Archive for January, 2012

Walters Wine Bar, Southgate

Today was action packed.  Plenty going around in Melbourne.  The Mens Australian Open final was on in the tennis, which turned out to be a marathon, with Djokovic won.  There were festivities in the city for the Chinese New Year.  Along Southbank as well as in the heart of the city.  In addition to this, Arny was going to Walter’s Wine Bar, for breakfast.  Wine Bar you say ?  Well, it is mentioned in the Age Good Food Guide, as a breakfast option.  I was hoping to get some more out of this then last weeks offering at City Wine Store.

The Melbourne Dragon

Walter’s Wine Bar offers a limited, yet broad range of offerings for breakfast.  I decided on the scrambled eggs, with a side of hollandaise, and without the bacon.  I was with Ian, and he went for the Omelette.  He really enjoyed his breakfast.

Scrambled Goodness

The Breakfast

The scrambled eggs were made to a good consistency, made just right.  Couldn’t really  fault it too much, and quite tasty.  The hollandaise seemed like “home-made”, and was also very good on the palette.  Overall I really enjoyed the breakfast at Walters, and in terms of pricing, wasn’t over the top.  My meal would have costs approximately $18.00, which included an orange juice.  This was quite reasonable I thought.  That was a positive.  The service itself was as expected.  Very good.  Nothing like City Wine Store, yet more like Circa the Prince, or Cumulus Inc.

Rating

I guess for me it was rather a standard breakfast, but I could not comment on the omelette, therefore the score was going to be compromised a little, and therefore 6 it was.  However, I would have to assume, that any dish that they make would be made well.  I guess it just fell short on a selection for people like myself, vegetarians who eat eggs. (I think they call us eggetarians).

 

The Australian Open…..

 

Before......

 

.....After

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Bouchee Cafe, Chadstone shopping centre

Being a 33 degree plus day today, it was a good time to be in a shopping centre, and Chadstone was it today.  The Fashion Capital.  The only place I would think that has decent food is Tender Trap, and even then I wouldn’t consider it great…Then why Bouchee ?

I felt like a breakfast, (maybe i’m addicted), and thought it would be a good opportunity to try something different, with a potential to find something good that isn’t necessarily on the best eats lists going around town, like the Age Good Food Guide.

I ordered an affogato and scrambled eggs on toast.  Rather a simple menu, though the scrambled were an extra dollar.  I have come across this before, where they charge an extra dollar for the scrambled, though I would not know why.  Most other places charge the same.  Anyway, scrambled it was.

Is there a secret to making good scrambled eggs, is it whether you use less egg yolk, of whether you use cream or milk, the temperature of the pan, whether you let it set, or do you keep it moving in the pan…many variables, and will have to try to make a quality scrambled breakfast.

Anyway, having 2 breakfasts in 2 days (eating out) was going against the grain of my better judgement of trying to control my weight.  Will have to have a light dinner….

Located in the fashion capital, Bouchee is in an open environment, in the middle of Chadstone.

More Ice Cream required please....

The coffee is strong, but it served my desired effect of cooling me a little.  Something different, don’t really have affogato’s to often.  As I am used to having latte’s, the espresso shot in the affogato is quite strong for me.  All the senses being overpowered by the extreme taste of the coffee.  Maybe it needed some more ice cream…

Tastier mushrooms required...

The Breakfast

The mushrooms not great. Was expecting some seasoning, but there was nothing at all.  This made the mushrooms rather bland.  I guess it’s important to choose the right mushroom when considering cooking this with nothing.  Just choosing an off the shelf mushroom isn’t adequate.  The scrambled though was quite nice.  Maybe a fraction overdone, though, it wasn’t dry or anything.

Overall wasn’t bad though.  I have to admit though, the overall cost was $18.20, which I think is a bit pricy, given that a good quality breakfast can be had for under $20 at many great places.  It leads me to consider, what are the costs of running a cafe, and determining the price of items on the menu.  A thought….

 

Brother Baba Budan, City El Salvador.

Having a day off today, and with a nice breakfast under my belt from Nacional, I thought I would try my luck for a single origin at Brother Baba Budan.

The coffee of the day was El Salvador Las Brumas, C.O.E. #23.  Brother source their beans from  Seven Seeds, which in itself is a great coffee place.  Seven Seeds distribute their beans to a few places, and have generally found good coffee where they are used.

The farm “Las Brumas” is located 45 minutes from the City of Santa Ana, in the Ilamatepec region. It has rich and fertile volcanic soils and a cloudy micro climate reducing the amount of daylight received. This helps to slow the ripening which in turn assists in developing a better cup profile. The farm grows two varieties, Bourbon and Pacas. All coffee is fully washed and sun dried on patios.

Looking up the coffee, I came across the site for a Bar and grill place.  This looks like an interesting place.  I might visit there one day, though if anyone has visited here, let me know.  I would like to know what it is like.

They also offered a Aeropress, though I  will have to discover more about this ($9.00). A bit steep !

The cheapo latte

So latte it was.

Bright. Aroma was a little mild. All the sensations seem to merge. Therefore nothing really standing up and taking charge.
The flavor was complex. Little bits of sweetness, though the bitterness took over the mouth afterwards. It was smooth. Definitely a good coffee. It was the coffee of the day, so what were the chances if getting more of this ? Later on in the coffee, some fruitiness came through. I identify this as a freshness, a little refreshing, which I assimilate with fruit.  Very nice indeed.

Nacional, Albert Park.

Nacional, located in Albert Park, feels like a smallish place.  It has a variety of wines as well, and seems like the inner city metro place.  A good place to get together for a quiet breakfast, and enjoy the quiet surroundings.

I took a seat inside, and I found it strange that I was asked for drinks first, without looking at the menu.  Latte it was.  After ordering the latte, a couple of minutes later I was given the menu.  Fairly standard dishes, and decided on the scrambled with home-made beans.  I ordered an extra piece of toast, (an extra $1.00.  They made it quite clear that there was only 1 slice of toast offered with the serving)

The Coffee

It had a sweet aroma, which was defined straight away.  A  little caramelish so to speak.  Acidic on the tongue,  with a mild flavor. There was no bitter aftertaste, which was a good thing.  Overall though, a pretty standard coffee.

Nacional Breakfast

The Breakfast

The beans smelt nice. with the eggs also aromatic, though I think this was linked to the herbs atop the scrambled eggs.  Eggs were a good consistency. Creamy without too much additive, which is always good. Good taste too. Baked beans were good, not too salty, which meant the natural tomato and bean flavor came through. Also some celery mixed in as well.

Rating

The service wasn’t too bad,  and the breakfast itself was quite good.  Although I have had better.  I gave this a 5.5  Could have been a little better I though.

Yak Bar, Australia Day, 2012

Decided to pop into the Yak Bar today, and being Australia Day, I thought it would be patriotic to have a european meal with a japanese beer.

I order the Pizzocheri, a buckwheat pasta with potatoes, cabbage, taleggio cheese, garlic, sage and brown butter.  Although I don’t think it would have gone well with the Asahi, what the heck !!

The Australia Day Meal

When the meal arrives, I am asked to ensure that I mix it well through, to ensure the cheese is mixed and melted through the dish.  This was a handy hint to give to a diner.  I don’t know whether this message was given by the kitchen staff, or whether it was knowledge from the waiter himself.

It was good here, as they had the television on, with the Nadal v Federer match in the Australian open.  I really wanted Federer to win.  Although, history will tell, that Nadal won in 4.  This was disappointing.

A disappointing end to Federer's Aussie Open

On the bright side, the main was good.  Not enough though, it could have had a little more on it.  The taste itself though was good.  Not so complex, the ingredients all gave their own distinct characteristic.

Good food, good atmosphere, so why not try it…

Australia Day Fireworks

 

Zappa cafe.

What a great morning it was today ,nice and sunny, and felt like it was going to be a warm one later on.

I don’t know where the name Zappa comes from, but it’s a zippy name.  I have been here before, and enjoyed the same breakfast I am having today.  The Purgatory.  Melted cheese on turkish bread with chilli, poached eggs and spinach.  This is a good combo.  For Michael, I ordered the Zappa omelette. Sausage, tomato, potato, fetta, chilli and truffle oil.

Coffee.

Zappa freshly grind their own coffee. Grinder was working, and a good smell was emanating from the place. I remember enjoying the coffee last time, and this was no different. Mild aroma this time around. But a more potent taste/flavor. A little bitter straight on he tongue, but dissipated to a nice, flavor full coffee.

Question : How do you determine whether your taste buds are fully on the ball ?

Purgatory

The Breakfast.

This was really good. I have enjoyed this in the past, and today no exception. All the ingredients worked well, as well as the Parmesan. I can’t say it is as good as cumulus or circa. They were pretty darn good. But not to take anything away from Zappa. Fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Rating

6.  Not top-notch, and this was not expected, but consistent, good flavor, and good service too.

Sensory lab

After a somewhat boring breakfast, we ended up at Sensory lab.  Actually, I am beginning to enjoy this place more and more.  In the heart of the city, with an opportunity to try different coffee’s, and is open on the weekend.

The aromatic Kenyan

Today, it was the Kenya – Ngandu Rutuma.  The description read :

Well balanced, stone fruit nuances, juicy mouth feel and pineapple acidity, sweet clean finish.  Frankly, I am an amateur, therefore, descriptions like this generally don’t help me much.  I can taste a caramel, or chocolate hint in a coffee, and sometimes even a berry note.  This was hard.  This was written on the Sensory Lab website.

The co-op is located in Mathira West District. Geographically it lies on the slopes of Mt. Kenya.Water from this mountain is used for processing coffee at the wet mill, which was registered under the co-operative societies act on the 10th January 1951. Rutuma was the first UTZ CERTIFIED cooperative in Kenya, and is seen as a pioneer and an example for others.

The coffee itself was good.  It had a nice aroma, very bright acidity, maybe that was the bright pineapple, and overall good feel in the mouth,  Generally, a little bitter aftertaste, though this was expected, given the aroma was strong.  I did have this in the latte form, and maybe should have tried this in an espresso style, or maybe even a filtered coffee.  Along with the coffee, I tried a hazelnut meringue cupcake.  Why ?  I’m glad you asked.  “You had me at hazelnut” I answer, as I am a big fan of the nut.  The meringue part should have given it away though.  I really didn’t enjoy this, the texture was all wrong for a cup cake, though points for trying.  it just wasn’t me.

The Hazelnut Teaser