Mr Wednesday – ok any day of the week

You have to love it when a place opens up within fixie-riding distance from your house. Even if you drive the Volvo to get there. Hello Mr Wednesday. Welcome to the ‘hood.

   
Located on Wingrove St in Fairfield, it’s a stone’s throw from the local primary school and thanks to coffee from Industry Beans, is destined to become a favourite with the mums after drop-off. Their magic is bloody magnificent.

   
 

With a fit out that touches on all the latest trends – think copper panels, terrariums, funky light bulbs and quirkily-named potted succulents, Mr Wednesday nevertheless manages to create its own vibe and the staff are lovely, friendly and welcoming.

   
    
   
Our first visit saw us succumb helplessly to the charms of the Jamaican Jerk Chicken burger with plaintain chips, and the Pulled Pork burger with coleslaw and pineapple. At 10.30 in the morning. Oops. Glad we did, they were friggin’ awesome. Get on them any time of the day.

   
 On the second visit we paid tribute to the breakfast part of the menu, and if you like your smashed avo huge, with chèvre and peas and spinach,  then you’ll be one happy camper.

  
Similarly, bring your appetite for the vanilla and chai porridge with caramelised nut crumble, cranberries, blueberries, honey and apple, served with flowers, which arrives on a blackboard picture frame with fresh cream in a science beaker. Not only is it a generous serve, but your need to Instagram will be working overtime with the cuteness of it all.

  

There are many more treats to tempt you on the front counter, my advice is just go with it. Have breakfast dessert or take something home with you for later. So worth it. 

   
 

  

 If you’re in the area, get here. Oh, and there’s an Indian motorbike hanging on the wall for no apparent reason. Which I totally dig.

  
Mr Wednesday, you’re ok whatever day it is.

Mr Wednesday

144 Wingrove St, Fairfield

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Breakfast at Jimmi Jamz East Brunswick

I first met Alby Tomassi at YGAP’s social enterprise café Feast of Merit, in March last year.

With a huge smile, boundless enthusiasm, and a solid pedigree in hospitality (he also owns St Kilda institution The Banff) Alby is all about bringing good, unfussy food to the table and Jimmi Jamz is no exception.

The Lygon Street space is big enough to not have to worry about queuing for a table on a Saturday morning, but still warm and inviting with exposed brickwork, planter boxes full of fresh herbs, comfortable leather banquette seats, and a large airy courtyard which is lovely for brunch and possibly even better for a lazy Sunday afternoon session, or a warm summer evening.

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With the feasting of the festive season over, I’m ready for some food that nourishes whilst still tasting fantastic. Based on what I tried recently at Jimmi Jamz, I’m covered for the rest of summer. The menu boasts something to appeal to everyone from the Istra bacon lover to the gluten free vegan, and everyone in between.

Offering a fresh take on standard breakfasts, at Jimmy Jamz you can get ricotta hotcakes with fro-yo, meringue and mint; almond and cashew granola with coconut yoghurt, blueberry curd and grapefruit; baked eggs with pork belly; and silken chilli tofu with roasted red onions, puffed rice and black sesame oil. I’m not usually a tofu fan, but I found this dish really lovely – so many flavours and textures, and it just screamed healthy!

I loved the ‘Rye Gap’, which was house cured trout, avocado puree, pickled red onion, soft herb salad with preserved lemon dressing and a poached egg (extra) on rye.

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Jimmi Jamz have their own coffee brand which they’ve called ‘Little Green Bean’, (roasted in Brunswick), their milk comes from St David Dairy (hand bottled in Fitzroy), and a huge selection of freshly squeezed juices and delicious-sounding smoothies. I went with the ‘Green Apple’ which was chock full of spirulina, psyllium husk, organic coconut, almond, sultana, cranberry, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, organic lime essential oil, coconut nectar, green apple, coconut water, fresh mint and ice. Loved it.

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You can view the whole menu here

Add to this the fact that they also have a stack of board and card games including Jenga, Battleships, Scrabble, Backgammon and Chess, you could quite literally settle in here for hours (with or without kids.)

I’m now looking forward to going back for lunch or dinner to check out the rest of the menu!

*I was invited to Jimmi Jamz to try the summer menu. I wrote about it because I loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A right Royal breakfast – Duchess of Spotswood

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I headed over the West Gate Bridge today and finally visited the Duchess of Spotswood, and I’m pleased to say it was well worth the wait, and every bit as lovely as I expected.  (If the truth be told I actually arranged a client meeting there JUST so I could try it out). A warm welcome when we arrived, and a strong and full-bodied piccolo, delivered with a smile, was a most excellent start to the work day.  Being the first day of the school holidays I had Junior in tow as well, so a good book, an excellent hot  chocolate and a serve of scrambled eggs meant he was extremely content.

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The good folk of the Duchess make the most of what’s in season, and despite many tempting treasures on the menu,  I ended with up the ‘Simple Pleasures’, a delightfully pretty plate full of asparagus, broad beans, kipler potatoes, with goats curd and perfectly cooked poached eggs. I may at this point admit to a slight bit of dish envy when watching what was delivered to other tables, but this in no way was to detract from my own breakfast which I enjoyed immensely – a light and delicate dish perfect for the unexpectedly warm morning.

ImageI left with a simple vow to return and work my way through the menu, which may take some doing, considering they also do lunch.  It’s a challenge I’ll be happy to take up.

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Lil Boy Blue – red hot

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When I heard we had a new café/restaurant/bar opening up literally 5 minutes from our front doorstep, I was pretty happy. Kew now has a burgeoning dining scene, from the more established Estivo and St Katherines, to Mr Bianco (who just celebrated their 1st birthday), and the very excellent Ora, but there’s always room for more!

The latest offering at Lil Boy Blue from the extremely hospitable Josh Clarke and his gorgeous wife now opens up a whole new range of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Let’s start with the coffee. Allpress. Made lovingly and expertly by the instantly best-friendable Casey. This lady sure knows how to make a piccolo. I’ve got a bit of a girl crush to be honest.
It didn’t hurt that the first time I walked in, she greeted me like part of the family. This is a trait shared by all the staff, who can’t do enough to make you feel right at home, including Josh himself who took time out to have a chat and show off some of his tempting baked goods straight out of the oven.

Then there’s the gorgeous fit out: exposed brick, bright blue glassware, lovely crockery, quirky light fittings, hand painted bathroom doors, ornate framing, and fresh flowers.

And I haven’t even gotten to the food yet. On my first visit I tried the BLT brioche. Heaven. Salty and sweet all at the same time, and for dessert a poached pear tart with vanilla bean anglaise and toasted crushed almonds. Divine.

For our breakfast visit we tried the pulled pork brioche with truffle pecorino and pickles which was indeed the business. Luckily we still had room to try the gorgeous Noisette fruit loaf with whipped honey and vanilla butter. Perfect. They also have donuts filled with Turkish delight so there goes my diet.

Upstairs can be used as a function space, or to just take the overload from downstairs when they get busy. On my second visit in as many days (yes it’s that good) the place was HEAVING at 10am. I mean turning-people-away-busy, and they’ve only been open 2 weeks.

They very kindly take bookings for breakfast which I dig, but I can see this place having a queue down the street before too long, as the word spreads and people get a taste for Casey’s coffee. (Back off people, I saw her first!)

There is also a fabulous little room at the very front of the upstairs space, which is now referred to as ‘The Ladies’ Celebration Room’ because since Lil Boy Blue opened, it has been constantly occupied by groups of girlfriends with buckets of bubbles. Sounds like the perfect idea to me. Again, book this ahead of time to avoid disappointment!

Now we just need to go back and try the dinner menu, and I can’t wait. Stay tuned for that!
You can find Lil Boy Blue at 309 High St in Kew. There are probably more than a few locals who will want to punch my lights out for sharing this with everyone, but I just had to let you know. It’s bloody marvellous.

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Silo by Joost

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I’ve already outed myself as a card-carrying member of the Joost Bakker fan club, after visiting the Greenhouse in Perth in 2011, and then hanging out daily at its temporary cousin at the Melbourne Food and Wine Fesitval in March this year (see here) so it will come as no surprise that I’ve been waiting eagerly for his latest project ‘Silo by Joost’ to open its doors on Hardware Street. 

Silo is setting the benchmark for a waste-free sustainable cafe model – there are no bins, milk is delivered in bulk, flour is milled on site for all their baking needs, and of course all the suppliers are local, organic and seasonal. 

The kitchen is headed up by Douglas McMaster, who holds the Young British Foodies award for ‘Most Irreverant Chef’, and you can watch him at work as the kitchen and communal table are all part of the same space, giving you an up-close and personal introduction to your meal.   Currently on the breakfast menu are coddled eggs with mushrooms, house-made muesli, porridge, toast, shortbread, and yoghurt, not to mention some sensational chocolate treats (breakfast dessert, anyone?).  Silo are also doing evenings from Thursday to Saturday, with salads, grains and soup, and a nice selection of good local plonk including beer, wine and cider.

Silo is run by the irrepressibly enthusiastic Danny Colls (ex Cafe Racer, Postal Hall, Liaison, Federal Coffee Palace etc). If you happen to catch Danny at Silo he’s more than happy to give you a tour, and the passion he has for this latest venture is infectious.  It was also lovely to see the same staff who worked so happily at the Greenhouse at MFWF this year, serving up breakfast at Silo the morning we visited, every bit as excited about this beautiful new venture as I certainly am.

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