25 June, 2015

Mountain of Bears

Ormond locals rejoice ! From the dream team behind Manchester Press and Loco Coffee comes Mountain of Bears, bringing Melbourne's most beloved bagels and coffee to your neighbourhood. 

You'll find this humble little cafe tucked away in an arcade adjacent to Ormond train station. The bright and airy space is fitted out with polished timber furnishings, hanging plants and accents of yellow that would brighten up anyone's day.

Serving up 8oz coffee, refreshing salads and all things bagels, you really can't go wrong here. From toasted bagels with hummus, salted silver beets, grilled mushrooms, fresh avo and poached eggs to a New York open bagel with BBQ pulled pork, there is something for all. For a lighter option, there's the Chia Pudding with banana and coconut milk porridge topped with orange yoghurt, fresh strawberries and walnuts. Then there's hearty rustic stews of slow cooked brisket and root vegetables with a side of chilli salsa to warm the soul.

Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Smash Open Bagel 

The Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Smash Open Bagel was completely…smashing. The subtle flavour of pumpkin was amped up with smooth and creamy goats cheese, resting comfortably on a bed of fresh spinach leaves, smoked capsicum and onions. With added eggs for extra protein of course ! Plus, there are studies that prove that pumpkins are a happy food. Smiles all around I tell you.

Pastrami Open Bagel 

After something a little meatier, my friend decided on the Pastrami Open Bagel. Now won't you just take a look at those slices of tender pastrami served with a crunchy salad of cos, cucumber, capsicum, onion, carrot, tomato, caramelised onion and horseradish mayo.

Mama Bears Salad 

My other brunch buddy went for Mama Bears Salad, a nutritious salad packed with kale, kidney beans, goji berries, buckwheat, onion, cucumber and tomato drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette. Topped with sexy folds of smoked salmon and a perfectly poached egg of course. 

So what are you waiting for ? Climb the mountain and meet the bears.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Mountain of Bears

Mountain of Bears
556 North Road
Ormond, VIC

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20 June, 2015

The Green at St Columbs

Located in the former chapel at the St Columbs church, The Green at St Columbs is the latest wholesome, community-minded project from Jesuit Social Services. Interior by ZWEI, coffee by Code Black Coffee and a modern, all-day menu crafted by Head Chef Kevin Dick (ex Cutler & Co. and St. Ali North) ? It's all exciting stuff.

Skinny Flat White

Salmon Gnocchi and Eggs

The hot smoked salmon fillet was beautifully cooked, rich and packed with flavour, working wonderfully with a pair of oozy poached eggs. Served on a bed of horseradish yoghurt, golden pillows of pan fried potato gnocchi and a crusty slice of sourdough made this dish a substantial meal. 

Middle Eastern Vegetarian Braise

On the other end of the table, my friend picked the Middle Eastern Vegetarian Braise with poached eggs and toast - a warm and hearty feed for a cozy brunch on a winter's day.

Fig Jam Doughnut

To skip dessert at The Green would have been a crime, with their boastful display of house-made cakes and pastries glistening from behind the glass counter. Their fig jam doughnuts were absolutely gorgeous - think fluffy pastries injected with luscious fig jam that sugar-coated our lips with each bite.

Brunching whilst simultaneously helping The Green at St Columb's mission of building a just society where people can live to their full potential ? Why wouldn't you. 

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of The Green at St Columbs

The Green at St Columbs
5 St Columbs Street
Hawthorn, VIC

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08 June, 2015


Concealed in the hidden lane way of Melbourne Place, Sezar brings a fresh approach on Armenian cuisine to the heart (and stomachs) of Melbourne. Brought to us by the talented team behind Black Toro, Sezar promises the finest Armenian experience - from the delectable food, imaginative cocktails to the carefully crafted wine list. 

Expect a feast of modern Armenian dishes in company of some old favourites - a display of food and drinks representing the best of flavours and aromas unique to Armenia. Especially Sezar's new Autumn menu which I had the pleasure of trying first hand:

Bastourma & Egg - Armenian air dried beef, quail egg, toasted brioche and garlic jam

Oysters with compressed apple and anise

Spinach and Feta Boreg with aleppo mayo

Cured Ocean Trout with apple and fennel salad, crème fraîche and roe

Grain Salad - Toasted pumpkin seed, almonds, sour cherries and labne

BBQ King Brown Mushrooms with toasted Israeli cous cous, sujuk and sweet potato puree 

Twice Cooked Chicken Wings with pomegranate glaze and crushed pistachios

Braised Lamb - Kaitaifi wrapped wih sesame mayo

Spanner Crab Manti - Armenian dumplings, sumac yoghurt and chilli oil

BBQ Wagyu Tenderloin with garlic yoghurt and lavash 

Triple Cooked Chips with roasted garlic & aleppo pepper

Sezar Express - Sloe gin, raspberry puree and fresh lime

Dessert Tasting Plate - New Style Baklava, Pistachio Cakes, 
Chocolate Marquis, Almond Milk Panna Cotta and Vanilla Parfait

I hate to play the favourite game, but if I must… the dish that stood out to me the most were the Spanner Crab Dumplings. Such unexpected, yet interesting flavours brought together. From the freshness of the crab, the tanginess and tartness of the sumac yogurt to the kick in the chilli oil - ahhhhh. And for the sweet tooths ? The dessert platter is a must. Food aside (never), what I enjoyed the most was the genuine sense of warmth and hospitality at Sezar.

Warm and fuzzies all round.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Haynes & Bruce and Sezar

6 Melbourne Place
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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