Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LBSS, Richmond

On a very busy part of Victoria St, in the middle of Abbotsford, there is a converted terrace house, housing a cafe so cool that it goes by a mere acronym. LBSS stands for Little Big Sugar Salt, which refers to the different food groups featured on their menu.

I ordered the LSBB’s version of a Croque Monsieur which featured, three slices of thick sourdough, as many if not more thick slices of ham, plenty of cheese and plenty of white sauce. Sir Ron Swanson OBE was golden crusty on the outside and creamy and gooey between the layers.

Other orders from the table included similarly visually dishes. That One which was a sizeable stack of  blueberry and ginger pancakes,  piled high with a good dollop of coconut vanilla cream, doused in maple syrup and seasonal fruits. Beb Loves Bircher was probably the healthiest option out of everything that landed on our table and was a creamy concoction of chia, and almond milk bircher, mixed through with crunchy bits of nuts and seeds and other cereals, and topped with stone fruits and youghurt. Lastly, we had one of the specials of the day, which was featured some plump crumpets, stacked with  greasy slices of bacon, lightly grilled fresh figs and smothered in a beautifully rich cheese sauce. Oh, and did I also mention that we shared a Bits by Fig & Salt between the four of us. Despite it’s innocuously small size, it still proved to be deeply satisfying – a true case of size not mattering an inch. 

The level of service was sufficient, but the division of the tables into different rooms made it a bit harder to facilitate extraneous requests beyond the usual routine. It made it easier for them to leave us sitting there unnoticed. We received bursts of service, usually only when the staff deigned to check in on our room. Another downside is that parking around here is extremely difficult, so if you can avoid driving here, I would recommend doing so. In my case, I had to move my car at least once, and left hastily as it was about to expire for the second time.

Little Big Sugar Salt - LBSS Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 19, 2015

27 Deakin, Mildura

Located on one of the busy shopping strips of Mildura, 27 Deakin is both a bakery, a cafe and also a gallery. It's a large space with high ceilings and minimal furnishings. The walls are lined with paintings and sketches from various artists, mostly local. The atmosphere is relaxed and customers coming and going, with a lot of them obviously locals, and the remainder, also quite obviously, visitors and / pass throughs. 

T and I had taken an early morning flight to to Mildura and were quite famished when we landed. We were glad that P and S must have thought the same as they offered to take us to brunch en route from the airport to home. It was the Saturday of the Easter weekend, and it was already mid morning so the place was bustling when we arrived. The staff were already busy themselves like well oiled cogs to ensure that everything ran smoothly. We were put on a nice table in the middle of the space, giving me plenty of opportunities to observe and wonder and contemplate and assess. 

The breakfast menu is expansive and had all the familiar classics as well as a more interesting range of items. T was feeling particularly indulgent and ordered the French Toast with GF bread. It came with a generous dollop of ricotta and drizzled with a plenty of honey. It was quite decadent and certainly made my smoked salmon on potato rosti seem a comparatively lighter option. Both were beautifully constructed dishes, exhibiting a sound appreciation for texture and taste, employing good quality ingredients. 

Brunch was ever so pleasant and certainly a wonderful way to begin our time in Mildura! 

Stefano's Cafe Bakery on Urbanspoon

JD's Burgers, Kew

This place is great! The beef burger patties are juicy and succulent and really easy to chow down. The sauces are tasty and they make sure to put plenty in each burger, and the cheese are also especially gooey. The bun has just the right density for the liquid to be held in without soaking through the bottom bun, whilst there was enough bounce in the dough to enable the top bun to curve just so in a glorious dome shape.

When I was initially invited to visit JD's, I was curious about what they meant by Asian Fusion, and how this element of differentiation would be demonstrated. To get a sense of what I was getting myself into, I did what any sensible foodie would do and checked out their social media accounts. The burgers came in a number of interesting flavours, but what really struck me was how big they seemed and there were also pictures of contestants who had participated in their Saiyan challenge involving a 2kg burger. Saiyan challenge or not, I knew that I would still need reinforcement to help me tackle JD's menu, and thus I enlisted the help of fellow food enthusiasts, A and J.

Their ungodly Saiyan challenge consists of 8 patties, 8 slices of cheese, and 8 layers of bacon, in between a large brioche bun. If anyone could devour the whole monstrosity for free, then it's would be theirs for free. At the time of our visit, there had already been five brave and incredible men who had successfully completed the challenge. We contemplated trying to get on the honor, individually, and collectively and concluded that we wouldn't be able to do in on either account. Instead we got a Level 3 Saiyan Burger which had 3 patties, 3 slices of cheese and 3 layers of bacon. I asked for an egg in their for good measure as well, just for some extra protein.

In addition, we also had some chips to share. These were golden and crunchy and very good. They usually come with a house sauce, but I asked for extra side orders of the Red Dragon and Green Dragon Sauces to test them out. Both were delicious, although not complementary, so I'd recommending picking only one, unless you also have taste ADHD like I do. In fact, even as I was eating it, I had a curious thought about a Golden Dragon sauce made up of curry powder and mayonaise...

JD's burger is up there, as one of the top 3 burger places in Melbourne. The burgers are decadent and indulgent and so full of goodness that they leaked until the very last mouthful. I also respect the fact that the venue itself has retained the no fuss, no frills set up of local takeaway joints without trying to be too cool. Instead, it focuses its efforts on serving honest burgers worth recommending and revisiting.

JD's Burgers - Asian Fusion on Urbanspoon


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