Wednesday, October 22, 2014

126 Asian Cuisine

We have walked past this very unassuming little Chinese Take-away for the past 12 months as we have been sampling all the restaurants that Upper Heidelberg Road  Ivanhoe has to offer.

With a small dining area in front, for those that want to stay - we settled into a booth, where we could share a plate or two. And I must admit that I wasn't expecting anything exceptional - I was wrong - very wrong!
Oh my! What have we been missing?

The dumplings were so wonderful (obviously 'home' made).
That they were totally gone before I even thought to pull my camera out.

Then the glistening Prawns in Sweet Chilli Sauce and the Beef in Oyster Sauce followed by some Special Fried Rice.

Prices were very reasonable for the serving size and there was more than enough for 2 to share.

The only disappointing part of the meal was - we didn't have any room left for Banana Fritters and Icecream for dessert!
Something I will have to rectify on our next visit!

126 Asian Cuisine
126 Upper Heidelberg Road
Ivanhoe Vic 3079

Ph:  9499 1689

Open 7 days
Takeaway and Dine in

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gloria Jean's - Polaris

Situated opposite Bundoora Park and beside La Trobe University at the Polaris Town Centre is Gloria Jean's.

The cafe is small, but bright and inviting and although it can get quite busy, owners Sash and Rosa always make me feel welcome anytime I walk in.  It is also the perfect place to leave DH with a coffee and the paper while you do a spot of shopping at the adjacent supermarket.

On this particular visit they were serving the most gloriously light little "Cakewiches".

Looking like a Sandwich, they seem to be made from Hazelnut Sponge and light chocolate mousse filling, so intriguing I just had to try one. They also come in a "White" variety with Vanilla Sponge, white chocolate and raspberry filling.
Available for a limited time and marketed as "Cake on the Go" I preferred to sit and enjoy mine with a mug of coffee.

(I love these mugs they are so comfortable to hold - and along with other store branded products, they are for sale from any Gloria Jean's if you want one to take home!)

Like other chain or franchise cafe/restaurants that are around all Gloria Jean's have the same menu. 
But it is the staff that makes one more special than another, it is what brings you back, even though it may not be in your local area. This, is my favourite Gloria Jean's. 

Gloria Jean's
(Polaris Town Centre - Off Plenty Rd.)
42 - 44 Copernicus Cresc.

Ph: (03) 9468 5015

Monday to Friday 7:00am- 6:00pm
Saturday to Sunday 8:00am- 5:30pm

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mustbar - Doreen

Out and about on Saturday, we decided to turn left and keep driving until we found a Coffee Shop.

And that is how we found this delightful comfortable, modern Coffee/Bar/Cafe.

Officially in Doreen, we just followed signs that invited us into the Laurimar Estate and there at the end of the road was MUSTBAR.

With the pavement and upstairs balcony so popular there were no tables left, we settled down in a sunny niche inside.

I was particularly taken with the wall art Spreadsheet of how to make good wine and the felt tiling that clad the feature walls leading up to the balcony.

Looking at their extensive gourmet menu I just wished we had more time to order something other than Coffee and Cake.

I have never found a Barista that could make Fair Trade Coffee taste good - - - until now.

Serving the smoothest Organica Coffee I have ever tasted. Coupled with the most delightful Hazelnut Honeycomb Cake (sharing just one piece between us) and a small chocolate surprise on the spoon made for a beautiful afternoon tea.

On leaving I commented
"This is no where near us but ... We would love to come back!"

1/90 Hazel Glen Drive
Doreen  Vic  3754

Ph: 9715 2123
Open 7 days

Monday, September 29, 2014


Nestled in a small pocket of shops, at the Bell Street end of Nicholson Street Coburg is Ruby's.

This little shop fills a gap in the local Coffee scene as there are no other cafe's in the immediate area. Parking is limited to a few spaces in the side street, but is easily accessed by bicycle from the Merry Trail or the No 1 Tram stops outside the door.

Coffee on offer was Padre Coffee, which is locally roasted in Brunswick, and cakes were inhouse made. The staff were quietly spoken and very pleasant.

For my reviews, I can only comment on what we were served.
My Fruit cake, beautifully presented with Greek Yoghurt and Strawberries, was unfortunately dry. The strawberries were mushy and I suspect, thawed frozen*. On the other hand my companion's Blueberry muffin was overly moist.

I noticed another customer being served an enormous plate of scrambled eggs, but as there was no menu or price list on display on the wall or tables, we had no idea as to what else was on offer, or what we could afford.

Also, with precious little change from $20.00 for 2 Coffees and Cake I found it too expensive for my budget.
Will I be back? - No.

138 Nicholson Street

At the time of this review - fresh Strawberries were plentiful, large, packed full of flavour and cheap, which makes me wonder why it is necessary to serve anything else.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jam and Cream

Quirky, Quaint, Curious ...
Jam and Cream is all of the above - It is also Heidelberg Heights best kept secret!

I have driven past this address for years while it languished as an unfinished derelict shop in a small access street off Kingsbury Drive.  Six months ago I stopped at the Shoe Shop next door and was drawn to the curious window decoration of the now established Cafe.

Once inside I was immediately transported back to my Grandmother's kitchen and the glorious memories of her baking Swiss Roll (just for me) and Scones, and my Grandfather sitting at the table with his newspaper so carefully arranged before him.

Each of the tables, decoupaged with themes from long gone magazines and newspapers and numbered with Scrabble tiles gave us plenty to peruse while we waited for our scones to be made.

Every batch made to order from Scratch - so many to choose from,
Sweet ones named for Ladies - savoury for Gents we just couldn't decide and then we spied at the bottom of the menu the "Can't decide?" option. - 10 different flavours tasting plate with tea for two - PERFECT!

I have been back since this first visit - bringing my parents for a special birthday lunch (after a certain age - every birthday is special!) And once again I just could not decide which delicacies to indulge in.

A word of warning - If you are in a hurry you may have to miss out on the scones as they do take 35-40 minutes to get to the table - But OH they are worth the wait!

Jam and Cream
1 Orr Street
Heidelberg Heights Vic 3081

(03) 9457 3356
Tuesday - Sunday 9:30 - 4:00
Due to it's popularity - Booking is advisable especially on Weekends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Portsea- Mornington Peninsula Victoria

7:00 am - L Plates on and  hit the road.
8:20 am - Arrive at RFT (reason for trip), drop off DS#2
8:21 am - Decide where to go next...

9:36 am - 2nd Breakfast! 
Venue: Baked in Sorrento
Verdict: Best ever Vanilla Slice and Coffee from award winning Bakery.

11:00 am Sorrento Surf Beach

12:30 - Can't walk any further
No - really, this is the end of the line

the last stretch of sand on Port Phillip Bay. 
From here on it is just rocks until 


You get to the other side
but then you are not on the bay but Bass Strait

This is Point Nepean
Point Nepean has a fascinating history, 
from Quarantine Station to the drowning of a Prime Minister 

It was a lot of walking to get here.
We decided we had already walked off our Morning tea.

2:31 pm - A Mini Kitchen
Rye Victoria
How could we resist when the directions were
"It's new, I haven't been, 
but it's painted all White and with Yellow umbrellas out the front - 
It looks Pretty and it is always full."

Strong Coffee, Apple Crumble Pie and a Lime/Lavender Friand
Verdict:  When can we come back?
When can we do this again?

4:30 pm Home again.
What an awesome day

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mestizo - Peruvian Restrobar

Recently DH and I decided to go out for dinner while our DS#2 was at Orchestra Rehearsal.

The fun part about dining out on a regular basis mid-week, is that you never know where you are going to end up!

A few weeks ago, while looking for one Restaurant we arrived only to discover it had closed and in it's place was a delightful addition to the Multicultural Melting Pot of Cuisines that is Melbourne.

Mestizo is a Peruvian Restrobar.
The food was beautiful.
The Staff were welcoming and the Decor relaxing.

And the Coffee?
It was the best we'd had on a Wednesday night, and perfect to accompany the extra sweet hit of our desert.

Mestizo -
77 Upper Heidelberg Road
Ph:  03 9499-6988

UPDATE:  Mestizo has closed.
The management found there were not enough regular diners to warrant keeping the Peruvian Menu and have re-branded the restaurant to be 100% Italian.

Same wonderful staff - different Menu.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

LT COLLINS - Notting Hill

Right from the very first step inside this vibrant new cafe I was thinking that I would have to add it to my list of places to return to.

Situated in a new Business Park in Ferntree Gully Road, it's sole purpose is to give the workers in the surrounding offices and any weary travelers who happen upon it, the best food and coffee in the area. So unfortunately they are not open outside of Office Hours.

The Cafe is well staffed and those I spoke to were vibrant and engaging.

The food that went past our table looked delicious and all rolls/focaccia were accompanied by a paper bag containing their 'homemade' Sweet Potato Crisps.

We ordered Coffee and Cake from the cabinet as I was intrigued by the White Lamington that held a small plastic pipette which contained a bright pink liquid Turkish Delight Syrup that you infused into your cake - WOW.

And the Coffee?

Having run out of coffee but not Cake the waiter tried hard to entice me to have another. But having only a small amount of cake left over he then offered to make me half a cup!

So here you have it!

Unprecedented at ANY Cafe I have ever visited.

A SECOND Coffee!!!
The most perfectly made Piccolo Latte.
And yes it DID taste as good as the first cup.

My companion thoroughly enjoyed his Soy Latte and then went back for a Short Black!

I have to say - their new Barista certainly knows how to make Coffee.

LT. Collins
296 Ferntree Gully Road

Ph:  9543-3200

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Romano's Pizza Bistro - Ivanhoe

Recently my DH and I started dining out once a week and there are certainly many places to choose from when strolling down Upper Heidelberg Road in Ivanhoe.

Romano's Pizza is just one of the places we have visited.

We didn't feel like Pizza this particular evening and opted for the Bistro Menu. DH was a little disappointed with the steak in his Beef & Reef dish but my Calamari Salad was so tender and light I would definitely order it again.

When it came time for Dessert and Coffee, the Strawberry Panna Cotta was awesome and large enough for us to share.
I am yet to find a perfect coffee in Ivanhoe, and this one was still too bitter for my taste, but it won't stop me from returning to try their Butterscotch Crepes or Tiramisu and DH has his eye on the Apple Strudel with Ice cream.

Romano's Pizza & Bistro
137 Upper Heidelberg Road
Ivanhoe  Vic 3079