the premises, kensington

if someone were to drop you in the middle of kensington + take off your blindfold, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a country-victorian town. with leafy tree lined streets, brown-brick buildings + a 2-street town-centre with small businesses only, this is a cute and quaint suburb. no more so than on a spring sunday a couple of weeks ago, where some establishments still observe a non-trading day. not so for ‘the premises’, a cafe i have wanting to try out for some time now. we were in (or going through) the area, so i insisted that we stop off to check this place out. did i mention that kensington is only 2 train stops from the melbourne cbd, with the premises being right across the road from the train station?! seriously!

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises serves seven seeds coffee, a coffee within my top 3 locally-roasted bean. the baristas are certainly connoisseurs, taking great pride in their pour-over techniques + cold-drip pours. my soy latte was no exception – excellent flavour + consistency.

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the premises, kensington

the cafe has a lovely homey feel, laid back with tables of various shapes + sizes throughout. it has a 2-sided street front, both with window bars (which i love) + some outdoor dining underneath the trees. it really does feel family-oriented + welcoming. we had a short wait for a bar seat + service from both staff was friendly, even engaging in some brief conversation (how rare is that these days!?)

the menu is exciting with a good mix between lighter sweeter breakfast options all the way through to hearty lunch varieties, and the owners pride themselves on locally sourced products wherever possible.

i decided to go with the
slow-roasted pulled pork with nana kath’s pineapple chutney, red cabbage slaw + a dill pickle.
having recently returned from the usa, i am still “slightly” addicted to burgers + barbeque / pulled anything … thankfully, melbourne’s food trends are appeasing these cravings at the moment! this pulled pork was mouth-wateringly delicious! as was the slaw, which had an absolutely sumptuous dressing. and whoever nana kath is… i want that chutney recipe from her!… a perfect condiment to put with all of these components. my only criticism is that i would’ve loved a couple of thinner pieces of bread to smack all of these amazing ingredients in-between, rather than one big chunky piece which meant i found i mostly ate this with a fork… but make no mistake this dish was still delish!

the premises, kensington

pulled port, the premises

my husband opted for the
bircher muesli with a berry compote coconut yoghurt, honey + almonds.
firstly, at only $10 i was amazed. i’m not sure if it’s just me, but breakfast prices are definitely on the rise in melbourne at the moment + it is rare to find a decent portion size of bircher for sub-$15 these days. the bircher was softly soaked, packed with apples + sultanas. the berry compote was a good mix of tart + sweet, and the coconut yoghurt was creamy + fresh. i would’ve loved to have seen some extra crunch (candied / roasted nuts), but this was still a pretty good bircher.

the premises, kensington

bircher muesli, the premises

verdict: a lovely spot for a relaxed long-lunch
find: twitter.com/ThePremises

 

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two birds one stone, south yarra

today, a girlfriend (kim) and i were left to a girls-only morning thanks to a/ one husband away for work and b/ another husband still sleeping in (i’ll leave you to guess which one belonged to who!). given we were two “birds” heading out for the day, we decided to start our morning at ‘two birds one stone’, a delightful cafe in south yarra.

now, i have another confession to make… after living in melbourne for almost 3 and a half years, this morning was my first time catching a melbourne train! having lived in the heart of the city since moving here, my husband and i pretty much walk everywhere with the occasional tram trip. we only drive our car about once a week or when my husband has a gig to perform at. so given that two birds one stone is conveniently located just near south yarra train station, catching the train was the perfect option. ride a train in melbourne = tick.

two birds one stone, south yarra

scrambled eggs + bacon, two birds one stone,

scrambled eggs + bacon, creamy scramble + grilled bacon, kim liked her meal and it was definitely a generous serving size.

two birds one stone, south yarra

smashed avo + feta, two birds one stone

smashed avocado + feta with capers, tomato, radish, shallots + dill on toast
i love dill. it is a massively under-used herb and i will pretty much put it in anything – salad, roast veggies, dipping sauces – and combined with smashed avo + feta (one of my favourite light brunch options) the dill lifted this dish completely. the radish + tomatoes were also fantastic, and i was very happy with choosing this light, healthy option. the multi-grain toast was also delicious.

two birds one stone, south yarra

soy latte, two birds one stone

two birds one stone uses five senses coffee, which has a robust + smooth taste.
and my fresh pink grapefruit juice was refreshingly citrusy.

two birds one stone, south yarra

fresh pink grapefruit juice, two birds one stone

two birds one stone, south yarra

two birds one stone, south yarra

the cafe itself had a great vibe with a line for tables most of the time we were there. i’m not the only one who really likes their scandinavian interior design, broadsheet having given them a great wrap also. the wood panelling + native flowers gave the space a warm + inviting feel and there is a great big communal high-table which draws your attention to the centre of the room. the service, whilst a little bit slow due to how busy they were, was delivered with a smile + the staff were really friendly.

with our intention to head next door for some pastries + macarons from zumbo after brunch (seriously, when its right next door how could you not?!) , i did go for the lighter option on the menu. however don’t be perturbed… their “two birds” (eggs on toast with mushrooms, spinach, roast tomatoes, haloumi + avocado – with the option to add sausage or bacon) and twice-cooked marmalade french toast with oranges + vanilla pannacotta sound amazing + are on my “must try” list for next time. a buzzing cafe with an interesting menu + great food… we certainly loved our morning out.

verdict: fabulous brunching for these two birds!
find: twobirdsonestonecafe.com.au

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p.s. seriously… with this temptation right next door, how could we resist!?!

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feast of merit, richmond

it’s been a while since a decent “walk and brunch”, so after an intense couple of days of work in sydney + a beautiful sunny day emerging in melbourne, the husband + i spent the morning walking down to feast of merit in richmond. according to their website + menu “feast of merit is a social enterprise owned and run by ygap, and all profits raised directly support (our) youth education and youth leadership projects in malawi, ghana, rwanda, bangladesh, cambodia and australia”. the cafe offers “delicious seasonal produce, raw foods and an assortment of locally sourced drinks”. their philosophy is driven by “being local, ethical and sustainable”. this place is one i’ve had my eye on for some time, so i was excited to try it this morning.

the coffee is st ali  + the cafe uses larsen + thompson teas and st david dairy. on top of beautifully smooth + delicious coffee, there are also cold pressed juices + smoothies on offer – the drinks menu comes stand alone to the food menu + is certainly extensive. flavours like the gandhi enlightened smoothie (spirulina, maca, cranberry, fresh coconut, coconut flesh, lsa, pure lime essential oil + coconut water) caught my eye + will be on my list for next time.

feast of merit, richmond

soy latte, feast of merit

the basilenko juice – apple, orange, pineapple, strawberry + mint
a refreshing fruity juice served in a gorgeous mini milk bottle + glass jar.

feast of merit, richmond

the basilenko, feast of merit

shakshouka – tomato, chilli peppers, spring legumes, eggs + tahini labneh
served in skillet-for-one, the eggs were baked perfectly with a kidney bean + chickpea combination in the fresh tomato base. this dish had fantastic flavour, with a generous serve of tahini labneh + olive oil as all best middle eastern-style dishes do! shakshouka + any form of baked eggs are in my top 3 all-time dishes + this certainly helped to continue my love for this dish!

feast of merit, richmond

shakshouka, feast of merit

poached eggs + bacon
runny yolks + beech smoked bacon – no guesses necessary for whose dish this was!

feast of merit, richmond

bacon + eggs, feast of merit

spring/summer yousli - coconut pana, compressed seasonal fruit, roasted hazelnut, mulberries, raw cocoa, puffed quinoa, buckwheat, caramelised buckinis, coconut, dates, goji, currents, sunflower/chia seeds, pepitas + raw cinnamon
this earthy + wholesome “yousli” was a perfect way to end our brunch – full of flavour, texture + nutrition. the coconut panacotta was subtle + light, and with a side of milk this was delicious!

feast of merit, richmond

yousli, feast of merit

feast of merit, richmond

feast of merit, richmond

feast of merit, richmond

feast of merit, richmond

unfortunately, i was let down a little by the service – not as friendly as it could have been; and certainly didn’t appreciate the mother who proceeded to change her baby’s nappy on the seat next to us – i didn’t need that odour in my nose whilst eating breakfast!

despite this, the cafe does have a great vibe, with industrial + exposed brick throughout and i love the sustainable philosophy and earthy + middle eastern influence of the menu.

verdict: delicious food with a middle-eastern influence + socially-conscious philosophy
find: www.feastofmerit.com

 

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