Friday, 11 April 2014

Proud Mary

‘Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin’...’ Oh no! Now I have another Creedence song stuck in my head. I had finally stopped humming ‘Bad Moon Rising’ all the time and now I have Proud Mary on repeat. The obvious cure for my condition was to head straight to Proud Mary in Collingwood.  It is an extremely popular warehouse cafe so be prepared to wait on the weekends. The staff were welcoming and were eager to help. 

As a coffee roaster, Proud Mary has all your coffee needs covered as well as a whole range of other non-coffee drinks like the Mrs Mia Wallace’s $10 Shake – cacao, banana, and peanut butter. We ordered some lattes ($3.80) while we checked out the menu. I was a little alarmed that the couple next to us left their coffees half finished! At a café where coffee is their big drawcard! Our coffees arrived and they were quite good but it’s probably not my favourite coffee blend.  
Items on the breakfast menu include ‘Parmesan Pudding –jamon serrano, poached egg, grilled asparagus and parmesan pudding on farmhouse toast ($17.50) and the ‘Ricotta Hotcakes - roasted stone fruit, yoghurt, blood orange ice-cream and cookie crumb’ ($17.50). We both chose something from the lunch menu. I ordered ‘The Gnudi Run - ricotta & parmesan gnudi, forest mushrooms, French peas, Jerusalem artichoke and lemon brown butter’ ($18.00). I really loved this... Everything on the plate was just brilliant, from the gigantic peas to the golden gnudi orbs. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it now...

The Gnudi Run

My dining companion picked the ‘Smoked Brisket Ciabatta: smoked brisket, BBQ beer onions, aged jack cheddar, bread & butter pickles and spring greens’ ($16.00). This was another smashing dish! The brisket was just melt in your mouth and the smokiness added a further depth of flavour.
Smoked Brisket Ciabatta

If you want some seriously fabulous food next time you are in Collingwood then you should definitely just keep rollin', rollin', rollin' on down Smith Street and straight into Proud Mary…

Address: 172 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC

Phone: 03 9417 5930




Trading Hours: Mon – Fri: 7.00am – 4.00pm
                      Sat – Sun: 8.00am – 4.00pm
                              Public Holidays: 7.00am – 4.00pm
Proud Mary on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Liar Liar

Tucked away off Glenferrie Road, is Liar Liar. On the weekends, it can be difficult to get a table as it is very popular and the interior is quite small. The space is industrial but slightly dark and mysterious. We were seated in a cosy nook at the rear of the café. A gorgeous light box lit our table and created a dramatic mood. The guy that served us was full of personality which made a lovely change. We started with some coffee. My latte ($3.70) was luscious and quite chocolaty. The flavour was strong but not bitter. A very well made coffee...


Now, for food related matters... Items on the menu include the ‘Big Fat Liar ($18.50) – eggs anyway, bacon, pork chipolatas, roasted mushrooms, spinach, thyme roasted tomato, and house made relish’ and the ‘Quinoa and Potato Rosti ($19.50) with smoked salmon, avocado, poached egg, and hollandaise’. Today I didn’t feel like a huge breakfast-style meal so I thought I would opt for a pide ($10.00). I would have ordered the Vegie version (artichoke, capsicum, rocket, pumpkin, goat’s cheese, aioli, and pesto) but I really dislike goat’s cheese. So, I went with the alternative pide – ‘Chicken with avocado, tasty cheese, aioli, and pesto’. It was nice and moist thanks to the perfectly cooked chicken and the aioli. There is nothing worse than a dry chicken sandwich... Besides, pesto always makes a chicken sandwich more interesting. The pide was perhaps a little too charred around the edges though.

Chicken Pide
My dining companion chose the B.L.A.T. ($13.00) – bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato with aioli on a Turkish pide. My friend enjoyed this dish and it was packed full of bacon and very filling indeed.


As we were paying our bill, the cakes were calling to me... Alas, I was very full. Next time though...

Address: 90 Kinkora Rd, Hawthorn, VIC

Phone: 03 9818 8864

Trading Hours: Mon – Fri: 7.00am – 5.00pm
                       Sat – Sun: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Liar, Liar on Urbanspoon

Monday, 7 April 2014

Apple and Walnut Cake

I prefer rustic, home-made cakes that are fresh from the oven. Not those bought-in, plastic looking cakes that you see in some cafés (how old are they??). Apples and walnuts make a gorgeous combination in cakes and this recipe is based on a Fresh Living magazine recipe (May 2004) I had ripped out.

Serves 8 (Big serves!)


·        125g butter, chopped

·        1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar

·        1 teaspoon vanilla essence

·        2 free-range eggs

·        2 tbs milk (if the mixture is a little dry)

·        1/2 cup (75g) plain flour

·        1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour

·        1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·        1/2 cup (60g) walnuts, coarsely ground

·        2 apples, quartered, cored, very thinly sliced

·        2 tablespoons apricot jam


1.    Preheat oven to 190°C (conventional). Grease and line a 26cm x 16cm slab pan.

2.    Use an electric beater to beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs. Fold in flours, cinnamon, walnuts, and milk (if needed). Spoon into pan. Smooth. Place apple slices into mixture in three long rows, skin side up.

3.    Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched. Set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Heat apricot jam in the microwave until runny. Brush over top of slice. Cut into squares. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company

When visiting the Yarra Valley, wineries may be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are also some fabulous microbreweries to try as well. Lately, I have experienced much joy sampling the many craft beers Australia has to offer. Since reading about a Chestnut Ale in an English magazine, I’ve been dying to try it but have been unable to source it in Australia. If you know of any Chestnut beer available in Australia, please let me know!


Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company is located in Yarra Glen, just along the street from the Yarra Glen Hotel. We were seated in the back room by our lovely waitress and thought we would start with some beer of course! If you can’t decide what beer to choose or you just want to sample a range of beers, Hargreaves Hill offers a Tasting Paddle for $8.00. Today, we ordered a Pilsner ($5.50), Pale Ale ($5.00), and a Stout ($6.50). My favourite out of the three was the Pilsner. The water was served in a dimpled beer mug which I thought was very cute.
Pale Ale & Stout
The menu was quite small and consisted of seven main dishes as well as some nibbles and starters such as Cumin Squid with lemon aioli ($16.00). Mains include ‘Housemade Potato & Parmesan Gnocchi with locally grown mushrooms, goat’s cheese & walnuts’ ($28.00) and ‘Roasted Pork Belly & Fresh Apple Slaw’ ($25.00). I chose the ‘Trevally fillets in Pale Ale Batter, with chips’ ($25.00). The beautifully flaking fish was surrounded in a divine batter. The chips were amazing! Crunchy and tasty, they were the perfect accompaniment to my Pale Ale. The parsley salad refreshed the palate and the cherry tomatoes were really sweet.

Trevally Fillets

My dining companion picked the ‘Black Angus Steak Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion & housemade mustard aioli on toasted sourdough’ ($25.00). This was another delightful meal and the steak was nice and tender.

Black Angus Steak Sandwich

Why not consider visiting a microbrewery instead of a winery next time you are in the Yarra Valley...

Address: 25 Bell Street, Yarra Glen, VIC

Phone: 03 9730 1905

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company on Urbanspoon
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...