Friday, April 26, 2013

Day Trip to the Yarra Valley: Innocent Bystander & Yering Station

My parents are in town so my Sister flew in from Adelaide for a week to spend time with us. About 2 Saturdays ago, we took a family road trip to Yarra Valley for the first time to explore the sights and food that it has to offer. 

First stop: Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander in Healesville...

After spending the morning exploring Healesville for a bit, we made our way to Yering Station for our 12:30pm booking... Which I was EXTREMELY excited about! 

Before this, I spent hours on the Internet thinking of where to take my family for a road trip. After seeing photos of Yering Station, I thought it was just jaw dropping, as was the food described in their menu

Little did I know that being there in person and seeing everything in real life was much more sensational than I had imagined... Landscape was magnificent no matter which direction I was facing. Simply picture perfect all 360 degrees. I truly appreciated the decor, which was both classic yet contemporary. Cobblestones next to modern glazing... Still waters against the mountainous backdrop... Absolutely breath-taking. The restaurant which had incredibly high ceilings and full height windows made the experience so much more memorable. Could not have asked for a better view to enjoy our meal...

Yering Station Village Flume Blanc and Dry Riesling

Marinated Yabbies, Crispy Chicken Skin, Saffron Vanilla Sauce, Black Garlic Crumb - $24


Pimento and Rosemary Crusted Rabbit, Pomme Puree, Jamon Consomme - $23


Special of the Day:
Seared Scallops, Chorizoes, Zucchini FLowers, Black Pudding, Pear Chutney and Pea Smash - $24

Moreton Bay Bugs, Black Olive and Potato Rosti, Tomato Sardine Vinaigrette - $24


Bread Crusted Baby Snapper, Confit Potatoes, Dutch Carrots, Smoked Mussels Sauce - $39

Could not get enough of this... Wow

Potato and Onion Gratin - $9

Best I've had

Eye Fillet, Beef Cheek Cigar, Parsnip Puree, Saffron Soffrito, Px Jus - $42

Memorable too

Caramelised Pear Pudding, Nougat Ice Cream - $17



Champagne Bavarois, Blackberry Jelly, Rhubarb Sorbet - $17

Mum having lots of fun at Yering Station (as did we) =]

Honestly, the food was absolutely FANTASTIC!! We must admit that the entrees were so interesting we wanted to order them all. The yabbies and moreton bay bugs (2 of my fav things to eat) were top notch, could not be beat. Rabbit entree was the best rabbit dish I've had as well. Can't express how much I enjoyed the fish main, simply beautiful. And I thought the beef with beef cigar was a cheeky and tasty idea. Then, came desserts... That pear pudding may look plain but flavour was incredible. Best part of that dish was the nougat ice cream!!!!! And I'm not even a fan of nougat to begin with. INCREDIBLE MEAL.

Overall, the food at Yering Station truly knocked me off of my socks. Every dish that came was impeccable. What I love most about the food was that it was all centred around fresh, local ingredients... With a stroke of creativity and executed with great finesse without being overly complicated. What I don't understand, to be very frank with you, is how Yering Station is still not a hatted restaurant as it was much better than MANY of the hatted restaurants that I've been to, seriously...

Anyway, Yarra Valley has really captured my heart and I would highly recommend it to people wishing to go on a day trip somewhere in regional Victoria that's still within a 1 hour radius from the CBD. And Innocent Bystander is a great place to start your day there before heading over to Yering Station for lunch. Great ambience and lovely food and coffee. Will definitely be back to the Yarra Valley! Missing my time there already. Happy days... =)

Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander Winery on Urbanspoon

Yering Station on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Breakfast Thieves, Fitzroy

Perfect food/location/weather for a weekend brunch. Nice and close to the CBD too!

Mum's Caffe Latte

My Soy Piccolo Latte

The Legend ($18) with extra serve of Thieves Ocean Trout ($4.50)
Spicy baked eggs with Spanish chorizo, roasted mushroom, green peas and feta served with herbed garlic toast

This garlic bread was SO good we immediately ordered a second serve to go with the baked eggs

Brioche Pain Perdu ($17)
French toast served with spiced wine poached plums, white chocolate mascaporne and candied pistachio


Mum and Dad arrived 2 weeks ago for another month long trip here in Melbourne. After picking Mum up at 6:45am on the Sunday morning (Dad arrived later that night), I hit the Internet to look for a nice cafe to take Mum for brekkie. After scouring high and low, and checking out the menus of about 10 well known cafes around Melbourne, I couldn't help but still feel kinda  bored and unimpressed by the food offered at a lot of these supposedly "famous cafes". I'm not sure how I came across Breakfast Thieves, but as soon as I saw the menu I knew that we HAD to eat there, so we did.

Main reason was the GREAT menu selection. Wide variety with interesting flavours and execution. Another main factor was seeing their BREAD SOLDIERS!!! I love love love a good bread soldier and the ones I saw on Urbanspoon looked too good to pass up.

The first dish we had was The Legend and it was delish. I can see why it's the signature there. Perfectly cooked and taste buds were going back and forth with each of the fresh ingredients on the plate. Although, I did find the dish to be a tad spicy for 9 'o clock in the morning but it was still tasty. Plus, that herbed garlic bread was AWESOME. Had to order another serve right away to finish the rest of the dish, so good...

Then, dessert. As soon as it hit the table I knew it would be the PERFECT French Toast for me, and I'm not even a dessert person at all. First, the crispiness of the brioche was unmistakable, as you can see from the sharp edges above. Plus, the high butter content in the brioche made it the perfect bread for this as it was so flavourful and moist on its own without having to soak up too much liquid. AWESOME. As if the crispy brioche soldiers wasn't a winner for me already, I must say that flavoured mascaporne is hands down my FAVOURITE thing to have with French Toasts. Not too sweet and highly addictive. Topped with those jewels of candied pistachios... GOLD. I cannot go on enough about how much I love the French Toast here. So much so that I have immediately classified it as my favourite in Melbourne and have added it to my list on Wince's Faves.

Great food, great ambience, great fitout and also... Great location. I honestly was quite surprised by how much I loved Breakfast Thieves and I am already looking forward to my next visit as there's SO much more I'd like to try from their menu (especially from their Lunch menu). I have quite high expectations for cafes but am more than happy to say that Breakfast Thieves has ticked all my boxes. Love it!!!

Breakfast Thieves on Urbanspoon