La Condesa Taqueria is not breaking new ground, you’ve heard it all before – it’s a small taqueria with the total items on the menu being so concise that you could count them on the fingers of your hands. Apart from the small window front, the rest of the area is in a sort of makeshift beer garden hidden off a back alleyway.
With so many cafes opening up in Melbourne lately, sometimes it’s good to get away from all the hype and hit up an oldie but a goodie. Lux Foundry can be found in an impressive heritage-listed building in Brunswick, with ample seating both inside and out to accommodate the breakfast and lunch crowd. The coffees are made using Proud Mary coffee beans; we’re not coffee connoisseurs but we did enjoy our flat white and long macchiato.
Following my indulgent dinner at Scott Pickett’s new joint venture in Collingwood, Saint Crispin, I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to have dinner at his first venture with partner Ryan Flaherty (now a solo venture by Scott Pickett as of 5th Nov 2013) in Northcote, Estelle Bar & Kitchen. She assumed she was lucky because I didn’t mind a revisit to Estelle but in reality, I was more than willing to tag along and experience the fanciful and playfulness of the dishes served up at Estelle.
Knowing that in some instances, diners were left disappointed when they did not have enough time to experience the full nine course tasting menu ($110 per person), we informed our waiter of our intentions as soon as we were seated. With the two seating sessions in restaurants these days, arriving on time and alerting staff of this is a must!
Soon after, a platter with some starters arrived. The bonito cracker with drops of pumpkin (?) puree provided a nice contrast of a sweet and fishy flavours. The venison tartare on the sweet, crumbly biscuit was the favourite of the lot while the compressed melon in an edible wrapper was a refreshing bite.
It’s something to celebrate when the weather is amazing on the weekends and for once, you’re able to go out and enjoy it without being cooped up in the office! Our plans to head out to the wineries fell through so instead we decided to bask in the sun and enjoy some food. Northcote seems to be a new dining hotspot that I am more than happy to venture out to these days and Barry is the new kid on the block (coincidently, right next to Merricote, another favourite of mine). You may recognise the clean, bright and simplistic aesthetic of Barry; along with Touchwood and Pillar of Salt, they have all been opened up by the same people.
Everyone enjoys a good bitch out session. Come on, admit it! This isn’t only limited to the female population either, some of the biggest whingers I know are guys. We all need to let off steam once in a while and it’s so therapeutic when you’re able to laugh off the worst situations with a good friend. Lolo and Wren has long been on my brunching wishlist since it opened just before Christmas last year and Ms L wanted to venture away from our usual haunts and respective work suburbs. Lolo and Wren sitting underneath an apartment building in an eerily quiet suburb seemed to be the perfect hiding spot for us. The cafe, like many Melbourne cafes out there, is cool, hip and with many a hanging pendant lights. We were seated at the high communal tables which gave us a great view of all the food coming out the kitchen – a good yet at the same time, such a bad spot, seeing as we had major food envy with each new dish.
Ms L thoroughly enjoyed her macchiato after specifiying the exact way she likes it to be. Our waiter patiently explained their process to which she agreed to, and fortunately, she thoroughly enjoyed her long mac. She was also provided a small glass of sparkling water to cleanse her palate which was a first in her experience.
I had the unfortunate luck of getting ill two weekends in a row and spending majority of the Easter long weekend confined at home so by the last day of the weekend, I was getting pretty antsy. Craving good coffee and solid food, Mr A and I headed out to Brunswick to suss out the new café opened by Joseph Haddad – father of the Cafenatics brand. Code Black Coffee is housed in a double warehouse and upon entering, once your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see a sleek and elegantly designed interior that is really cool and pretty at the same time.
If you’re like me and you have no plans to escape Melbourne over the Easter holidays, you might be hoping to squeeze in some brunch dates. This Easter break might be your chance to relax and soak up all the glorious coffee and food that Melbourne has to offer. I’ve had some extra time on my hands the past week (sick in bed!!) so I decided to compile a list with opening hours over this period which I hope will help some people out there!