Tag Archives: Northcote

bonus breakfast lust

Today, a beery post was planned for publication. Alas, technology and that silly real life thing got in the way. Have a bonus breakfast post instead?

I was thrilled when I read on …it pleases us that there was a joint called The Breakfast Club that wasn’t too far from where I lived, in the oh so trendy Northcote. Quite some time ago, I forced myself out of bed at a ‘regular person’ hour and paid a visit.

I love it when bunnies tell you what’s special. I was so tempted by the rice porridge special on the board but needed a savoury fix badly.


I also love it when teapots come in cosies.

cosy tea

I ordered ‘Tones creamy baked eggs’. Baked and creamy as promised and surprise savoury goodness – you never knew what you’d get in each mouthful, yum. There were all sorts of savoury things in there!

baked whatsit

T ordered ‘Something fishy for Marce’ – beautiful tomato and sardine toast. Even now, looking at the photo, it looks so fresh that you could reach through the screen and just grab it to eat!

sardines on toast on a plate

Let’s not forget the side of Mexican beans! I suspect these were just baked beans out of a tin with the addition of chilli or tabasco and other such things…

mehico beans

I vowed to return: there was a toastie called ‘the Ringwald’ that had my name on it. I decided to drop in this week alone months after my first visit to catch up on some reading. Gush!

Actually, I read the article before on Obama: I merely stared goggle-eyed at the photo of Gaiman (hey, most of you would do the same!).

Oh yes, breakfast! The Ringwald – melted brie, quince paste, basil and cracked pepper.

the Ringwald

Wait…that’s it? Where’s the basil…? *pout*

The lovely new waitress came over and apologised profusely, explaining she was new and forgot to add basil. She handed me a small bowl and a pepper grinder to add.

That’s better!

the Ringwald properly adorned

Alas, it should have had more brie and less quince. I’ll probably stick to their fantastic baked eggs selection in the future.

I also had a pot of soy chai and got to see another tea cosy in action.

yet another tea cosy

The cafe is dotted with all sorts of cool retro knick-knacks. I especially loved this salt and pepper duo, straight out of the 70s.

salt 'n' peppa

The Breakfast Club is a little out of the way on St Georges Rd rather than on High St but that makes it quieter. A good thing as it’s teensy! The service is lovely and it’s a fab breakfast and brunch spot. Just make sure you bring cash as they don’t take plastic. I’m also really keen to try out their restaurant next door, creatively called Next Door Diner.

Oh Northcote, so not hungover. Well, not this time (yea craft beer!).

The Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

chow down at Chowhound


Yeah, I know, not a very original post title, is it?

One evening before a gig at the Northcote Social Club, the plan was to grab a bite to eat in the area. As usual, Urbanspoon provided many options. Pizza Meine Liebe came up. We went in, the lovely waitress said they were fully booked out but told us to go next door to Joe’s Shoe Store as they would let us eat there even though it’s a bar. We took the lovely lass’ advice and were warmly greeted upon entering Joe’s Shoe Store which was bursting at the seams. No seats meant no food.

High Street in Northcote has a myriad of dining options and walking towards the NSC, we happened upon Chowhound which looked suspiciously empty and trendy. What a fortuitous find it turned out to be.

It was quite difficult to choose what to have – there were so many yummy things on the menu. I was tempted by the beef bourguignon special, but thought it might be too filling, so decided to have a meat-free dinner.

I convinced Tristan to share a starter of soft shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise for dipping. The batter was feather-light and there’s easily enough for two people. If you’re not too hungry, I’d say it’d be adequate as a small meal. I want to go back just to have this again!


After agonising over mains, I went for the flat rice noodles topped with vegetables, woodear fungi, mushrooms and presented with massive cubes of tofu. So much vegetarian goodness happening in this dish with the textures and tastes. As you can see, there’s dried shallots, beanshoots and baby corn. The menu did mention that there were water chestnuts and my only criticism was that there were only two of them in the entire dish – would have loved more. A minor quibble, however. I apologised profusely for not being able to finish my rice noodles and the affable waiter told me not to worry – it’s a big dish.


Tristan went with comfort food incarnate – macaroni cheese with bacon, caramelised onions and a crispy topping. Grown-up comfort food! Makes me warm and toasty just thinking about it.


Both of us forwent our beloved beer that night and I had a glass of pinor noir and Tris had Kanga shiraz. Alas, the wine list was taken away too quickly for me to covertly snap a photo of it, so I can’t tell you exactly what I had – but I promise I’m paying more attention to what wines I drink.

By the time we left, fortified for some serious gig enjoyment, the place was full. It’s not hard to see why – it’s a beautiful space and the menu is chock-full of slightly jazzed up standards, borrowing liberally from different culinary traditions. The fact that I had so much trouble choosing what to eat means I’m planning a repeat visit.


beautiful dining space, lacklustre dining experience

My mother celebrates Easter, but I do not, being a heathen much to the chagrin, oddly enough of my non-practising Hindu father (no, I don’t get it either). Mum asked if she might have dinner with me and my partner, and wanting to keep the peace whilst my father is abroad for the funeral of his sister, I of course agreed.

Mum normally likes to keep her venturing local, unless it’s for a special occasion. Thinking her preferred local eatery was closed for the religious holiday, I booked for us to eat at Wesley Anne in Northcote.

Wesley Anne, dining area

See the delightfully romantic booths in the dining area in my admittedly appalling photo? We were not seated in them. Despite it being empty, we were put on a table so that all pedestrian traffic could squeeze past our table to get at the loo or outdoors. I’ve seen it remarked on Foursquare (did I just cite Foursquare?! Yes, I’m afraid I did) that the staff seem either vacant, or just plain distracted by goodness knows what. As we waited for our entrée, we were given a small plate of bread rolls, with olive oil and balsamic. Um, is one bread plate each too much to ask, guys?

 bread rolls with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Mum and partner weren’t very hungry, so I suggested that we share the mussels in white wine amongst the three of us. Too bad it wasn’t fish or we’d have that Jesus thing down-pat (joke). Oh gosh, the mussels were very good. Partner reminded us all to save our bread to mop up the remnants of the sauce. It isn’t classy to do it, I’m sure, but I’d do it again.

 mussels with white wine

I suspect by how quiet Mum and partner were that I might have chosen the best main out of the lot – the French creamy chicken and bacon pie with mash and peas. More hearty, rustic food. The mash was pretty ordinary and quite dry (seriously, I’ve better mash made by non-foodies), so I left it begrudgingly despite my mash-love but put my peas in to get the leftover pie juice. That sounds a bit wrong but it wasn’t thick enough to call sauce as such. I was tucking into my pie with such gusto that I completely forgot to try what I assume was tomato sauce, as pictured below.

 chicken and bacon pie

Mum had the Wesley Anne’s take on chicken Maryland, which supposedly was Mexican (she said it tasted very Indian-inspired), and supposedly on pilaf. I’m a bit stumped as to why they drowned the so-called pilaf in sauce (yes, this time it’s sauce!) as that sort of ruins the fluffiness of pilaf. Mum didn’t utter a compliment once about the dish, which made me feel a little guilty about dragging her out all this way for unimpressive food. She did also note at one stage that a couple had come in and summarily inspected the menu and dashed off without ordering anything. Not a good sign. With a bit of pressing a few days later, she admitted she didn’t like her dish at all.

 chicken maryland

My partner had the pork salad, which sadly was very lacklustre. The amalgam of flavours from different cuisines suggested it didn’t quite know what it was, or what it wanted to achieve.

 pork salad

I am ashamed to say that the entire time here, I did not once imbibe an alcoholic beverage. Wine-lovers will appreciate the variety of the list, but I was in the mood for a decent beer and nothing took my fancy. Its atmosphere is a bit confusing: while on one hand it seems very plush and sophisticated, the service seems to indicate the contrary. It is standard practice at many pubs to help yourself to a menu and order at the counter, but that doesn’t mean that you have to forsake good customer service. There are dozens of other bars and restaurants on that strip of High St (some of my notables include the Northcote Social Club, and Kelvin). Having said all of that, because its location is 15-20 minutes out of the city, and it’s also a bike-ridable distance for me, I’d go again for a barhop especially since learning from Beer Bar Band that they had Mountain Goat Steam Ale on tap (I’m so kicking myself for not realising when I was there, sigh).

Note: photographs reproduced with kind permission of this kind fellow.

Wesley Anne on Urbanspoon