Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cafe Che Vita Bella

Saturday Morning saw us heading down High Street Preston in search of somewhere different.  We passed 2 or 3 cafe's that I have been meaning to stop at - but unfortunately, they seem not interested in the Saturday breakfast customer and we were met by closed doors and darkened interiors.

Cafe Che Vita Bella was open and ready for business.  The staff were friendly and initially attentive. The Genovese Coffee was good.  DH commented that his strong flat white was ' A decent cup' - high praise indeed, he reported it to be Full Bodied, Smooth and not burnt - Great! ticked all the boxes - unfortunately they missed out on a second coffee order from DH because they were not paying attention.
His standard Cafe order of a Mushroom Omelet was large and fluffy and packed with flavour. Which brings me to my order...
As I have said before - my test for the worth of a Cafe's brekkie menu is the quality of their Poached Eggs on Toast.

I could see we had problems when I ordered as there was no dressing mentioned on the menu.  I could add extras like mushroom or bacon but no Hollandaise and none offered when I asked.
The Eggs arrived with the glowing report that they were fantastic as they were fresh from the grower, and I was offered cracked Pepper to taste.  The Toast was perfectly toasted and there was plenty of it.
BUT - Where was the garnish?  One small sprig of parsley was insufficient to cut the cloying eggy taste which stayed with me all day.
And why oh why do you serve Free Range eggs only to cook them in the confines of a silicone mould?

Che Vita Bella
523 High Street

EFTPOS available

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Fish

I haven't written up a Fish and Chip Shop before but I must admit that this is the most impressive one I have seen in a long while. And it wasn't at the beach, so no Seagulls to feed with the tasty morsels that I couldn't fit in.

What sets this place apart from the run of the mill 'Chip Shop'?   The Café  - yes, Café was clean and bright and inviting, I even spied a Coffee machine in the corner. There were at least 4 staff behind the counter at all times and each customer was greeted on arrival whether they were regulars or not.
The fresh Fish on offering was laid out on trays for you to choose. And what a choice!  From the standard Flake (Fresh Gummy) to Atlantic Salmon! And a slightly cheaper Fish of the Day option.
Team this up with Chips and a Salad or if chips aren't your thing you can have Rice.

We weren't feeling too hungry so chose the $8:00 Snack Pack.  These arrived at the table in paper lined baskets and OH MY - Where is a flock of hungry seagulls when you need them?
The 3 Fish Bites - which I expected to be nugget size were 6" long, and coupled with this was a Potato cake, Dim Sim and a large tender Calamari ring (the real kind not one of those reformed calamari flavoured things), lemon wedge and tub of Tartare sauce and that was before you even got to the bed of Chips!
Also, while we waited the short time for our lunch to arrive, the table was set with a napkin and cutlery.

Would I go back?  Definitely!-
... But maybe next time I would order something with Salad on the side.

The Fish
148 Burgundy Street
Heidelberg  VIC

Closed Sundays

Monday, November 5, 2012

Espresso Room - Northcote

My DH came across this place one morning and liked it that much he dragged me back at the first opportunity!

The first thing I noticed when walking through the doors is the space - there was lots of it, but I could imagine that in a few hours it would be crammed packed with "Regulars" all enjoying their favourite breakfast from the extensive menu or just a coffee and the paper.

The decor of the place lent itself superbly to 'playing' with the Sepia filter settings on my camera while waiting for our breakfast to arrive.
Everywhere your eye fell - there was some other treasure to discover.

Our drinks arrived quickly and spying a Coffee Roaster in the corner of the room, I assume that they roast their own.  The only query I have about the coffee is - Is it a normally strong blend? Or did the Barrista not notice that my order was for a half strength Latte?

Breakfast saw me going outside my comfort zone and ordering something different - after all, that IS why we try different cafes isn't it?  I can't see the point of going somewhere new and ordering the same old 'Toast and Vegemite' I can make at home.

DH had an Omelet with fresh Tomato, which was light and fresh and huge, sitting on a bed of toast (perhaps to keep it off a cold plate?)

and I had Dukka Eggs on Wholegrain Toast with Fresh baby spinach and marinated Capsicum and Goats Cheese.

It was very tasty, with lots of toast underneath, and perfect poached eggs, although the small crumb of Goat's Cheese was hardly enough to be included on the menu description, but still a perfect breakfast, that is... until I got to the capsicum.
If I ever ordered it again I would be asking if they would swap it for something else like semi sundried tomato, as a massive hit of garlic infused oil at 8:00 am was .... going too far out of that comfort zone.

Would I return?  Yes, if I was in the area. The waitress was lovely and very attentive, and the menu had lots of other intriguing dishes that I would be tempted to try.

Espresso Room
Shop 1, 410 High Street
Northcote Vic 3070