Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Churchill Cafe & Larder - Surrey Hills - review

Name: Churchill Cafe & Larder

Address: 13 Hamilton St
Surrey Hills, 3127
(03) 9890 3444

Food: ModOz, Cafe,
Average price: $3.50 - $20

Complimentary:  Bread and hummus.

We ordered:
Main: Eye fillet, sautéed mushrooms, smoked bone marrow, pomme frittes and red wine jus - $36

Mr.M: Very tasty. I usually don't like mushrooms on my steak but they were nice. Nice charcoal flavour and the fries were good.

Mushroom risotto, peas, asparagus, goats cheese and truffle oil -$30

Nice mushroom flavour but the rice was watery and lacked the oozy cohesiveness I like in a risotto. I would have like some more cheese as well to add that sharp punch and interest to the rice. Overall it was OK

Dessert: Chocolate fondant, rum and raisin ice-cream   - $15

Mr.M: It was great. Nice ooze. Ice cream was strong in alcohol but still nice.

Vanilla Crème brulêe, with rhubarb compote - $15

The brulee had a fantastic 'crack' - the sugar top was great. Whilst the custard was extremely smooth it was also extremely bland. There was no flavour to it, and if eaten without the sugar topping there was no sweetness to it whatsoever, it was almost akin to whipped cream. The bulk of flavour came from the tart rhubarb, the custard of the brulee was basically acting as a plate for the fruit and the sugary crust.

Service: OK. We went on a Thursday night and were the only people in the entire restaurant, even upon leaving there were no other patrons so it is hard to judge the atmosphere or noise level. Despite being the only two people in the place it still took over 40mins to get our order...the waitress was great though and kept our water topped up.

Atmosphere: Shades of brown. The decor is modern punctuated by artwork and a communal mosaic table. Despite also being open for dinner the room maintains its cafe-vibe.

Parking: Good - there's a decent amount of street parking and a carpark for Mont Albert station that runs alongside the road.


Hours: Dinner wed-sat 6.00pm- late, Breakfast sat 8.00am-11.30am, Breakfast/lunch sun 8.00am-3.00pm

Would I return: Yes. My dishes weren't stellar but hubby's were good enough to warrant a second try.

Churchill Restaurant/bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Village Cafe - Balwyn North - review

Name: The Village Cafe

Address: Shop 2/74 Doncaster Road
Balwyn North
(03) 9859 8111

Food: Cafe

Average price: $3.50-$14.50,   $7.00-$18.00

Complimentary:  Nothing.

We ordered: French toast with maple syrup & berry compote - $13

Mr.M didn't enjoy this as he found the toast too soggy for his liking. I tried some and whilst I agree that the middle of the toast was also rather eggy and wet, I still thought it was nice flavour wise.

Forest mushrooms on toast with goat's cheese - $11

I thought this was lovely, although the serving size was a little small. The mushrooms were well cooked and seasoned. The bread was soft and easy to cut through  and the creamy goats cheese was wonderful. Quite satisfying.

Big Breakfast - $16.90
 two eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomato & hash brown served on toast

S and A thought this was fairly average.

French fries with aioli - $6

Chips were cooked well and aioli was nice, they did taste like they had come from a freezer packet though.

Passionfruit muffin

Nice, large muffin that was moist within. The passion fruit flavour, whilst there, was muted though as the muffin was quite sweet. Would have enjoyed it more had the passion fruit been more prominent.

Lemongrass & ginger tea - $3.80

Lovely tea. Must warn you though that some of the tea leaves can end up looking like short black hairs in your cup. After thinking my tea pot was dirty they replaced it with another bag and tea pot and the same thing happened, so don't be alarmed as it's just the tea leaves.

Chai Latte - $3.80

Mr.M: It was alright.

Mocha - $3.50

Affogato - $4.50

Service: OK. Food came out fairly soon after ordering, but they didn't offer us any water despite the fact we all ordered coffees.

Atmosphere: Local cafe. The glass windows flood the cafe with light giving it an 'airy' feel. We went on a Sunday so the cafe was filled with well dressed church-goers coming in for a coffee after mass. The noise level was decent.

Parking: Ample. There are 3 medium sized carparks as well as street parking. But if you go on a Sunday be warned as the church causes spots to fill quickly.


Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4.30pm; Sat-Sun 9am-3.30pm

Would I return: No. There are many cafes to try nearby.

The Village Cafe on Urbanspoon