Friday, 30 January 2015

Upcoming Event: Melbourne Barbecue Festival

Attention all meat lovers... This Sunday head over to the Queen Victoria Market to enjoy the smokin’ delights of the Melbourne Barbecue Festival. The festival flaunts the best of Melbourne’s BBQ scene with the likes of Bluebonnet Barbecue and Smokin’ Barrys to tempt you on the day. Don’t just expect a couple of snags on the barbie either... American, Filipino, and Mexican BBQ selections will be on offer too. If you are a BBQ fanatic or just feel inspired by the delicious food at the festival, you can also buy a range of BBQ related equipment and products to take home. Check out their website or Facebook page for more details...

Date: Sunday 1st February 2015

Time: 10.00am – 10.00pm

Where: Queen Victoria Market

Cost: Free entry

Photo courtesy of Melbourne Barbecue Festival

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Australia Day Pavlova

This year I hosted a BBQ for Australia Day and thought I would make the classic pavlova for dessert. Of course, I had to pimp it up with an Australia Day theme of blue, white, and red... This pavlova recipe is adapted from a recipe from last month’s issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Australia Day Pavlova


Serves 8

·        4 eggwhites
·        240g caster sugar
·        2 ½ tsp cornflour
·        1 tsp white vinegar
·        Strawberries and Australian flags to decorate

1.    Preheat oven to 120°C (no fan). Lightly grease a baking tray and line with baking paper. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 mins), then gradually add sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy (you can test if it is ready by rubbing some mixture between your fingers to see if the sugar has dissolved).
2.    Fold in cornflour and vinegar and then spoon onto baking tray in a 22 cm diameter pile, forming high sides. Bake until crisp on the outside but not coloured (1 ½ - 2 hours), turn off oven and cool completely in oven with door ajar (3-4 hours).
3.    Decorate pavlova just before serving with the cream, strawberries, and flags.

Blue Chantilly Cream

·        300mls full fat cream
·        1 tsp vanilla essence
·        1 tsp caster sugar
·        A couple of drops of blue food colouring

1.    Beat all ingredients in a mixing bowl with electric beaters until thick.

What did you bake for Australia Day?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Crabapple Kitchen

Crabapple Kitchen (or Crapapple Kitchen as I fondly like to refer to since my boyfriend accidently once misspelt the name when we first started dating...) offers a travel inspired menu based on owner/chef Greg Feck’s personal adventures abroad. A highlight of the Crabapple Kitchen is their Friday Night Flights where you can enjoy a five course menu based on a particular destination for $45.00 per person. Much cheaper than an actual flight... Upcoming Friday Night Flights include Verona and Santorini but you can check out all their future ‘flights’ on their website.

  • Smoked ocean trout on toasted rye bread with shaved cornichon, red onion, capers, seaweed caviar, horseradish crème fraiche and young celery ($18.00)
  •  Breakfast burrito with black turtle beans and corn, pickled jicama, guacamole with tomatillo and coriander, scrambled egg, cheese, onion and chipotle cream ($18.50)
  • Lemon and parmesan risotto with heirloom tomatoes, marjoram, burrata cheese, dill pollen and aged balsamic vinegar ($24.00)
  • Soft shell crab salad with green mango, pomelo, crispy shallots, roasted peanuts, kaffir lime, snake beans and a chilli and tamarind dressing ($24.00)

I chose the ‘The Hung Bun: Bacon, melted Gruyere cheese, our own tomato ketchup, dill pickles, Gem lettuce and aioli in a warm brioche and sesame bun ($12.50)’. I also added some fries (+$3.50) because I was extra hungry. It was the perfect dish to order when you have had a little too much to drink the night before... Salty, creamy and just so moreish, it definitely was comfort food.  

The Hung Bun

My dining companion decided to have the ‘Cauliflower, Jerusalem artichoke and cheese croquettes with white anchovy aioli and soused Farmer’s Market vegetables ($14.50)’. A gentle stroke of a knife cracked open these beautifully crunchy croquettes causing them to ooze their luscious filling. The vegetables and lemon wedge cut back the richness.

Cauliflower Croquettes

Crabapple Kitchen has an impressive drinks list with a variety of wines available as well as a number of cocktails. When the weather is warm, I tend to order the Trumer Pilsner on tap ($7.50 for 300ml). I felt like a hot drink on this occasion and rather than ordering my favourite Melbourne Breakfast T2 Tea ($4.50), I opted for a latte ($3.50) made with Campos Coffee. Unfortunately, my latte was not the best I’ve had here and wished I had chosen the tea instead...


The staff have clearly been well trained as they always provide spectacular service with a smile.

Address: 659 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, VIC

Phone: 03 9078 5492


Trading Hours:
Mon - Sun: 7.00am – 5.00pm
Fri: Open from 6pm for Friday Night Flights

Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Axil Coffee Roasters, Omah’s and Liar,Liar... 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Hardware Société

Hardware Société is famous for its scrummy food and the large swarm of eager people waiting out front to gain entry... The French/Spanish inspired menu draws in the crowds so expect to wait quite a long time for a table. We went last Saturday for lunch and were happy to see that there were relatively few people waiting to get in. The threat of rainy weather, perhaps? Luckily we were only required to wait for 5-10 minutes before being seated on the end of a communal table. Hardware Société is a rather petite but charming space with colourful butterfly wallpaper and adorable vintage teacups.

·        Omelette with pea, asparagus, crab and lemon salad ($20.00)
·        Pork belly and fried eggs with buttered crushed potatoes and leek, and apple alioli ($21.00)
·        Clafoutis with banana and sour cherry, brown sugar labne, and candied pistachios ($15.00)
·        Herb roasted mushrooms: sautéed leek and onion, mushroom medley, shallot and chevre puree, walnut bread and fried eggs ($20.00)

I’ve been lusting after Hardware Société’s baked eggs since looking at photos from fellow bloggers. Thus, I decided to order the vegetarian version: ‘Baked eggs with cauliflower purée, pumpkin, sage, mon sire brie, pinenut migas ($18.00)’. This was accompanied by some crusty bread drizzled with pistou. The baked eggs were luscious with a capital 'L'. Dipping the bread into the creamy pot of heaven was very satisfying... The occasional hit of cauliflower purée and brie provided extra decadence to the dish.

Baked Eggs

My dining companion chose one of the daily specials to satisfy his sweet cravings. The ‘Fried brioche with fresh berries, vanilla panna cotta and a pistachio praline ($18.00)’ was quite good but a little lacklustre. It could have been improved with some sort of syrup to make it less parched.  

Fried Brioche

Hardware Société uses Padre Coffee’s Daddy’s Girl blend and Saint David Dairy’s milk. My latte ($3.80) tasted nice but perhaps a little weaker and cooler than I prefer. The hot chocolates ($5.00) that I spied further down our table looked very tempting...


I found the service to be very efficient and hospitable and that the food came out promptly after ordering. Of course, this would be a priority as they need to turn tables as quickly as possible but we never felt rushed during our visit. 

Address: 118-120 Hardware St, Melbourne, VIC 

Phone: 03 9078 5992

Trading Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7.30am – 3.00pm
Sat: 8.30am – 2.00pm

The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Manchester Press and Nieuw Amsterdam...

Friday, 9 January 2015

Urban Zinc

Urban Zinc is a relatively new cafe situated opposite the Blackburn Station. This area is crying out for a great café and I was hoping that Urban Zinc would be the one to solve this dilemma. The interior made me hopeful with its exposed brick wall complete with artwork and a positive affirmation penned across another wall. Now for the food...

·        Meatballs made with fennel, chilli, house made tomato sauce with fresh herbs and crusty sourdough ($12.00)
·        Quinoa porridge served with berry compote, almonds, toasted coconut flakes in coconut milk ($12.00)
·        Chicken and mushroom pasta with bacon, fresh herbs, in a Napoli and white wine cream sauce topped with parmesan ($16.00)
·        Pulled pork burger with Asian slaw and chips ($17.00)

I decided to have something from the specials board, the ‘Homemade Lasagne with garden salad ($14.50)'. Fortunately, this was the last piece they had left. The lasagne had a deliciously rich bolognese sauce and the herbs were evident.


My dining companion opted for a sandwich from the glass cabinet. Some labels and prices in the glass cabinet would be useful... The turkey, brie, and cranberry sandwich was very small and barely had any cheese. I am always going on about quality being better than quantity and that portion sizes at eateries are far too big but this was indeed a light lunch...  

Turkey Sandwich

There was no drinks menu so I am unsure of prices. Our lattes tasted robust but with no trace of bitterness.


We sat inside and found the service to be quite efficient.

Address: 96 South Parade, Blackburn, VIC

Phone: 03 9878 8005

Trading Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7.30am – 4.00pm
Sat: 8.00am – 3.00pm

Urban Zinc on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries in Blackburn are Nuts About Coffee, Gourmet Girl, and Charlotte’s Corner... 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Lilydale General

If you live in the outer eastern suburbs it can be quite difficult to find a decent coffee... It’s not impossible, just not as easy as in the inner suburbs. Well, what if I told you that there is a hipster café hidden away in the factories of Lilydale that serves fantastic coffee? Just look out for the white picket fence. The Lilydale General menu caters for all diets with a range of gluten free, raw and vegan options. The acoustics inside can make it a little difficult to hear when there is a full house but if this worries you, why not sit outside in the fresh air, under an umbrella with a smoothie.

·        Slow cooked beef short ribs, orange tomato BBQ glaze, celeriac red cabbage coleslaw, grilled brioche roll and cornichons ($17.00)
·        Banana chia pudding with vanilla cashew milk, avocado agave mousse, rawnola and dried blueberries ($12.00)
·        Cauliflower and coriander fritters, tahini sumac yoghurt, orange turmeric reduction, dressed chard leaves and crushed pistachio ($17.00)
·        Oat and sesame crusted pork fillet on Turkish bread, kohlrabi and apple salad, lemon Japanese mayo, wasabi cress and sriracha with pickled onion and carrot side ($17.00)

* I visited this cafe quite a while ago and the menu has since changed to their new summer menu.

I picked a vegan option this time. The ‘Raw tacos – walnut meat, cashew sour cream, corn and avocado salsa, spiced red sauce in cos leaves ($16.00)’. I really loved this dish as it not only tasted brilliant but was super healthy too. For a girl who loves her carbs, these tacos were surprisingly filling. I particularly liked the gorgeous cashew sour cream which added lusciousness without the bad fats.

Raw tacos

My dining companion chose the ‘Toasted Turkish roll, Ben’s bacon, sunny side up eggs, locally made tomato relish, avocado, roquette, and mayonnaise ($15.00)’. This was also great and the tangy tomato relish really stood out.

Bacon and Eggs Turkish Roll

The Lilydale General has an extensive drinks menu as well as a liquor licence. The ‘Blended’ section has some really interesting drink options such as the ‘Turkish Delight Milkshake ($7.50)’ and the ‘Copacobana ($7.50)’. In relation to coffee, they offer a different blend each week. Our lattes ($3.70) tasted delicious.


The service was attentive and cheery, even when my dining companion spilt the sugar bowl all over the table... The waiter was very happy to clean up the mishap. 

Address: 110 Beresford Road, Lilydale VIC

Phone: 03 9739 7770


Trading Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7.00am – 5.00pm
Sat: 7.30am – 4.00pm
Sun: 8.00am – 3.00pm

The Lilydale General on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Bekendales and Café Rondiné... 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Miss Sage Sugar's Fashion Edit - January 2015

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope you had a wonderful festive season. I was struck down by glandular fever and was unable to eat much over Christmas/New Year. My appetite is now back to normal so I am looking forward to trying lots of new eateries this year.
This month’s edit is all about men... Nothing makes a man look sexier than a nice shirt. Well, that’s what I think anyway. You may prefer a man in uniform... Anyway, I’ve also included some accessories that would be a perfect gift for the special man in your life.

ALPHA PRINT SHIRT - Shirts - Tarocash

NIRVANA FLORAL SHIRT - Shirts - Tarocash



Target – Piping Hot Legitimate Canvas Shoe ($25.00)

P.S. Did you miss last month’s fashion edit? Check it out here...



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