Jun 22, 2016

Hardware Societe

120 Hardware Street, Melbourne

This little cafe is like a pocket guide to Paris, complete with teeny-tiny counter seats, Croque Madame, Cassoulet Et Eggs and excellent service.

I tried the superb confit duck with chestnut puree and potato gratin ($22.00) with a glass of Abellio Alberino ($8.50).

One of the 'it' places in Melbourne for quite a while now, eating out at Hardware Societe is more like a cultural event, complete with walking through the Melbourne lane ways and queuing out front.

You will need to be ready to forgo your weight loss program, but who wants to be on a diet, when you can have a fried brioche with lemon curd instead!

Confit duck with chestnut puree and potato gratin

Mon to Fri 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Sat to Sun 8:30 am - 2:00 pm

The Hardware Societe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jun 14, 2016

Borsch - the most important of possessions

For most this will only be just an odd looking beetroot soup. For me, it is a bit more than that.

It's Kiev.  The old town sitting tall on the steep hills, hugged tightly by the river. In summer, it's narrow streets drenched in heady, sweet lilac, and chestnut blossom, loved generously by the sun. In winter it snows in large flakes, and  turns shiny, glim and ever more mysterious in the dark.

Kiev is grandma's borsch. Flushed pink and pungent, impossible to forget and not to go back too.

At twenty three, I went through Australian boarder security with two hundred dollars, a suit case, a new husband, and a baby bump. Who needs more to start a new life I say.What I didn't know, is that beetroot soup came too, undeclared. In fact, it was the most important of possessions.

A lifetime or two decades later it still is. After all, the most important of possessions is who you are.

This is a vegetarian option, but you can also use meet or chicken stock.
Serves 4-6

Vegetable stock
(makes 2-3 litres)
2 leeks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves
fresh herbs
1 lemon, sliced
4 liters of cold water
2 star anise
white wine
salt, pepper
Put everything in a large pot and bild for 30 minutes. Strain through muslin before use.

300g beetroot, peeled and chopped into sticks
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 small red chili
2-3 garlic gloves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 capsicum, chopped
2-3 tomato roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut in small cubes
1/2  cabbage, shredded
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 or 4 pitted prunes
salt and sugar to taste
1/2 bunch of dill, chopped
sour cream to serve

1. Bring the stock to a simmer. Add the beetroot.
2. After about 10-15 min add potato to the borsch.
3. Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, chili and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring until the carrot starts caramelising.
4. Add the  capsicum  and the tomato paste, cook it out for a few minutes, then add the grated fresh tomato, stir, reduce slightly and add all this to the  borsch.
5. Add the shredded cabbage, the kidney beans and prunes. Cook until the cabbage is tender. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped dill.

Jun 5, 2016

Walk, Don't Run

17 Morey St, Armadale VIC 3143

So I was having breakfast at 12.30. On a Wednesday.

My God, I love a late breakfast.  Is there anything that can be enjoyed before nine in the morning? Well, at least not by me.

It has to be said, think I am on the road of no return with these sorts of ideas. Sooner or later I will need to think of a cruel reality and go back to the dry toast and a scorching coffee with my eyes closed at 6.30 am. Inevitably. But for now, we are in the 'Walk, Don't Run' kinda mood. It turns out literally, as this is where my 12.30 breakfast was.

A bit Japanese and a little posh, like most things Armadale, this tiny cafe has everything 'activated' on the menu. The thing in Melbourne these days, together with the cold-pressed juices.

I never bother with either. It makes me feel good that I order my eggs at a place like this - clean, activated and very cold-pressed.

My companion, admittedly much trendier than me, ordered a porridge, with quinoa and almond milk, among other things. I am not judging, just hope we can stay friends after that.

I will ask for a deconstructed coffee to go, in the mere hope of fixing any ripples between us. 

Buckwheat and quinoa porridge with almond milk, poached pear, rhubarb, pomegranates, goji berries, $17.00

8.00am - 3.00pm
7 days a week

Walk Don't Run Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato