Archive for the Cafes Category

On My Way Back From The Gym…

Posted in Cafes with tags , on November 30, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

I decided to make a pit stop:

A white sourdough casalinga for dinner tonight and a surprise dessert for the husband.


D. New D. Chirico

Posted in Cafes with tags on November 27, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

I’ve just discovered that the new Baker D. Chirico shop has opened right across my office! I am just imagining my lunches to be filled with freshly baked yummy bread and the most decadent lemon tartlets.

Thank God the gym isn’t too far off as well. He knew I’d be needing it!


Posted in Cafes with tags , on December 1, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Cafenatics Logo

Ever since the Jman introduced me to Cafenatics last week, I’ll admit that I’ve stopped going to UD. Unfortunately that’s quite a hike away from my work place, sitting in a little alley somewhere on the Collins-L.Collins-Queen-William grid, and since the Jman is only in the city twice a week (which are the days we drive in to the city), this meant that I would only be able to get my Cafenatics fix on Wednesdays and Thursdays or whenever his boss calls him in.

I guess I could deal with that, I thought to myself. Convenient enough for me to break my caffeine addiction and limit my coffee intake to two cups a week. Until.

Last Saturday, Cafenatics opened a new branch at QV. It’s right outside my tram stop (it’s diagonally across Grill’d and right next to the new Myer Furniture store), perfect opportunity to get a hot cuppa on my way up to work (I was lamenting before that it was impossible to get a decent cup of coffee on the Lonsdale stretch).

David Seng of Victoria Barista Championships finalist (or semi?) fame is barista-in-residence at QV. He was at the Collins Street branch when we first visited the place, but has moved over to QV together with the uber-coolest coffee machine I’ve seen. The cafe also uses Veneziano beans, one of the smoothest coffees I’ve tasted in Australia (although I know there is a whole lot more science that goes on in extracting the coffee and frothing the milk etc…but admittedly the beans to play a part).

What can I say, it’s just damn hard to break a coffee addiction when you’re in Melbourne, especially when the maestros are setting up shop all over the place. It’s a good problem to have, though. Hopefully we’ll be rid of Brunetti and Starbucks soon!

*raises a coffee mug to toast*

Gânache Revisited

Posted in Cafes, Chocolate, Desserts with tags , on July 15, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Last Saturday evening while on our way to the Jman’s surprise party, I managed to convince him to stop by Gânache to stall for time, while the other guests were still streaming into the restaurant. This diversion was dead easy, and took no effort on my part to get him away from the incomplete party.

This time, unlike the last, we were there for the chocolate. No fancy-schmancy cakes or hot chocolate. We just wanted chocolate (of course, we didn’t have that much time on our hands either). We had a look at the display and were pleasantly surprised by a couple of new sightings on the shelf, despite most of them bearing an uncanny resemblance to the display at Koko Black. But I digress.

To cut the long story short, I was impressed. Most worthy of mention is the salted almond chocolate. The salt on the chocolate, as alien as it may sound, was most delicate and wonderful. The juxtapositioning of savoury and sweet was perfectly balanced, enhancing the flavour of chocolate in your mouth. Oooh, it was absolutely stunning and a clear winner in my books!

We also tried the figaro – fig, nuts and I-can’t-remember-what-else chopped roughly into a semi-pastey state, then wrapped under a ring of dark chocolate. The Jman thought it was quite interesting, but it didn’t sit too well with me. Then again, it was probably more of a personal preference than anything else.

The Jman’s favourite was the chocolate bar with cocoa nibs. That was my next favourite after the salty almond one. With a 60% cocoa content, it was sufficiently intense without being overpowering nor cloying. Even his grandma liked it!

I’ve got the feeling that Mr. Backes is starting to outdo himself, and I’m secretly pleased that he has just taken himself a notch higher. I’m also secretly hoping he doesn’t expand his business at all, as that almost always spells an absolute disaster in the making.

And by the way, has anyone gotten wind of Monsieur Truffe’s flagship store/cafe yet? The last time we spoke to him, he made mention of the possibility of a store/cafe in some place (I shan’t name it for his sake), but I’ve driven up and down the stretch of road and have yet to find it).

Finding Bonsoy

Posted in Cafes, Food Reviews with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean


You know you’re in a bit of trouble when your (unfortunately) gold-plated tastebuds have acquired a liking for the crown jewel of all soy milks, Bonsoy, which in our consumeristic society, also means that it comes with a hefty price tag. This is a classic case of how curiosity killed the cat; I tried it one day and have never looked back since. I wouldn’t recommend it in your coffees, teas and basically as a milk substitute in your cooking, but it’s great if you have it plain or with your cereal in the morning.

But at $4.12 for a 1-litre carton (in Safeway and Coles), it certainly is very expensive to be drinking it everyday as a milk substitute, especially when it was never intended to be in the first place since I am not exactly lactose-intolerant.

As a result of this, I’ve resorted to looking out for them during the weekly Safeway/Coles specials, but since it’s not your regular household item (like Glad wrap or Kleenex), and a premium one to be more precise, it’ll probably only ever go on special when the sun, the planets and all of their moons are aligned.

I’ve even gone as far as googling “discount Bonsoy” and reading up forums to see if I could find them any cheaper, but to no avail…until today. A quick (online) surf up to the organic grocers that are just across the road from my house, and I have discovered that they sell my revered Bonsoy for $3.75 a pop.

News like this is too good not to share, because I’m pretty certain that there are lots more tightarsed people like me who love their Bonsoys and are looking for a less costly solution that doesn’t require a compromise.

Oh, and while you’re there, you’ve gotta pop over to Artisan Espresso that’s right across the road for a coffee.

Organic Wholefoods: 483 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Artisan Espresso: 438 Lygon Street, Brunswick East