Tag Archives: Williamstown

Crowded House

It’s always nice to have an excuse to explore a different area. As we were on our way to Altona Dog Beach, this gave me a reason to explore the cafes along Melbourne’s inner west coast.

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It was a nice day, or as nice as Melbourne would get whilst approaching winter, so the pictures of Crowded House’s outdoor area enticed me to this particular cafe. You can go through the cafe, or as it’s located on the corner, enter from the back.

The back looks almost like a shed, but as you swing the grungy door open, you’ll find yourself in a pleasant and open area.

20140524_131409The other requirement was a dog-friendly area. The area is spacious for a dog, and as it was the pup’s first brunch we were able to keep him in a corner with the dog bowl.

Unfortunately, after we were given the menus no one seemed bothered to tell us that the breakfast special was sold out. Disappointing, because it sounds amazing! I would have liked to try sweet potato rosti and judge the difference to normal rosti.

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We started off with some coffees, and I often like to indulge with an iced coffee (above). It was presented perfectly with scattered coffee beans on top, but the drink itself was standard. In my mind iced coffees from Brother Alec and Green Eggs and Ham are still leading the way.
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My friend ordered the Black Angus steak sandwich (below) with fried egg, toasted corn bread, relish and mature aged cheddar ($18). She also ordered extra mushrooms for about $3. It wasn’t really a sandwich, thus the dish seemed a bit small for the description. Consequently, it wasn’t anything to rave about.20140524_133857

I ordered the Shanklish poached eggs with spinach and tomato on toast (below, $14). This didn’t sound like enough to me, so I also ordered extra chorizo ($4) and mushrooms ($3)!

Shanklish refers to the cheese on top of my eggs, originating from Lebanon/Egypt. It didn’t seem to make a big difference to your usual poached eggs. The chorizo was also cut very thickly, which I found a bit strange as I prefer to eat it in smaller pieces.

20140524_133839Service was quite accommodating and friendly, but being seated outside you really have to grab their attention before they disappear inside again. There were some louder and more demanding customers near our table, but the staff seemed to handle them quite well.

I do like their outdoor seating area, and don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much indoors. I might have had a different experience if I got to try that breakfast special – but maybe not. I’ll probably never know! Unfortunately the other dishes on the menu weren’t as exotic and exciting as they sounded.

Crowded House is located 48 Ferguson St, Williamstown. They are open 7am-3pm weekdays and 8am-3pm weekends. For their menu, you can see some of it in my picture above or check out Consider The Sauce’s old review here with a similar menu.

Crowded House on Urbanspoon

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Cafe Casuarina

On a rare venture to the Western suburbs, we found our selves at a cute and spacious cafe called Cafe Casuarina in Williamstown. Looking like an everyday, local cafe with a teal sign, we were pleasantly surprised to find quite a large and open interior to enjoy a sitdown and late brunch.

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Having just played sport on a Sunday, it was understandably quiet as it was after 2pm and close to closing. But we had just enough time to undo all our exercise, with cappuccinos, iced chocolates and iced coffees (below).

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Of course, I found myself with a tall and devilishly sweet iced chocolate, something you can’t really go wrong with, especially when it has a generous scoop of ice-cream. Quickly after this, we made our decisions as the kitchen was only open for another half an hour.

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As I felt the chocolate and ice-cream already satisfying my thirst and hunger, I didn’t feel in the mood for a large meal, so went with the Casuarina Omelette ($16.50, above) with cheese, ham, avocado, bread and an extra hash brown on the side ($3). It doesn’t look amazing but that’s because everything’s hidden on the inside, and together the ingredients provided a nice and light meal, with the crusty bread helping to fill me up.

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But what also helped to fill me up, was a taste of my friends’ Braised Mushrooms ($14.50, above) with 5 types of mushrooms braised with red onion and ciabatta, served with poached eggs, goat’s cheese and paris butter. One of my friend’s ordered extra bacon with the dish, and another with smoked salmon below ($3 each).

The mushrooms were really a standout, each bite of each mushroom seemed so juicy that you just wanted more. Consequently, the mushrooms’ flavour also seemed to be able to stand alone without any sides, as my friend started finding it difficult to finish off the extra bacon.

20140309_142749The mushrooms were an excellent recommendation and both my friends who ordered it said they’d definitely be willing to come back for that dish alone. My other friend had a standard steak sandwich (above), which she downed fairly quickly along with an iced chocolate.

It’s a great-looking and spacious cafe with friendly service, and I’d love to feel the atmosphere when it’s during their busier hours, which I just may experience one day when we return for the mushrooms.

Cafe Casuarina is located at 4/77 Douglas Parade and is open Mon-Fri 6.30-4pm, Saturday 7-4pm and Sunday 8am-3pm. Check out a glimpse of their menu on Food for My Belly’s blog here.

Cafe Casuarina on Urbanspoon