A few South Yarra dwellers on the twitters organise a breakfast burrito get-together every Sunday or so and @starinmelbourne very kindly got together a crew to head up north of the river to sample the breakfast burrito at Trippy Taco in Collingwood. When we arrived, they were deeply engrossed in some seriously cool word games, or as I like to call it, analogue Words With Friends.
To my glee, there was also a breakfast quesadilla on the menu so I decided that I’d get that to see how it compared to the breakfast burrito. The tortilla is really soft without having that tasteless doughiness. The fillings are delicious. If you were really hungry, you might need two. Delicious. I think it was better than the burrito.
Tris ordered the breakfast burrito. Sadly, it is not adequate to feed the man-sized hunger that only a manly man can feel after a Saturday night of drinking. Kind of cool that it comes wrapped up and served to you in one of those plastic baskets that would be at home in an American diner (indeed, they use them at Misty’s Diner for their fries). I would probably order this if I were only peckish and felt pretty bad for T so made him have some of my quesadilla.
I slugged my breakfast down with the help of a Colombian soy hot chocolate which tasted like it was laced with alcohol.
It’s a pretty tiny place and the staff aren’t brimming with friendliness but I’d try this place for dinner. Do note that they are vegetarian!
Trippy Taco doesn’t open till 12pm on Sunday so we didn’t really go for breakfast or brunch proper. Good to know we have some options up north but I believe continuation of the hunt will take us south of the Yarra again…so far the south has served us well as you can see in this post. Just remember – if you go with this crew, you might have to play cool, nerdy word games. Thanks Em!
Perhaps I’m showing my age, but I remember when Smith Street in Collingwood was so dodgy no one would actually go there for social events. Catching the 86 tram which goes up that road all the way to Bundoora was a bit of an ordeal, as you skilfully avoided the dipsomaniacs, junkies and homeless riff-raff who would get a bit tetchy if you offered them food and not money (yeah, beggars can be choosers after all). In the last few years, I do find myself hanging out on Smith St more often to grab a good bite to eat. One such place I recommend is the cosy Japanese restaurant Peko Peko.
Because it is small, it’s highly advisable to book if you plan to eat there, and that’s exactly what I did on my last outing there. I’m trying to eat less meat so I started with a serving of their sweet potato gyoza. As with another Japanese fave of mine Otsumami, the menu is divided into small, medium and large foods. Gyoza is from the small foods menu. Peko Peko’s sweet potato gyoza is dessert-sweet and the skins are slightly chewy and not at all oily. Quite simply, they are perfect! You can see in the photo, how lightly pan-fried they are.
I had the lovely company of my partner as I felt it was about time to spoil him (as he spoils me constantly). I insisted he order the tsuke maguro which is finely chopped tuna sashimi marinated in all sorts of wonderful Japanese goodness – soy, mirin, sesame and shredded nori. This is expensive for its portion size but well worth it. You don’t really need the additional wasabi given because I find that deflects from the subtlety of the dish. The tuna is always so fresh. Seriously, if you go here, I strongly recommend ordering this if your diet will allow you.
For mains, we continued with the no-meat theme. I had the sashimidon (I’m really fond of them in general). The marinated sashimi on top is similar to the tsuke maguro. My partner remarked that the serving of raw fish seemed a little stingy, and I have to agree, though it was delicious. The rice was nice and vinegary – normally I struggle to finish large serves of rice but it was just so good. I have to learn to flavour my rice like they do for raw fish donburi.
The better half ordered the seared squid with a side of rice. I wish all places that offer squid could cook it this wonderfully. It wasn’t at all rubbery or chewy. Bliss!
While we dined and filled ourselves with food and flasks of warm sake, a steady stream of folks came in for takeaway. I could only dream of being local enough to have this as a takeaway joint! We skipped dessert but only because I had the intention of further wooing my partner at the nearby Cafe Rosamond for Pierre Roelofs’ sumptuous dessert night.
I should stop reading online reviews. They fuel my gustatory lust. For this reason, I found myself at Cafe Rosamond in Collingwood to try out Pierre Roelofs’ Thursday dessert night. Have you had an argument with a loved one? Apologise by taking them here. Do you want to take out your best mate and impress the bejesus out of them? Take them here. Are you looking to invent a reason to go out and spend good money on lavish desserts? No? Why not? Invent a reason and bemoan your poverty later!
Thankfully because it was raining, there was no line out the door. Cafe Rosamond is small and even once seated, it’s very, very cosy so once I was in, I thought it best to go the whole hog – the tubes and the three courses of dessert please!
Ah, the tubes. This evening’s tubes were cola spiders. Cola jelly, vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream, all to be sucked up in one go. I even tasted lime in mine. A word of caution: if you’ve come here pretending to be the arbiter in hipster cool, once you have one of these that façade will vanish. From one such table of hipsters, I heard the follow words burst forth: “Oh my god, that is AWESOME!!!” You might recall from previous blog posts that I am not above showing my excitement for dessert (for example, the crème brûlée burnt sugar cracking experience at the Station Hotel). It was most satisfying, therefore, to hear other diners echoing my child-like glee at those tubes of wonder.
Our waiter was adorable. As soon as he saw the DSLR (not mine, I am always quick to point out, lest I be viewed as a DSLR wanker), he asked what the name of the blog was. We had been outed. He also cheekily noted that we’d wiped our plates clean after the first dessert course – a gorgeous, edible mixed-media sculpture of quince, ricotta and peanut. The textures in these desserts are phenomenal and always a surprise with each bite. Will you get nuts, jelly or fruit? What flavour will linger most on your tongue? Absolutely stunning.
The second course was a traditional steamed golden syrup pudding with vanilla bean flecked custard. I was glad it was small because this one is sweet! The custard helps to dilute the sweetness, as does a nice long black. I am getting wistful just remembering this.
The last course was a return to the edible mixed-media sculpture style as witnessed in the first course. This time, we were treated to cubes of pear, sweet potato and dairy – I think the dairy was cubes of semifreddo! This was topped with a thread of caramel with a thick paste-like consistency. Interestingly enough, the sweet potato was not sweet – at dinner beforehand I’d had sweet potato gyoza and they were so much sweeter than this. It seems such a shame to demolish these desserty treasures but bellies must be fed, you understand. I recall saying to my partner that this would be the sort of dessert that might attract someone like my brother – he doesn’t really like very sweet things, and I didn’t find this to be sweet at all. Dessert definitely does not need to be sweet in order to be amazing, as I’m sure Roefols has proven aptly with these sumptuous creations.
These beauties are just an example of some of the desserts you may end up having as they change every week. Cafe Rosamond doesn’t take bookings, but they’re open till fairly late – I got there just before 9pm and more folks popped in later as we were dining. Melbourne Gastronome speaks highly of the gush-inducing tubes and Joyce of Mel: Hot or Not gives it a ‘hot’. I don’t know how long the dessert nights will run, but if you have a sweet tooth, you really ought to pay these folks a visit.
So you’ve shelled out your $40 for all three courses and had the tube. Still left wanting (really? you greedy whatsit!)? You can buy an instant pudding mix to take home! They had just released a spiced plum and frangipane one the night I was there and have had a chocolate and coconut one available at the time of writing this. Given how bad my insomnia is, best not to…I can imagine these would be the perfect late-night treat. It could indeed become an expensive (and girth-stretching) habit.
If you’d like to see more photos taken on the night, check out Tris’ Flickr album. Having trouble finding the place? Enter via Charles St off Smith St – address says Smith St rear but it’s not physically located on it.