I attended a blogger dinner at Captain Melville (full blogpost to come once I've visited again on my own coin and tried out more of the menu!). Highlights of the dinner were the punchy Macedon Gang Punch cocktail, with Cruzan rum, lemon juice, agave, egg white, port and Booker's fire bitters...
|Macedon Gang Punch - Cruzan rum, lemon juice, agave, egg white, port and Booker's fire bitters|
...and the crazy decadent salted caramel banana split with honeycomb.
|Captain Melville's salted caramel banana split|
One night when I really wanted a roast dinner but was too tired to cook, (yes, it happens to me sometimes) we tried the Roast Kitchen in Kew, who do a range of trad roast dinners in a retro diner-type setting. It was pretty pricey for a dinner, at $19.50 a plate, but the food was great, and they really pile up your plate! We were particularly impressed by their red wine gravy - great stuff!
|Roast chicken from Roast Kitchen - $19.50|
More Ottolenghi cooking!
|Clockwise from top left:|
Roast butternut squash (Ottolenghi) and my own yogurt/tahini sauce
Roasted Aubergine with saffron yogurt (Ottolenghi)
Meatballs with peas and lemon (Jerusalem)
Chermoula eggplant with couscous and yogurt (Jerusalem)
Speaking of fabulous cafes, we brought yet another friend to Beatrix Bakes in North Melbourne: we're slowly converting all our friends to the way of Beatrix!
Less impressive was my one and only visit to the Workers' Food Room, on Little Lonsdale Street in the city, for a weekday lunch.
|Workers' Food Room|
Whilst the food I ordered was pretty good, I was sneakily upsold a side salad with my Lebanese chicken pastry (the waitress made it sound like they'd forgotten my salad and asked me if I wanted them to bring it out... only to have them charge me $8.50 for that tiny bowl of broccoli salad). Gah! It doubled the cost of my lunch! So irritating! Later on Twitter they apologised - apparently I was overcharged for the side salad too, they're only meant to be $6.50. Double gah! But yeah, there are hundreds of great lunch options in the CBD, not going back there! I definitely do not recommend this place!
On a happier note, I was invited along to the opening day of the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, which was a big day of sugar-filled fun! Full blogpost to come, but for now I want to show you my favourite item at their cafe, which funnily enough, doesn't contain any chocolate at all! I really loved their soft fluffy waffles, with fresh berries and creamy house-made ice-cream.
|Waffles at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie|
Excess sugar can only be combated by excess salt (or you know, healthy eating and exercise, but y'all know I wasn't in the mood for that!!). So dinner after my visit to the chocolaterie was a Zinger Double Down at KFC. Yeah, I totally hated myself for 5 minutes, but I regret nothing!!
|Zinger Double Down|
|KFC Mint-Choc Krusher|
I've been working throughout the Christmas period this year, but one of the long days in my office was enlivened by a personal cookie delivery from my friend Alaina! She'd made these fab Italian Meatball Cookies with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting - they're kinda like chocolate gingerbread, heady with cloves, and studded with walnuts and chocolate chunks. So good! (If you're not all spiced out from Christmas, Google these and give them a go!)
|Italian Meatball Cookies|
|Large Sushi at Sushi Monger|
|Tofu-don at Tokio - $9.50|
On that really hot Sunday last week, we stopped into Coffeehead in Camberwell for brunch, cold drip coffees and sweet, sweet airconditioning. The fruit toast was great, as were the corn fruitters, topped with smoked salmon and a perfect runny poached egg.
|Clockwise from top left: yolkporn; fruit toast; corn fritters with avocado, harissa mayo, smoked salmon and a poached egg; cold drip coffee|
Just the other day I whipped up a huge batch of Nigella's Chocolate Peanut Granola, from Feast. One of my faves, and I've made this, the original almond version, and the Christmassy cranberry version many many times*! (Primarily over the 2005-2006 period, it seems!)
|Granola, yogurt, berries, coffee|
The last thing I wanted to share with you in this post is the froyo I had at Cacao Green this afternoon for a treat. (I think I'm getting obsessed with them, haha!) The Mango Fantasy contained mango frozen yogurt, fresh mango cubes, raspberry compote, lychees, coconut jelly and a little waffle bite. It was really good, like bubble tea in froyo-form!
|Mango Illusion - $8.50|
|Fluffy crunchy waffle bite|
Happy New Year everyone! Hope you're all enjoying the evening and spending it with those who mean the most to you!!
*Posts featuring Nigella's granola