Au79, Abbotsford

I finally made it to this massive, modern and beautiful greenery joint. Long gone the day where a cafe is a cafe… Au79 is not just a cafe but a bakery/pattiserie and a boutique roastery shop. True to it’s saying… it is definitely ‘Good as Au79’.

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First impression.. love all these fiddle leaf trees!! yes I’m a sucker for this designer plants. But there’s just something about plants that makes me happy. Service was efficient and friendly. Of-course this was during lunchtime on a weekday so I’m sure it’s not as busy as it would be on the weekends.

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Menu wise.. slightly confusing. The menu is filled with classic dishes like the Big Breakfast and the smashed avacado etc. however each dishes has a touch of Asian-influenced- e.g. Miso Scrambled Eggs or the korean benedicts or the Okonomiyaki pancake. Prices slightly higher then usual from $5-$8 for a croissant or small cake, to $18-$25 main dish.

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We decided to stick with the basic and hubby got the Big Breakfast which had the usual suspect –  sausage, bacon,mushrooms, poached eggs etc. Tasty but slightly awkward on the small plate. The tomatoes could do with a few more min of grilling and add a touch more of salt and pepper. And the bacon could do with a bit more of a crispiness.

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I ordered the Truffled Croque Madame – the toast was nicely grilled with plenty of gruyere cheese, a touch of mushroom, a fried egg on top and purple pickled cabbage on the side.  I would hope for more mushroom compared to the amount of cheese on the toast and a slightly bigger egg on top. I managed to get through 2/3 of the toasty but overall still good and very instaworthy!

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Coffees – Hubby said his latte was just OK, he would have preferred a stronger shot of espresso but I thoroughly enjoyed my matcha latte which had a good amount of bitterness and sweetness.. Mm…

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“I’m so spoiled, I must have a Starbucks vanilla latte everyday” – Katie Holmes

Seeya!!! XOX

Au79 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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2Latte, Thornbury

I’ve reviewed 2Latte cafe 2 years ago (to date) and it’s time for an update! As friends of 2Latte – this great modern cafe on High Street deserve another great mention. A reminder that there great local cafe in the north side!

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The key to 2Latte – Family own cafe, where you know you’ll get great customer service who are friendly, open and humble. And that’s why when we have a spare hour or two, we’ll swing by here to grab at least 1… (or 2 lattes) to start my day.

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I love their menu! Options! – not too little not too much. They like to change it up – after-all what you feel like eating in summer isn’t always what you like to eat in winter right? Simple foods make perfect. Ingredients are always fresh. Plenty of fillings in your meals. Servings are generous for the prices they charge.

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With the asian fusion menu hit that has hit Melbourne lately, 2Latte add a touch of just that – reminding us that the owners have a Vietnamese background – that’s right, who say you can’t have a latte with a crispy Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake filled with meat, prawns and asian herbs) OR a classic Big Breakfast with a Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese dripped coffee)???

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And the beautiful desserts are sourced locally.. and sometimes home-made too!! Remember to leave some room to try at least one of their delicious looking sweet goodies or maybe just grab one for takeaway… mMmmm…

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” ― Cassandra Clare

Later-Days! XxX

| 2Latte are friends of Suey Luey |

2latte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lona, St Kilda

I was ecstatic when Charles, Lona’s owner/executive chef invited me to come down and dine at their newly renovated dinning room. I love how Charles a butcher by trade and source the different meats and small goods from mainly Australia and also around the world.

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Service was fantastic. Dave our server was efficient and definitely knows the menu. I love how he was able to introduce us each menu items we ordered and was able to give us a bit more of a background on where the produce came from or the idea or chef’s inspiration. Each items have a bit of a South American/Spanish twist and that is the gem of this restaurant and garden bar.

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First off we built our own charcuterie board with chicken liver parfait which was smooth and rich that went perfectly with the light truffle toast and relish. Don’t forget to grab the wagyu beef chorizo also because the platter would not be complete without some cold meat! This two option only costed $18!

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Croquetas – mmMm,.. these vegetarian bites was so smooth with the perfect amount of leek and cheese.

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Calamari – I love the light batter and how fresh these calamari tasted. The aoli that came with the calamari was a perfect combo.

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Lamb ribs – omg.. have you ever tasted ribs that literally falls off the bones? well you are missing out if you haven’t! All you need to do to these twice cooked lamb ribs were to dip it into the fresh yogurt then lightly brush it with the cumin salt and hands down its one of the best ribs I’ve ever eaten.

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Pork sliders – the braised pork was definitely tender however after tasting all the above dishes, the slider was a little bit of a letdown for us. There were a little bit of crackling to give the dish some textures however the whole combination was a bit too bland for me.

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Lucky we ended with the nutella empanadas which had a lovely layer of pastry baked – prob slightly too doughy but it is filled with a good amount of delicious nutella goodness. I love the fresh strawberries but I wish it had a bit more cream, or even better whipped cream!

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BTW try the white chocolate passion fruit cocktail which tasted divine!  the white chocolate shavings was a good addition to the vanilla infused vodka.

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Overall a lovely dining experience! the live bar was a great addition to the ambience – it was slightly a bit too loud so it was heard to hear each other but i love bar area, the dining area with the fireplace and the the garden in the back (you can rent out this place for min spend of 5k!!! how awesome would that be for my 30th???… hint hint hubby). Great spot for the summer! Can’t wait to return!

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“I get way too much happiness from good food” – Elizabeth Olsen

Till next time.

XOX

| Courtesy invite by Lona St Kilda. Opinions are of my own. |

Lona Restaurant & Garden Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Southside Central, Windsor

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We were fortunate to be invited by Southside Central to dine at their Windsor location which recently opened up in April. To be honest I didn’t need much convincing to take up the offer as they simply sold me at “we have perfected the art of spiked milkshakes and mouth watering burgers”…

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LOCATION:
It’s located on Chapel street directly opposite Windsor station. Note there’s always heaps of traffic on Chapel so do give yourself extra traveling time!! (we were about 20min late for our booking…) ~

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FIRST IMPRESSION:
What a great two-storey burger joint with beautiful graffiti artwork along all the walls. The venue is much bigger than it looks from outside. The fit out is simple and attractive especially with the 90’s retro style; the black vinyl seating and the pink neon signs. Not a big fan of these small seating, especially those 2 seater attached to the wall – there’s simply not enough space for the amount of foods you would want to order!! – And the pink neon lights did not do much justice for the photos of the foods I took.. sorry in advance.

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Food wise – DELICIOUS!!! We were happy to have Audrey bring us a selection of their top menu items so it was a  great surprise when a variety of great looking goodies came out.

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BITES:
*Mac’n’cheese nuggets – these were lovely. They were crunchy on the outside and cheesy on the inside. The mayo itself was creamy but I couldn’t really taste the with spicy tomato ~ lucky the nugget itself was good to taste on its own!

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*Jalapeno poppers – not a big fan of jalapeno but my partner absolutely loved this side. And they were huge!! I thought it would be majorly spicy but lucky it wasn’t. The sour cream was def the best dip to go with the poppers.

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BURGERS:
*Harlem Burger – This chicken and waffle reminded me of NYC especially since we were there only 6 months ago! The whole dish definitely provided the great southern vibe. The fried chicken was moist and serving was generous. I loved how the cheese melted along the side, and the white bbq sauce & maple mayonaise served in between the deliciously soft and crunchy buttery milk waffle mMmmM…. sweet, and salty all in the one dish! I’m a messy eater so the parchment paper with the small busket was presented nicely with the theme of the restaurant however wasnt too practical for me who likes to eat my burgers et. all with a fork and knife.

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*The Southside Meat Market – Hubby thoroughly enjoyed this burger. The Beef pattie was juicy, southern fried chicken added another level of texture to the burger and the bacon relish was like an additional sauce for the rest of the burger.

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SPIKED SHAKES:
*Snickers spiked – OMG one of the best shake I’ve ever had! The shake itself is full of flavour, not too sweet and the hint of Frangelico liqueur is just perfect to complement the rest of the choc goodness. Not a big fan of the milk bottle that it came with, and it wasnt too practical with the whipped cream and bit of snicker on top.. give me the old traditional milkshake cup please!!

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So overall a fantastic meal! Service was efficient and friendly. Great pumping hip hop tunes to go along with my meal.  I’m sure this joint will def be the next new destination for the burgers + spiked drinks+ beats!!

Till next time

XOX

| Courtesy invite by Southside Central, Windsor. Opinions are my own. |

Southside Central Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Frank’s, Cheltenham

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I’ve been following Franks’ café on insta for a few weeks now and coincidentally I was in Moorabin over the weekend so we decided to pop in during the Easter break for brunch! Recently opened Cheltenham local is a great café for good coffee, pretty foods and wonderful faces! Such a light and open fixture, it was welcoming and such a treat.

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Service was fantastic! The girls were friendly and happy. Got a table within min.
We started off with a latte and a matcha latte. The coffee were good but slightly too milky. I could do with another tsp of matcha powder for the extra antioxidant boost. My matcha also looked quite pale so initially I thought they had the order wrong…

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Great simple menu options for breakfast, with lunch offered from 11am. Asian and European fusion I believe. Narrowing it down I went with the Vegan Scrambled Eggs which I substitute the tofu scramble with eggs as I’m actually not a vegan but the item sounded so fresh and tasty with the roast tomatoes, eggplant puree and spinach pancakes. First off I must say – it came out looking way too pretty to eat! The eggs was scrambled perfectly and the tomatoes was so juicy. The Spinach pancake was different. A lil bit denser then I would like it as it got a bit too heavy so I managed to finish one but I did polished off everything else on the plate!

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Hubby got the Benedict with the Crispy Pork Belly, Poached eggs and Hollandaise on Sourdough. I could see where the Asian influences came in. Everything on this plate was a delight to eat. Great portion size for breakfast and again very nicely presented.

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Overall a wonderful experience. Tuck away in a more industrial and residential setting but plenty of parking spaces. Will definitely return to try out the other menu items if I’m in the area again!

“I know that eggs do well to stay out of frying pans.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Till next time!!
XoX

Frank's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saint James Cafe, Malvern

Saint James Cafe is the English Cousin of From on High, Hard Pressed; Small Print Pizza Bar, Pedro Espresso & Yorkshire Brewhouse. I’ve seen some reviews recently on this newly opened café (opened about 7 months ago) and finally had a chance to visit on Sunday and was totally satisfied with the experience.

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Craig along with the others at Saint James was exceptional in their services. Love a friendly and happy crew! The café itself was fresh, inviting, and open with a cohesive urban design. I’m a big sucker for designs that include fresh green plants especially that beautiful bird of paradise planter pot in front corner of the café! So chic! Plenty of seatings available, but the tables are a little bit too close to each other which made it a bit uncomfortable to squeeze around. Toilets to the back can do with a lil bit more character.

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The menu is filled with plenty of familiar items with a modern touch.

First off, as a weekend coffee drinker I must say the coffee here is perfect. The drink here is all about the coffee roast; milk texture is creamy with a small layer of foam. Totally delicious!

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The hubby ordered the Saint Benedict which included Berkshire pork shoulder, poached eggs, fresh apple and sauce with hollandaise on toasted sourdough. I think the delicious tender pork, went well with the apple sauce. My husband on the other hand was on the fence about this brunch option. He’s more of a savory man and preferred his eggs as a savory option. Unfortunately the hollandaise sauce got a bit curdled toward the end of the meal but that could be due to the hot plate?

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I on the other hand went toward the sweeter brunch option and got the Strawberry and Cream Pikelets. The buttery soft and spongy pikelets was topped with delicious chocolate soil, fresh berries and meringue gems. While it may sound like a sweetness overload, the dollops of cream fraiche balance the sugar; and the tartness of the berries brings the harmony of the dish together. Topped with some edible flowers, this totally made it on my Instagram page!

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I was stuffed by the end but when Craig generously suggested I should go ahead with one of the sweet option, who could resist the Cookies & Cream Syringe Donut?! Ok it was a bit tooo sweet for me but again totes Instagram worthy! The donut was a little bit more on the doughy side with a great dark chocolate topping that balanced out (haha) the Nutella. Better to share this one with someone I say; but when I do return to Saint James I think I might try another sweet instead.

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I did forget to mention that I also tried the ‘Melon Delight’ juice which unfortunately didn’t hit the mark for me. It was refreshing after all can’t go wrong with apple and watermelon and mint right? However I need an extra oomph to it, perhaps a touch of ginger to bring out the fruity flavour, include some ice for a warm day and a lil bit of visual garnish for that extra appeal like the foods itself which was a work of art in presentation wise.

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Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Saint James. Highly recommend everyone to pop this little gem on your ‘must eat list’ when visiting the neighbourhood!

“When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree; when drinking water, remember who dug the well” ~ Vietnamese proverb

Till next time!
Xox

| Courtesy invite by Saint James Café. Opinions are of my own. |

Saint James Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fork & Fingers Ascot Vale

Fork & Fingers has a very modern look and feel to it. Upon entering the very quiet restaurant (Thursday night and we were the only one in the restaurant at 6PM).

Menu was all about mixing exotic Indian flavours with a fusion of other cultures i.e. taco, burgers etc. Very modern but we opted for the traditional dishes, hence ordering 4 curries, 3 Nan breads, rice and some beverages. And although the dishes looked small when it came out (and presented very nicely), boy was it a struggle to finish it all up!

First off I must say one of the best Nan bread I’ve eaten! A touch of too much garlic however once dipped in the curries it was heaven!

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Butter Chicken – godfather of Indian curry – my must have dish. And I was not disappointed! The tomato based sauce was creamy and the chicken was cooked to perfection where it was so tender and moist. We got a medium version however I think we could have gone with Hot for the extra kick to bring out that sauce a bit more!

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Lam Rogan Jose – The lamb was braised very well with delicious cooked gravy – very aromatic.

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Goan Fish Curry – The spicy fish cooked in coconut with a lot of ground spices was a surprisingly good dish to me. I’ve never been a big fan of fish curry however the curry was light and sweet and definitely works well on the place with the other curries.

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Veg Korma – homemade with various veggies. It was tasty however the vegetables were all a bit too confusing for me. Probably braised a bit too long so it did get a bit drowned out by the curry itself.

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Mango Lassi was delicious at first however quarter way through it got a bit too creamy and thick for me. Perhaps a bit too much yoghurt?

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Overall a lovely experience. Booking was made easy via open table bookings. The service was lovely and he was very friendly with a great sense of humour. We sat down at 6pm and were out by 7pm. It was great for a quick dinner before our cirque du soleil show at Flemington Racecourse which was a few min drives down the road!

“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” ~ Epicurus

Till next time! =)
xox

Fork & Fingers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato