Pillar of Salt, Richmond
The Benedict - $17
Poached eggs, braised and shredded cape otway ham hock, smashed peas, apple cider hollandaise, toast
The way the sauce just drapes down the side is just sooo sexy too
Corn Fritters - $17
With a house cured ocean trout, sugar snap pea and tomato salad
Mum and I came to Pillar of Salt when we failed to get a table at Top Paddock on a public holiday. It was a convenient alternative because it was just down the road from Top Paddock. Plus, it looked pretty good on the outside. I was surprised when we got a table right away seeing as everywhere else is pretty much packed to the brim, being the start of Long Weekend and all. The friendly waiter escorted us to the covered courtyard at the back (my seating location of choice at any cafe).
All the food that came out of the kitchen looked good. It had height and generous portions. I must say I was pretty blown away by the eggs benedict I got. The hollandaise had the must luscious and velvety texture and I absolutely love the flavour of apple cider infused into it. It was SO good. Just look at the way it drapes over the egg and spills over to the side… Sooooo sexy. The ham was tasty and complemented the dish too. I'm generally not a fan of eggs benedict at all, not even sure what possessed me to order it but I'm glad I did because it is honestly one of the best ones in Melbourne.
I almost always order cured fish everywhere I go when having brunch. Even when they don't have it in the dish, I would normally opt to add it in. Most places are pretty good when it comes to cured fish but unfortunately Pillar of Salt wasn't one of them. It was actually really fishy and hard to enjoy. Not fresh at all. The salad was rather unexciting and I don't know if it went well with the rest of the dish. Corn fritters were average.
Overall, I'd say that they hit a home run with the eggs benedict but really missed the mark with the corn fritters and ocean trout. Not sure how the other dishes fair but wouldn't mind coming back to try. I enjoyed sitting at their courtyard so hopefully I'll get to do that again next time.
Krimper Cafe, CBD
Ocean Egg - $16
Beetroot cured Hapuka, poached egg, corn fritter
Came to Krimper one morning with a bunch of friends that I haven't caught up with in ages. Krimper was tucked away in some nook in an unassuming alleyway unbeknownst to the people whether you roam the area often or not. It's like the more frontage value you get, the more cafe owners tend to avoid these places and go for the complete opposite. Something I really love about the cafe culture here because it says a lot when a cafe is thriving at a seemingly bad or unpopular location…. Such is the case for Krimper.
Took me awhile to find the alleyway which almost felt deserted from the outside until I walked in and realised that they had a full house inside. As mentioned earlier, cured fish is almost always my brekkie dish of choice everywhere I go so I went straight for the beetroot cured hapuka with corn fritters.
I love hapuka. When it's at the right size/age, the meat can be very delicate and sweet. The one here was cured beautifully. Corn fritters were a tiny bit on the floury side and could've been a bit more crispier on the outside for my liking but it was a pretty decent dish as a whole. Based on my dish that day, I wouldn't say I'm necessarily blown away the food here but hey, the coffee's good. Ample seating. Nicely spaced out. Comfortable interior. Pretty easy and relaxed place to hangout if you ask me.
I've said this several times, but we are VERY spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing quality gelato shops in Melbourne. The top 5 contenders IMO are n2 gelato, Gelato Messina, Spring St Grocer, Helados Jauja and... the new kid on the block: Pidapipó!
Each of them has got their own style, personality and offerings. I don't normally like to compare but I must say that out of all these great gelaterias, Pidapipó is definitely my favourite. It's not that the others aren't good, but I think this place really is more my style and the overall feel of the place is a huge factor in this decision. In terms of the fitout and ice cream itself, it is modest and humble. Simple and honest. It has a very strong Italian family vibe and I know for a fact that whoever started this place has paid true homage to his or her heritage.
Also, you get your ice cream with a smile and a pleasant conversation, which may not sound like much but it is something that is becoming increasingly rare because most popular places these days are packed full of people with lines out to the streets. I think most of all I appreciate the slow pace of this gelateria. I don't have to feel too absurd waiting in a crowded space and I like that I can truly enjoy my ice cream inside with my friends. If this is a taste of what Italy is like, then I need to book a plane ticket there because it's lovely.
That said, the gelato here is damn good too. These gelatisans really know what they're doing. Each flavour that our friends and I got screamed the true and natural flavours of the ice cream we were getting... Real gelato. Whether it's something as simple as a pear flavoured gelato, the flavours are really pronounced yet refined, which is something that I really like about the ice cream here.
Like I said, each of these top gelato shops are good, don't get me wrong. In fact, I'd be happy with any of their ice creams too. I just can't help but find Pidapipó to be so charming. Plus, it just reminds me of a simpler/happier time and that's exactly how I want to enjoy my ice cream.
Adding this to the books under Wince's faves for sure.