Crux & Co Opens it’s Doors with Lobster Bisque Benedict

Crux & Co – Melbourne’s freshest new opening, joins the brigade of new cafes. Walk past the porcelain white of Kettle Black. They say the grass is greener on the other side. It’s true, if the other side is Crux & Co.

Kevin Li (Lights in the Attic & 3 Lives) introduces South Melbourne to his latest venture. It does everything an instaworthy , trend driven cafe would do. Expect mutant-noms –  aka the Croggle; you guessed it, a cross between a croissant and a bagel. Matcha unveils its green head, amongst a sprawling sweet cabinet. Gooey fondues, warm the soul. Crux also takes inspiration from its little sister. Remember the ‘Bird’s Nest’ at Lights in the Attic? Crux’s version features scotch quail eggs, arancini and felafel. But, does the newbie beat the original? Continue reading Crux & Co Opens it’s Doors with Lobster Bisque Benedict

Sri Lankan Brunch at Lankan Tucker

Tuck into Lankan Tucker for Sri Lankan inspired brunch. With colonial heritage influence, the food is a rich melting pot of cuisines, thick in aromatic spices and aromas. Flakey roti, soaking up chunks of coconut sambol, bowl-shaped hoppers, golden and crisp, lathered with spicy relishes; are you drooling yet? The cuisine is lighter and more fragrant than its Indian cousin.

Four months ago, Lankan Tucker entered the Melbourne stratosphere, with a unique interpretation of breakfast. Nerissa and co, started serving their unique brand of Sri Lankan food at festivals and markets across Melbourne. Within a blink of an eye, Lankan Tucker found its home, within the suburban streets of Brunswick West. The staff are loud and proud, wearing Lankan branded hoodies, Sri Lankan groceries provide a colourful backdrop to the wooden interior. Sweet treats, lie underneath glass cloches. Move aside Indian food, Sri Lankan for the win! Continue reading Sri Lankan Brunch at Lankan Tucker

Japanese Inspiration at Aucuba Coffee Roasters

Aucuba is a micro-roaster, cafe and brew bar in one.  The name is derived from a legend based on the discovery of coffee.  All this signalling towards a haven for our vegetarian friends. The concept is a plant-based menu, with sprinklings of Japanese influence. Before the carnivores run away, consider this – truffled mac & cheese toasties, green tea soba noodles and the primadonna – sweet potato waffles with parmesan ice cream. Plant based, never sounded so delicious.

Coffee is the emperor at Aucuba Coffee Roasters, where specialty coffee is served. Aiming to bridge the gap between coffee wankery and the mainstream, a dedicated brew and espresso bar churns out the golden grind. Observe the steady effervescence of air bubbles rising to the surface, within a laboratory-like contraption that creates siphon coffee.  Beans are whole roasted, then grounded, if your desires lean towards the latte norm.   Continue reading Japanese Inspiration at Aucuba Coffee Roasters

400 Gradi – Home of the Margherita Pizza

Pizza nazis will proudly proclaim, ‘No pineapple on pizza, only 4 ingredients!’. At 400 Gradi, the pizza nazis are appeased with artisan woodfired pizzas, made to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana standard. That’s fancy speak for a European standard, designed to ensure the integrity of Napoli style pizza.  In other words, it’s fancy speak for ‘Gimme all that pizza’.

Johnny Di Francesco- aka ‘Mr Pizza’, hails from Naples in Southern coastal Italy – home to the wood fire pizza. In a natural continuum, its no surprise that 400 Gradi is home to Australia’s first Napoletana Principal. Plus, who could forget the cherry on top? Being crowned Master of Margherita at the World Pizza Championship (2014), thrusted 400 Gradi into the spotlight. 2 years on, the Brunswick pizzeria continues to pump out Napoli style food.  Gradi has since expanded to a Crown and Essendon location, but it’s hard to beat the original.  Continue reading 400 Gradi – Home of the Margherita Pizza

Dock 37 – Where the Sea Meets Land

Set your anchor at  Dock 37 for a sea meets land dining experience. The ghostly Southwharf precinct, where urban tumbleweeds roll, is home to the Hilton hotel.  The Executive Chef has constructed a menu inspired by the concept,’ Where sea meets land’; matched with the swirl of Brown Brother’s wine. The contemporary space features warm timber, amongst a gargantuan wine cabinet.

Hotel dining is often met with sneers from food snobs. The generic steak, chicken or fish – the type you’d get at ol’ cousin Jo’s wedding, is an old tape on repeat. Overlooking the banks of the Yarra River and the twinkling lights of the Southbank precinct, does Dock 37’s food match the view? Continue reading Dock 37 – Where the Sea Meets Land

Little Sunflower – Can pancakes be healthy?

Gather the snuggie and warm up with a turmeric latte from Little Sunflower. The sun may be hiding, but bright decor will add warmth to your day. Pops of florals, vertical gardens and paintings of multi-coloured french bulldogs, litter the light wooden interior.  The impeding cold, means many reach for comfort food. The warm embrace of carbs, sugar and did I mention carbs? We visited Little Sunflower at the optimum time, i.e following a mega filipino feast (complete with dessert table). Clean-eating was no longer a choice, but a necessity to swat away the winter bulk.  Admittedly, we’re generally not big fans of ‘healthy-eating’. Who are we to break up fries and burgers? Pictures of the turmeric pancakes and green tea noodles, suggest otherwise.  Continue reading Little Sunflower – Can pancakes be healthy?

Soft Shell Crab Curry – Son in Law

Old wives’ tales on the origin of Son In Law eggs, have males clutching their ahem.. crown of jewels. At Son In Law, the modern Thai establishment, is named after the Thai style eggs. The most popular tale revolves around a mother-in-law, serving the spicy eggs as a warning to the future in son-in-law. If her daughter is not treated well, his crown of jewels will be on the platter instead. Gotta love culinary blackmail.  A more PG version involves the son in law making the dish to impress the new in-laws. Yeah… we’ll stick with the bollocks version. Balls aside, Son In Law brings tasty Thai cuisine to the grungy streets of Collingwood. The fluorescent signage and brightly coloured walls, awaken the graffitied clad street. Bring on the heat! Continue reading Soft Shell Crab Curry – Son in Law

Cafe Amba in South Yarra

South Yarra – the land of chap laps and pressed juice aficionados gets a golden touch. Cafe Amba opens in the bustling shopping precinct, its golden sign glistening amongst the ho-drum Melbourne winter. Head chef , Tiwa, originally from Thailand, has years of experience manning the kitchen. A floral background adds a feminine touch to lashings of gold, suspended greenery and a light timber interior. The winter menu concentrates on comfort foods: burgers,  pastas and breakfast classics. Amongst the ever-flowing cascade of new brunch openings, does Cafe Amba stand out amongst the crowd?  Continue reading Cafe Amba in South Yarra

Little Oscar brings Korean fusion to Brunswick

All aboard the Korean fusion train, towards comfort station. Little Oscar opens in the culinary hotspot of Brunswick. Travelling is a source of inspiration and owner Lorance Darwish has based the Little Oscar experience on the Koreatown precinct of West 32nd St, New York. Fusing the land of the free with the land of Gangnam style, leads to big hitting flavours. The original idea was to create a burger bar. Thank god the idea was scrapped, Melbourne has enough of those! Differentiation through Korean fusion taps into the tastebuds of Melbournians, with Asian flavours and fermented foods on the rise.  It’s a match made in heaven, combining the comfort of burgers and tacos, with the spicy pungency of Kim Chi, Gochujang and Cheng-Gochu. With winter’s touch, spice and tang is required to mourn the summer months. Does Little Oscar warm up our frosty toes? Continue reading Little Oscar brings Korean fusion to Brunswick

Beer Tasting and Burgers at Beer Deluxe

‘Beer, the cause of, and the solution to all of life’s problems’. Homer Simpson is a wise man , excessively gluttonous – but wise. Saturday 28th of May was International Hamburger Day.  What better way to celebrate our best mate; aka the oily hangover cure, friend of carb lovers -with a burg and beer in hand?  At Beer Deluxe, its all about burgers and beer. With franchises around Melbourne, the Fed Square location sits amongst the tourist crowd. Upper and lower seating by the Yarra, means there’s plenty of seats for hungry punters. Beer Deluxe has an extensive menu of sharing style dishes. The beer food menu has your bar favourites – shoestring fries, pizzas and burgers. There’s also a gourmet side: confit duck leg crepes, rare seared tuna, Korean style chicken wings, pork belly and more. The beer enthusiasts offer an ever-changing line of international craft beer – frothing with over 200 varieties. But with any franchise, there’s always doubt regarding quality. So… how does the food, fare at Beer Deluxe?   Continue reading Beer Tasting and Burgers at Beer Deluxe

Food And Travel