Sunday, 6 July 2014

Fordham's Milk Bar @ Camberwell

Fordham's Milk Bar
Sorry for the lack of update, was busy and got a new phone that's not very photo update friendly, meant to update this months ago...

Milk bars are always interesting for me.
They always have that mysterious feel to it with that old retro deco and the usually wooden looking shop keeper with all those contrasting colourful confectioneries and lollies in jars and cheap toys which usually make people wonder who on earth would actually buy them, nonetheless still manage to open for years and remains a popular spot for school kids. However, I do remember getting a cap gun with 20 pack red caps which i never ended up finishing and a packet of water bombs from a milk bar when I was in primary school...or perhaps in high school...but definitely not when i was at uni, dont think I have even been inside one since Year 10 or it is very much a childhood memory.

Yet Fordham's Milk Bar on Fordham Aveunge (dah...) is more than a milk bar, whom offers much more than those horrible sandwiches and old potatoes cakes that you get from most corner shops. They have brilliantly convert an old retro milk bar into a cafe, which the original idea of milk bars did provides some sort of fast/hot food to offer a non-alcohlic alternative to pub, hence the name milk "bar" (yeah learn that from wikipedia)
 It is a bit of an oxymoron: it is a  publicly located hidden treasure: Walkable distance from the tram line (I have proven it is walkable since I walked from the tram) and located right opposite of Hartwell station, yet most people wouldn't know about this place unless you are a local.


It is a conveniently located cafe in a small little suburb. At the time I arrived, the outside sitting is full of locals whom appears to be afternoon joggers, old couples and people who finished work early (i.e: me)

 The guys are very friendly, smiling when I was outside, greeted when I got in and general small chat when I ordered and brought me my forgotten sunnies just before I left.

As the kitchen was closing at the time I was in, around 3:30ish, I could only order the food from display shelf, where there was bacon and eggs roll and chicken schnitzel wraps, etc which I ordered a sausage roll.

The sausage roll is great, where the the texture of the meat inside is actually like a sausage where it is not those soft mince meat mix. 

Again another iced latte, but they let you mix it yourself. As you can see from the photo

An old milk bar transformed into a popular local cafe with nice coffee and food, but still sell lollies, soft drinks and milk and oh, can top up your Myki here too.

Fordham's Milk Bar

116 Fordham Ave  Camberwell 3124
03 9041 0822

Fordham's Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Manchester Press @ CBD

Rankins Lane
Can't remember was this last Saturday or the one before...

Manchester Press, another awesome cafe well hidden in the middle of a laneway at CBD, nonetheless had enough people to look up this hidden cafe treasure to make it one of the top cafe in Melbourne cbd. It is highly recommended by a lot of people for breakfast and brunch, which I had found out why by having breakfast there a few times before, but this time I was there for a afternoon tea/post-lunch coffee at late afternoon and luckily they are one of a few cafes that open till 5 PM daily (yes not 3PM or opens till 5PM) even on the weekend.

After my not so great late lunch and with a time gap till I have to be at my next appointment, I walked pass a few cafes that I wanted to try/go and they were either closed or closing at that time...

The old vintage deco of the cafe provides a hips atmosphere yet comfortable enough for you to sit around either by yourself (like I do) or with friends (like the others in the cafe). And this place must be well introduced on travel websites, as I could hear Japanease, Chinese, French and some European language that I am not educated enough to pick up around me, for the duration of me being there which was only the time of me consuming a muffin and coffee.

iced latte
Once again i ordered an iced latte. It is just the perfect form of an iced coffee: No excessive milk, No uncontrolable sweetness from syrupy or ice-cream, Not oversized that will make you sickly full after. Just a shot of coffee with a bit of milk and a few iced cube. It sounds simple, but takes a bit of skills to perfect so the end result is still strong and rich, like an chilled coffee, and not a latte that watered down by the ice and cold milk...

Staff are friendly and attentive.(i need to learn more adjective to describe services, tho these words are best to describe their staff)  Greeted and seated once I step into the cafe, bottle of water delivered and menu in hand when I ordered a coffee. In addition, one of the staff from behind the counter had came over to make sure I was ok while I was holding the menu and looking around, which embarrassingly I was just thinking about how I can take photos around the cafe at where I sat...

Ordered a pistachio and berry muffin to go with my coffee. The soft muffin is not overly sweet even though it has got cream on top of it. You can still see and taste chucks of berries in the muffin and it is enhanced with the scent of pistachio, which add another layer to the taste of the dough of the muffin. 
Even though this doesn't bother me, I do remember there's a lady asking about this when I was here for breakfast last:  The only problem with Manchester Press is that if you don't like bagel, they don't have other bread on the menu, (although they are famous for their bagels)
They have a variety: open bagel, closed bagel, toasted bagel, plain bagel, bagel with salmon, etc etc but yes they are all bagels, their cakes and sweet on display is probably the only baked goods alternative they have. And speaking of bakes, their baked eggs are also fabulous...

Anyway something simple at a cafe that's simply good, a little muffin and coffee just made my Saturday afternoon....

Manchester Press

8 Rankins Lane
Melbourne, VIC
(03) 9600 4054

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Min Lokal @ Fitzroy

A happy discovery for a pedestrian...

You wouldn't thought there would be a cafe there, but not only there's a cafe but also a pretty good one, well known cafe for the local of fitzroy/collingwood (I always get confuse which suburb i am at when i am down that end of town...)

To avoid some random hustling people, whom I passed twice already, an alternative route that I never tried was taken to get down from Smith Street to the parallel Brunswick Street. Passed through suburban houses after houses, then i saw a happy couple with their a pup just sat at a table outside a house that seems to be a shop, the only shop at the block. Sort of tired and thirsty I actually turned back and have a look at this little shop that I expected to be a milk bar or sandwich bar of some sort but turns out to be a cozy little cafe - Min Lokal

The deco is quite minimal with a feature wall on the back of the counter. Plain white walls and wooden furniture and floor has create a chill and relax environment for the diners, which is great for a lazy start of a morning or in contrast, to start doing your work in such a quiet environment. Tho I heard this place can get rather busy earlier in the day for breakfast/brunch, especially for the limited space of this small cafe, which only have two communal tables, two window bunches and two tables outdoor on the pavement.

To add to the clean and plains style, little pot plants in glass jars  were placed around the cafe such as near the window and on the communal table. Some even have a tiny toy rabbit in it.

As I already had breakfast and wasn't that hungry to eat anything yet, I didn't order any food though the food they offered on their menu is quite tempting.

There was a choice of ordering a bottle juice or fresh juice or an organic lemonade, but how could you not order an iced latte when it is available on the menu and only $3.8. And conventional iced coffee as in the one with cream and/or ice-cream is also available.

The iced latte was smooth and rich and hasn't been weaken or water down cause of the ice. And the size of the glass is a relatively good size as it is slightly bigger than a normal latte glasses which allows some room of the ice.

Min Lokal is a cute little local cafe located away from the busy main street and sit well in the residential side of collinwood/fitzory area. However, the standard of the coffee they provided is greater than a small local cafe would usually offer, I guess after all it is resided at a suburb with a hugh competition of cafes  and eateries.
Couldn't find a business card, the lovely barista wrote their address and number on a piece of sticker note for me, which i reconfirm all the contact detail with the aid of our good friend Google.

Min Lokal

03 9417 0333
422 George St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Min Lokal on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 22 February 2014

White Night Melbourne

Was at the first ever White Night Melbourne in 2013, wasn't as organise, wasn't as epic, wasn't as many people (still a lot of people tho)...this year it is covered by media and been talking about it for weeks so no surprise it is much bigger than last year.

It always reminds me of some time ago when a number of people protested about safety at night time and wanted to reclaim the city at night.

There's this one night, you feel safe in the city even late in the night cause all the people around you, tho at some point, for the same reason you will feel unsafe cause all the people around you when you are one in the thousand of people happens to be near flinders street. However, all those people who gather for this festival had find a mutual way of moving (although very slowly) and allow people to pass through any direction (again very slowly) without any major incidents....

This is the one night when everyone are out to enjoy arts (but for me I found the people more interesting) and more importantly to enjoy our city

All these people i observed in the few hours I was out in the White Night Melbourne: The queue of men at nandos for the toilet cause it is the only place accessible on flinders street even theres only one cubical for men; Little kids whom have never seen this many people in their entire life(so far); Elderly people with walking stick admiring the transformation of the station with projection; Hotel patron who try to get out from the car park and needed the event staff to make a trail for them; Motorcyclist ended up having to push his bike among the crowd; Excited teenagers who got ready to party for the night; People who normally out on a saturday got slightly annoyed cause of all the people out there; people who run into long lost friends; friends who tried to look after or look for the friends they came with; people trying to meet up with other friends,etc etc

Anyway, it is nice to see our city looking bright and alive and fill with people who enjoy it :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Prospect Espresso @ Camberwell - Tuesday with Brekkie

a skynet of tram cables at the crazy intersection at camberwell junction for three major roads

Yet another Tuesday that I have to work till late.
Didn't bother to travel all the way to the city and still wanted some decent breakfast and coffee, so Camberwell it is.

Camberwell, sort of the middle point between where i live and the city. With three tram routes passing through and a major station for Belgrave/Lilydale and Alamein (Train) Line, shops and eateries has grouped around the central area of Camberwell, which offers a trendy eatery area with a great range of choices for the eastern suburbs.

Prospect Espresso, a small little cafe that's tucked away from the busy Burke Rd of Camberwell, among all the eateries and cafes, yet still as busy or even busier than some that located on the main street. And it is one of my favorite at camberwell for its coffee, which it seems to be a popular spot for coffee takeaway for locals.

It is a small cafe with friendly and attentive staff, but be mindful that this place can get very busy, especially on weekends (even more so when the Camberwell market is on at Sundays), not only with diners, but also takeaway.

I was lucky enough to get a small single table, instead of sitting on the communal table or the bunch along the windows, probably cause I got there around 10ish, so passed the peak time. Yet, a fair number of people was coming in throughout when i was there.

Closing at 4pm on weekdays and 4:30pm on weekend, their breakfast is served till 3PM (which the kitchen also close at that time) and lunch menu is also available from 11:30am. So yes, they do cater breakfast for non-morning people as well. Nothing is more annoying than getting to a cafe, wanting to treat yourself with a nice breakfast to start your day and got told they don't serve that anymore,even tho it is 2:15 in the afternoon... 

While I am still deciding what to order from the small yet choiceful breakfast menu, my iced latte has arrived and as usual, it is very enjoyable.
Tossing between a few different items on the menu, the waitress recommended the Truffled Brioche and told me that it is the most popular item on the menu, though her personal favourite is the Chorizo Croquetts and table next to me suggested The Breakfast Roll,which they both ordered the same thing.

Truffled Brioche, looks and tastes amazing
Wasn't disappointed at all with the Truffled Brioche. It is very similar to a vegetarian version of egg benedict,but with more layer of taste to it. And I much preferred brioche than english muffins, cause it is softer and not as dry.

The brioche is puffy and filled with the sweetness and scent of butter/pastry and topped with all the other ingredients then covered in hollandise sauce. Im not good with describing taste,but just look at the photo...

quite like the colour of the tea cup
As I said, the cafe is small, nonetheless it still provides a rather relaxing environment where you can have a lovely chat with your friend or set up for a date (pretty sure there's a few couples around me) and most importantly the staff are friendly and not pushy and try to rush you off at all, which I had experienced at other busy cafes, particularly at the CBD before.
Although I wouldn't think it would be too kids-friendly due to the physical size of the cafe, it seems that they are very accommodating for mothers, as I said the staff are very friendly. And for the first time i have witness a little kid consume a babyccino like a grown up with a coffee...
a youngster who enjoys babyccino
the kitchen, where all the food magic happens

As most cafe, other than the food on menu, there's a small selection of sweet and treats at on display at the counter and their muffins is also very nice. I brought one to work for early dinner and it still taste wonderful at 4PM, which it was still moist in the middle. So it is also good for afternoon tea or just a pre-lunch treat/coffee spot.

Prospect Espresso 
03 9882 7359
2a Prospect Hill Rd 
CamberwellVIC 3124

Tram 70 and 75 also available further down on Burke Rd

Prospect Espresso on Urbanspoon