Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guzman y Gomez, Crows Nest + Newtown

Miss Piggy dined as a guest of Guzman y Gomez.

I've sadly never been to Mexico so I really have no idea what "real Mexican food" tastes like. Ergo, I do not know if the food at Guzman y Gomez is authentic or not.  Nothing is covered in tonnes of melted cheese, and the Burittos have rice in them...so that's pretty authentic sounding to me. What I do know however is that every single Guzman y Gomez store I've ever been into is packed to the rafters with Spanish speaking employees, so that's got to be a good nod towards authenticity (no idea if they're Spanish or Mexican, but that's not the point really.  I have no point, it's just sometimes it's hard to start off a blog post so this seemed as good a way as any).

I was lucky enough to be given a few vouchers that allowed me to eat at Guzman y Gomez THREE times. Arriba!  I was meant to wait until The Boy and I could hit up this Mexican canteena together but we never got it together so I took VegeTARAian instead. You snooze you lose.

My first visit was to the Crows Nest store and we kicked things up with some snacks.  The delicious guacamole + corn chips ($5.00) seemed like a good place to start. The corn chips are quite salty which I LOVE and are not the artificial yellow colour of those Doritos we're all addicted too.  Tara and I also shared the Barramundi Quesadillas ($7.50 for 2). I was really happy to see a fish option on the menu as it meant a few more options for me, the Selective Carnivore. The Barramundi is sustainably farmed too, so props to Guzman y Gomez for that. 

The Burritos here are HUGE, but I had no trouble polishing off my half of this Veggie Burrito ($10.50) despite all the snacks we'd indulged in. The burritos come crammed full of rice, black beans, cheddar cheese and salsa. Guacamole is normally $2 extra, but with the veggie burrito it's included. Score! We washed all of this down with some Mexican soft drink called Jarritos ($4 a bottle). I love the Mandarin flavour, but the Guava was a tad sweet (I'm sweet enough).

Fate had it that The Boy and I were back in Guzman y Gomez territory a few weeks after Tara and I betrayed him at the Crows Nest store.  We were just looking for a quick bite to eat so both choose the Mini Burrito option ($6.50) which is perfect if you have a small appetite or aren't looking for a big burrito feast.  It was the Barramundi Burrito for me and the Chicken Burrito for The Boy. 

It seems to be apparent that I have developed a "thing" for the Barramundi at this place as it's not long before I am back (at the Newtown store this time). This time I opt for a Burrito Bowl ($10.50)...or Naked Burrito...or Burrito without the wrap...or Gluten Free Burrito.  Call it what you will, but man this stuff is GOOD - it's basically just a huge, rice filled salad that will keep you going for the rest of the day.

Sadly the vouchers have now run out...but I'll be back and spending my own coin on MORE Barramundi goodies.

Guzman y Gomez are all over the place - check out their website for locations.

Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria Crows Nest on Urbanspoon

Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria Newtown on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Coda, Melbourne

Sometimes the best laid plans are laid to waste. I blame The Boy and his need have an afternoon nap after our huge first day walking + eating our way around Melbourne. Soft.

Initially I'd hoped to have an early dinner at Chin Chin - a super cool new place on Flinders Lane (a bit like Sydney's Ms G's I'm told). Chin Chin gets VERY busy so I was told to get there REALLY early for a nana-dinner.  No worries, except for The Boy slept through my scheduled 5.45pm eating time. By the time we got to Chin Chin it was well after 7pm and there was a TWO HOUR WAIT for a table.  I was crushed - I mean, I'd stalked out Chin Chin earlier in the day and took all manner of photos of the exterior in preparation for my impending blog post. Hmmm.

Lucky I had my handy eating-list with me! Coda was just down the road so we headed there and were lucky enough to score a seat at the bar. The bar is always the best seat in the house I think - the bar staff are always friendly and it's entertaining to watch them shake their...cocktail shakers. This bar seat had the double whammy of being able to see into the kitchen - SCORE! 

Really fell in love with this Moritz beer whilst in Melbourne, and rekindled my love with G+T.

I actually thought that Coda was a Spanish Tapas restaurant.  Wrong (I obviously wasn't listening properly when my friend recommended this place to me).  It turns out it is Tapas, just Asian Tapas which is something different and HEAPS of yum.  There are loads of tempting small plates to start things off with and we restrain ourselves and order just three items.

After my po-boy love affair at Hartsyard I'm a determined to try EVERY SINGLE PO-BOY the world has to offer.  Coda's lamb po-boy ($8.00 each) is a bit of a nod to Momofuku with a soft + squishy steamed mantou bun filled with lamb + salady stuff and served with a chilli jam. I love the lamb filling - something different that's for sure. The crispy prawn and tapioca betel leaf ($5.80 each) looks a bit like a curry puff in appearance and is very VERY tasty.  The sugar cane prawn with sweet chilli sauce ($7.00 each) looks more like a fluffy lamb shank that a sugar cane prawn, but we both love the crunchy noodle outer than hides a soft, fluffy prawn past that is not unlike a croquette in texture.

We order one main between us and settle on the ‘Uhm-ma’ chicken ($38.00) mainly due to its funny name, but also as the chook is free-range. The chicken is served in spicy yet sweet sauce that is home to big pieces of meaty shitake mushrooms, sliced fish cake and shallots. Really REALLY delicious. Oh, we also had some more beer. Guzzle.

I wasn't going to have dessert, but The Boy decided to indulge and I didn't want him to be eating alone. I choose the ice-cream sandwich ($12.00) that was definitely very interesting to look at! The pastry-like "sandwich" looked more like a fried lotus root - the honeycomb and banana ice-cream = yum!

The Boy has had a life long love affair with meringue so went with the toasted meringue, vanilla chiffon cake, passionfruit curd, coconut and mango sorbet ($16.00).  This was a life altering moment for him (seriously, not joking) as there were declarations of this being the THE BEST dessert he's ever had, EVER (and he's had A LOT folks)! He says he finally understands what people are talking about when they bang on bout texture, smells, flavours etc all coming together for a "party in the mouth". So there you go Coda - you changed somebodies life with your little meringue dessert.

We had a great dinner at Coda - our second choice for dinner turned out to be our #1 Melbourne meal. The staff were damn friendly and the food was great. I can't wait to come back....soon!

Coda is in the Basement of 141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Phone them on 03 9650 3155.

Coda on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 26, 2012

Make it possible to end factory farming

I know I bang on a bit (a lot) about eating-free range and avoiding factory farming, but it's for a very good reason.

Did you know that the majority of pork, poultry and egg products we eat are raised in factory farms?  This means that nearly all the egg, pork + poultry product we consume come from animals that aren't treated as animals but as a "unit" in an intensive production system. They don't live outdoors in green, rolling pastures but are housed in overcrowded indoor systems, many never seeing the light of day until their trip to the abattoir arrives.

Animals Australia this week launched a new campaign that they hope will put an end to factory farming in Australia. The campaign is aimed at opening our eyes to what goes on behind the closed doors of factory farming so we, as consumers, can make kinder choices.

Have a watch of the video - it explains a lot and for some people the information within will be a revalation (believe me, until a year ago I had no idea this was how these animals lives. No idea).  And then what?  Make a pledge to help change the way we treat animals, all animals, in this country.

Be a voice for animals at AnimalsAustralia.org

It's OK to eat meat and eggs, but as consumers we have the power to make kinder choices at the checkout.  We have the power to help end the suffering of animals in factory farms.  Now that we've seen that the layer hens used to produce caged eggs are kept four to a tiny cage, why wouldn't you buy free range eggs?  It's a no brainer isn't it?

And what I am going to do?  

I pledge:
  • Not to support factory farming
  • NEVER EVER EVER to buy cage eggs. EVER.
  • To buy free-range eggs, poultry and pork.
  • To eat less meat. 

For more information visit Make it Possible.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Balcony Garden: Green Villages Talk

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to score a seat at the freebie gardening talk that the City of Sydney's "Green Villages" was holding at the Botanical Gardens. And even better than a free gardening talk is the that my balcony gardening HERO, Indira Naidoo, was one of the presenters. Squee *fan girl moment*.

Indira writes the blog Saucy Onion where she writes about gardening on her 13th floor balcony in Potts Point. Her garden is AMAZING - last year she harvested 70kgs of produce off her tiny twenty meter square balcony. And before she began gardening on her balcony she was a newbie gardener...just like me!

She's also the author of The Edible Balcony - an interesting and fun guide on how to get your own little patch of green urban paradise happening on your balcony. I've found this book INVALUABLE in getting my own garden happening...and it even provides recipes to give struggling cooks like me ideas of just what to do with ALL THAT LETTUCE that just keeps growing.

Indira was such a engaging speaker - I think everyone in the room fell in love with her as she shared funny anecdotes about her gardening efforts.  The worms in her worm-farm as referred to as her pets (that's city living folks - any living creature is a "pet" when you're not allowed to have a dog), stories are told about troublesome eggplants and jatz crackers are shared topped with her lovely basil pesto (basil direct from the garden thank you very much).

I took away some good tips from the talk:
  • put your pots on a movable support/base, so you can move your plants around as you need to (too sunny/shady - just wheel your plants to another spot)
  • if your pots are directly on the ground it's worth putting them on a piece of wood to stop the soil heating up from the bottom
  • use pots made of light material - you don't want you balcony to collapse under the massive weight of pots + soil
  • you can pretty much grow anything in a pot - you just need to try
  • when you edibles start to flower (like chives for example) it's best to leave the flowers to attract bees (though some flowers like chives go nicely in a salad)
  • bees are YOUR FRIEND! There are plants, such a zucchinis, that require bees in order to pollinate the fruit.
  • it's important that you "feed" your soil with something like Seasol. Soil is a living thing full of micro-organisms that are essential for healthy plant growth.
  • because your potting mix/soil has these micro-organisms make sure you wear gloves (and don't breathe it in) 
  • you can "maybe" reuse your soil once (possibly twice if you're a stooge like me) however growing plants in the soil/potting mix depletes all the micro-organisms. Pretty soon your soil is just "dead". 
  • so, if you can afford to start each new plant off with new (organic) potting mix
  • the "dead" dirt can just go into your green waste recycling bin
  •  because space is limited in your balcony once a plant is done fruiting for the season (like tomatoes for example) rip it out and plant something new.

We also had a chat from the Foundation + Friends of the Botanic Gardens who spoke to us about the botanical gardens and other stuff like "seed saving" which you can only do from Heirloom produce (so saving seeds from the plants you grow).  They also very kindly gave each person at the talk a seeding to take home - I was lucky enough to be given Thyme AND Rosemary...hopefully this rosemary will last the distance this time.

The last speaker was another gardening blogger (and permaculturist) Celia Mcauley of Balcony Garden Dreaming. Celia had a lot of technical knowledge but really pushed that our gardens such be a dreamy and welcome respite from our hectic city lives. Her big tip, put a chair on your balcony, sit down and enjoy your green space (oh, and much sure you mulch to keep the moisture in your pots).

Green Villages has a host of various workshops on offer. Check them out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Shanghai, Ashfield

Miss Piggy + The Boy dined as guests of New Shanghai  Ashfield and Wasamedia

The Boy and I pay a visit to Sydney’s “little Shanghai” to try out the offerings at new kid on the block, New Shanghai. When I call Ashfield “little Shanghai” it really is! Every second restaurant has Shanghai in the name and is crammed filled with dumpling addicts like us. If you didn’t know you were in Sydney...well you’d think you were somewhere else...like Shanghai perhaps?

The following post will give you a good indication as to why I’ve called this blog “The Adventures of Miss Piggy”. It’s nothing to do with a Muppet – it’s to do with a girl whose eyes are bigger than her VERY big stomach. Miss Piggy. That’s me (although I also blame our over-ordering on our very nice waitress who wanted us to try everything...she kept suggesting things and we kept saying yes)!

Dinner begins with a pot of hot Jasmine Tea – like it does in most Chinese Restaurants. It gives us a change to peruse the HUGE menu and check out the dumpling ladies at work in their glass fronted booth.  They kindly pose for a few photos – masks up of course so that they remain incognito!

We kick things off with a small serve (!) of New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (steamed mini pork buns $6.80 for a small serve) and a serve of Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings ($7.00). Both were really great – the vegie dumplings had a lovely filling of fresh Chinese leafy greens.  Silly us though as we let the XLB sit a little too long – they should be eaten whilst piping hot so the soup is still hot and warming in the belly.

The deep fried pastry filled with white radish and ham ($8.80) comes coated in sesame seeds and looks as pretty as a picture. The pastry looks like it has been scored and this adds to the flakiness. I had one of these cold the following day for breakfast (we took MANY doggy bags home) and I have to say it was even better the next day!  Seeing as we were indulging in pastry covered goodies, the shallot pancake ($4.80) could not be passed up. This is easily the best shallot pancake I've had - often they are oily and not very appetising, but the offering at New Shanghai was PERFECTION! The pastry was flaky, not oily and the filling was delish!

Because we're feeling adventurous and are egged on by our lovely waitress we order some items that normally wouldn't appear on our table...ever! Extreme dining (Miss Piggy style).

The Boy had his heart set on the intriguing sounding thousand layer pigs ear ($6.80) - pigs ear set in a almost aniseed flavour hard jelly - which was a really nice dish. The flavour of the jelly was wonderful and the textural element of the crunchy pigs egg worked well with the melt in the mouth jelly. The Shanghai-style deep fried fish soaked in herb, spice and dark soy sauce ($8.80) had quite a strong fishy flavour and although served cold it still had quite a crunch to it - this was another BIG hit with The Boy.  I would have to say that deep fried tofu coated with salted egg yolk ($13.80) is definitely an acquired taste. The duck egg was came as a foam over the tofu and was quite grainy in texture. I know people who LOVE salted duck eggs but I found the flavour of this quite overpowering and the smell quite pungent. I wouldn't mind trying salted duck egg again however - in its "egg" form.

Are you full yet?  Too bad as we still have FIVE main dishes to go.  After talking with our waitress we thought the dishes would come out in smaller portion sizes (likea tasting menu) hence the slight over-ordering.

I am fan of anything "salt + pepper" so I of course LOVED the salt and pepper prawns ($18.80).  I really like the dried shallot/chilli topping and the crunch noodles that salt + pepper dishes come on.  The Boy was smitten with the Beijing style pork ribs ($13.80) - the sauce tasting almost like a sweet + sour sauce (these were a hit cold the next day too).

We couldn't resit ordering the Drunken Chicken ($8.80) - chicken soaked in Chinese wine with various "secret" herbs and spices.  This is another dish that is served cold and it has such fresh and refreshing flavours - I felt very healthy eating this.  We also tried the Garlic Eggplant ($10.80) - another great dish. The eggplant was tender, flavoursome (but not overpowered by garlic flavours) and not at all oily as some eggplant dishes can be (eggplant is just like a big sponge after all). I like this so much in fact that I've already consulted Mr Google for a recipe on how to make this at home.  And no Chinese meal that involves dumplings or shallot pancakes is complete without chopped cucumber tossed with fresh garlic ($7.80) - I'm pleased to report the version of this I make at home tastes really similar.

Although we are both very full we active our dessert stomachs as the temptation of deep-fried ice cream ($5.60) is too much to resist. The Boy + I both agree that this was the BEST deep-fried ice cream we've ever had. EVER! The batter was so thick and almost tasted like a doughnut and the ice cream was super creamy. I'll be back just for this (oh, and the shallot pancake too of course)!

New Shanghai is at 273 Liverpool Road, Ashfield. Call them on 9797 7284.

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights

For a change The Boy and I head west, not east, in search of a delicious Sunday lunch and we're not disappointed when we arrive at Lochiel House at the base of the Blue Mountains. Lochiel House can be found in Kurrajong Heights, about 15 minutes west of Richmond on The Bells Line of Road (how romantic does "Bells Line of Road" sound - I've always loved the name of this road).

Lochiel House is situated in a beautiful old cottage built by a former convict that dates back to around 1825 (so even older than The Boy)!  Despite the history and beautiful location it's Lochiel House's locally grown produce and use of ethically raised meat that attracts me. Chefs Wayne and Phil are also big on "nose to tail" dining and I'm keen to challenge myself to start eating bits of the animal that I would normally screw my nose up at (except for intestines - blergh)! We're hear for some extreme dining!

For my entree I choose the intriguing sounding Gin Cured Salmon, Horseradish, Potatoes, Lemon ($16). I love the salmon + I LOVE the creamy potato salad sprinkled with dill but it's the GIN component that gets me on this dish - is there anything that Gin cannot do I ask you?  The Boy follows his souffle-loving-heart and orders the Cheese Souffle ($18) - it's miraculously light and fluffy and tastes almost like cheesy yet aerated scrambled eggs - totally different in texture to the dessert souffles we've been indulging in lately. It's quite simply...amazing!

The chefs very kindly send out a surprise middle course for us to try, the special of the day: broccoli in prosciutto + artichokes with a Pork Fat Mayonnaise. Yep, you heard right: PORK FAT MAYO! Pork fat has been used instead of oil in the making of the mayo and as it cools, the fat solidifies leaving the mayonnaise to look more like a quenelle of butter...it's amazing and we end up just eating by the spoonful, sinfully delicious and not at all fatty tasting.  The vegetables on this dish were picked that very morning from the Lochiel House kitchen garden which I just LOVE, you could not be eating fresher greens if you tried. The entire dish is dusted with a pork crackling crumb - need I say more?

For my main I choose the Nose to Tail Pork with Cauliflower ($38).  I actually thought there would be something wobbly, offally and confronting on my plate but everything was quite tame (*phew*)! This dish was so beautifully presented and offered so many different tastes of pork - a pork lovers dream come true. We could tell that a lot of thought and care has gone into presenting parts of the pig that we wouldn't normally eat in this country - it was a true work of art (and skill) and I think really respectful to the animal. Well done is all I can say.

Looking at the plate from the bottom we have: cauliflower puree sitting under spice cauliflower; pork belly; a pork tail and potato hash (this was GOOD!), a quenelle of "cauliflower cous cous" (raw, finally diced cauliflower that actually had the texture of cous cous - lovely); a croquette of richly braised pigs trotter; a ballotine of pigs head (looking happily like my beloved Porchetta) and the longest strip of pork crackling EVER!

The Boy ordered the Assiete of Lamb with Leeks + Peas ($38) which came with the jackpot of wibbly-wobbly offal...Lambs Brain! Neither of us had tried brains before so were both excited and freaked out, and really pleased that they were nice. There is no strong lamb flavour and the soft texture of the brain was counterbalanced by a lovely crispy outer shell - almost like eating a large sweatbread. I'd also never tried a Scotch Egg before so was also excited to see a Scotch Quail Egg on the plate - delicious. I missed out on trying the Milly Hill Rack of Lamb (The Boy inhaled this) but I was offered some of the Pea Panacotta - lush, creamy and lovely.

We couldn't pass up the Chips with Truffle, Parmesan + Parsley ($9) - they were even more delicious than the look, super fat and crunchy. I also like to eat a bit of greens with my main meal so choose the Lochiel Garden Salad ($9) with everything in the bowl coming straight out of their kitchen garden - love it. 

Although we'd just ordered two desserts the chefs send out a complimentary dessert - I think to purely test the capacity of this food bloggers stomach! Always up for a challenge we ate every crumb of the Lemon Panacotta with Lemon Verbena Ice Cream and Bay Leaf Shortbread. Being a lover of tart, citrus flavours this dessert was right up my alley. The ice-cream was made using Lemon Verbena that grows in the kitchen garden - it was tart, lemony and delicious!

The Boy could not pass up a dessert simply titled "Chocolate" ($18) and when the plate arrived at our table we were both slaw-jawed with delight! So much chocolate (plus Peanut Butter ice cream) all in one place. If you have a sweet tooth then this is the dessert choice for you - "bendy chocolate", aerated chocolate, chocolate crumb sat along side a slice of orange olive oil cake and a piece of fresh orange.

Inspire by my other favourite drink, Pimms, my dessert, "Pimms No. 1" ($18) was almost too pretty to eat, almost! This dessert was AMAZING, each mouthful was like eating a perfect lolly: sweet, but not too sweet.  Each mouthful had a medley of different textures - Pimms jelly, cucumber sorbet, soft meringue, mamarshmallow foam and raspberry jellies. This was the perfect note to end our amazing lunch with. What a great afternoon!


After we finished eating we decided to go and check out the lovely kitchen garden...to say I was a little jealous of this garden is a massive understatement. I could've sat at out in the garden all afternoon, enjoying the sun and the sound of the bees buzzing happily from plant to plant. I love that SO much of the food we enjoyed in our lunch came from this garden - can't get more locavore than that!

Lochiel House is at 1259 Bells Line Of Road, Kurrajong Heights. Phone them on 02 4567 7754.  We'll be going back for a Saturday brunch ASAP!

Well, what are you waiting for? Get in your car and GO GO GO!

Lochiel House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cumulus Inc, Manchester Press + Earl Canteen, Melbourne

If there's one thing that Melbourne has over Sydney in spades its the plethora of amazing cafes, bars + restaurants located right smack bang in the middle of the city. Sydney has some good places to eat and things are improving due to the advent of the 'small bar', plus we have a rockin' Chinatown - but our offering of CBD eating places is dwarfed but what Melbourne has on offer.  Down every Melbourne street, laneway, alley, in every nook and cranny is somewhere to feed your hunger or quench your thirst. My Melbourne eating wishlist is testament to this - when I printed it out it was nearly an entire A4 page long.

Cumulus Inc.

Cumulus Inc. is probably one of the most popular brunch spots in Melbourne's CBD from what I can tell. Located on Flinders Lane (a street that has about 1000 awesome places to eat) it's been crowded every single time we've ever walked past.  Lucky for us we're in Melbourne on a Friday and when we rock up for brunch at 11am the place is pretty empty.

We kick things off with a coffee - a skinny cappuccino for The Boy as per usual. I decide that I need to become more sophisticated in my coffee drinking so order a "long macchiato ". Yikes, talk about STRONG! I needed two sugars to get this baby down. I guess sophistication is just not my thing.

The Boy continues his big breakfast tradition and orders the The Full English ($18.00) – a large plate resplendent with (free range) farmhouse slab bacon, blood sausage on toast, fried eggs and smoked tomato. He says it was wonderful and really enjoyed the blood sausage (he's obviously more sophisticated than me). I snuck a bit of bacon - very nice!

My sardines on toast ($15.00) is a lesson in restraint. It's fairly petit compared to The Boy's breakfast extravaganza, but it forces me to slow down and enjoy each mouthful rather than inhaling my meal like I usually do. Oink. The sardines come on sourdough toast with tomato, fennel and capers.  I also order an OJ - to help wash away my earlier macchiato-madness

Of course, a holiday brunch isn't complete without something sweet to finish things off with.  The dainty little Madeleines ($2.50) served with tart, yet sweet lemon curd are the perfect note to end on.

Cumulus Inc is at 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.  Phone them on 03 9650 1445 (although they only take bookings for groups - everyone is just "take your chances".

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Earl Canteen

Although we've litereally only just finished brunch we make a slow beeline towards the other end of town for lunch. I have a big wishlist and there is NO time to waste.  I was expecting EARL Canteen to be tucked away in a laneway, but we finding it hiding in the courtyard of a huge city highrise (just under Movida Aqui). What a great lunch spot these office-drones have at their doorstep. Jealous.

What attracted me to Earl Canteen was what seems to attract me to most places these days - their great ethically sourced meat. The menu board states loud + proud that their meat is free-range, so there's no need to ask the waitstaff 20 questions (not that I ever do that of course).

There was A LOT to tempt on Earl's simple menu board, but at the end of the day neither The Boy nor I could go past our beloved Roast Pork. The crunchy roll is bursting with two thick pieces of crispy skin free range pork belly (LOOK AT THAT CRACKLING PEOPLE!!!), apple, cabbage & fennel coleslaw and wilted silverbeet ($13.50).

Although we were both full to bursting there was a serious debate at our table about going halvies in the delicious sounding Roast free-range chicken roll served with crushed peas, bacon, marmalade and POTATO CRISPS!  Next time.

Earl Canteen is at 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne.  Phone them on (03) 9600 1995.

EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon

Manchester Press

Manchester Press is tucked way down a narrow graffiti-strewn laneway. It's a mammoth cafe space that inhabits an old printing factory. Once again The Boy and I are gobsmacked at how such fantastic eateries just pop up in the most unlikely places. It all seems so organic in Melbourne - in Sydney these sort of things seem to be a bit more...contrived.

The space is HUGE yet 10 minutes after we arrive there's a queue of people out the door waiting for a table. The fit out is best desribed as "shabby-industrial" with quirky little details like an illumated robot over the espresso machine and a rather large bowling pin trying to hide away in a corner. I love the large drawings that hang on nearly every piece of clear wall.

I decide to go back to my roots and order a Skinny Cappuccino...The Boy copies me and orders the same.

There's not much else on the menu here asides from bagels...there's a few granola or fruit salad type things but bagels are the main event people. I've really not seen such a dizzing array of bagels on offer outside of a New York deli - it's fantastic. I love the idea of a cafe doing one thing, but doing it REALLY well.

The Boy opts for the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado + tomato) and it's a rather large affair. He seems perplexed about how to best get it in his mouth, but squashing the huge slab of avacado makes it an easier feat to accomplish.  The promise of dill cream cheese sold me on the open pastrami bagel. The only thing that would've made my breakfast perfect would've been an onion bagel - but I probably need to go back to NYC for that.

Manchester Press is at 8 Rankins Lane. The have the MOST LOVELY staff so go and enjoy a tops bagel and a coffee. You won't regret it. 

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Free Blog Template by June Lily