Tag Archives: St Kilda

Mission #3: Foodie Failures and More

The risk with your meals relying on food trucks and stalls is their unpredictability – will their truck break down, will they sell out of your favourite food, will business be quiet due to a thunderstormy night…? Continue reading

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Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham is building up a reputation around the southern most part of St Kilda Rd. Many go for the coffee, others for the friendly smiles and service that greet you at the door. The first time I went to get something for lunch they didn’t make a good impression – they kind of stuffed up my order. But my colleagues and I decided to go for a dine-in lunch and I thought I would give it another chance.
20140327_125202 Their menu is quite simple and succinct, as can be seen by their breakfast menu here. They were a bit busy as we sat ourselves down, so we went to get the menus ourselves from the bench above. I ended up choosing a wrap from the display window rather than the menu, as the last time I ordered a tandoori chicken one for takeaway it was great – it was just the service that was the problem.

20140327_130336It’s friendly yet kind of strange that a staff member floats around the door and the front counter to greet you. That’s from in front of the counter – not behind. So when you order, you find yourself standing right next to the person serving you and asking what you would like. There’s not really anything wrong with it, but you will find it a change to your conventional processes of having a barrier between the server and customer.

I ordered a Korean beef wrap ($9) with a side of chips (I think it was about $3). I loved the presentation of everything, the bonus salad and the cute basket of french fries (below).

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My wrap was full of plenty of beef but it didn’t really have that spicy tang of Korean flavour I’m so used to. I was kind of expecting something similar to say a Koba BBQ burrito, a blend of spicy flavours, as the tandoori chicken wrap last time tasted exactly like it would in a meal. This is not to say the beef didn’t taste good, it just wasn’t what I expected.

It may seem silly but small aspects such as their glasses and brown sugar impressed us with their aesthetics. Unfortunately, what wasn’t simple was their special of the day. We were eyeing a few other meals with a large mug and wandering what everyone was getting.

It was not until we heard a waitress say that it’s their special that we noticed the sign high above on the wall, opposite the counter and not entirely noticeable. Another customer on our communal table highly recommended it, thus my friends who were in line, suddenly changed their minds to order the special.

Unfortunately one of my friends ordered the last one! It included a large mug of pumpkin soup and a sandwich with some pieces of bread to dip into the soup. My friend said she doesn’t usually like pumpkin soup but she liked this one, and continued to finish every little bit of the meal.

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Finally, my other friend was eyeing a teriyaki tofu wrap ($8.50) in the display. I love tofu as well, so teriyaki tofu definitely sounded appetising. In the end she went with the teriyaki tofu salad ($8.50) with extra chicken ($3.50) and the result below looked amazing and definitely worth the value!
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This cafe has evidently located itself to cater to the corporates, only being open during the week. It’s either full of people on their lunch break or those dropping by to get their daily fix of coffee. The staff are friendly but considering we had to get a menu ourselves, I think it would be a great idea to have a menu on the wall considering it’s quite short. Perhaps a sign indicating you need to order at the counter would also be good to invest in, to avoid any confusion.

Overall, I do enjoy their interesting variety of wraps and what they are trying to accomplish, so I hope they continue to find their feet in the coming months.

Green Eggs and Ham is located at 22 St Kilda Road and they are open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm. You can see their breakfast menu here, but you’ll have to check their lunch menu in store and their special’s board so you don’t miss out on anything like this!

Green Eggs and Ham on Urbanspoon

Fitzrovia

Working right down the road from this place doesn’t seem to help the wallet! The sandwiches are huge, bursting with vegies, greens and more, and always draw attention when we bring them back to work. This place comes up often in conversations about popular brunch places in Melbourne, so the next step was to visit for a proper meal.

The place is quite spacious, with lots of outdoor seating to bask in the St Kilda sun. We seated our selves inside, but it took a fair bit of time before we were finally served with water and menus. A great deal on the menu sounds tempting, and the majority have a unique feel to the dish.

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For example, an extra on the menu is lime and bitters cured Tasmanian salmon – much more impressive sounding than smoked salmon right? My work mate chose the salad of the day ($14.50) with the so called Tasmanian salmon on the side ($5, above), but she said overall the dish was a bit oily.

Another option to eat in, is their daily baked tart ($15.50), visible at the counter and varying every day, with a Dijonnaise salad. Each day is a surprise so you might come across a sweet potato or zucchini tart on display. When presented to us, the slice looked enormous and comparable to any other meal on the menu.

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My other colleague chose a fancier sounding salad, which also seemed more nicely presented than the salmon. It was the charred corn, avocado, quinoa, black eyed pea and pomelo salad ($16, above) with coriander & minted yoghurt dressing and extra chorizo ($3.5). Although it looks and sounds impressive, she said she wasn’t a big fan of the dressing; that it was okay, but she couldn’t have too much of it.

I was tempted by the bacon with gruyere potato cake ($19), but wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the taste of the gruyere cheese. Thus, I ended up with the safer, but still interesting option of sweet potato and caramelized onion fritters ($17.50, below), with poached eggs, thyme roast field mushrooms, snow pea shoots, grilled saganaki & truffled salsa verde.

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The dish is very filling with enough elements to entertain the palette. However, the saganaki (grilled cheese) was a bit too much, making the dish very strong and salty. The eggs were a tiny bit overdone so they didn’t ooze as much as I would have liked, but the fritters were just right.

This place is very appealing on first looks – a great deal of variety, full of atmosphere and an attractive display of different items everyday from sandwiches to salad and dessert. However, dining in may result in slow service and not the most amazing food despite high expectations. I’ve also tried their coffee and Mork hot chocolate, and haven’t found myself a fan of either of them. In fact, my hot chocolate was really muggy at the bottom. But – I do recommend their sandwiches!

Fitzrovia is open Mon-Wed 7am – 3pm, Thurs-Fri 7am-10pm, Saturday 8am-10pm and Sunday 8am-8.30pm. Their menu often changes so take a look at their current breakfast/lunch current here.

Fitzrovia on Urbanspoon

Wabi Sabi Garden

I’ve been wanting to blog about this place ever since I started work around the area. To start with, it’s most of the office’s go-to lunch time source of sushi. When I stumbled upon it via Google Maps, I was fascinated by the lovely gem I had found. All I wanted was sushi after all – so how exciting could it be?

But their sushi was not your typical flavours, coming with unique Australian fish and tofu in interesting sauces. The variety and wonderful fresh flavours ensure a loyal corporate following at lunchtime.

Furthermore, after deciding I would eat my sushi in and observing their stools shaped as cupped hands at the front, I was led to a whole other room where people were dining, with the intricate lamp above provided a warming atmosphere.

The place was full of surprises. They even brought up my sushi rolls to me nicely sliced, and here I thought I was going to have a casual sushi lunch. I really enjoyed their fish sushi, somehow it just provided a lovely flaky and tasty sensation and I do reckon it has something to do with the fish they used.

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I did notice a back area that looked nicer from where I was dining but assumed it was more for functions and dinner time. However, on another visit my coworker walked right to the back area, through and past the little Japanese garden and pond.

There was only one other couple sitting here, perhaps another two people who knew they would not be refused their request to sit there by the lovely Japanese owners. The area was an open section looking over the mini garden and we were told we could even order from the dinner menu if we like.

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I already knew I wanted the wagyu meatballs, but was also tempted by the tender pork belly as I’d just recently had a wagyu burger that week. But, I couldn’t resist the sound of the Western idea of meatballs accompanied by a combination of Japanese red miso and demi-glace (rich, brown French) sauce. Even better, we were told that the this meal was the “Meat Bento” ($16) of the day, thus all of us ordered this rather than just the the meatballs with rice ($19).

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Another benefit of this place is the option to have brown rice, a win for many of you health freaks out there, as I did above. I enjoyed having the option of a bento as it meant a bit more variety in the meal. They aren’t too quick with food but still fast enough to have for your one hour lunch break. The dumpling in the top right was a little hard, and I was a bit confused if it was from being frozen or the resulting crunchy texture was on purpose. I think they were going for crunchy – but I’m still a little confused.

The meatballs were really lovely and then made me regret having a bento because I wanted more! There were only four in the bento. It was a dark and rich sauce, but not too much of it, and it provided a peppery aftertaste. I also enjoyed the touch of mayonnaise on the vegies. It was a good value meal that I was happy with but not something I feel the need to rave about.

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However, I do recommend this place, for their ambience and decor, their friendliness and fresh sushi. I reckon their dine-in meals might be hit and miss, although I haven’t tried their dinner menu. I enjoy that they are trying to experiment and especially enjoy the display seating in the above picture.

This section is always empty so I assume it must be reserved for special occasions as the other dining sections do not have this traditional setting and seating. More information on the venue and the Japanese owners/chef can be found in this article if you’re interested!

Wabi Sabi Garden is located at 17 Wellington St, St Kilda (just off St Kilda Road). They also have a branch called Wabi Sabi Salon in Collingwood/Fitzroy.

Wabi Sabi Garden on Urbanspoon