Hawk and Hunter – Ripponlea Gem!

panda 4.5 rating

Menu:
Menu

A and I were heading out on our usual brunch catch-ups and this time we were checking out Hawk and Hunter. We trekked down to the south east part of Melbourne – Ripponlea to be more specific – and after ordering enough for all three meals in a day, were happy with our decision to make the trek down.

Hawk and Hunter comes courtesy of owners Ben Avramides, Tommy McIntosh, Luke Holt and Simon Winfield – who are also responsible for The Little Ox (located in Brighton and is on the list of places that I have yet to try), as well as catering company Tommy Collins.

From the moment you step into Hawk and Hunter – you feel like you have been transported into another land – the interior is beautifully quirky and mismatched. There is a combination of wood, steel, neon mesh sculptures, artwork of old newspaper clippings, birdcages, ducks and a large cut up tree – but it all works amazingly well together. There are a plethora of tables at this large venue – with tables for groups, singles and couples.

A and I had to wait about 5-10 minutes for our table (you will need to queue up on the weekends – this place is highly popular with the locals) – but this meant that we got to take in the atmosphere and also peruse the counter with its baked cookies. We already made a mental note that we wanted one of each on display – there was a cookies and cream brownie, two different varieties of pops, granola and white choc truffles, orange blossom meringues and macaroons just to name a few. What also caught my eye was their fridge filled with home made ice-cream with flavors such as Ferro Rocher and Mango.

We were seated at the end of the communal table – which gave us a view into the kitchen and the dishes being prepared. We ordered coffees to start from our super friendly waiter – who was very keen to have chit chat. Always love great customer service! Coffee is from Red Star Coffee. I ordered a latte and it was quite tasty – smooth with plenty of fruity flavours and resulting in a crisp taste. A ordered a hot chocolate. We also saw the fresh juices and decided to order them. It came in a jar and was a mix of orange, passion fruit and watermelon – a really refreshing and tasty combination.

The menu consists of an all day breakfast menu which comprises a mix of sweet (there is banana bread, waffles) and savory dishes (scrambled eggs done in different ways, fritters, smoked salmon tartare) to choose from. There is also a lunch menu which is served from 11:30am onwards and includes a wagyu burger, chicken burger and a variety of salads. There are also daily specials for each category to choose from as well as a soup of the day.

After much deliberation I decided on the Corn and Zucchini Fritters, Avocado, Fetta and a Poached Egg. I was tossing up between this dish, the Salmon Tartare, the waffles and the special French toast. A and I decided to share the French Toast so that made the decision a little easier. My corn and zucchini fritters were plated up well – the fritters at the base, with the avocado and poached egg placed on top, with the fetta, pomegranate molasses and chilli sprinkled around. The fritters were smooth and soft and filled with flavour. Paired with the fetta, avocado and a hint of chilli worked well.

A ordered the Big Ed’s Scrambled Eggs, bacon, Chilli, Basil, Garlic Toast and Salsa Verde. The Scrambled eggs sure was a large and generous serving and A couldn’t finish it all. I did try some of the Garlic Toast – which wasn’t overpowering with garlic and was crunchy and buttery. The salsa verde was fresh and worked well I thought with the garlic toast.

We ordered the French Toast with Apple and Pear Compote, Pecans and Salted Caramel to share and boy am I glad we decided to order this dish. The dish was quite generous in serving once again and was plated up on a long white oblong dish. It had an Eaton Mess style of plating up – with the taste just divine. The Apple and Pear had been poached perfectly and had the right amount of softness. The addition of the salted caramel together with the other sweet elements and the crunch and texture of the pecans worked well together. This dish was a special the day we went, but if it does appear when you visit – definitely try it out.

Hawk and Hunter is a great place to try out for brunch – from the friendly staff to the very cool fit-out to the amazing array of sweets to try out, as well some home made ice cream to take home to remember the visit by. Well worth the travel I say!

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to pic above
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Quirky, Fun, Relaxed – great to spend hours chatting and enjoy the weekend! Light-filled and great for people with kiddies.
Standout Dish: French Toast with Apple and Pear Compote, Pecans and Salted Caramel
Service: Fantastic – Friendly and Fun!
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.hawkandhunter.com.au/
8-10 Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea
Tel No: 9528 2719

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 6:30 am – 5:00 pm

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Lemon Middle & Orange – Hidden in Industrial town

panda 4 rating

Lemon Middle and Orange is a newly opened café in the Collingwood area from Magaret Lawless and Liam Ganley. Lemon Middle and Orange is located on Rokeby street amongst the industrial buildings and was once a paint factory, which now houses John Wardle Architects upstairs. John Wardle Architects was used in helping to convert the space into the café it is now. The name itself is an ode to its former life as Lemon, middle and orange were the chrome pigments they used.

As you walk in off the street, there is an outside sheltered sitting area with the bright yellow neon logo placed on the wall: a chirpy yellow bird with an olive branch in its beak. There are upturned paint cans used as stools paired with wooden tables. Large glass wooden frame sliding doors – which I couldn’t initially work out how to open (=p) – lead through to the main part of the café. The café is long with tables and chairs on the right hand side and the counter, coffee machine and kitchen area along the left side. The feel is modern, casual and inviting. The combination of wooden tables & chairs, with the concrete floors and exposed ceilings all add to this.

The menu is created by Sam Morris (former Rockwell and Sons, Auction Rooms) and pays homage to Ganley and Lawless’ heritage. Brown Soda Bread is baked onsite which is a traditional Irish bread, and is served with block pudding as a breakfast dish. The brunch menu runs all day, with a lunch menu starting from noon carrying through till early afternoon.

I order a latte before deciding what food I will order. Coffee is by Syndicate, and there is also a single origin by Clark St Roasters, which will rotate seasonally. The latte came out with pretty café art in the shape of a heart that reminded me of a kite. The coffee was creamy, smooth and nutty and I really enjoyed it. The milk was frothed to perfection as well.

The brunch menu is quite different to most cafes and has quite a bit of variety ranging from yoghurt, rice pudding to croquettes, breakfast rolls and house plum cured salmon as well as a poached dug egg dish. Lunch menu consists of a selection of four sandwiches – such as roast beef or confit chicken, as well as homemade dishes from the kitchen. These include Corned beef hash with piccalilli puree and kohlrabi sauerkraut, pulled pork neck or roast chicken breast with harissa vegetables and pearl barley.  There are also Cakes available which come from local caterer Little Bertha in nearby Abbotsford which are handmade using local organic ingredients.

Both G and I decided to order the House Hot Smoked Plum Cured Tasmanian Salmon, Potato Latkes, Poached Eggs, Fennel, and Horseradish Crème Fraiche. The poached eggs sat in the middle of the dish with the thick, juicy and inviting salmon fillets surrounding them together with the crispy skinned potato latkes. The fennel which was dressed with the horseradish crème fraiche was placed elegantly on top. The eggs were poached as expected with the gooey yolk, the salmon cured to smoky heaven and together with the horseradish crème fraiche – it was foodie paradise. We both enjoyed our dish immensely and it was quite a filling dish – I had no room to try out the cakes on display.

Lemon Middle and Orange not only has a catchy name, but a memorable logo and vibe to it. I love the variety of dishes available, as well as the fit-out of the place.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to http://www.lemonmiddleandorange.com/documents/LMO_A5%20menus_Nov_6.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Modern and Chilled Out – love the front street covered courtyard area and the upturned paint cans for stools!
Standout Dish:
Service: Friendly and Welcoming.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.lemonmiddleandorange.com/
25-31 Rokeby Street, Collingwood
Tel No: 9415 1593

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.30am–3.30pm
Saturday: 8am–3pm
Sunday: 9am–3pm

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