Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Rocca's Woodfired Pizzeria and Pasta Bar, Blackburn by Bureaucrat

I love a good pizza and I'm so happy to have stumbled across Rocca's Woodfired Pizzeria and Pasta Bar.  This place left us in a gorgeous carb coma.  So often, I discard the crust from my pizzas because, well, frankly, they taste like cardboard.  But the pizza here at Rocca's is delicious!  Crisp and doughy at the same time - I would willingly eat this on its own... if only all bread tasted like this!

Rocca's Woodfired Pizzeria and Pasta Bar, Blackburn, prawn pizza
I don't know who Mari e Monte are, but the Lawyer and I love them both!  This prawn pizza was superb!  Gorgeous succulent and meaty fresh prawns laid on top of this cheesy, garlicky and mushroomy base.  I am definitely going back to see Mari e Monte again!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

La Petite Creperie, Forest Hill by Bureaucrat

Near the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets in the city, it's hard not to see (or rather, smell) La Petite Creperie.  The beautiful aromatic scent of butter, eggs and sugar in the form of crepes cuts through the traffic noise and smell like a delicious siren song.  

Its suburban outpost, located rather unexpectedly in Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre, has the same effect on suburbanites.  Ensconced in a cute little caravan, the staff are ready to take your order with their delightful French accented English.  For research purposes, I just had to get one of each of the main items - a crepe and a waffle.  There's a range of toppings to choose from, such as Nutella, cream, ice cream, sugar, lemon juice.

La Petite Creperie, Forest Hill, waffle
I haven't had many waffles in my life but if they're as good as this, then I'm a die-hard fan!  Soft and fluffy and wonderfully insubstantial (in a refined sugar and wheat sort of way - the best sort of way!) this waffle had both Boy Chick and I wanting more!  We had ours with salted caramel and whipped cream - divine! 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Grants on Sherbrooke, Kallista by Bureaucrat

SQUAWK!  Grants on Sherbrooke may not be known for its cafe but it is definitely known for its cocky and resplendent neighbours.  Feeding and watching this colony (crackle, chattering... what is the collective noun for cockatoos?) of cockatoos is a wonderful experience.  We went into the bird feeding area twice as it was that enjoyable.  These are big birds who love their food.  The moment we stepped through, a massive cockatoo swooped and landed on the Lawyer's shoulder.  It was hilarious (as I was unscathed!) and amazing at the same time.

Grants on Sherbrooke, Kallista, cockatoo
I love that smiling cockatoo on the left!

Having spent some time feeding the cockatoos (more info on this below), it was time feed ourselves.  The cafe is spacious, order-at-the-counter type of place.  I suspect the menu is deliberately generic and geared towards the regular tour buses that come by.  Fairly reasonably priced (for a captive market), the types of dishes on offer included pasta, burgers, pies and deep fried stuff.  

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ena Greek Street Food, Forest Hill by Bureaucrat

Forest Hill Shopping Centre (aka 'the Chase') is slowly but surely coming up with some fine good eats.  There's the ever reliable and incredibly good value dumpling and noodle house, Baowie (also a good thing about Baowie is that they're willing to take orders before lunch time officially starts - a boon when you're hungry at 10:30am!); and the wonderfully indulgent Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates for its iced chocolate shakes and complementary chocolates.

With the refurbishment of level 3 at the Chase, a raft of new eateries have opened up, including, Ena Greek Street Food.  Ena is a Greek food outlet.  So having observed the slabs of enticing meats that were turning on the spit roast, it was time for yet another early lunch.  

Ena Greek Street Food, Forest Hill, lamb and chicken open plate
Feeling like I wanted a bit of everything to try, we went for the lamb and chicken open plate.  This was a plentiful plate loaded with lamb, chicken, pita bread, salad, chips and dip.  This was lip-smacking good!  Of the two meats, the chicken was my favourite - slightly sweet in flavour it was quite moreish.  The pita was warm, fluffy and soft; a squeaky fresh Greek salad; the chips were crisp and spot-on; and the creamy tzatziki was replete with fresh herbs.  

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gracious Grace, Lilydale by Bureaucrat

There's a wonderful sense of timelessness at Melba Park, Lilydale.  With its curved stone walls, mature trees, manicured lawns, a lovely cottage that hosts the local lawn balls club, and pretty cool playground (which includes a water pump!), it's like you've stepped back in time.  It's certainly idyllic.  To cap it off, Melba Park also has a very delightful cafe and gallery to boot!

Gracious Grace, Lilydale, grilled barramundi
Grilled barramundi with potatoes, fennel and a lemon and tahini dressing

Gracious Grace is certainly gracious.  Delicious food at very reasonable prices.  You get gourmet Yarra Valley produce without the price tag that usually goes with it.  Gracious Grace has indoor and outdoor seating.  The outdoor seating has views directly onto Melba Park and you also have these beautiful thick blankets to drape over your lap should the weather be chilly. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Young and Foolish, Wheelers Hill by Bureaucrat

Young and Foolish has accomplished a feat.  Its many predecessors (typically they were those unappealing budget pizza and pasta franchises) struggled to attract diners: the location didn't help - it is situated on the exterior of the humdrum Brandon Park shopping centre; and the decor certainly didn't help - drab furnishings and the exposed windows meant that diners were overlooked by shoppers.  However, Young and Foolish is attractive and has no trouble getting diners in.

Young and Foolish, Wheelers Hill, the Doffle
The Doffle - doughnut waffle with toasted marshmallows, Nutella, strawberries and hazelnuts

With a serious upgrade, Young and Foolish is a modern cafe - a much-needed one in the local area.  With a modern menu, lovely interior (cosy horseshoe booths, sheer curtains, amber lighting and smart layout) and friendly staff, it's easy to whittle away a few hours here.