Shanklin Cafe

Shanklin Cafe has intrigued me for a while now with its crazy high rating of 4.9 on Zomato. After skipping out on brunching for a while, I decided that it was maybe time to restore my faith in what used to be my favourite meal of the day with a visit to Shanklin.

The interior was right up my alley, being set in a restored Victorian style building, and a front yard that was perfect to bring your furry friend to. The inside was equally as pretty, carrying through the rustic use of exposed bricks, with a feature wall of blue and pink mosaic-esque tiles.

Iced Latte – $4.50

It was quite a warm day, and my dining partner chose to have an iced latte. We were a little confused as to how this was served, with a shot of espresso coupled with a larger glass that seemingly already had some coffee in it. Regardless, it was an icy brew that gave the right amount of caffeine kick.

Flat White – $4.00

My usual order of flat white was equally satisfying, being a dark roast that was easy to sip on.

Portobello Mushroom – $23.00

The portobello mushroom is said to be a must-order at Shanklin Cafe, and my friend was more than willing to try the dish, given her love towards mushrooms to start off with. The plate had a lot going on for it; the vibrant colour of the romesco sauce is what first stood out in the dish, which paired well with the earthiness of the juicy portobello mushrooms. The two poached eggs added sustenance, and the zaatar on both the mushrooms themselves and sprinkled over the top brought a Middle-Eastern touch.

Although not marked as such, I think this was a vegetarian dish, and a substantial one at that.

Pork Benny – $22.00

It’s always hard for me to say no when pork belly appears on the menu, and so it was a no-brainer to order the pork benny. The pieces of roasted pork belly was on the fatty side, which means that if you’re a eater of leaner cuts of meat, this may not be right for you. The hollandaise did prevent the dish from being too heavy though, and I did quite enjoy it.

Did I enjoy my meal at Shanklin? Sure. The food was hearty and classic, with innovative elements tied in. I did think that it was on the pricier side though, with most dishes being above the $20 mark, and if you were to order a drink too, the bill would easy rack up to around $30. That’s the thing with a lot of brunch places I think, not exactly over-priced, but not exactly bang for your buck either.

Maybe I’ve just grown out of the brunch phase, but I can’t really justify that sort of spending like I used to. I mean I’m still going to indulge in it here and there, but it certainly isn’t going to be a weekly thing anymore. Oh well, c’est la vie.

How to get here:
Shanklin is located on Tooronga Road, catch the #75 tram and get off at Tooronga Road/Riversdale Road, and the cafe is three minutes walk away.

Shanklin Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lux Foundry

Easter break came at a much needed time, and my friend and I made the most out of the one day with the good weather to do a day trip to Trentham Falls, which was really pretty! The walk was a little scary for me, but rock climbing’s just really not my thing.

You what is know my thing though? Brunch, always brunch. Case and point, if I know I’m going on a semi-hike, then there’s only one thing that will get me out of bed that morning, you guessed it, brunch.

And that’s how we ended up taking a little detour, and went to Brunswick for some food before heading to Trentham Fall.

Good brunch places are definitely not in short supply on this end of town, we chose Lux Foundry because it has a very vegetarian friendly menu, which was perfect since one of us is a vegetarian.4

3

Middle Eastern Breakfast – $17.50

Even though I’m not a vegetarian, and usually always go for things like bacon, pulled pork, pork belly, bacon, bacon, bacon, I wanted something on the lighter side on this particular occasion, and ordered the Middle Eastern breakfast. It consisted of two poached eggs, two falafels, beetroot relish, smokey baba ganoush, and the carb came in the form of grilled zataar flat bread.

The zataar meant that the flat bread was good enough to eat on its own, but even better when dipped in the ooey egg yolk, or some baba ganoush. The falafels were crispy on the outside, and had a good mix of spices inside to keep things interesting. The beetroot relish provided some acidity if you find the dish too heavy, which it wasn’t in my book anyway.

Overall, the dish worked really well together, and kept me full and happy on the hike, or as happy as I can be when hiking anyway.

21The beautiful weather on the day meant that we could seat in the courtyard, where we spotted/squealed over many people enjoying the food with their paw friends.

Lux Foundry has a loyal following, especially considering the fierce competition in the area, and it’s easy to see why, the half page menu was interesting enough, and the friendly service was highly appreciated. Give it a go if you’ve tried all the places on Sydney Road, and is looking for something that’s a tad bit more hidden away.

How to get here:
Lux Foundry is located on Hope Street, catch tram #19 from Melbourne Central or Flinders St Station, and get off at stop #24, Lux Foundry is a five minutes walk away from the tram stop.

Lux Foundry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tall Timber

Brunch and I have a bit of a love hate relationship as of late. With new cafes popping up left, right and center, it’s near impossible to make time and visit some of the old school favourites. But hey, first world problems am I right?

Anyway, my friend and I finally managed to visit Tall Timber after all these years. We went on a cloudy Saturday morning, and the place was absolute packed, but we managed to score a table in the outside area.

1

2

Skinny Flat White – $4.00

Given that we arrived before 10am, which is pretty much two hours earlier than my normal brunch time, I had to get a coffee to start things off. The coffee was smooth and went down easy, although nothing out of this world, it was exactly what I needed.

3

Eggs Benedict – $20.90

The eggs benedict is one of the most, if not the most popular dish at Tall Timber, and I had to give it a go. The golden apple cider hollandaise was silky and creamy, with just the right amount of acidity, pulled pork was juicy and flavoursome,  and there was plenty of it; and the eggs were, of course, perfectly poached. Apple and pork is a classic flavour combination, and it was great to see Tall Timber translate a Sunday roast to a breakfast classic.

My only issue with this dish was the bread they used, it read sour dough on the menu, but to me, it was more akin to white bread.

4

I was tempted to grab a butterbing on my way out, but managed to leave without one, self control eh.5

You can tell how bad the weather was in this photo, however, it was still packed full of people, which just goes to show how much people love this place. And just like the rest of Melbourne, brunch is something I’m still always down for, no matter how much I whine about it.

How to get there:
Tall Timber is located on Commercial Road, catch tram #72 from Flinders St Station or Melbourne Central, and get off at stop #29 Braille Library, the cafe is a minute walk away.

Tall Timber Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Crux & Co

My best friend came down to Melbourne for her birthday weekend, and what better way to start off the celebration than a birthday brunch?

The Crux & Co has been on my radar for a while, but it was only when we arrived that I realised it was right opposite Kettle Black, where I celebrated my birthday a couple of years ago, what a coincidence!12

The interior of Crux & Co was spot on, large and airy, with high ceilings and plenty of green plants to go around, the space was chic yet homely.

3

Croissant w/ Smoked Salmon and Ricotta – $16.00

The food came out relatively quick, and of course, being a cafe in South Melbourne, it wouldn’t be complete with some edible flowers thrown into the mix. The croissant itself was buttery and flakey, with layers of smoked salmon hiding underneath a green salad, the creamy ricotta also went well with a salmon, though it’s not a flavour combination that I had seen before.

4

There was also plenty of sweet offerings in the glass cabinet, however, I had to head back to uni, and didn’t have a chance to sample anything,. But hey, that just mean I have to make a return soon!

How to get there:
The Crux & Co is located on Albert Road, catch any tram from stop #13 Federation Square/Swanston Street, and get off at stop #20 Domain Interchange/St Kilda Road, and the cafe is three minutes walk away.

The Crux & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Legacy

Stepping into Legacy, the Scandinavian-inspired interior already made me excited for the food that we’re about to have. There is a communal table when you first enter at the cafe, but we were sat at one of the tables towards the back, providing just a tad more privacy.

1

Skinny Flat White – $3.90

Starting things off with a skinny flat white, since you know, try new things, venture out, all that good stuff. The coffee was smooth and went down a treat.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Lamb Super Salad – $20.00

I was pretty proud of myself for getting a salad, it’s like seriously, who have I become? A salad person? WHAT?! All joking aside, this super salad actually didn’t taste all that… salad-y (?), and by that I mean, there was a ton of flavour and textures going on, yet it was still quite mellow. There was a good amount of lamb, and the obligatory greens took the form of kale and rocket, two of my favourite leaves when prepared right, and the hazelnuts added a nice toasty touch. The sweetness of the cranberries also offset the sourness from the beetroot pachadi perfectly. Overall, there was pretty much nothing to fault, and it’s actually a salad I would order again, and that is saying a lot!

34Legacy has a short yet exciting menu, paired with some gorgeous colourful healthy smoothies, yet it doesn’t come off as overly pretentious where you would only fit in if you were decked out in gym gear, which is actually quite hard to achieve. If you’re looking for a new cafe to try in the Eastern suburbs, definitely give Legacy a shot!

How to get there:
Legacy is located on Camberwell Road, catch tram #64 and get off at stop #61, Camberwell Junction/Burke Road, and the cafe is around 7 minutes walk away.

Legacy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queensberry Pourhouse

Queensberry Pourhouse is pretty inconspicuous, hiding in the corner of Queensberry and Bouverie Street, I must’ve walked past it a bunch of times on the way to class. Earlier this year, I finally visited it when catching up with a friend.

1

Flat White – $4.50

The coffee was pretty standard, although I think their specialty is the batch brew, but I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough on the day.

3

Lamb Pie w/ Coffee Gravy and Tomato Sauce

Can’t seem to find this on the menu anymore, but from memory, it was a pretty delicious pie. The filling was quite flavoursome, and the pastry was buttery without being overly flakey. I was pretty iffy about the coffee gravy, but the light bitterness actually complimented the pie quite well.

2

Mushroom Toastie – $12.50

My friend got the mushroom toastie, which had two types of mushrooms and two types of cheese, field and enoki mushrooms, and provolone and grana padano. She said the sandwich was quite mild, but with a good earthy flavour from the mushrooms. She did find the pickle a bit random though, and didn’t think it went with the toastie itself.

Although nothing out of the ordinary, given Queensberry Pourhouse’ proximity to uni, and its casual atmosphere, I can see myself returning from time to time.

How to get here:
Catch any tram from Flinders St Station, Federation Square side, and get off at stop #4 Queensberry St/Swanston St, the cafe is three minutes walk away.

Queensberry Pourhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Three Monkeys Place

Brunch places popping up in the east side always excites me, which is why I visited Three Monkeys Place with a friend before she left for exchange, to give her one last dose of Melbourne to last through the six months.1234The colour palette of aqua, pink and white was right up my alley, with some hanging lights and exposed walls, Three Monkeys Place has got the shabby chic vibe down packed.5

6

Skinny Flat White

I sipped on a skinny flat white while pursuing the menu, and the coffee was robust and earthy, the tiffany blue cup and saucer set was sooooo cute.

7

Beets and Thyme Salmon

The house-cured salmon is one of Three Monkey Places signature dish, and this was before the avocado rose craze, so kudos to them. Presentation aside, the salmon was of a good thickness, and both flavours can be tasted, the beets was both more vibrant in colour and flavour, while the thyme was quite mellow.8

 

The fennel and rocket salad lightened up the dish, while the poached egg added some creaminess, however, I was a bit confused by the horseradish cream.

9

Wild Shroom

Following the logic of you can never go wrong with mushrooms, my friend ordered the wild shrooms. The dish sounded quite simple on paper, and what she received reflected that quite well. Although nothing was wrong with the dish per se, there was nothing imaginative about it either, and she was a bit disappointed. 10111213Although Three Monkeys Place looks quite small when you first walk in, there is a few seating area, including a cute courtyard towards the back of the cafe, which would perfect once the weather gets warmer.

Three Monkeys Place served up some comforting yet non-exciting brunch food, it’s pretty much what I expect from a local cafe. Given that there are a couple of brunch places that are definitely above par in the east side, and Three Monkeys Place isn’t exactly that close to me, I don’t think I will be rushing back anytime soon.

How to get there:
Three Monkeys Place is located on Jackson Court, get on bus #279 and get off at stop Doncaster Rd/Wetherby Rd, the cafe is around 10 minutes walk away.

Three Monkeys Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato