai. The calzone was all right, but I won't bother with them when there is so much amazing stuff on the menu.

No chai for me, but I escaped having spent a total of $10.50 for my patty with gourmet salad and a crazy muffin that seems to be chocolate, walnut and cinnamon. Had a taste of the lemon and ginger too... crunchy sugar on top, fresh ginger.

More soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


What am I doing again?

I have several assignments due soon, all in varying states of begunness. I don't know front from back anymore.
My inside out is head.

But I do know, I liked this cake.

Went to Arcadia on Gertrude St for breakfast this morning, not really hungry, and ate a savoury muffin that was good, but maybe would have made a better lunch. It was quite salty. But the texture - moist in the middle, chewier/crisper on the edges, oh the edges were gorgeous. A hint of cheese, which went nicely with the potato, rosemary, olives and capsicum. Could have done with a little bit more bits of capsicum, but it was good. Ah, I'm getting hungry thinking about it.
I remembered to take my camera, and then forgot to take it out of my bag.
No Bircher muesli on the menu, which disappointed me. Apparently the French toast was really good, but I wasn't in the mood. And the other breakfast stuff wasn't that appealing. Eggs with spinach/smoked salmon would have been nice, but again, I'm not a fan of eggs before midday, really.

The lunch stuff, however... looked good. The sandwiches looked like my kind of thing.
On the way out, I spotted this cake.
Asked what it was, for interest's sake: lemon and polenta.
Had to have.

Sorry I didn't take a picture when everything was all pretty in the cabinet.
Sorry I didn't take a picture when it was intact in its little brown paper bag.
Sorry it's all gone.

But I had to document this crumb!

So grainy, perfect amount of sweet, not that lemony. Lumps of it falling off as it came apart.

Researching. No, not cake. Uni.

What a happy word.