My Other Brother is a twin

My Other Brother
586 Burke Rd
Camberwell, VIC 3124
enter at rear
(03) 9804 0155

MFF_MyOtherBrother_Sign

On the wrong side of Burke Rd facing the carpark home to the Sunday Camberwell Market is My Other Brother. The food is your usual Melbourne brunch fare, with owner Julien Moussi’s mum making the labneh for some of the dishes. The coffee is top notch, available either cold drip, filter, syphon, or V60 pourover as well as your usual offerings using the house blend Moody Sister. Talk about keeping it in the family.

You may recognise the space as the former Carpark Cafe, but it’s had a facelift. With the capacity to fit over 100 patrons, the space is bright and airy, with your typical Melbourne styling: pale timber, white subway tiles, and a large central table for communal dining.

The menu too is typical Melbourne, with plenty of fan favourites like the ‘McBrother’ (a gourmet version of the McMuffin similar to Porgie’s), or smashed avocado with grilled mushrooms on sourdough. But the problem with copying others is that it leaves you open to comparison, and sadly The Annoying Brother incarnation falls just short of the benchmark.

MFF_MyOtherBrother_Mushrooms

It’s the same story for the corn and haloumi fritters with smoked salmon and avocado: not a bad dish but you can find better. The optional poached egg is perfectly cooked, and the salmon and avocado do their bit, but the fritters are stodgy, leaving a crumbled mess on the plate after a few mouthfuls, while the haloumi is MIA.

MFF_MyOtherBrother_Fritters

With a menu that aims to please everyone, of course there’s bircher museli, but this time it’s with apple and rhubarb, topped with pommegranate and chia seeds. Served fashionably in a jar, the museli sits on a thick layer of rhubarb compote, leaving this dish to straddle the line between breakfast and dessert, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

MFF_MyOtherBrother_Bircher

It seems Camberwell’s cafes are slowly undergoing a hipster transformation to be more like their northside rivals, but all this copying gives me deja vu. My Other Brother is a decent cafe with good atmosphere and coffee with pretty good food, but lacks originality by Melbourne standards. It’s a carbon copy of all the other popular brunch spots around town. Looks like My Other Brother is a twin.

My Other Brother on Urbanspoon

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cooking with the trend: Korean Bo Ssäm

MFF_BoSsam

I always like to push myself when cooking and try new things, so recently when I invited my sisters and their partners over for dinner, I decided to try something completely out of my comfort zone and cook Korean. It’s a bit of a trend here in Melbourne at the moment ever since the opening of hotspot Kong in Richmond, but is otherwise not a cuisine I have much experience with.

I wanted something to share that would involve a bit of DIY, so I cooked the classic dish Bo Ssäm. “Bo” is an abbreviation of bojagi, a traditional cloth, and “ssäm” means to wrap. Slices of slow cooked pork are wrapped with a selection of condiments in cabbage or lettuce leaves. It’s traditionally served during kimchi making season, called kimjang, when wombok or Chinese cabbage is in good supply.

This post was featured as a guest post on et al. blog.

PORK BELLY
2 kg pork belly
30g ginger, sliced
7-10 cloves of garlic, sliced in half
1 onion, sliced in half
1 long green chilli, halved lengthways
2 tbsp soy sauce

KIMCHI (GUT JURI)
210g coarse salt
3L warm water
1 chinese cabbage, cut into 3cm cubes
10g glutinous rice flour
15g ginger, grated finely
3 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp fermented prawns*
2 tbsp maesil (green plum extract)*
2 tbsp water
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1 nashi pear, finely grated
5 spring onions, finely sliced

SSAMJANG SAUCE
2 tbsp doenjang (Korean soy bean paste)*
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)*
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring onion, finely sliced

SPRING ONION & GINGER SAUCE
2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 spring onions, very finely chopped
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp finely grated ginger

TO SERVE
Butter lettuce leaves
12 shucked oysters
Sambal Oelek chilli sauce

  1. Place pork belly in a large pot and cover with warm water. Add ginger, garlic, onion, chilli and soy sauce and bring to a gentle simmer on the stovetop. Leave to simmer for 1.5-2 hours or until tender.
  2. For the kimchi, dissolve the salt in the water. Place cabbage in a non-reactive bowl and pour over brine. Leave for half an hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, place rice flour in a small saucepan with 125ml cold water and stir until smooth. Place over a moderate heat and bring to the boil. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  4. Place 2 tbsp rice flour mixture in a large bowl with ginger, chilli powder, fish sauce, fermented prawns, maesil, water and garlic and stir to combine.
  5. Drain cabbage and rinse under cold water. Drain well. Add cabbage to the chilli mixture with the nashi and spring onions and stir to combine. Refrigerate until required.
  6. For the Ssamjang sauce combine all the ingredients together with 2 tbsp of water. Set aside.
  7. For the spring onion and ginger sauce, in a mortar and pestle, grind together the sesame seeds, garlic and 1 tsp salt until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and set aside.
  8. To serve, drain pork and slice thinly. Serve warm alongside lettuce leaves, shucked oysters, kimchi,  ssamjang sauce, spring onion and ginger sauce, and sambal oelek.

*Fermented prawns are available from Asian grocers. If you can’t find them, use 1 tbsp shrimp paste. Maesil is available from Korean grocers. If unavailable, use plum sauce. Doenjang and Gochujang are available from Asian grocers.

Serves 8 – 10

Posted in Dinner/Main Meal, Lunch/Light Meal, Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Primal Paleo at Patch

Patch
32 Bendigo St
Richmond, VIC
(type Burnley into Google)
(03) 9029 0328

It was only a matter of time before the Paleo trend made its way out of cyber world and into real world Melbourne. Tom Davidson and business partner Jacob Burke met through Davidson’s personal training business ‘Tom Primal’, through which Davidson teaches clients the Paleo lifestyle. After a trip to America where the Paleo diet is commonplace, the pair decided to open Melbourne’s first Paelo cafe, Patch, in Richmond.

The Paleo diet is based on the premise that if our ancestors didn’t eat it, we shouldn’t eat it. Also known as the caveman diet or hunter gatherer diet, followers only consume natural products grown from the earth, with the premise that humans haven’t evolved to properly digest new foods such as grain, legumes, or dairy.

The menu is small but packed with nutritionally dense options so delicious you won’t even believe it’s good for you. “Healthy eating should be fun, not a chore” says Davidson, who has created a menu that while Paleo focused, is flexible enough to offer sourdough toast as an option. Ingredients are sourced locally, only adding to the feeling of healthy euphoria.

The all-day menu has a slight Asian leaning, with options like daikon tuna rolls ($20.00), pork belly with cabbage ($22.00), or the spanner crab omelette with Asian herbs, toasted coconut and chilli jam ($24.00). The latter has apparently been going gang busters and it’s easy to see why. It’s light, silky and delicious, a great way to start the day.

MFF_Patch_Omelette

If you can’t handle crab for breakfast, a few on-trend favorites receive the Paleo treatment too, like the Patch bircher muesli made with nuts and seeds ($15.00) and the breakfast salad with kale, avocado, pomegranate, almond, cauliflower and soft boiled egg ($16.00).

If you enjoy eating like a caveman, try the caveman breakfast ($22.00). It’s kinda like you’re regular big breakfast, but without the guilt. On it is poached eggs, bacon, wagyu steak, sautéed kale, cherry tomatoes and sweet potato fritters, with the fritters bumping this dish into the next level of deliciousness.

MFF_Patch_CaveMan

Still a little dubious of Paleo? Don’t worry, there’s menu options you will recognize. The classic eggs benedict is there ($16.00), available with either the usual English muffins, or if you feel like dabbing a toe in the Paleo pool there’s the option of ‘Paleo Toast’ or on special request, sweet potato fritters.

MFF_Patch_Benedict

Think you can’t have your cake and eat it too? You’d be wrong. At the register is a cabinet laden with treats made by Addicted 2 Goodness who handmake organic, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free treats in St Kilda. Their blueberry cheesecake isn’t like the regular artery-clogging variety from your local; this version is light and just the thing to finish off your delicious guiltfree meal.

MFF_Patch_Cheesecake

Inhabited by athletes both professional and not (Davidson is a former AFL player), gym junkies, and foodies alike, Patch has a feel-good buzz that is infectious and sure to get your weekend off to the right start. Even if you’re not serious about healthy eating, the food is good enough for anyone to enjoy.

Patch on Urbanspoon

Posted in Eastern, Reviews, Richmond | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kale, chicken and cauliflower winter salad

MFF_KaleChickenSaladEach Sunday, I make up a weeks worth of lunches for work. It saves time during the week, is cost efficient, and I know that I will be eating reasonably healthy. Last week’s lunches were a winter salad of kale, chicken and cauliflower. I enjoyed it so much I decided I had to share it with all of you today. I usually get about 5 lunches out of this but I have said serves 4 just to be on the safe side.

1 bunch of kale
1 rotisserie chicken

1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
100g almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

  1. Strip the leaves from the kale and wash well. Drain. Shred finely and place in a large bowl. In a jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika and garlic. Season to taste. Pour over kale and using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale to soften, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Peel the skin off the chicken and discard. Pull the meat from the bones and flake into bite sized pieces. Place in the bowl with the kale.
  3. Remove the stem from the cauliflower and cut into small florets. Place in a food processor and process until the texture of cous cous. Tip the cauliflower on to a clean tea towel and squeeze the liquid out. Place cauliflower in the bowl with the chicken and kale.
  4. Add the parsley and almonds to the salad, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and season to taste. Toss well before serving.

Serves 4

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Third Wave Cafe

Third Wave Cafe
30 Cato St
Prahran, VIC
(03) 9510 2991

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_01

Recently, I was invited to try Third Wave Cafe, an American-ish style cafe & restaurant in the back streets of Prahran. Open for breakfast and lunch Mondays & Tuesdays, and dinner the rest of the week, it’s a cute place, small and bright with a modern fitout.

The breakfast menu plays it safe by covering all bases, offering both unusual options like the Cherry Cheese Blintzes ($16.90) or Risotto Hash Browns topped with mushrooms, chorizo, tomato and poached egg with rocket ($19.40), as well as typical options like a rather standard Big Breakfast ($21.90) or a Breakfast Panini ($13.90). It’s an alright menu, sure to keep the general population happy, but is a tad safe by Melbourne standards.

The rest of the menu is.. a little confusing. On the lunch menu is a selection of salads, paninis and burgers, but also available is a scaled down version of the American BBQ section from the Dinner menu, PLUS an additional Paleo menu, PLUS specials… It’s a little disjointed.

The dinner menu is a little more focused, with a definite American leaning. Divided into “Slow Smoked BBQ” (a selection of meats and salmon), sides, or “more”, it’s a little confusing to see the “Paleo” menu there again with “eggs any way”.. I thought this was the dinner menu? But order from the BBQ menu and you’ll be safe.

The beef ribs come recommended to us and like all the BBQ dishes come as either a medium or large serve ($23/$44). They come with 2 sauces (though the menu says 3) served in tiny ramekins that are a bit outdated and are empty after a couple of spoonfuls. The waitress must have encountered this issue before, as she is quick to offer us a refill. The ribs themselves are actually really tasty – melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the sauce has a great balance of sweet and sour.

There are also pork ribs available ($29/$54) which may sound pricy, but these are no ordinary ribs. “We use the most expensive cut of pork ribs available – the belly ribs. This cut is not available from butchers because in Australia this part of the pig is left for pork belly… This allows for a much more juicy finished product. ” says owner, Greg Rips.

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_RibsAlso recommended to us is the lamb shoulder ($22.00/$42.00) which has been flavoured with a blend of herbs and spices. Served with a BBQ sauce and salsa verde (again, where is the 3rd sauce promised on the menu?) the meat comes as thick, grey slices of meat that aren’t all that appealing. But looks can be decieving as the meat is actually beautifully tender and moist. It’s a shame the meat hasn’t been pulled apart instead.

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_LambThe sides menu is varied, with options like crispy coleslaw ($8.00/$14.00), kipfler potatoes cooked in duck fat ($9.00/$16.00) or Russian salad ($9.00/$16.00). The smoked mac and cheese ($9.00/$16.00) is a great rendition, with a subtle smokiness that matches the BBQ menu. The pancetta peas ($9.00/$16.00) are another great classic, finished with fresh mint making them an excellent accompaniment to the lamb. The Georgian salad – a mix of parsley, coriander, dill, mint and basil with tomato cucumber and red onion – comes recommended, but is coarse and unremarkable.

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_Sides

On the sweets menu, the cherry cheese blintzes and orange French toast from the breakfast menu pop up again. There’s some ordinary additions that dilute the good stuff – pastries and muffins that would be better left off. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find an excellent key lime pie ($13.00) or pecan pie ($13.00) that fit the American theme.

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_KeyLimePie

There’s a good selection of beer as well that are an excellent match with the BBQ menu. The Rogue Dead Guy Ale ($11.00) is very drinkable, but if you’re after something special try the Bacon Maple Ale ($35/700ml). It’ll polarise diners but is a great talking point.

MFF_ThirdWaveCafe_Beer

There’s a lot to like about Third Wave. The staff are friendly and helpful and the space is cheerful and bright. There’s also something nice about being able to order a salad with my ribs – there’s all the flavour of American food without the guilt. Overall, the food is quite good though a little confused. The American theme is on trend and well executed, but this is diluted by some people-pleaser dishes. It’s also a little on the pricey side. But with a few minor tweaks here and there Third Wave has real potential.

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Posted in Prahran, Reviews, Southern | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment