Scarvelli Cafe – Balwyn

At Scarvelli Cafe, the team are passionate about the Paddock to plate philosophy. This means quality ingredients straight from the owner’s farm, onto your plate, for your Instagramming pleasure. Located amongst the quiet suburban streets of Balwyn, you will find locals sipping on an Industry Beans blend and enjoying a fuss-free brunch. The space is cosy and warm, with a dog-friendly courtyard and an emphasis on quality coffee. We visited on a freezing day and what could be more comforting than copious amounts of carbs to warm the belly?

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Truck Stop Deluxe – Werribee

Aussie burger kings are sizzling with anger as Momofuku’s David Chang claims Aussies ‘have f***** up burgers more than anybody else in the world.’ Our response would be a polite raising of a certain finger. Americans have always been traditionalists, they’ve held onto guns like life support (it’s called an AMENDMENT…),  and well… apparently burgers are untouchable too. We Aussies like to introduce quality into our food, rather than quantity. What’s life without a bit of variety? So, excuse us as we order our burgers with beetroot, egg, truffle sauce and whatever the hell we would like. No hard feelings to Americans, much love to ya’ll <3.

Now that the burger rant is over, we’ve had our eye on Truck Stop Deluxe since its early inception. Brought to you by the big names of Grand Trailer Park, Easeys and Jimmy’s burgers, a sprinkling of burger magic has created a calorific menu with plenty of Southern flair and some wickedly indulgent spiked milkshakes. With a ginormous transformer-like truck greeting diners, it seems Truck Stop Deluxe is a hangout for both trucks and humans. Out the back is a beautiful space, with open windows and shutters revealing the backdrop of the Werribee river and park. Certainly a prime space for enjoying the spring and summertime breeze. Currently, the shutters are closed for good reason… brrrr.

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Pavlov’s Duck – Sri Lankan Brunch

Sri Lankan food is a rich melting pot of cuisines – with influences from its colonial heritage to the aromatic spices and herbs that we’ve all come to love. An accidental discovery from a walk on Smith St, led us to the reinvigorated menu inspired by the flavours of Sri Lankan cuisine. At first glance, apart from a few menu items, it looked like any ol’ brunch cafe menu, but you’d be surprised to find some Sri Lankan influence in something as simple as a croissant. Vibrant murals of Victorian buildings, along with scatterings of wooden ducks, made us want to settle down with a Beatrix Potter book in hand.

We tasted the following:

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Mr Miyagi – Sushi Taco

Chapel St has long surpassed its image of a place for ‘chap laps’ and doof-doof clubs. It’s become a booming dining precinct with Asian fusion eateries leading the movement. If one is currently writing this blog post on a Saturday night in my spotty pyjamas, anticipating a fun night of ‘Orange is the New Black’, it’s fair to say that scene has become irrelevant to our *cough ‘maturing’ lifestyle :D.

Mr Miyagi is one such leader. For lovers of classic movies, any mention of Mr Miyagi makes us think of the infamous ”Wax on, wax off’ moment.  In Prahran, the only punches here, are punches of flavour. Murals of beckoning Japanese belles, bubblegum pink ‘loser’ neon signage and all-around funky vibes, greet hungry diners. If you’re after traditional Japanese food, you best head off home. The menu is far from boring, with a seamless integration of East meets West.

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Woven – Yarraville

Away from Yarraville village, you will find a warehouse conversion brimming with new offices and cafes. Taking a small converted space, and transforming it into a cool industrial hangout, complete with dinosaur filled terrariums and suspended succulents, makes this cafe uber cool.

With seasonal rotating specials, the menu is exciting with global inspirations making brunch exciting. On a cold winter’s day, the desire for spicy heat, made the Bollywood Breakfast alluring beyond belief. The Sucuk sausage was beyond delicious, a subsequent google search indicating a high-fat content (no wonder..) and a Turkic origin. Paired with the spice of house labne rolled in dukkah and fried eggs on grilled roti bread, this dish was both creative and flavoursome. The S.O had the oyster mushroom escabeche, a simple dish of succulent oyster mushrooms laying on a bed of buttered poached leeks. The menu at Woven is definitely one of our favourites in Yarraville.

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Melbourne Nominees – Time Out Awards 2015 @ Gazi

Gastronomes clear out your calendar for 2015’s Time Out awards. Celebrating all things ‘to do, events and entertainment’, Time Out has long been our go-to destinations to discover hot new openings. We Melbournians are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to a good feed. Eating in Melbourne has never been so exciting. It’s a competitive scene that takes a hell of a lot of persistence and hard work.

Time Out Australia CEO Michael Rodrigues says, “The Time Out team dine out relentlessly so that they constantly know what’s going on in Melbourne’s incredible eating scene. Melbourne’s cafes and restaurants are world leaders in quality and creativity. This is our way of recognising the people and venues that bring us hungry folk amazing dishes… and to nurture a bit of healthy competition along the way.”

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Blue Chillies – Malaysian in Fitzroy

This past decade, Brunswick St has been changing like a teenager going through puberty. Keeping up with the ever-changing dining scene in Melbourne is difficult, but this Malaysian veteran is here to stay. On a side note, perfect segway to wish Blue Chillies a happy sweet 16th! You’re a full-blooded teenager now ;)

Taking inspiration from the hawker centres of Kuala Lumpur & Penang, authentic Malaysian cuisine with a contemporary twist has been served to hungry diners for the past 16 years. With a design that takes its heritage from the colonial shophouses of Malaysia, the space is cosy with dark timber furnishings housing bottles of wine, ceramic teapots & jars of traditional Asian herbs and mushrooms. Sharing is caring at Blue Chillies, with a range of textural and fiery dishes to get the palates salivating.

We tasted the following dishes:

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MJR TOM – Collingwood

With its grungy alternative vibe, Smith Street is Melbourne’s alternative to Brunswick St. With a bunch of new openings, MJR Tom has no trouble fitting in. We adored the fit-out, with a myriad of nooks and crannies to nestle and settle our brunch bums. Wood is the predominant feature, with wooden ‘boxes’ scattered from front to back, individually decorated with suspended greeneries and hanging light globes. Out the back are open benches with an impressive bar. Downstairs is a pool table for the night time festivities. Day or night, MJR is an impressive venue for both food and drinks.

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Pierre Roelofs Dessert Evenings

It’s no secret that we are dessert fanatics at Hungrycookie. It’s our drug of choice, sending bursts of serotonin throughout our sugar yearning brains. Dessert represents a sense of bliss – a moment of total relishing that makes us feel good, is visually stunning and is the most important part of the meal. It’s widely known, that restaurants that finish on a positive note, are more likely to receive a positive review. It’s psychology’s Serial Positioning Effect working at its finest, ie. the tendency to recall the first and last items in a series. Enter the whimsical land of Fancy Nance and you will have no trouble recalling any dishes. The acclaimed pastry chef has a CV worthy of a Michelin chef, with stints at The Fat Duck and world number one El Celler De Can Roca. Naturally, expectations were high and we’ve been aching for Pierre’s dessert evenings, ever since it’s early inception at Cafe Rosamond.

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Sister Cafes : Barry + Square & Compass


Barry is to Northcote, as coffee is to brunch – completely inseparable. Waking up on the weekend in the Northern suburbs, means heading down to Barry. With all the feels of an inner city cafe, the big, bright, airy space is enough to excite us out of our morning slumber. Scatterings of morning light shine through the open windows, as a steady line of coffee orders build up against the counter. Little pot plants add touches of greenery. It’s Saturday, and that means brunch!

Onto the menu. You can expect all the on-trend ingredients to satisfy those detoxers, those paleo nerds. But for the ravenous eaters, there’s plenty to sooth our empty bellies. The crispy prawn sub, fried in a light batter, is completely superior to the tempura norm. Big, juicy prawns are balanced by the creaminess of a kewpie mayo and the acidity of pickled cucumber and carrots. Sprinklings of green tea salt (how interesting!) add the finishing touch.  Continue reading Sister Cafes : Barry + Square & Compass

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