43 Epsom Rd Kensington
This is a local haunt of mine. It’s a cute little corner cafe, tucked away, with a calm, relaxed ambience. My personal favourite choice on the menu is the trout croquettes (18.50). It has a golden brown and crunchy coating, filled with trout, mash potato and herbs. Yum. Poached eggs are done just a little runny as one would expect. Hollandaise sauce is great, but the clean, crisp salad is the key necessity on the plate to cut through the richness of the double whammy of egg yolk and hollandaise sauce. I did love it when they had pomegranate in the salad, they seem to have cut that out of late.
I also had the buttermilk waffles with strawberries, nutella, vanilla ice-cream, coconut (and I asked for the white chocolate on the side) (13.50). Waffles were nice, thick and done perfectly. Enough, but not too much nutella, which was good.
All their dishes are fairly large portions. Coffee and the service is always decent here. Overall a family and dog friendly place I would return to again and again.
Value for money:7.5/10
Overall Score: 31.5/40
320 Ascot Vale Road, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne,VIC
Tel: 03 9370 2649
Ascot Food Hall, is on the side of the main road. I frequently drove past and it always looked busy.
The coffee is good. I was impressed in particular by the soy chai I ordered. Obviously not made from powder, brewed by the barista, lovely and not too sweet. The perfect soy chai.
We then ordered the soft shell crab burger and the duck egg, toasted brioche, shitake mushroom, parsley butter and shaved pecorino. The soft shell crab burger was delicious. The soft shell crab was juicy and crisp, the bun was light and gribiche, poached tomato and watercress complement the soft shell crab well. Yum!
The duck egg on brioche was equally well cooked. Though it is a very rich dish, and probably not one you can eat all the time. The duck egg was lovely and runny, and went well with the soft brioche toast slathered with parsley butter and pecorino. The mushroom cuts through the richness. It is a very enjoyable dish.
There is both an outside and inside to the cafe. The inside can get quite noisy as the sound really bounces around. The outside is nice, but the tables are slightly slanted! The staff are friendly and provide great service.
Value for money: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30/40
16 Pin Oak Cres, Flemington VIC 3031
Tel:(03) 9376 2668
Chef Lagenda is the rival to Laksa King, literally two doors down.
The word on the street is that one of the chefs broke away and started their own restaurant, perhaps deciding to taunt Laksa King with the notion that they could run an equally excellent Malaysian restaurant in the same neighbourhood; and that they did. (They also have a second restaurant in Deer Park)
I have to say I actually prefer their non laksa dishes and range of dishes to Laksa King’s choices. They have a much wider and more interesting selection. This time around we had the Nonya Seafood Combination (19.80) and the salt and pepper calamari (19.20). Loved the okra in the seafood dish, the seafood (prawns, fish, squid & scallops) was all fresh and succulent, and the lemongrass and tamarind sauce was great. The salt and pepper calamari was perfectly cooked. All in all a great meal. Highly recommend Chef Lagenda.
Value for money: 8/10
Overall Score: 31.5/40