HOT: Commonfolk, 16 Progress Street, Mornington

commonfolk

Mornington’s Main Street is full of cafes but if you’re after the BEST food and coffee in town it’s worth taking a detour to Commonfolk.

commonfolk

Commonfolk is primarily a coffee roastery and inside the large roasting shed is a fantastic cafe with the sort of hip dishes not out of place in an inner-city bolthole.
commonfolk

Sit inside the airy industrial warehouse (surprisingly cool on a hot summer’s day) or in the back courtyard with umbrella shelters and tables.

commonfolk

Try the ‘Salad of the Year’, an Asian inspired salad by chef Roong who was named ‘SOAR Woman of the Year’. It’s a large bowl of lemongrass, kaffir lime and coconut poached chicken shredded on top of vermicelli noodles and combined with Thai herbs and beanshoots ($18). It is sweet, tangy, slippery and crunchy at the same time and a taste sensation.

commonfolk

The ‘Le Toast’ is is also outrageously good. The hunk of bread is dusted with cinnamon and panela sugar which gives it an amazing caramelised crust. It comes with OJ braised rhubarb, macadamia crumble, vanilla creme fraiche and minted sugar ($18).

commonfolk

As for the coffee? Sorry I can’t report back as my body doesn’t deal well with caffeine! But I assume a place that takes its coffee so seriously, and wholesales to other cafes, must know their product from crop to cup. Commonfolk also donates 20 cents from every cup of coffee to support sustainable coffee farming.

After you meal have a poke around the Snake Hole gallery and store…

commonfolk

commonfolk

… and the adjoining co-working space.

commonfolk

Commonfolk’s reputation for excellent food and coffee makes it a buzzing place to visit even if it’s in the back streets of an industrial area. Once you find it you’ll be telling everyone about it.


Commonfolk, 16 Progress Street, Mornington 03 5902 2786

Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm

Sat 8-3pm

Sun 9-3pm

Commonfolk Coffee Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s On – Friday 7 April to Thursday 13 April

CBD/Docklands

  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Fri 7 Apr – Sun 23 Apr) – more comedy than you could ever want!
  • Spanish Street Fiesta (Sat 8 Apr) – Enjoy flamenco dance performances, cooking demonstrations, a sangria bar and wine and sherry tastings, as well as a Spanish-style BBQ, a traditional paella station and a chorizo sausage making demonstration.

 

North

  • Preston Market Big Fat Greek Day (Fri 7 Apr) – Enjoy live Greek bands, traditional Greek dancing, a cooking demonstration and delicious food stallholders.
  • Farmers Market at Collingwood Children’s Farm (Sat 8 Apr) – Shop local and seasonal produce and visit the Collingwood Children’s Farm for only $2 adult entry (kids free). FULL REVIEW.
  • Spanish Language Fiesta (Sat 8 Apr) – Participate in workshops, connect with locals and practise your Spanish in a vibrant laneway fiesta environment, complete with sangria and delicious food options.
  • South East Asia Festival Carlton (Sat 8 Apr – Sun 9 Apr) – unites communities from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam by sharing their culinary and cultural heritage through food, music and dance.
  • Pentridge Festival (Sat 8 Apr – Sun 9 Apr) – line up of artists showcasing Melbourne’s best and emerging talent, plus artisan stalls and diverse food offerings from around the world.
  • Broadmeadows Street Festival (Sun 9 Apr) – vibrant and colourful event will be held to celebrate the cultural diversity of Hume City with food, dance and music.

 

South / South-East / Bayside

  • Summer Sessions Ripponlea (Sun 9 Apr) – Spend a leisurely afternoon listening to live music, play a round of croquet or quoits or simply relax on the shady lawns of Rippon Lea House & Gardens.
  • Farm Food Fun Green Olive at Red Hill (Sat 8 Apr) – The farm stage will be teeming with local farmers ready to share their secrets, the olive grove will transform miraculously into a ‘book grove’ with books specially chosen for young bookworms to read and be read to, we’ll be teaching basic farm skills and showcasing our best gardening tricks…plus on the lawn there will be kids’ activities galore!

East

  • Venetian Carnivale Hawthorn (Sat 8 Apr) – Traditional Carnivale food and wines, street artists, lively entertainment, dancing classes.
  • HarvEast Eastland (Sun 9 Apr) – one-day food and wine event showcasing chefs, producers and suppliers from the local region.
  • Belgrave Big Dreams Market (Sun 9 Apr) – discover original and bespoke design pieces, some of the yummiest and freshest produce the area has to offer, live music, bouncy castle and facepainting  for the kids.

HOT: Greenfields, Cnr Lakeside Drive and Queens Rd, Albert Park

greenfields albert park

Greenfields is a gorgeous cafe inside Albert Park with prime position on Lakeside Drive and luscious green (naturally) views of the golf course and lake.

greenfields albert park

The cafe is spread out over three expansive dining areas.

greenfields albert park

My favourite spot is a table by the wall-to-ceiling glass windows where you can bask in the sunshine and be sheltered from the wind. The decor palette is a soothing mix of earthy tones and greenery.

greenfields albert park

When the weather cools down a cosy corner is set up with a fireplace and squishy couches.

greenfields albert park

At the main entrance is the bar, which still retains a clubby feel with a low ceiling and wood and brick.

greenfields albert park

The outside deck is an amazing space with the Lakeside Bar, a bar and grill kitchen.

The deck segues seamlessly into a large lawn, perfect for a game of croquet or boules or simply rolling down the hill!

greenfields albert park

The menu is available all day even though it’s split into ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’. ‘Eat colourfully’ is the inspiration and our meals reflect that philosophy.

greenfields albert park

I start with a Maya Choc shake with almond milk, avocado, cocoa, banana, honey and cinnamon ($9.50). It is thick and creamy though not as chocolate-y as I am expecting.

greenfields albert park

Full marks for the steamed fish of the day (rockling) with ginger, chilli, shiitake, greens, soba noodle and miso salad. It’s a light and refreshing way to start the day and the balance of flavours is just right – not too tart, not too salty ($24).

greenfields albert park

The photogenic summer melon granola ($17) is also a winner with watermelon, fresh berries, puddles of soaked chia seeds and a crunchy sunflower seed granola.

If you’re walking your pooch around Albert Park there’s even doggy treats and a ‘puppucino’ on the menu.

greenfields albert park

 

If you’re visiting Albert Park make Greenfields your breakfast, brunch or lunch spot, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a restful spot away from the hum of the city (just not during Grand Prix!) with a delicious ‘clean eating’ menu and bucolic views. Yoga and meditation classes are coming soon. 

Also on Sundays from February to April, the Lakeside Bar opens for ‘Sunday Safari’ from 12pm onwards with live music, outdoor lawn games, BBQ and picnic baskets. Veuve anyone?

greenfields albert park


Greenfields, Cnr Lakeside Drive and Queens Rd (access via Queens Rd), Albert Park

Wednesday to Sunday from 7am

Greenfields Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s On – Friday 31 March to Thursday 6 April

School’s out and it’s time to par-tay! Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival kick off this weekend and here are my picks for great things to do this week.

CBD/Docklands

  • Food Truck Stop Southbank (Fri 31 Mar – Sun 2 Apr) – Our city’s best food trucks, handpicked by Beatbox Kitchen’s Raph Rashid, will converge along the Yarra, bringing with them their traffic-stopping fare plus a special dish they’ve created just for the Festival.
  • Sweet Alley (Fri 31 Mar – Sun 2 Apr) – artisan ice-creams, chocolates, pastries and doughnuts, or keep it cleaner with fruity flavours, raw desserts and frozen yoghurts.
  • Crown Live Pizza Festival Southbank (Fri 31 Mar – Sun 2 Apr) – Discover elements of the winemaking process, partake in a pizza making Masterclass with Gradi’s Johnny Di Francesco and enjoy the live music and entertainment.
  • Fed in French Federation Square (Fri 31 Mar – Sun 2 Apr) – showcasing French fare from all regions of France including take home as well as eat on the spot.
  • Thai Songkram New Year Festival (Sat 1 Apr – Sun 2 Apr) – best of Thailand’s food, art and culture.

 

North/North-East

  • Coburg Food Race (Fri 31 Mar – Sat 8 Apr) – Race around Coburg, competing against other teams in search of key ingredients before a shared lunch at the end of the race.

 

South/South-East/Bayside

  • Dandenong World Fare (Sun 2 Apr) – Circumnavigate the globe at this enchanting “food fare” extravaganza. Experience the delicious abundance and tempting aromas of global cuisines and entertainment inspired by some of the world’s most exciting cultures.
  • Summer Sessions Ripponlea (Sun 2 Apr, Sun 9 Apr) – Spend a leisurely afternoon listening to live music, play a round of croquet or quoits or simply relax on the shady lawns of Rippon Lea House & Gardens.

East

  • PAVE Festival (Sun 2 Apr – Sun 9 Apr) – exhibitions, workshops, dance, music, theatre, film and more.
  • Heide Museum Makers Market (Sun 2 Apr) – eclectic mix of art, design and handcrafted goods.
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival (Sat 1 Apr – Sun 2 Apr) – Yarra Valley’s finest food producers, top Melbourne food trucks, tutored tastings by award-winning winemakers, live music and entertainment. Plus even more special activities for the kids on Sunday’s Family Day.

West

  • Pigs Pots and Pinots Footscray (Sat 1 Apr) – Western Plains pigs, pots from Footscray’s own West City Brewers and pinot from Shadowfax, all set to the soundtrack of local bands and fun family festival.
  • Tasman International Joust Kryal Castle (Sat 1 Apr – Sun 2 Apr) – Australia’s champion jousters will don their armour and face off against New Zealand’s finest. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Kensington Community Festival (Sun 2 Apr) – Enjoy music from China to the Caribbean, food from all corners of the globe, henna hand painting, community stalls, jumping castles, treasure hunts and try out hula hooping, juggling, tai chi and African drumming.
  • The Megaphone Project Newport (Wed 5 Apr – Sun 9 Apr) – The striking red megaphones collect people’s voices that then return unexpectedly via a wireless network.

HOT: Urban Projuice, 315 Montague St, Albert Park

Urban Projuice

Hidden in a gorgeous Victorian terrace house in Albert Park you’ll find a wholefoods vegetarian cafe and juice bar called Urban Projuice. It’s one of my favourite pit stops in Albert Park (and I’m not vegetarian).

Urban Projuice

Sit outside on the shaded front terrace or wind you way to the leafy orchard courtyard. There’s also an upstairs front balcony for amazing views and people-watching opportunities. 

Urban Projuice

My 4yo lunch date decides he wants a ‘chocolate milkshake’ so I order a Cacao Kapow smoothie ($10) with cacao, dates, banana and almond mylk. Yum, he declares, not knowing about the superfoods he’s drinking!

Urban Projuice

For a light meal I highly recommend the aromatic tumeric and chilli tofu scramble atop organic sourdough ($8.50).

Urban Projuice

For dessert we share the berry coconut waffles ($17.50). They are filled with berries and have a satisfying crunch on the outside while fluffy on the inside and are gluten-free. The combination of vegan vanilla ice cream, salted maple coconut flakes and date cacao sauce makes it a decadent treat. The only bum note is the ‘coconut rough’ which is very hard and bitter. 

urban projuice

Urban Projuice offers healthy plant-based eats that are tasty, nutritious and perfect for Instagram. The staff are smiling and friendly, the kind of happy-shiny-people who make a great advertisement for healthy living! 


Urban Projuice, 315 Montague St, Albert Park 03 9696 0048

Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm

Saturday & Sunday 8am – 4pm
Urban Projuice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HOT: Black Star Pastry, 56 University St, Carlton

black star pastry melbourne

Black Star Pastry produces possibly Sydney’s most instagrammed dessert – and now Melburnians have the chance to try the famous Strawberry Watermelon cake. Black Star Pastry opens the doors of its pop up store in Carlton tomorrow Monday 20 February.

black star pastry melbourne

I was invited to preview the store and can report that the desserts and savoury pastries that I sample are de-li-cious.

Black Star Pastry‘s cakes are basically fine-dining desserts. You’ll find the same sophistication in the combination of flavours and cooking techniques and a commitment to quality ingredients. No artificial flavouring, colouring or preservatives, green sustainable packaging and friendly passionate staff complete the package.

black star pastry melbourne

The Strawberry Watermelon cake consists of two layers of crumbly almond dacquoise (the owner Christopher The said that he really loves to work with dacquoise so it appears a lot in his creations), rose-scented cream, watermelon, strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals. It’s sweet, fragrant and very prettily presented (hence the Instagram love).

black star pastry melbourne

The other sweet I try is the Lemon Zen cake, which consists of layers of pistachio ganache, white chocolate mousse, lemon curd and crunchy pistachio dacquoise. I enjoy the textural contrasts and slightly tangy flavours.

black star pastry melbourne

At the moment the Melbourne store will only be selling their core range of sweets but I hope that the savoury options will be part of the menu in the future. I highly recommend their lamb shank pie! The pastry is flaky and light and flies away with a bite and a breath.

black star pastry melbourne

They will also open their online store to Melbourne customers so you can order full cakes.

The pop up store will be open for 3 months, with a potential for staying longer depending on their Cafe Italia neighbours, who have hived off their old store room to turn into Black Star Pastry‘s kitchen and some of the outdoor courtyard and undercover area for seating. Melbourne foodies, go and make their pop up a success so that they can be convinced to stay!

To celebrate the opening of their Melbourne store on Monday 20 February they are offering 50 FREE pieces of their signature Strawberry Watermelon cake with any tea or coffee purchase.


Black Star Pastry, 56 University St, Carlton

Mon to Sat 10am–8pm
Sun 10am–5pm

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