Tag Archives: meatballs

Lady Bower

Lady Bower is located in an area of Reservoir that you wouldn’t expect to turn into. On one side is a main road but if you enter from the other side, you will drive past such an everyday suburban street that you might wonder if you’re in the right place.

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It’s your typical small and cosy suburban cafe and I enjoyed that our water was served to us in a wine bottle. We were swiftly offered the menus, specials and drink orders but I had to change my order of a latte after I spotted the display below…

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The display provides a common vintage influence, along with the feeling that you’re looking at patterns straight out of your nana’s house. Upon our request, the staff let us move inside when a table became free due to the chilly and windy weather.

20140421_130912 My hand shaken salted caramel milkshake ($4.50) came in a tall 420mL jar and looked quite pale. It tasted very milky at first, but as I got used to the taste, the salted caramel became more apparent later on. You can also get a lamington version if that sounds more appetising! Meanwhile my friends ordered a latte and cappuccino.

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Whilst we waited for our food, I observed the interior was quite minimal except for the curvy lights and the wall at the back, with a tea set that continued the cute, nana sort of theme.

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Some seats also had a knit blanket (like the corner seats above), which we assumed was to cushion the plastic seat if you wanted, but may have just been there for decoration. The tables inside were mainly small and catered to two to four people, with one large table, but I’m sure some of them can be pushed together to cater for more!

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My other friend suddenly decided she wanted a hot chocolate ($3.50), which looked like your usual. Finally we received our food, which all looked amazing. Their menu had many items, which are not your usual breakfast and lunch items, so it felt like a refreshing change.

IMG-20140422-WA0003One of us ordered the Meatballs, smokey sauce, swiss cheese, rocket salad, on a turkish bread ($9.50, above). I had a taste of one of the meatballs and it tasted cheesy and a little spicy.

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My other two friends ordered the Pork Belly roll with apple coleslaw and sriracha mayo ($12, above) with extra rosemary mushrooms ($3). I found the pork nice and tender and really flavoursome. The sriracha gave it some extra spice in a good way too. I think it’s very filling for $12, so much that I had to help one of my friend’s finish it.

Finally, I decided to go with one of the March specials, Rosemary mushrooms, pate, brioche, truffle oil and autumn leaves with poached eggs ($17.50, below). I was very curious as to what they classify as autumn leaves, but it was pretty standard.

20140421_132154I think it was a good balance between various ingredients but the truffle oil wasn’t that evident and the pate wasn’t that great. I’ve tasted better pate at Rice Paper Scissors. It made the dish a tad salty, but I managed to balance it out with the salad. Overall, it’s a great looking and filling dish and the eggs were perfect, but maybe few more elements need to be refined.

It’s not a surprise as to why Lady Bower is such a popular place in an area that is a little short in quality cafes. I think their prices are decent and the staff are friendly and attentive, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t drop by especially if you live around the area.

Lady Bower is located at 1A Marchant Avenue, Reservoir and is open Tue-Sun 8am-4pm. Check out their current menu here.

Lady Bower Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Chuckle Park

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In the mood for something other than Asian but not too pricey, I discovered this hip little place on a laneway on Little Collins. Wandering along Little Collins, this laneway of hipsters and Friday night drinkers burst with animation from the everyday streets of Melbourne.

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The tiny laneway is lit up by strings of jars, with the Chuckle Park truck at the end for you to order food. Wooden tables with plants and bright red stools are scattered for a limited number of people to sit.

Chuckle Park is owned by and located next to the bar, New Guernica. Luckily for us, they were full of people for Christmas celebrations, and we received tickets for a complimentary drink on the way in to the Chuckle Park laneway. We were informed at the bar that this would be a shot, we have no idea what it was but we enjoyed it because it tasted nice like apple (they called it their appletiser promo on their entrance board).

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After this we went back downstairs to loiter in the laneway and wait for a table at Chuckle Park. It didn’t take too long and we swooped in on a table as some people were leaving. Then came the usual tough decision of what to eat!

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Their menu can be described as Spanish-inspired, with a short yet simple selection. We ended up with three pulled pork rolls and one meatball wrap and our table number was provided on a pebble (above). We also couldn’t resist their fantastic looking cocktail jars so we ordered a jar of raspberry mojito (Bacardi, raspberry liqueur, fresh lime and mint, $35) and a fruity mocktail.

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The pulled pork roll was surprisingly quite spicy, and we discovered the meatball wrap was too. On closer inspection the items are more detailedly described as pulled pork roll with slow spicy pork, cheese, walnut, fennel and slaw ($10) and tasty meatballs in pita wrap with authentic tomato spiced sauce, cheese and spinach ($10).

They didn’t seem to cut back on any ingredients and it proved a naturally messy meal. As they didn’t hold back on the meat, the spicy fillings satisfied our bellies. The pork was nice and tender and the burgers oozed with a bit of sauce as we tried to keep them together, thus the wrap wasn’t as troublesome.

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The cocktail jar may look large, but it technically holds around four or five drinks, so it was easily shared between three of us. There’s lots of ice so the raspberry flavour was more outdone by the mint leaves.

I asked if they did mocktails and so they provided their standard drink, with all their fruit juices and more mixed together. The flavour is hard to describe with so many juices involved but with an abundance of fruity fragrances and a dash of sour aftertaste, it seemed to taste more interesting than the cocktail.

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Overall, it’s a great little place and provides a unique vibe compared to a standard bar or restaurant. If you can’t stand smokers you might find it a little claustrophobic being in such a small, enclosed space yet outdoors. The meals are impressive for a small outfit and the idea seems to have proved popular.

Chuckle Park is open Mon-Thurs 12pm-late and Fri-Sun 12pm-1am. See their menu here.

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon