Eat here: Jethro Canteen, Melbourne (café/brunch)

Jethro Canteen
385 – 389 Burnley St, Richmond
https://www.instagram.com/jethrocanteen/
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Sunday morning breakfast dates are my favourites. And living in Melbourne means there is always a new spot to check out; yesterday, it was Jethro Canteen in Richmond. It’s still relatively new, but is already pretty popular with the locals given the amount of people streaming in and out for coffees.

The space was beautiful;  yes, it was a little bit Melbourne-hipster-cafe-by-numbers, but that exposed brick + bright tile and tea on shelves + bakery style pastry display had me from the get go. Big windows meant we were drenched in summer sun, and it instantly felt like the perfect place to bunk down with a pot of tea and a good book for the morning. Or coffee – husband said it was fantastic.

Unfortunately, the people didn’t feel quite as warm and comfortable as the physical space to start off with. The staff all seemed a little preoccupied and sour, until someome stopped by with a cute dog. The little fluffball seemed to put a smile on everyone’s dials and made them all much more pleasant. The menu, like the cafe, was exciting straight away – husband struggled to decide between the chili dog and the Louisiana plate,  but the jalapeño popper won out in the end. Also on the plate was thick cut bacon steak, poached eggs on corn remoulade smothered toast, chili prawns and guacamole. Other than a slightly overdone egg, no complaints, and his plate was mopped clean. The jalapeño popper was definite highlight, though.

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I struggled to pick between the waffles with cereal milk pannacotta, the white chocolate & almond crumble porridge or the chia pudding, but the latter won out. Coconut and almond milk soaked chia, topped with elderflower jelly, berries, mango puree, vanilla bean cashew cream and granola. I was really disappointed that the granola was pretty much non-existent, because the tiny bit that was on there was amazing! The chia was perfect, the berries were fresh, and the cashew cream was the perfect surprise addition – thick, creamy,  strong vanilla flavour – loved it.

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Despite a few bumps, we both absolutely loved Jethro – the beautiful space and the creative menu (so nice to see something other than smashed avo toast and chili scrambled eggs!) make it the perfect addition to our brunch scene;  we will be back!

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Eat here: The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Melbourne (brunch) V.2

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink
8 Raffa Place Carlton, Melbourne
http://vertuecoffee.com.au/

While we’ve been back numerous times for tea, coffee and cake, it’s been a while since our last sit down and relax meal at Vertue. And, with a brand spanking new winter menu, I thought it was time for a fancy Sunday breakfast to try it out!

Nothing’s changed on the surface, with the same beautiful high ceilings and flooding light, and the same delicious, hot tea and coffee to start off on…

But after that, things have changed dramatically. I took a while to pour over the menu, but husband made up his mind straight away, choosing the crispy pork belly with soft duck egg, spiced sweet potato puree, black pudding and quince gel ($22.00). Black pudding is his new favourite breakfast item, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint! It was a very pretty breakfast, but it had guts, too – the pork was incredible, both soft & fatty and crispy at the same time. Big winner.

After much deliberation, I ended up going for the matcha panna cotta with finger lime, coconut chia pudding, house made granola, adzuki bean paste and kiwi fruit ($17.00). Because I love every single one of those things. And I, too, made the right choice – this is a little cup of heaven (and actually not that little). There’s nothing more disappointing than receiving a matcha dish that doesn’t actually taste like matcha, but the flavour was absolutely there in this. Creamy coconut chia pudding, amazing lime zing, and whatever is in that granola is magic. Would definitely order again.

By-passing the sugary window to heaven that is the cabinet full of sweets on the way out was not easy, but it gave us a good excuse to head back (again). As last time, beautiful setting, amazing food, great atmosphere, make time in your weekend schedule to visit!

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Make this: quick & healthy – green smoothie bowl (gluten, lactose & fructose free)

Ahh Monday morning. The time of the week when you resolve to do better after reflecting on a weekend spent in stretchy-waisted pants indulging in delicious food, with your only exercise being lifting another donut to your mouth. No judgement; we’ve all been there. And we all will be again. But if, like me, you like to start the week off strong (knowing full well things will descend into anarchy come Thursday night), this breakfast might be a good place to start.

Let me preface this recipe by saying that I absolutely bloody hate smoothies and juices. A smoothie is not a meal. Neither is soup, for that matter. You eat a meal, you don’t drink it. UNLESS you can add some stuff to it to make it chunky and crunchy and substantial. So I added stuff on top. I also love a good chia pudding, so I make this smoothie the night before and stir chia seeds through it, so by morning it’s basically a big, thick, healthy, green chia pudding with crunchy bits on top. And, because there’s green stuff in it, it’s obviously healthy. Happy days!

 

Ingredients (for 1):
– ½ cup milk (I use an almond coconut milk blend)
– 1 tbsp rolled oats
– 1 tsp matcha powder
– 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
– 2 blocks of frozen spinach
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– all of the toppings!!!! On this one, I used homemade muesli, toasted cacao nibs, shredded coconut and frozen raspberry, but lets be honest – anything goes!

Method:
1. Throw the milk, oats, matcha, protein powder and frozen spinach into a blender/Nutri-bullet/that type of device and blend until smooth and combined.

2. Pour your mixture into a plastic tub and stir through the chia seeds. Place the lid on, into the fridge, and rest over night while you go to sleep and dream of breakfast.

3. In the morning, pour it into a bowl, top with whatever you want, and enjoy your fancy, health breakfast that didn’t cost $20 and a 45 minute wait at a café 😉

Eat here: Sir Charles, Melbourne (café/brunch)

Sir Charles
121 Johnston St, Fitzroy
http://www.sircharlesfitzroy.com.au/

Another weekend coming, another opportunity for brunch  : )  Last weekend my husband woke me up with “get up and dressed so I can take you out for breakfast.” I helped him out with a bit of work he took home over the weekend, and was more than happy to accept payment in the form of food. So, I hauled ass out of bed, grabbed my stuff, and just about ran to the car. It’s exciting anyway, but even better that it was my choice; I’d been wanting to get to Sir Charles for ages. Residing in the old Bean & Bagels space, with a small relic of the building’s past occupants still visible, it’s now a stunning space with high ceilings and benches, the requisite industrial-hipster interior with gorgeous brass and timber accents, lots of white, and natural light. Just the kind of space I absolutely love.

Drinks first. I was pretty happy to see Larsen & Thompson tea on the menu; their Assam English Breakfast tea is a bit of a favourite of mine at the moment. I’m also loving their lemongrass and ginger (particularly when my stomach as a bit off, seems to help a lot). Husband is a fairly recent coffee convert, which is awesome for me, because now I can take pretty coffee shots! He said it was amazing, too – must have been, because it was gone in 3 sips!

Food. Wow. It was tough deciding… husband went with the Sir Charles Benedict, a manly plate of panko crumbed soft boiled eggs, sriracha hollandaise, fresh chilli and bacon on roti bread, with a potato hash on the side because they sounded too good not to add. We’ve done a lot of brunch together, and he’s had a lot of bacon/egg/bread/potato combinations, but he said (without hesitation) this was hands down his best cafe breakfast.

I had a hard time tossing up between the Eton mess waffles and the chia pudding, but I made the call to go with the chia pudding. Just had a craving for coconut. And chia pudding with coconut sago, strawberry gel, berries and acai sorbet had my name written allll over it. Great decision; gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s close to the best chia pudding I’ve ever had. The ones I had at Manchester Press and Kitty Burns are right up there, too, but this one was really something special. The acai sorbet was the perfect thing to cut through the super creamy coconut, and the strawberry gel was phenomenal. If anything, it could have used a few crunchy bits like some toasted macadamia, but otherwise, really couldn’t fault it!

The service was spot on, too; for a Sunday morning, it was starting to get busy, with a lot of take away coffee orders rolling through the door at the same time as guests wanting to be seated and served, and they were on the ball the whole time, with smiles on their faces. It might not seem like much, but it’s always nice on a Sunday morning to feel like you’re  a welcome guest and not an annoying inconvenience  : )   Perfect weekend breakfast, and they’ll be ready for you 8am tomorrow morning – you know you want to!

 

Sir Charles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Mr Wednesday, Melbourne (brunch)

Mr Wednesday
144 Wingrove St, Fairfield
http://www.mrwednesday.com.au/

Beautiful dark wood and school room-style chairs, exposed brick walls, lighting with an industrial/pirate rope edge, and bright green ferns dangling from the ceiling. Add an amazing menu and a long chatter session with a good friend, and you’ve got yourself the perfect Saturday morning breakfast date.

Tucked away in a quiet, nondescript spot near the train line in Fairfield with his bowler hat and beard, Mr Wednesday is a shining example of hipster cafe done right. For a start, the space itself is gorgeous; I fell absolutely in love with it as soon as I walked in – even the bathroom wall paper was perfect! I also fell head over heels for the perfect pot my tea came in (guys, if you have a spare one, I would love to buy it from you!)…

The menu was brilliant (you’d expect no less with Mr Wednesday’s chef originally hailing from Industry Beans), with a lot of options that were pretty hard to narrow down. Sweet pumpkin toast, a very fancy smashed avo with whipped beetroot & goats curd, some good looking burgers (breakfast brisket, anyone?!), and numerous egg options… but as soon as I saw it listed, I knew I wanted the vanilla coconut chia pudding. It was rich and creamy with the most phenomenal nut & seed praline crumbled over the top – would have loved a little more of that.

It was only on the way out we saw the sweets stand, too, which looked verryyy inviting (were I heading straight home instead of a doctors appointment, I’d have bought some for later), and plenty of tea, coffee and fruit smoothie options to go with all of the great food, if you need any more convincing.

If you’re getting ready to struggle through another Monday like me, it might be time to start planning out your next weekend brunch date…
Mr. Wednesday Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Addict Food & Coffee, Melbourne 

Addict Food & Coffee 240 – 242 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Melbourne https://www.facebook.com/addictmelbourne IMG_7536 I realise this next statement may make me sound like yet another Melbourne hipster, but quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I love a good weekend brunch. Particularly in the Fitzroy/Collingwood region. Yup. Hipster. In my defense, they’ve been my favourite suburbs for a long time now, since I went to uni in the area, years before the hipster revolution. Now I sound like an old hipster. Crap. So, Addict is one of the newer kids on the block, having been around for about a year now. The fact that it’s taken me this long to get there because every time I’ve been past it’s been absolutely jam packed with a line out the front speaks quite highly of it already! Last weekend, we decided to roll out of bed on Sunday morning and head straight on over, hoping that our naturally early rising body clocks would beat the hipsters; we were right 😉 IMG_7529This may be the first coffee shot on my blog – see, I’m not a stereotypical hipster, I hate coffee! My husband used to as well, but he’s converted. Sell out. He said it was really good though, so if you’re a coffee person like 98.97% of other Melbournians, this is a good option. I’m a nanna, so I got a pot of tea. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. But we weren’t there for drinks, we were there for food. And food we ate; there were too many amazing options, so we decided to combine them all with the breakfast board! Clockwise from top right, you’ve got – Potato hash nuggets – Grilled cheese kransky – Cured ocean trout – Perfectly poached eggs – Toast with relish – Even more perfect french toast with berries and mascarpone and berry coulis IMG_7533 This may be one of the best breaky spreads going around. Honestly. There wasn’t a single thing on this board that I didn’t like. Picking a favourite is pretty much impossible too. Actually, it is. I loved everything on there. And surprisingly good value at $32.00 for the words. It would comfortably fill up two normal people. But we’re pigs, and I wanted to try the coconut chia pudding with mango puree and strawberries. So we got that too. IMG_7535 Outstanding chia pudding, the coconut cream was smooth and properly creamy, the mango puree was great, made even better by the little chunks of peach hidden within it. And the puffed buckwheat was the crunchy icing on the chia pudding cake. I know everyone is doing a variation of this, but Addict’s was totally on point. And perfectly sized, too – not impossibly big, not tiny. And the other thing that makes or breaks a place, in my opinion; the service. Absolutely top notch, even with the long weekend craziness. We were well and truly looked after, even my request for a cinnamon-less serving of French toast was fine, and as an even more pleasant surprise, it was not only service with a smile, but service with personality and fun! Some people might not care, they’re just there for breaky, but first thing on a Sunday morning, it makes the world of difference to be served by someone who looks like they’re having a good time, and not pissed off to be helping you! I’m kinda pissed off with myself, though, for having been so put off by the crowds now. I wish I’d visited a year ago when they first opened. I wish I’d been visiting regularly. The weekend is coming up again, which means the hipsters are starting to plan their weekend brunches. Put this place on your list, hipster or not. That said, if brunching with delicious food makes me hipster, pass me the super tight jeans and ironic accessories, and meet me at Addict!

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon