Place Holder – Pop-Up Coffee

panda 4 rating
Latte at Place Holder

There are many pop-up venues arising around Melbourne and the arrival of Place Holder – located in Smith Street – is another one to add to the list. Place Holder is all about coffee and great coffee at that. It has been brought to the lucky people of Melbourne by former baristas – Sam King (Seven Seeds) and Sonam Sherpa (Top Paddock).

Place Holder is located in the foyer of Neometro’s Number Nine Smith Street building – and will be around for about a year until construction on a new development begins. The end result for Place Holder will be a not for profit gallery out the back by Slopes as well as a community garden by 300Acres. Such a great idea and concept for this funky space.

Coffee is of course the main premise of Place Holder, but there are small bites on offer as well in the form of cookies, cakes, lamingtons as well as small pots of muesli from Silo by Joost (Refer to my blog post at https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/a-healthy-but-delicious-green-option-silo-by-joost/ ). Coffee is from Seven Seeds and Small Batch with single origin specials from Market Lane, Everyday Coffee and Top Paddock will be rotated seasonally.

The fit out is simple and they have made use of the space they have with little wooden tables and stools to sit an enjoy your coffee. There are also some higher stools overlooking the coffee machine to make you feel part of the creation process somewhat. It is a very intimate space with the fresh sunlight streaming in – nothing better than the combination of smell of fresh coffee and sunlight.

I ordered a latte – which to put simply was delicious – there was a balanced fruity acidity coupled with the creaminess of the milk which resulted in a great taste left on your palate. Really does make you want to have more than one coffee at a time. Check it out for yourself. Who knows they might even be popping up elsewhere after the year or so of being at Smith Street ends.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Relaxed. Especially gareat on a sunny day!
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.placeholdersmithstreet.com/

9 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7am–3pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8am–3pm

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Supernormal Canteen – Another McConnell Gem!

panda 4.5 rating

Menu:

Menu at Supernormal Canteen

T and I were heading out to dinner and decided to check out Andrew McConnell’s latest venture and temporary pop-up in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. The name of his new place, which is located right next door to Cutler and Co. is called Supernormal Canteen – which is due to open in March next year at its permanent location in Flinders Lane in the heart of the Melbourne CBD.

As you walk in you are greeted with an open space filled with wooden communal and individual tables with Japanese characters saying “Suupaanoormaaru” (Supernormal) all along the table top. To the left is a white washed brick wall with its name – half in neon red lights. The centrepiece is the hundreds of lanterns complete with googly eyes that line the ceiling. Spectacular. The design gurus Projects of Imagination are to thank for the design here. The whole vibe of the place is relaxed and fun and has a food and drink menu to match. There are two main dining areas, as well as some seating out the front.

Supernormal Canteen was launched in November as part of The Age Good Food Month and was only meant to be open until December 21st, but due to its overwhelming popularity was extended till the beginning of March. Supernormal Canteen serves Japanese/Chinese food together with sake and Asahi beer, and gets packed by about 6:30pm – where you would then expect a wait for a table.

The menu consists of about 18 dishes to share which vary in size, as well as 4 different desserts. The dishes range from Wood Grilled Cabbage, Pepper Cured Blackmore Brisket, the famous Lobster Roll, Chicken & Prawn Dumplings and Szechuan Lamb just to name a few.

T & I decided to order some dishes to share. For drinks I ordered the Iced Coffee – which comes with a little aluminium cup with extra sugar syrup for you to add when you feel like it. The coffee was strong but delicious and I loved the addition of the extra sugar syrup for later. We were also given some roasted peanuts (in place of where most restaurants would give out bread) to nibble on whilst we waited for our dishes to arrive. They were deliciously flavoured – and you had to stop yourself from eating the whole bowl in one go.

The first dish we got was the Bonito Sashimi, Dashi, Radish & Seaweed. The dish comes with the Kingfish at the bottom of the plate with the radish on the next layer and finished with the seaweed on top. The Kingfish was fresh, thick and just perfect, paired with the dashi and the crunch of the radish and seaweed it really was quite delicious. A really great combination.

Our next sharing dish was the Fried Mussels, Egg Mayo, Lettuce. The sauce was interesting as on the bottom there was chilli and the egg mayo was placed on top – so when you dunked in the mussels you got a combination of both the sauces – really great! The Fried Mussels itself were delicious and the first time that I was eating mussels this way! The mussels were crisp on the outside and just still moist and juicy on the inside. The way you were meant to eat it was to wrap the mussels in the lettuce and dip it into the sauce. Any which way you eat it – this dish is just fantastic and I would highly recommend it.

Next up I ordered a Lobster Roll – I mean how could you not order one especially if you have tried one before (I had my last one at Golden Fields). The bun was sweet as was he lobster and combined with the tang of the mayo was just delicious. It definitely kept me wanting more. I would have loved a bit more lobster in my roll though.

We went with some of the larger dishes as well with T ordering Grilled Ox Tongue, Tomato, Yuzu & Potato for her and we also ordered the Steamed Snapper, Ginger, Coriander. T said the Ox tongue was cooked well and she did enjoy the flavours. The Steamed Snapper dish came out with the snapper being buried under the coriander and radish – you had to push that all aside to reveal the snapper. The snapper was perfectly cooked – not too soft, not too tough – and the flavours of ginger, spring onion together with the fresh coriander was quite good. It smelt great and tasted Just as it smelt – it was also a very generous serving.

Even though I was quite full I had to have dessert – and lucky I didn’t skip it as it turned out to be the yummiest and one of my most favourite desserts ever. I ordered the Yoghurt Cream, Lychee & White Chocolate. When it comes out it looks like berries and lychees have been buried in a powdery snow like substance – and it really doesn’t look like much. Just wait till you dig into the dish. The powder was an awesome texture and as you dig further you get the hit of the white chocolate. Combined with the freshness and tang of the berries and the “yoghurt”, sweetness of the lychees and the white chocolate – the result is absolutely divine! I really do hope they keep this dessert on the menu when they move to Flinders Lane.

I really enjoyed the vibe and the atmosphere at Supernormal Canteen. They serve really delicious, casual Asian inspired dishes and have a great drinks menu to go with it. The staff are super friendly and very knowledgeable about the food. There are rumours that when the new permanent venue opens up it will also house a karaoke bar – for extra added fun! I for one cannot wait to see the permanent venture opened.

 

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – Menu consists of shared dishes and a great drink menu – refer to above section for Menu
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Fun and Relaxed
Standout Dish: Yoghurt Cream, Lychee & White Chocolate
Service: Friendly and very knowledgeable

http://supernormal.net.au/

Supernormal Canteen will be opening in Flinders Lane sometime around March 2015

Supernormal Canteen on Urbanspoon

Overdosa – Pop-Up Food Restaurant Awesomeness!

panda 4.5 rating

Overdosa is a mobile Dosa stand located in Rose Street in Fitzroy and the brain child of Kunal Khanna and Tyson Savanahl. These two best friends came up with the idea after travelling through Asia and Latin America and encountering amazing street food provided by street vendors, and realising that this type of food culture scene was missing in Melbourne.

Overdosa is currently located at Monttani Vintage Cycle Warehouse on Rose Street and is only available on weekends from 11am until sunset (until mid December). When N and I went on a Saturday evening there was people working on bicycles and it great to watch whilst we waited for our Dosa’s. There is also a table tennis table available which further adds to the chilled out and funky factor. There was quite a crowd which was seated in front of the marquee style pop-up restaurant – this is where you order the Dosa’s and can watch them cook them right in front of you. The seats are cute little rattan chairs with colourful sequin cushions that are typically Indian and were quite comfortable. There are also crates and colourful ottomans that can be used as tables.

Going with the simple and chilled out theme – the menu is based in the same fashion. On the menu there are three different types of Dosa’s to choose from – Classic Potato Masala, Smoky Eggplant with Peas, and Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin – all for a price of $9. You do not only get the dosa but a tangy and zesty salad together with your choice of chutney – there are four different types – Hot Chilli, Classic Coconut, Mint & Coriander and Curd & Dill. Additional there are little snacks which are called Poppers that are made of Lentil and come with your serving of Chutney. There are 8 pieces and is a bargain for $5. There is a different selection of drinks which you select from an esky (further adding to the vintage vibe) – flavours include Mango and Lime. The boys really do meet the bill of serving cheap, authentic, accessible and delicious street food.

A Dosa is an Indian savoury crepe which is made from fermented rice and lentil batter and made on a custom made hot place until they are golden and crispy. They are then stuffed with the selection that you choose, before being served on a Thali – a circular metal plate which has segments for the salad, chutney and Dosa.

I ordered the Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin and N got the Classic Potato Masala, and we both got the Hot Chilli Chutney. Let’s start with the Hot Chilli Chutney which was actually quite hot and tasted like a spicier Tabasco sauce and was really delicious. Now onto the Dosa’s – The Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin was really yummy! The combination of the tamarind and pumpkin mixture worked so well together and paired with the crispy and perfectly cooked Dosa really was great. N’s Potato Masala was also really delicious and the potato’s were soft and perfect flavoured. The Zesty Salad was Carrots and Coriander together with a tangy dressing and was refreshing.

We also ordered the Lentil Poppers and paired this up with the Mint & Coriander Chutney. The Mint & Coriander Chutney is really delicious and it’s a pity that I didn’t get to try out the other chutneys, but if the two that I tried is anything to go by, they will be just as tasty! The Poppers are little chunks of deliciousness and you find yourself being able to down them really quickly. They are served fresh and hot straight from the frying pan.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at Overdosa and the guys who run the place are really cool and friendly to chat to. Definitely check this place out – it really does have the yummiest Dosa in Melbourne. They will be at this Fitzroy location till Mid December. You can find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OVERDOSA), Instagram (dosaloving) and Twitter (dosaloving) as well.

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $
Menu – 3 different types of Dosa’s – Classic Potato Masala, Smoky Eggplant with Peas, Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin as well as Lentil Poppers
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Funky, Chilled Out, Relaxed and Fun!
Service: Friendly, Welcoming and Fun
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
https://www.facebook.com/OVERDOSA

50 Rose Street, Fitzroy
Tel No: 0413 102 914

Opening Hours:
Saturday & Sunday: 11am to Sunset
(until Mid December after which you can find them at Summer Festivals)

Overdosa on Urbanspoon