Friday, 31 January 2014

Catch up eating out in 2013

Traditionally I give myself an amnesty in January to compile a few catch up posts of yummy food that has sadly lingered in my blog backlog.  So before the month finishes, here are some places I have eaten in last year.  Some I just haven't found time to return and give them the attention they deserve in a write up.  Some are ones I have already posted about.  A few I probably wont revisit but wish to make a few notes on my visit.  Here goes:

Code Black, Brunswick
I had a quiet moment last year to eat lunch at Code Black in Brunswick (just north of Barkly Square).  Loved my broccoli, almond and chia fritters with grilled corn salsa, coriander and avocado.  It was delicious with lots of vegies.  I even coped quite well with the coriander.  I would love to go back but have a few others places in Brunswick on my hit list at the moment.

The Knife Shop, Collingwood
I was quite excited to go to The Knife Shop on Wellington Street, Collingwood.  The thought of having my knives sharpened was far more enticing than the food.  (I did have one wasted journey when I found I would have to leaves my knives over the weekend because my timing for the knife sharpening was wrong.)  And I loved the retro design!

The jury is still out on the food.  I had a wonderful warm raspberry and white chocolate muffin warm when I dropped my knives off.  When I picked up my knives I had a berry cake that had been in the fridge too long.

Cibi, Collingwood
The savoury menu did not inspire me at the Knife Shop but I think the attraction of Cibi (Keele St, Collingwood) was really that I could buy some sushi for Sylvia.  Alas no sushi was to be had.  Instead I ordered a tofu patty and rice quinoa with daikon and seaweed salad.  It was unusual but so good.  Sylvia just picked at it.  I hope to get back some day and write more about the place.  It is just so peaceful and delicious.

Melbourne Kebab Station, Coburg
Some places are just so good but so casual that I never think to really take proper photos and notes.  Take the Melbourne Kebab Station (just near the entry to Coles on Sydney Road in Coburg).  If I want Turkish bread in Coburg this is often our go-to place.  Recently I have discovered they have an amazing plate of food - falafel, hummus, babaganoush, salad, rice, Turkish bread.  It is so filling it really needs two people to do it justice.  The babaganoush is amazingly silky.  The bread is fresh and fluffy.  The place is always busy.  And it is no wonder!

The Beachcomber, St Kilda
In 2012 my brother went to the Beachcomber in St Kilda for a breakfast brunch.  He repeated this last year.  I enjoyed my pancakes with maple syrup.  They were a bit stingy with the maple syrup but we requested more so we could drown the pancakes!  I loved my juice.  I think it was carrot, beetroot, parsley, apple.  It make my nieces turn up their nose but it was gorgeous.

Soul Food Cafe, Fitzroy
The biggest disappointment in this post was my meal at Soul Food Cafe in Fitzroy.  I loved their former poky incarnation with a huge selection in the salad.  I had a particular fondness for the wheatberry salad.  Sigh!  Now it is just another large light filled cafe with modern pine furniture and shelves of bottles behind the counter.  I guess some people like it.

I went there months ago after the Fitzory Market wtih E, Sylvia and our friend Heather.  We shared aranci balls, edamame, falafel and chips.  It was nice.  Not brilliant.  I missed the salad bar.

Gelo Bar, Brunswick
Sylvia loves ice cream.  I've never really found the need to seek out ice cream parlours near us.  When I promised her an ice cream, I was hard-pressed to think of a local place.  So we drove down to Lygon St, Brunswick to the Gelo Bar.  It had an amazing selection of flavours on the menu.  I really liked that they had small cones with sprinkles.  Perfect for small girls.  Sylvia had chocolate.  I had butterscotch.  Since then I have found a place we pass all the time that sells ice creams.  We will get there one day.

Ikea Cafe, Richmond
Every now and again we head to Ikea when our house is in need of improvement.  Sometimes we stop at the cake.  I wrote about Ikea's cafe (Richmond) a few years back.  I think I prefer browsing their groceries.  Far more interesting.  However last year, while constantly visiting in hope of a lamp being in stock, we shared what I think was called Almond Cake, chocolate and butterscotch.  It was too creamy for my liking.  Shame.  It looked interesting.

Zaatar, Coburg
We regularly go to Zaatar on Sydney Road, Coburg for their amazing $1 zaatar pizzas.  I was quite pleased to see them serving soup and bread rolls in winter.  The vegie soup was nice, abeit a bit watery for me, and the bread was soft and pleasing.  It seemed expensive compared to the zaatar pizzas but there are very few things that don't seem pricey compared to those bargains!

Salsas, Southgate Food Hall
Finding a decent feed at a food hall is always a challenge.  Lately I have been a fan of Salsas.  I went there late last year when I went to the Herald Sun Aria with my Dad and various family members.  E and I had dinner at Salsas in Southgate Food Hall before the show.  I quite enjoyed my Mucho Veggie Bowl.  It was full of black beans, coriander and lime rice, onion and capsicum, broccoli and zucchini, cheese and chipotle salsa.  I had it again before seeing Angelina Ballerina the Mousical.  It didn't hit the spot quite as well but was still better than many food hall offerings.

Waterfront, Southgate
On the same night of the "Sun Aria" we had a post-show dessert at the Waterfront Southgate.  I thought it was a Belgian chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce.  I misread the menu.  It was served with salted caramel ice cream but the flavours did not come through in the ice cream.  Ah well, I enjoyed the pudding with a peppermint tea.  I think my dad had the pannacotta.  We enjoyed mulling over the judging of the young opera singers as we ate our desserts overlooking the Yarra River.

Man Bo, South Geelong
Before Christmas we had a family yum cha at Man Bo in South Geelong (opposite Kardinia Park).  It has been there for years and I always thought it was called Man Bo Towers.  I am quite wary of yum cha because I am never sure if there will be many vegetarian options.  As it was, I had plenty of choice (and so did the celiacs).  I ordered a corn soup which was a mistake because it was so large.  By itself it would have been filling.  It was too much alongside the spring rolls, steamed buns, dumplings, salt and pepper fried tofu, fried noodles and broccoli.  We had ordered so much food that we took away some leftovers with us.  I'd return there for yum cha.

Cafe Sarabella, Coburg
I have previously mentioned Cafe Sarabella in another catch up post.  Sadly I never had a chance to give it the justice it deserved.  It closed last year.  It was a great little Indian cafe in Victoria Street Mall.  I just wish I had gone there more.  Above is a Thali plate that I enjoyed on possibly my last visit.  Two vegie curries, dal, rice and pickle.  Excellent value (if I remember rightly) and delicious, albeit quite spicy for me.  Vale Cafe Sarabella.

But let's not end on a sad note.  Other cafes are still doing great business in the inner north.  I first wrote about CERES cafe almost 5 years ago and am still enjoying visiting it.  It is a great place to eat while the kids play.  Here is a bowl of soup (carrot and tomato?) that I had there last spring.  I just love the colours in the photo.  [Update - remembered that recently at CERES I have discovered that there is no such thing as organic vegemite and hence they don't stock it, and I have had a nice banana muffin after seeing fairy acrobats!]

Now I just need to find some time to write up some cafes I have recently visited before they get neglected and relegated to another catch up post of good intentions.

17 comments:

  1. some great looking stuff there, I'll have to check out Salsas to see if they can make that bowl minus dairy. I used to love that Ikea cake and the princess cake!

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - would be interesting to know if Salsas do vegan bowls - I think it is mainly the cheese that would have to be left out so it should be possible if they make it up on the spot (which I think they do).

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  2. Haha, I try not to share too many posts about resto meals but I like to document/remind myself what I liked, so I usually do that on HappyCow. I also use VeganSprout.com for cookbook recipes before I blog about them (if I ever do)... This way I feel like I have captured their experience on me without dedicating a blog post... But to be fair, I love reading unbloggable catchup posts the most, methinks. Here's to reducing blog backlog! :)

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    1. Thanks Janet - you sound so much more organised than me - I know that Happy Cow is a good source of info about eating out but always forget about it. And I think it is funny you enjoy the catch up posts - like looking into someone's dirty laundry isn't it :-)

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  3. Love that you posted a slice of pie from the Ikea Cafe.

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    1. Thanks Yummy - it did look good but I should have taken Sylvia's advice and got the apple pie which was less pretty and probably more to our tastes :-)

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  4. You've got some great veg options near you it seems! That "yum cha" sounds especially good. Is yum cha the same as dim sum? We used to often go for dim sum on Sundays as a family when I was growing up. We all loved it.

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    1. Thanks Emma - yes we do have some great veg options - actually I really want to write about one of my favourite cafes soon (East Elevation) that has great chipotle tempeh - swoon! I think yum cha and dim sum are the same - though have never been out for dim sum here or in the UK

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  5. Such a fun collection of eats - thanks for sharing.

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  6. Really, the moral of the story is warm cake > cold cake.

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    1. Exactly Hannah - I feel like crying when I see a refridgerated cake cabinet - it is just wrong!

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  7. I'm such a boring eat outer, lol...I rarely venture out to eat anything except breakfast every morning. It is always at the local "diner," which isn't a diner at all really but a local place for farmers. I have the same exact breakfast every morning so the people who work there just call it my "usual." I really need to venture out more:) It sure does sound like you have quite a selection in your neck of the woods, Johanna. Perhaps if there were more choices locally I too would broaden my taste buds:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

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    1. Thanks Louise - I would love to have a regular cafe where they know me - we had one locally where we went occasionally but haven't been for ages because our weekend activities changed - I went again just last week and felt quite guilty when we went in. The perils of being a fickle customer :-)

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  8. Gosh, what a lot of nearly-missed-being-posted meals!! I think I most like the sound of your Cibi tofu meal but am glad Sylvia has had some ice cream enjoyment and I like the idea of a knife sharpening shop that does food too. Like you, Ikea cafe food doesn't really appeal to me much (although I loved it as a child!) but it is always remarkably cheap and their groceries are entertaining.

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    1. Thanks Kari - the Cibi was really good - have been there twice - first time forgot my camera, second it was a bit chaotic with sylvia, maybe third time I will be ready to write more fully about the place. The groceries are much more fun than the cafe at Ikea - and going to Ikea about three weeks running is no fun - we ended up buying the lamp at another shop altogether once I started to not need a thing in Ikea and find it very boring! But I could have bought more groceries there :-)

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  9. Oh I wish there was a knife sharpening cafe here that did them while you wait. I had to put mine in yesterday and they won't be ready for a while as happened to you. I feel a bit lost without my new knives.

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - while you wait knife sharpening sounds excellent - this one has the knife sharpening deliveries and pick ups a few days a week so I went back on a day when I could pick them up the next day - hope you get your knives back soon - newly sharpened knives are heaven (just so long as they aren't running along the edge of your fingers)

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