HOT: Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery, Burnham Beeches, 1 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke

Piggery Cafe

Shannon Bennett, chef-restaurateur and perennial entrepreneur, is developing heritage-listed Burnham Beeches into a a biodynamic farm and self-sufficient village in Sherbrooke in the Dandenongs.

Piggery Cafe

Phase 1 of the 22 hectare site is the Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery, the commercial bakery which supplies all of the bread and pastries for Bennett’s many restaurants, including Cafe Vue at Heide, Bistro Vue and Vue de Monde.

burnham beeches

Unfortunately we chose a very wet day to visit Burnham Beeches which meant that indoor tables were in scarce supply. Luckily we snagged one of the remaining available wooden/marbled ended benches at 9:30am (it opens at 9am). Yes it’s that busy even on a wet Sunday morning!

burnham beeches

We found the former pigsty and barn quite cold and its high ceilings and polished concrete surfaces meant that it got really loud once the tables filled.

burnham beeches

The breakfast menu mixes between cafe standards and some of the Vietnamese influences found at Jardin Tan. There’s a lot of pork on the agenda, an apt choice for a place named the Piggery Cafe.

Piggery Cafe

burnham beeches

We tried the house made banana bread with whipped honey butter ($7) which was really just glorified cake, the bircher muesli with bircher muesli, poached fruit and Schulz yoghurt ($12) and the BBB – a brioche bun slathered in sweet tomato relish with bacon, a slab of slow-cooked pork and a fried egg with a sunny, runny yolk ($16). All of the food was delicious but I did think the servings were on the measly side.

burnham beeches

Luckily it meant more room for dessert and it would be remiss to drive all this way without trying one of the amazing cakes (even though it’s only 10am).

burnham beeches

The lemon tart ($9) was my favourite, with a rippled short pastry crust housing a soft but not runny lemon curd filling and perfectly burnished squiggle of meringue tinted with flavours of honey. The meringue perhaps was a little bit too soft but it was probably due to the damp conditions.

The caramel slice ($8.50) was not too sickly sweet (the reason I tend to avoid caramel tarts) and was adorned by a cute little quenelle of chocolate mousse.

We also particularly enjoyed the springy canele ($3), which contained surprising Green Goblin hued centre of pistachio encased by a sugar-coated crust.

burnham beeches

The kids loved their shortbread piggy biscuits ($2) dipped in chocolate ‘mud’ and babycinos with a chocolate on the side ($2). There’s plenty of room to park prams and several high chairs available.

From the bakery we took home a loaf of golden, buttery brioche. Note that it’s $6.50 at Burnham Bakery, $7 at Jardin Tan and $8 at Cafe Vue at Heide (yes we buy it everywhere we go!).

burnham beeches

If it gets too busy or the sun is shining you can get sandwiches and sweet things to go and laze around the lawns instead. I’m told the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens next door are particularly spectacular but it was freezing and wet on our visit so we had to miss them.

Burnham Beeches is lovely short trip from Melbourne and the Piggery Cafe is a foodie destination if you’re not only after cream teas and crochet. The 2 and 3 course lunch menu looks particularly appetising and seems more adventurous than the breakfast fare.

Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery, Burnham Beeches, 1 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke 03 9021 2100

Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

Piggery Cafe on Urbanspoon

HOT: Dandee Donuts, Dandenong Market, cnr Cleeland and King Sts, Dandenong

The Saturday Age recently ran a ‘Five of a kind’ article on Dandenong Market describing five stallholders in the refurbished Dandenong Market, including Sataylicious which I’d recommended previously on the blog for their noteworthy satay sauce.

Obviously there’s only room for five places to be featured in that article so let me redress the omission of the institution known as Dandee Donuts.

Melbourne is home to a couple of famous of retro doughnut vans – Olympic Doughnuts just outside Footscray Station, the American Doughnut Kitchen at Queen Victoria Market and Dandee Donuts.

The purple and yellow van is parked near the fruit and veg section of the market and the constant queue of young and old will lead you there.

The doughnuts are freshly fried, piping hot balls of squishable fluffy dough with a squirt of super-sweet strawberry jam inside. Order double jam if you dare! It comes in a paper bag which you can rip open to lick the sugar coating clean at the end :–)

Dandee Donuts is an unmissable treat which will complete your visit to Dandenong Market. In fact, I’m sure it’s the feature of many people’s childhood memories.

Where are your favourite doughnuts in Melbourne?

Dandee Donuts, Dandenong Market, cnr Cleeland and King Sts, Dandenong +61 3 9791 4785

Tuesday 8am – 4pm
Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday 7am – 3pm

HOT: Sataylicious, Shop W3, Dandenong Market, Cnr Clow and Cleeland St, Dandenong

Is it possible that I’ve found the best satay sauce in Melbourne…in Zone 2?

Every family, every region and every country has their own satay recipe – and everyone has their favourite. I’ve eaten a lot of satays both in Australia and in South East Asia and I’m so excited about discovering the spicy satay sauce made by Sataylicious!

Sataylicious is a husband-and-wife run satay stall in vibrant and multi-cultural Dandenong Market. The couple make their skewers and sauces fresh on premises using a secret family recipe from Singapore. You can eat on the spot or take home skewers of chicken or beef (12 for $9.95) plus tubs of normal or spicy satay sauce ($3.95).

My pet hates with satay sauce are that they can be too sweet, too runny or too smooth and Sataylicious‘ spicy satay sauce is none of those – it contains recognisable chunks of peanut in it and has a real punch of heat of the ‘need water now’ variety. The meat was tender and marinated with a blend of strong-flavoured spices which were almost Indian in flavour.

I cooked twelve satays over an electric barbecue for the suggested 3.5 minutes on both sides and then tossed some green veg in the pan juices afterwards with a sprinkling of water. Served with some steamed rice and a saucer of spicy satay sauce and voila! Dinner in an easy 10 minutes. The remainder of the sauce I’ve popped in the freezer (it’ll keep for 6 months) until my next visit to Sataylicious.

Sataylicious, Shop W3, Dandenong Market, Cnr Clow and Cleeland St, Dandenong 0403154190

Tuesday 7am – 4pm Friday 7am – 5pm Saturday 7am – 3pm