166 Station Street
On the corner of Station street and Raglan street in Port Melbourne sits a busy little cafe with a laid back attitude. Frequented by locals grabbing a coffee on their way to work, men and women meeting up on their lunch breaks or those just out for a stroll with their dogs; Station street Trading Co is clearly a favourite amongst Port Melburnians. I must admit I came across this gem when I got a little lost in the local streets while house hunting, finding myself in dire need of a coffee and something to eat. Lucky for me this cafe across from the tram tracks and overlooking a park had everything I was looking for and more.
What has kept me coming back has been their ‘Cajun chicken, with chipotle aioli roasted bell peppers’ which is nestled between two slices of the softest gourmet bread (I have an inclining it might be sourdough but I can’t be sure). I am a self proclaimed sandwich avoider (my mother was forced to keep my school lunch boxes SW free) but this meal has me converted.
Apart from a selection of tasty gourmet SW (pictured above) they provide breakfast all day which include the essential sweet corn and herb fritters with poached egg.
There is ample seating inside however its hard to pass up on alfresco dining outside on a sunny Melbourne morning.
417 Sturt street
T: 5333 1789
Anzac day in Ballarat called for a visit to L’espresso for coffee and lunch outside in the beautiful weather. A cafe frequented by locals and our gracious hosts, S and N, it offers scrumptious food and a collection of music CDs from all around the world for purchase.
Confit duck with roasted figs, fresh snowpea sprouts and balsamic reduction. One of the best duck dishes I’ve had for awhile; crispy skin with moist duck leg flesh that falls off the bone matched perfectly with the sweet figs and tart sauce.
S decided to have the martelli pasta with roasted eggplant in creamy tomato sauce and grated sheeps cheese. A great combination of flavours with a sharp bite from the unique salty cheese.
N and D both ordered the traditional fettuccine bolognaise with beef wagu; al dente pasta with a slow cooked sauce.
With a cabinet filled with delectable pastries and cakes to complement any cup of Amanti coffee for next time, I left this place with anticipation of my next visit here when I am back in Ballarat.
303 Coventary Street
T: 9645 7311
Opposite South Melbourne markets the coventary street café’s are always filled with locals having brunch on a Sunday morning. One particularly busy cafe is Qeleven, a cosy little eatery that serves wonderful food.
The best thing about dining with friends, apart from the company of course, is being able to try a host of different dishes.
Corn and zucchini fritters with poached eggs and rocket salad. A healthy breakfast with savoury fritters that have a burst of sweetness from corn in each mouthful.
Mexican extravaganza, my choice and possibly one of their best dishes. Sunny fried eggs with sweet potato rosti, refried beans with roasted capsicum and chipotle mayonnaise. Everyone else at the table definitely had food envy and I recommend you try this once if you ever come here.
The indian spiced eggs with roti brought back memories of breakfast at home with mums spicy omelette. Basically creamy scrambled eggs with a twist, that being cooked with indian spices such as garam masala and tumeric and finished with chopped coriander.
Simple mushrooms on toast, though nothing simple about these with smashed avocado and goats cheese.
Needing our morning caffeine fix we all devoured our coffees. However the coffee itself was very average and if you are heading here just for coffee then I would advise you to go elsewhere.
Cr Brunswick and Kerr St
T: 9417 5794
There are only a handful of places I like to brunch on Brunswick street and The Fitz is one of them. With casual dining that’s family friendly, the place is always buzzing with locals.
When L, G and I headed down Brunswick street today we opted to have lunch there.
L ordered the special, seafood linguini, which looked and smelt delicious from the moment it came out. The fact that L managed to eat everything that was on the huge plate was testimony to how good it really was.
After debating whether to have lunch or a late breakfast I gave in to my initial gut instinct to order the mexican beans with eggs and boy was I glad. This dish consisted on homemade spicy beans with tomato and jalapeños rolled in a wafer thin crepe served with a side of salsa, smashed avocado and sour cream. The eggs were poached perfectly with the right amount of gooey golden goodness and the spicy beans went very well with the savoury crepe.
G decided to go with a classic, the fitz brekky with poached eggs, bacon, grilled mushrooms and hollandaise sauce on mutligrain bread. All in all The Fitz is an old favourite that does not disappoint.
Cr Elgin and Drummond St
T: 9348 1118
After a late breakfast at home on a lazy Sunday, D and I headed out to Carlton Gardens to get as much out of the sunshine as we could. On our way there we came across Cafe Lua along Drummond street opposite to Pugs. Having walked past this area many times and not noticing this place before we decided to pop in for a quick bite. Inside we found a collection of bright colourful furniture and knick knacks haphazardly arranged making the whole interior very cosy and inviting.
The outside dining space was also a drawing card as we got to bask in the sun rays while it lasted in the afternoon.
The menu was limited, which to me is always a good sign because it usually means they do a few things and they do them well. It offered a selection of gourmet breakfasts, warm salads and freshly baked goodies. The prices were moderate however the portions were definitely on the generous side. Most items on the menu had a gluten free option which is very considerate.
We shared the special of the day; French toast with poached pear, candied walnuts, drizzled in chocolate sauce and creme fraiche. The layers of sweet moist toast with a crunchy outside and spice poached pear along with the crunch of the nuts made this a a perfectly composed sweet dish.
There coffee was also wonderful, though it really shouldn’t have been a surprise since they use DiBella coffee blend which I adore.
I would definitely come back to Cafe Lua, maybe next time I’ll try there Huevos Rancheros; chipotle and feta scrambled eggs on house made tortillas with salsa. Sounds yum!