Saturday, August 3, 2019

Hunters & Disciples, West Melbourne by Foghorn Leghorn

I’m a long term fan of Southbank restaurant Tutto Bene, so I was pretty keen when I heard that their former chef Nathan Scarfo has opened up a café in West Melbourne. What’s more, it was a trip to the old neighbourhood, because I lived in West Melbourne for a couple of years in the early 1980s.

The café, Hunters & Disciples, is in a courtyard off Spencer Street. My recollection is that this was a truck depot, and the drivers used to drink at my local, the Moomba Hotel (now a backpacker place). The renovated café space is cool and funky industrial: polished concrete, exposed ducts and cables, with a spacious feeling that comes from the high ceilings of the original building. There’s background music at just the right volume.

Hunters & Disciples, West Melbourne, charcuterie board
Charcuterie board

The menu is café style, mainly muesli, eggs, toast and a few other odds and ends. There’s a specials board with pasta, soup and pizza. The café is still waiting for its liquor licence, so drinks are limited to non-alcoholic.

After a bit of discussion, I went for the spinach and ricotta gnocchi (from the specials board), and Tam O’Shanter chose the Hunter Burger. There’s also a breakfast burger on the menu, but hard experience has taught us to avoid anything with this description. One thing a breakfast burger doesn’t contain is a burger. There should be a law against it, but there isn’t yet.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Curator 23, Mt Waverley by Bureaucrat

As fun as it is to try new places, it's always good to return back to those cafes that made a good impression.  Two years ago, we checked out Curator 23 and for a cold blustery lunch one day, we thought it was timely to go visit it again.  

Curator 23, Mt Waverley
The biggest change to Curator 23 was the decor.  It used to smartly decorated in bright yellow and modern touches, which I liked.  But now, it's transformed into this almost Alice in Wonderland does high tea with nanna, which I love!  And clearly, I'm not the only woman who thinks that - the cafe was filled with smartly dressed ladies having a yarn over tea and lunch.  There's lots of greenery (albeit of the plastic variety), velvet cushions, marbled table tops, Laguiole knives, Le Creuset crockery, gorgeous wooden trays, dainty heavy golden teaspoons, and lots of pink, pink, pink!  The owners have clearly spent some serious coin in decorating a modest suburban eatery.  Even the Lawyer said he felt conscious of the fact that he, along with two other guys, were the only men in the cafe... lol.  

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Muddings Bakery, Glen Waverley by Bureaucrat

Muddings Bakery is an institution in Glen Waverley.  Along with Rock Kung (an old school Chinese restaurant, which is located a few doors down), Muddings is the only eatery in the Kingsway area that's been there long before property prices shot up in Glen Waverley; and you could hardly imagine that Kingsway would be congested with double-parked cars and diners galore.  Admittedly, despite being an institution, my last visit to Muddings was back when I was a teenager.

Muddings Bakery, Glen Waverley, cupcake
Yes, this is definitely making me happy!

In the past few months, I've reminded myself why I liked Muddings as a teen.  Despite a modest shopfront, I'm glad to say it's still popular among the locals.  There's always a steady stream of people coming in for their fix of cakes, pastries (sweet and savoury), bread, pies and sangers.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Middle Brighton Baths Cafe, Brighton by Bureaucrat

Back in the day, as footloose DINKS, taking the time out for a leisurely lunch at a fine dining restaurant was an option for us.  So in 2013(!), we enjoyed a lovely meal at The Baths at Brighton.  Skip forward to 2019, with Boy Chick in tow, we once again found ourselves in Brighton but this time, we decided to check out the cafe that's attached to The Baths (both eateries are located at the same place - the restaurant is referred to as 'Upstairs', while the cafe/bar is 'Downstairs').

Middle Brighton Baths Cafe, Brighton, chocolate milkshake
Boy Chick and his chocolate milkshake (kid's size)

As you could imagine, the cafe is more relaxed than its counterpart upstairs.  We chose to sit on the patio which overlooks The Baths' own private beach.  While I recall the food in the restaurant being reasonably good, the cafe fare was amazing!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Le Courtyard Restaurant, Mauritius by Obelix

Tucked away in the media precinct of Port Louis is Le Courtyard, a restaurant offering a quiet oasis in the bustle of the capital. The restaurant and bar centre around an open topped courtyard with a burbling water fountain surrounded by greenery - pots of citrus (which we were told by the bar tender that they pluck fresh to mix in drinks), curious but spiky euphorbia, and pots of palm fanning open to the sky. 

Le Courtyard Restaurant, Mauritius, amuse bouche
Amuse bouche

The staff are so accommodating and warm. I had the privilege of attending a few media interviews whilst visiting Mauritius. Some of the interviews I attended were held at Le Courtyard for its beautiful backdrop, and other times, I simply whiled away time in between meetings sipping cool drinks and gazing serenely at the fountain.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Ashy's Afghan, Ashburton by Bureaucrat

There's no shortage of cafes along High Street, Ashburton.  Indeed, the family-friend Mr Burton and the lovely Two Seeds can be found along this lively strip of shops.  However, I was very excited to see a new eatery pop up - Ashy's Afghan.  

I think Ashy's Afghan used to be a typical cafe, but in probably the last year or so, it's changed into an Afghani restaurant.  This suits me fine as I love Afghani food.  An impromptu lunch with Boy Chick's playgroup buddies saw us check out Ashy's Afghan.

Inside, it's spacious and welcoming - great if you have kids!  Boy Chick's buddies and their grandparents haven't had Afghani food before.  As such, I recommended they go with something that's not too spiced or 'challenging' to eat.

Ashy's Afghan, Ashburton, chicken kebabs
It's lunch menu is very well priced.  The double skewer charcoal kebabs (chicken thighs or minced lamb) is an absolute feast at $13.90.  The photo doesn't do it justice in terms of showing just how big the serve is.  We got two of these.  I had one all to myself, and I can tell you I was stuffed! The chicken was tender and juicy.  It was lightly spiced with a little paprika and lemon. The rice was light and fluffy; salad was fresh; I didn't try the pita as I was just too full.  While this was very yummy, I would have liked a stronger char-grilled flavour on the chicken.