Tag Archives: fairfield

Summer is calling…

As Melbourne finally heats up (temporarily), the call for ice cream grows louder and louder. I can’t say no to ice cream so let’s not waste anymore time and I will share some more hotspots, following on from my last post Gelato in Melbourne.

The Lab: 188 Bourke St, Melbourne

The Lab shares a similar concept to N2 Extreme Gelato, with large machines full of nitrogen and clouds of smoke engulfing their scientific-looking employees.

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Their location is more convenient, located in the heart of the city on Bourke St and so I eagerly joined a long queue. Their flavours don’t sound as exciting as N2, but that’s not what matters. We ended up with a banana honey crunch and salted caramel popcorn ($6 each).

The banana was nice and sweet with some added texture of muesli on top and the salted caramel matched well with the popcorn pieces scattered on top.

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The problem is I found N2 flavours a lot more smooth and wholesome. They seem to find a way to cohesively mix flavours together whilst adding innovative things such as a creme brulee layer on top, whereas The Lab just put pieces of things on top. So if you’re in the city, it should satisfy your ice cream cravings but if you have time I’d suggest venturing out.

The Lab is open Mon-Thurs and Sun 12pm-11.30pm and Fri-Sat 12pm-1am.

The Lab Nitrogen Gelato on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina: 237 Smith St, Fitzroy

Another new and well-anticipated shop is Gelato Messina. Heralding from Sydney with great popularity, winner of this year’s Australian stage of the Gelato World Tour, and voted the best gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide, there’s every reason for the hype surrounding them.

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A great queue greeted us on a Friday night, but they even have takeaway menus for you to look at whilst you wait. In addition to that, they have a Specials board, which makes the decision of what flavour to get that much harder.

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In addition to your everyday flavours (above), I tried to avoid the generic salted caramel that was also on show and instead my eyes lit up at my other true love, white chocolate. I was also interested by the apple pie flavour so I got a scoop of that and their special, nicciolino, which was described as white chocolate and hazelnut gelato with frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) soaked sponge and gianduia (sweet chocolate containing hazelnut) ganache (2 scoops, $6). Phew.

Until now, I didn’t even realise what those ingredients were and now I realise the abundance of hazelnut. There were some chunks of all these things, sponge, ganache and apple pie, that made the gelato quite tasty and full of surprises. We couldn’t quite put out finger on what it was, but we’re 90% sure it was the frangelico sponge that was the tastiest addition to the gelato.

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The apple pie also uncannily resembled the actual taste of apple pie quite well, with pies of pie throughout it. Finally getting to try it, I can understand the hype and the queue, however you will see where my heart lies at the end of this post.

Their outfit is also very funky, located on Smith St it’s a must. There’s quite a few spots to sit on the curvy benches inside and enjoy your gelato as well, and if you’re up for it you can even order tubs of ice cream or the misto plate ($12), a plate of five flavours.

Gelato Messina is open Mon-Thurs and Sun 12pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 12pm-11.30pm.

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

Il Dolce Freddo: 116 Lygon St, Carlton

If anyone ever refers to “Freddo’s” for short, this is where they mean. Located on Lygon St, there’s plenty of competition from other gelato shops yet on a Saturday night, this place still managed to be constantly busy.

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Even glancing at the flavours, most of them were close to finished. They have a wide range of flavours but are not as experimental, with Asian nuances. Flavours such as durian, green tea and lychee demonstrate this.

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This time, I couldn’t resist their version of the salted caramel, and now I’ve realised my liking for bits and pieces in my gelato, I also tried the vanilla crunch. My friend went for a green theme, with green tea and pistachio. I think they were about $5-6, and the waffle cone was a nice touch.

They have limited tables to sit inside and some outside to enjoy the lively Lygon St atmosphere. I enjoyed the combination of my flavours and the crunchy bits of my gelato. My friend’s green tea was also good but not too strong. If I’m ever in the mood for ice cream that I know will be good, I can usually rely on Freddo’s. They are more traditional and no frills except for a few of their exotic flavours.

Il Dolce Freddo is open Tue-Sun 12.30pm-11pm.

Il Dolce Freddo on Urbanspoon

Cones: 141A Station St, Fairfield

Cones is a local gelato shop in Fairfield, located on the busy Station St near Fairfield Station. After a brunch session at the amazing Fifteen Poundswe took advantage of the hot day and walked over for our gelato fix.

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Their flavours range from the classic bubblegum to the comforting and rich nutella. I was immensely tempted by the tim tam flavour (bottom left), but it looked too rich and full of chocolate for me to stomach in ice cream form.

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Instead, I ended up with a honeycomb flavour, which seems to look like all the other flavours I get from other shops (salted caramel, hazelnut etc)! It wasn’t mind-blowing, but subtle and enjoyable. They had decent prices and we were really happy with how full they pack your cone/cup with ice cream as it’s rare for local places to be so generous.

Cones is open everyday 9.30am-9.30pm.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery: Shop 21, Janefield Drive, University Hill

University Hill is generally a very quiet and empty ghost town in the northern suburbs. However, Cold Rock seems to be full of people looking for a good dose of late night ice cream, who don’t want to venture towards the city. If you’ve never been, you get to choose various toppings for them to smash into your ice cream.

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Their flavours aren’t that extensive, but at least they had white chocolate to satisfy me. When I realised I could get two flavours, I also got the mango sorbet as mango is my favourite fruit.

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I got them to put in tim tams, a favourite chocolate snack of mine, and as I didn’t want it overflowing with hard chocolate pieces, I also got marshmallows to balance it out. It may not look pretty, but I think I created a pretty good combination.

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I guess the only problem is customer service is a tad slow for perhaps one of the the only busy places at University Hill, and the person who served me didn’t seem too enthusiastic. To top that, he charged me the wrong price and had to come over to get more money off me. The toppings are also a bit expensive, all up it was about $8.90 or so.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t finish my filling serve of smashed ice cream as I was so full and if I’m ever feeling particularly lazy, I wouldn’t have to venture far to visit here.

Cold Rock is open Mon-Wed and Sun 10am-9pm, Thurs 10am-10pm and Fri-Sat 10am-11pm.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato: 329 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

It is evident from this post, that I eat way too much ice cream. No matter how much I like the other ones, I have decided N2 still wins in my heart but it most certainly depends on which flavours. Their popular French Earl Grey dulce de leche is a winner and third time around, this lemon meringue pie ($8) was also amazing.

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The meringue swirl was warm and full of flavour, whilst it contrasted with the cold gelato below. The added shortbread to the serving made it an overall taste sensation and now the next on my list to try one day would be their ferrero reveal, considering how much I love ferrero rochers!

N2 Extreme Gelato is open everyday 1pm-11pm.

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

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Another Northern Brunch Roundup

Welcome to another look at some lovely brunch places in the northern suburbs, proving convenient to all the lazy northerners who do not want to travel any further than needed for a decent meal. Apologies for the lack of posts lately but unfortunately life gets a tad busy sometimes. Anyway, I’m back and ready to tempt you with lots of food.

Fifteen Pounds: 21/23 Railway Place, Fairfield

I was surprised to find that this exciting and unique cafe was located just across from Fairfield Station – and that I used to go past it every morning in the car on the way to work! It looks quite small and cosy, but being a warm day, we had to make the most of this rare, warm day amidst Melbourne’s bout of unpredictable weather.

As this was quite a late brunch, I didn’t feel the need for coffee and we both ended up with berry smoothies coming in the latest trend of large, filling jars. They were very big, but more importantly milky and refreshing for the warm day.

Berry smoothies

After escaping the claws of temptation from the wagyu burger on the menu, I decided that it wasn’t a good idea to stomach such a heavy meal late in the day (and before a badminton session!) The specials tempted us with their unusual sounding dishes, thus my friend and I both chose from this menu.

My best friend’s dish was baked trout and shrimp with poached eggs, salsa verde, toaste and lemon air (below, courtesy of her Instagram – click through for her profile). Curiosity was evidently upon us, as we read “lemon air,” and to our amazement it was our favourite part of the dish. It’s the very pale yellow sauce in focus and it had a very unique taste, almost as if it belonged in a dessert, yet it worked so well in this dish. It had a light tangy flavour like lemon, yet it was a bit sweet too, like icing…but not.

Next up was my fish and chips (below), but it was not your ordinary serving as you can see. In fact it included purple french fries, made from some handy sweet potato, and barramundi plated quite pleasantly on the lettuce leaves.

The fries didn’t even taste that different from normal french fries, which I found impressive. They may not look attractive but they were crisp and crunchy, but every now again you do notice a taste that indicates that it’s actually sweet potato (no complaints). The fish was perfectly cooked and had a crispy skin on the outside, just the way I like it, and the sauce was light and garnished with greens.

These dishes are the type that don’t look filling but surprisingly are, proving quality over quantity. I absolutely loved their creativity and wonder if it’s worth going back to try all their interesting specials. They are such a small, local looking cafe, that you might not think twice passing by – but if you stop and take a look, some of their items may just surprise you. A gem for this section of town.

Prices are similar to usual brunch dishes, but may reach $20+ for some of the larger meals.

Fifteen Pounds is open Tue-Fri 7am-4pm and 8am-4pm on weekends.

Fifteen Pounds on Urbanspoon

Cheshire: 583 Gilbert Road, West Preston

I finally made it to Cheshire, a place that’s been on my list for a while. My first time, it was very busy. The layout and decor was nothing special, perhaps a tad small and cramped inside seating-wise, but luckily some people were leaving the communal table so we didn’t have to wait.

We both ordered lattes, which were fairly standard. I don’t drink coffee a lot now so I can’t claim to be an expert in this area. So on to the food – I ordered baked polenta with poached eggs, spinach, caramelised onion and extra chorizo (below). You know, just in case I would still be hungry….and I definitely wasn’t.

The meal was lovely, everything from the eggs to chorizo were perfectly cooked and I enjoyed the caramelised onions. It was faultless, but I don’t think a dish like this will stand out in my head when I think back to my brunch outings.

My friend ordered the caramelised scrambled eggs ($13) with extra mushrooms and chorizo too (below). I believe the toast might have been a little hard in some sections, so it was difficult to cut and eat, but the remainder of the dish was not bad. Once again, nothing that really stands out but a decent place to satisfy typical brunch and breakfast cravings.

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The staff are fairly attentive and nice, so that’s a plus, and thus I didn’t really mind coming back to visit with my other friend as it was near our hairdresser. The weather was nice this time, thus outdoor seating was fine and more spacious for us (seated on a table for four). It also wasn’t as busy during this Saturday lunch time, compared to the previous visit during a Sunday morning.

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I was curious as to what was on the specials’ board, so my friend went around to take a picture of it. The nice waiter witnessed this, then brought it around and placed it right in front of us.

In an indulgent mood, I went for a sweet meal of pear pancakes with chantilly cream, maple syrup, roasted hazelnuts and cinnamon sugar (below, $15) paired with an iced chocolate.


Iced chocolate

The iced chocolate was tall and enticing, although the top didn’t look like a lot of thought had gone into this part of the presentation. My friend also ordered an iced coffee, which looked a bit pale compared to other places.

The pancakes were stacked and provided an excellent sweet flavour, courtesy of the chantilly cream. I’m usually not a fan of cream but this one won me over, a little subtler and more flavoursome than whipped cream. The stack was thick but I don’t feel there was enough maple syrup to go with this many pancakes. The hazelnuts were nice and crunchy, so overall I was happy with ny choice as it was perfect to indulge in.

Pear pancakes

My friend ordered poach eggs on toast (below, $10) with some extra tomato and chorizo. The eggs were not perfectly done, in fact they looked strangely pale and yellow and not deep and orange. As you can see, one egg is also a bit broken. Hence, the cafe didn’t prove itself amazing with this dish.

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Thus, Cheshire can often provide you the comfort breakfast food you need, the staff are friendly and accommodating but they’re not an extremely standout cafe.

Cheshire is open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and 8am-4pm on weekends.

Cheshire on Urbanspoon

St Alexander’s Kitchen: 130A Alexander Ave, Thomastown

If you’re still dying for a little more or you just want to drool at some more pictures of the food I eat, I’ve written a Weekendnotes article on St Alexander’s Kitchen after my second trip. My first trip is documented in my previous Brunch in the North post, however my article takes in to account both visits.

St Alexander's Kitchen

In short, the Spanish omelette (top) was massive and tasty, and the Hangover breakfast (bottom) was a bit salty. The toast was a bit hard this time around and they might want to cut back on parmesan in some areas… but I enjoyed my omelette nonetheless and I love their stacked presentation of their dishes and homely feel.

St Alexander's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Read more here and also feel free to recommend me other good places in the northern suburbs!