Rustica Sourdough

Rustica Sourdough - Street view

Rustica Sourdough – Street view

Rustica sourdough make beautiful artisan breads and pastries on site that look spectacular and taste amazing. Lots of care has been taken to create these beautifully hand-crafted delights and you can taste the love. Their menu highlights their traditional breads in a unique and modern way.

Rustica Sourdough - Venue

Rustica Sourdough – Venue

As I walked in I was already drooling over the breads behind the counter and pastries on display, they looked amazing. There were shelves of different breads, which are all made on the premises so they are as fresh as can be. Sourdough, seedy wholewheat and rye, oh my.

Rustica Sourdough - Artwork

Rustica Sourdough – Artwork

They had some cool art on the walls.

Rustica Sourdough - Coffee

Rustica Sourdough – Coffee

They do a good coffee.

Rustica Sourdough - Rustica Breakfast Board

Rustica Sourdough – Rustica breakfast board

The Rustica breakfast board has a little bit of everything. You get a jar of house made granola w organic yoghurt. The granola was nice and crunchy with toasted oats and seeds and yumness topped with the organic yoghurt, which was thick and creamy. And a bottle of milk to go with. Then you get a glass of cold press juice, I chose apple, orange and beetroot, which was delish. Then there was a slice of pumpkin sourdough (OMG amazing!). It was a rustic, hearty slice of sourdough with a delicate pumpkin flavour yum. It had a poached egg on top with oozing yolk and a dollop of zesty smashed avo beside it. Everything you need to start the day. It was a really well rounded meal and a super cute idea. All the elements on the board were tasty.

Rustica Sourdough - French toast

Rustica Sourdough – French toast

The French toast was impressive. There was sweet ricotta and soft roasted figs sandwiched between two mega pieces of buttery brioche French toast. It was so soft, it was like cutting through butter. It was light and spongy and delicious. It was dressed with lemon myrtle syrup and topped with raspberry mascarpone, nuts, fresh berries and little flower petals. Very pretty.

Rustica Sourdough - Triple berry cronut

Rustica Sourdough – Triple berry cronut

Their cronuts are unreal. I’d say one of Melbourne’s best cronuts for sure. It had all the strengths of a doughnut and croissant rolled into one. It is the shape of a doughnut and fried and sprinkled with sugar like a doughnut, then it has the fluffy buttery layers of pastry like a croissant. We got the blueberry, raspberry, blackberry cronut. When we bit into it, it had the buttery layers of fried pastry with a layer of triple berry mousse inside which was absolutely divine. It was delicious! Berry delicious! ;)

Rustica Sourdough - Pumpkin Sourdough

Rustica Sourdough – Pumpkin Sourdough

I had to take home a loaf of pumpkin bread. It was fluffy and comforting, a tiny bit sweet and oh so fresh. It was the kind of pumpkin bread you only eat in dreams. Perfection!

Rustica Sourdough - Hot cross buns and the easter bunny

Rustica Sourdough – Hot cross buns and the easter frenchie

Easter bunny alert! False alarm it’s just Max. Those bunny ears fool me every time. The hot cross buns he is trying to get his paws on are baked fresh at rustica and are absolutely delicious. They have lots of fruit and a really nice flavour. I also whacked on a large helping of butter, which made it even butter, I mean better. I assume these buns are only around during the easter period so best to visit soon if you’re into buns of the hot cross variety.

I really enjoyed my experience at Rustica Sourdough. How can you beat traditional artisan hand crafted bread baked fresh? The staff is friendly, the food is delicious and the bread is top class. I just wish I lived closer so this could be my local bakery.

I heart Rustica Sourdough!

Rustica Sourdough
Address: 402 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Website: http://www.rusticasourdough.com.au/
Phone: 03 9417 7775
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm, Sat: 7am-5pm, Sun: 8am-4pm

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Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to Rustica Sourdough Bakery.

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New Shanghai

New Shanghai - Emporium Melbourne

New Shanghai – Emporium Melbourne

New Shanghai is a Chinese restaurant located on lvl 3 of the Melbourne Emporium. The food is based around traditional recipes that have been passed down the line from generation to generation. And by golly they sure know how to make good dumplings. The dumplings are made fresh on site, you can see them hand crafting the little dumplings right in front of you. If you dig dumplings, this place is a MUST. Alongside the glorious dumplings New Shanghai has a delicious menu of a variety of authentic Chinese dishes at reasonable prices, which will keep you coming back for more.

New Shanghai - Venue

New Shanghai – Venue

While the recipes are traditional, the restaurant décor has a very modern vibe.

New Shanghai - Fresh pineapple & coconut milk

New Shanghai – Fresh pineapple & coconut milk

They have a variety of drinks on the menu. The fresh pineapple and coconut milk was delish, it was like a milkshake and tasted really fresh. The honey green tea is good too. It’s green tea but has the mouth feel of a crisp cold beer. It’s tastes clean and refreshing.

New Shanghai - Xiao long bao

New Shanghai – Xiao long bao

New Shanghai’s dumplings are beyond delicious. They deserve a standing ovation bravo bravo! The xiao long bao are one of my many favourites at New Shanghai, the skin is thin and soft and the pork and hot soupy filling is incredible. Add a little bit of vinegar and they are just perfect.

New Shanghai - Pan fried pork bun

New Shanghai – Pan fried pork bun

Another favourite of mine is the pan fried pork buns. The first time I tried these I was in awe of how amazing they were. They are in the shape of the xiao long bao and the filling is the same as the xiao long bao, but the skin is thicker and sort of cakey like BBQ pork buns. The pan fried pork buns are fried and have a golden toasted crispy bottom. They are truly remarkable.

New Shanghai - Pan fried pork dumplings

New Shanghai – Pan fried pork dumplings

The pan fried pork dumplings are delish too. The dumpling is fried and the skin is a little thicker and a little sticky in a good way. Delish!

New Shanghai - Shepard's purse & pork wonton w peanut sauce & spicy red chilli oil

New Shanghai – Shepard’s purse & pork wonton w peanut sauce & spicy red chilli oil

The shepard’s purse & pork wontons have the most amazing skin. The skin is thin and super silky, glossy and amazing. They were sitting in a spicy red chilli oil and had a peanut sauce drizzled over them. I couldn’t get over the skin on these wontons, they just had such an amazingly smooth texture.

New Shanghai - Deep fried crispy skin chicken w noodle soup

New Shanghai – Deep fried crispy skin chicken w noodle soup

The noodle soup w deep fried crispy skin chicken is really tasty. The soup has a subtle flavour and comes with a spicy vinegar sauce to add more of a kick. The noodles are fresh and the crispy skin is uber crispy. Yum!

New Shanghai - Shanghai fried noodles w shredded pork & veg

New Shanghai – Shanghai fried noodles w shredded pork & veg

The fried Shanghai noodles are full of flavour and stir-fried with a sweet soy based sauce, shredded pork and bok choy. They are the thick round egg noodles (sort of like udon). Very tasty and a little bit slippery, if you are not a chopstick pro you may need a fork for these.

New Shanghai - Braised pork belly marinated in a sweet soy sauce

New Shanghai – Braised pork belly marinated in a sweet soy sauce

The braised pork belly arrived in a big clay pot, it looked very traditional and was overflowing with giant chunks of juicy pork belly. The pork belly was marinated and covered in a sweet soy sauce and melted in your mouth.

New Shanghai - Deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk

New Shanghai – Deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk

The deep fried tofu w salted egg yolk was yum. The tofu had a light crispy batter and the tofu was really soft and silky in the middle. The salted egg yolk added flavour and a powdery-like texture to the dish. It was nice.

New Shanghai - Fried rice w X.O sauce

New Shanghai – Fried rice w X.O sauce

The fried rice with X.O sauce was delicious. It was your standard fried rice, fried up with X.O sauce. This simple alteration made the dish much tastier. The X.O sauce added that spicy seafood flavour which intensified the flavours in the rice.

New Shanghai - Pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste

New Shanghai – Pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste

For dessert we tried the pumpkin sticky rice cakes w red bean paste. Firstly awww they looked like little pumpkins. So adorable! They were steamed and came out in a bamboo steamer like dumplings. They were soft and a bit sticky and were a great dessert to end the meal.

New Shanghai - Red bean paste inside the pumpkin dumplings

New Shanghai – Red bean paste inside the pumpkin dumplings

They were like sweet little glutinous pumpkin dumplings filled with a sweet red bean paste. I loved them!

New Shanghai has a delicious menu of authentic Chinese food. Their service is good, the prices are reasonable, the food is delicious and the servings are generous. It’s a great place to gather a group of people and order a bunch of share plates. Also I like to go on my own so I can have a plate of dumplings all to myself.

I heart New Shanghai!

Olives x

New Shanghai
Address: Shop 323, Level 3, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Website: http://www.newshanghai.com.au
Phone: 03 9994 9386
Trading Hours: Sat-Wed: 11am-7pm, Thurs-Fri:11am-9pm

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Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to New Shanghai.

Merchants Guild

Merchants Guild - Street view

Merchants Guild – Street view

On a weekend Merchants Guild has people out the door queuing to eat and while it doesn’t take too long to be seated, the quality of food is completely worth the wait. This breakfast/lunch eatery is located in Bentleigh East and has some real winners on the menu. Whenever I leave I am already planning on when to come back. They do a great coffee, and for those chai tea lovers out there, they do a really amazing chai. The food is just yum, yummy yumness on a plate.

Merchants Guild - Venue

Merchants Guild – Venue

The décor has a modern and environmental feel about it. Open kitchen, open space, micro herbs growing in a big fridge. It has a positive, busy, vibey ambience.

Merchants Guild - Prana chai

Merchants Guild – Prana chai

The first time I visited I tried the Prana chai because I had heard great things about it. I was not disappointed. It was full of flavour, really creamy, really spicy, really balanced. Delish sums it up well. Not to mention adorable, it came out in a little metal pouring pot with a strainer.

Merchants Guild - English breakfast tea

Merchants Guild – English breakfast tea

They have a good variety of different teas. Even their English breakfast tea is really good. And again adorable! It comes out with a teapot, a glass, a little strainer, a little milk bottle and a three little hour glasses. When the last hour-glass runs out of sand it means the tea has sufficiently brewed and is ready for drinking. Too cute.

Merchants Guild - Coffee

Merchants Guild – Coffee

They do a really good coffee too. Delish! And they also do fresh juices. My friend got a cold pressed super juice, which had apple, beetroot, silverbeet and grape she said was nice.

Merchants Guild - Water (plain water and sparkling)

Merchants Guild – Water (plain water and sparkling)

They provide everyone with a bottle of plain water and sparkling water which I think is a cute idea.

Merchants Guild - Eggs Panzanella

Merchants Guild – Eggs Panzanella

The eggs panzanella was delicious. I hadn’t had panzanella before but OMFG these flavours go together like peas in a pod, like butter on bread, like burgers on brioche, like bacon and egg, like presents on christmas. It was sensational! The jamon, the basil, the dehydrated cherry tomatoes and the marinated white anchovies were incredible all together. Then there were torn pieces of bread fried up like giant rustic croutons, which were crunchy and toasty and soaked up all of the flavour and the egg yolk (eggs were poached perfectly btw). It was delicious!

Merchants Guild - Short cut bacon w avo & corn salsa on sourdough w eggs and jalapeno pesto

Merchants Guild – Short cut bacon w avo & corn salsa on sourdough w eggs and jalapeno pesto

The short cut bacon with an avocado and charred corn salsa on sourdough with eggs and jalapeno pesto is popular and for good reason. The bacon is yum, it’s a delicious thick piece of short cut bacon. The avo and charred corn salsa is amazing and tastes really creamy and fresh it’s got a bit of zing. The jalapeno pesto is yum (not hot but tasty) and is spread over the sourdough with eggs on top. It’s a really fresh and tasty meal.

Merchants Guild - Eggs Benedict w smoked ham and seeded mustard hollandaise

Merchants Guild – Eggs Benedict w smoked ham and seeded mustard hollandaise

With their eggs benedict they have a changing hollandaise, which is fun. When they bring the menu out they usually tell you the hollandaise of the day along with the soup of the day. I had the seeded mustard hollaindaise and it was absolutely scrumptious. It would definitely be up there in my top hollandaise sauces of all time. It was creamy and smooth and moreish and delicious. It was grand. And then with the eggs, the smoked ham hock and a bit of spinach, it was just heaven.

Merchants Guild - Raspberry pancake w maple mascarpone, gaytime dust and berries

Merchants Guild – Raspberry pancake w maple mascarpone, gaytime dust and berries

The raspberry pancake looked really pretty, it had a big scoop of maple mascarpone in the middle and vibrant blue flowers, fresh berries and puffed rice scattered on top with a sprinkle of gaytime dust. The pancake was soft and fluffy and smothered with maple syrup so it was super sweet but if you eat a little bit of everything together it balances out the sweetness. The raspberry jam and fresh berries are tart and the mascarpone was creamy. The gaytime dust and the puffed rice added texture. It was yum but gosh it was filling.

Merchants Guild - Max and the salted caramel doughnut

Merchants Guild – Max and the salted caramel doughnut

Eyes on the prize. Max had his heart set on the salted caramel doughnut the moment he laid eyes on it. They also do a white chocolate cheesecake filled doughnut and a lemon curd one too. Yum!

At Merchants Guild everything is made with love and you can taste it. The quality produce and the care taken into creating the menu and presenting the dishes is nothing short of amazing. Weekends are really busy but it’s managed really well so you are seated pretty quickly. I’ve only ever waited about 10-15mins. And it is well worth the wait. Perfect place for brunch, it’s got a great atmosphere and the food is exceptional.

I heart Merchants Guild!

Olives x

Merchants Guild
Address: 680 Centre Road, Bentleigh East, VIC 3165
Website: www.themerchantsguild.com
Phone: 03 9579 0734
Trading hours: Mon-Sun: 7am-4pm

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Hammer and Tong 412

Hammer and Tong 412 - Fitzroy

Hammer and Tong 412 – Fitzroy

Hammer and Tong 412 have a creative menu that they execute well. The food displays a high level of quality in flavour and technique. You can find this restaurant on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and it’s a great place for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, a sweet, basically any eating occasion. When the food is this good, you can always find a reason to pop by.

Hammer and Tong 412 - Venue

Hammer and Tong 412 – Venue

The space looks a bit industrial but has a homely feel. Even though the food is top class, the environment is down to earth and relaxed, which makes it all even better.

Hammer and Tong 412 - Soft shell crab burger

Hammer and Tong 412 – Soft shell crab burger

The renowned soft shell crab burger has street cred for a reason. It is undeniably one of the best burgers I’ve eaten, ever. The buttery brioche bun is a little bit toasty, a little bit fluffy and a whole lot of buttery. It complements the light crispy battered soft shell crab with the creamy hot sriracha mayo and the slaw and fresh coriander to balance the richness. This burger is defs in my top burger list. To say it is insanely, mind-blowingly delicious would be an understatement. Sometimes Hammer and Tong pop up at food events and admittedly I can never walk past the stall/truck without getting one of these in my belly.

Hammer and Tong 412 - Breakfast ramen

Hammer and Tong 412 – Breakfast ramen (62 degree hens egg, bacon, mushrooms & spring onion w bacon dashi)

Breakfast ramen is a brilliant concept. It’s a bowl of egg noodles with bacon dashi, a 62 degree hen egg, bacon, mushrooms and spring onions on top. This was egg and bacon but with a major twist. When the dish hit the table, the aroma of bacon filled the air. The soup was beautifully clear and flavoursome. It had a prominent bacon flavour and was absolutely delightful. The texture of the egg was delicate and melted in your mouth and the yolk leaked out onto the noodles and soup. The bacon pieces were big and thick and the mushrooms were thinly sliced and then it was topped with spring onions, which added a freshness to this warm comforting dish. It balanced out perfectly and was a really satisfying meal.

Hammer and Tong 412 - Squid ink fettucini, shaved calamari, beetroot pickled watermelon & goats cheese marshmallow

Hammer and Tong 412 – Squid ink fettucini, shaved calamari, beetroot pickled watermelon & goats cheese marshmallow.

The squid ink fettucini looked fantastic. Black coloured pasta always has a wow factor. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the calamari was shaved so thinly. The watermelon was stained and flavoured by the beetroot pickle and took on a vibrant magenta colour. And the goats cheese looked just like a campfire-roasted marshmallow, toasted on the top. It was a really fun meal and had a great balance of flavours.

Hammer and Tong 412 - S&P french toast, fried duck egg, maple, chorizo, smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg & salted caramel icecream

Hammer and Tong 412 – S&P french toast, fried duck egg, maple, chorizo, smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg & salted caramel ice-cream.

When we saw this item on the menu we had to try it because it just sounded so unusual. Salt and pepper french toast, fried duck egg, maple, chorizo, smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg & salted caramel ice-cream. WTF? You wouldn’t think these flavours go together but they really do. It was an interesting experience. It was smooth and crunchy and warm and cold and sweet and salty and fresh. It was sensational. There was a circular piece of salt & pepper french toast with a fried duck egg on top. Then there was a bed of chorizo and smoked oreo crumb (sweet, salty and smokey) with a scoop of duck and salted caramel ice- cream (sweet, salty and cold). Then there was some fresh micro herbs and some mint, which lifted the flavour. There were so many different textures and flavours that worked in harmony. It was so strange and absolutely delicious.

The food served at Hammer and Tong 412 is out of this world delicious. Everything I have tried has been a pleasure to look at and an even bigger pleasure to eat. The menu is inventive and meticulous in a down to earth environment. With their quirky menu and exceptionally executed meals, you are sure to leave this place feeling satisfied.

I heart Hammer and Tong 412!

Olives x

Hammer and Tong 412
Address: 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Website: http://hammerandtong.com.au
Phone: 03 9041 6033
Trading Hours: Sun-Mon: 7am-4pm, Tues-Sat: 7am to late

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Manchester Press

Manchester Press - Melbourne

Manchester Press – Melbourne

Manchester Press is a good place to grab a coffee and bagel. They serve good quality coffee and have an exciting bagel menu. The bagels are made fresh and the quality produce and clever food pairing is what makes these bagels stand out from the rest.

Manchester Press - Street view

Manchester Press – Street view

You can find this little gem off little Bourke St, down Rankins Lane.

Manchester Press - Venue

Manchester Press – Venue

It’s a really cool venue with an arty industrial feel. There’s stuff and things around the place, which give it a lot of character eg. there was a random gigantic bowling pin in the corner behind us.

Manchester Press - Great coffee

Manchester Press – Great coffee

They do an awesome coffee. I almost drank it all before I stopped to take a photo.

Manchester Press - BMAT (Bacon, Mozarella, Avocado & Tomato)

Manchester Press – BMAT (Bacon, Mozarella, Avocado & Tomato)

The BMAT is a similar idea to a BLT only one hundred times better. It’s bacon, mozzarella, avocado & tomato on a toasted bagel with apple & tomato chutney. It was one mother of a bagel impaled by a steak knife. The seeded bagel was layered with a thick slice of bacon, fresh tomato, chutney, half an avocado and melted mozzarella. It had a steak knife vertically stabbed through the middle which kept it all together. It looked impressive and the flavours lived up to my expectations. The apple & tomato chutney elevated the flavours, it was sweet, added a moistness and brought all the flavours together. I really enjoyed it.

Manchester Press - Toasted bagel w cream cheese

Manchester Press – Toasted bagel w cream cheese

The bagels are freshly made and are deliciously dense and quite filling too. Sometimes even just the classic plain white bagel with cream cheese is a winner.

Manchester Press - Fruit & nut bagel w berry mascarpone

Manchester Press – Fruit & nut bagel w berry mascarpone

Then there was the fruit & nut bagel with a mixed berry mascarpone. Oh my holy goodness. This was absolutely delicious. The combination of the spiced nutty bagel (which sort of reminded me of gingerbread) in combination with the creamy mascarpone with fresh berries was incredible. Through the mascarpone there were fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, which added a sweet tartness and there was finely ground pistachios on top (like a pistachio crumb). The flavours and textures all together was like heaven on earth. I loved it so much. It was delicious.

Manchester Press is the perfect place to visit for a coffee and bagel. What sets it apart from other bagel places is the amazing coffee, the enticing menu and the awesome atmosphere. The flavour pairings are stand out and take their bagels to another level. Great coffee, fresh bagels and friendly service.

I heart Manchester Press!

Olives x

Manchester Press
Address: 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne (off Lt. Bourke st)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manchesterpress
Phone: 03 9600 4054
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-5pm

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