It's 6.30pm - too early to go to sleep. So the next best thing I can do is *drum roll* *cue suspense music* write another blog post! :) The other thing I could do is finish reading "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"... but I'm already nearly at the end of the book, so I'm trying to read it as slowly as possible to make it last longer :p
Which leaves me in my present condition - all warm and snug under my awesome doona with my awesome new doona cover, sipping my green tea with lemon and lemongrass, and typing this post.
So anyway, enough with the random facts.
BC meeting numero dos (I like saying the number bit in Spanish coz it just sounds cooler... and slightly silly as well - a charming combination, kinda like me..). DS suggested that we check out Mixed Business in Clifton Hill. I had never heard of the place before and therefore wasn't really sure what to expect. Thus I had no expectations (just in case you didn't get that from the previous sentence).
So took a leisurely tram ride, the number 86 tram to Bundoora, down Smith Street and Queens Parade to Mixed Business. It was a gloomy day with no blue sky in sight, and quite cold too. But I had volunteered (images of the scene from The Hunger Games where Katniss Everdeen frantically yells "I volunteer!!" pop into my head as I type this) to go earlier to get us a table.
I was determined not to overshoot my stop, and ended up getting off one stop too early instead!! Epic fail - when am I ever going to get this right? But anyway, it was actually a good thing because I then had the chance to walk through the quaint shops and cafes that line the start of Queens Parade in a setting that is an intriguing combination of a little bit hipster, a little bit granny, and a little bit Modern Family. Well, at least that's my take on it :)
And so I walked, and walked, and walked a bit more... Past all the nice little shops, past some slightly dodgy-looking houses, past some nicer looking houses, past some abandoned shop lots (think eerie, broken windows)... And finally! After all that walking, like an inviting tropical island getaway in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, stood Mixed Business! Spilling out onto the five-foot way with benches and seats for those more inclined to enjoy the (at that time, non-existent) sunshine in all its bright, UV-filled glory.
So I had to wait about 25 minutes to get a table large enough for us 5 Breakfast Clubbers. But I didn't mind at all, because right next to Mixed Business, equally random in it's location, was a flower shop! A very quirky, artsy flower shop. And they sold very cool seedlings of fruits, vegetables and herbs that I happily rummaged through while waiting for a table, wishing that I could be fortunate enough to have a garden to plant them in.
So finally everyone arrived, except for EP who was a little late from his basketball session. We sat down, and I ordered myself a soy chai!! The others got all sorts of coffees...
The crowd was very interesting - there were the hipsters, the cheerful retirees, the lone guy with an interesting tattoo on his arm, the soccer mom with her 2 sons sitting at the counter right by the window, and there was us. The cafe also has a neat line of two-seater tables lining a little lane around the back, in a cute, unkempt and enduring garden. There was also a table for 4 nestled amongst the plants - I would have loved to sit there had we been fortunate enough to arrive at a time when the table was clearing. Next time!
The service was prompt and efficient. Simple, no fuss - just the way I like it to be.
|Chai! Soy Chai :)|
DS faced a very serious dilemma in choosing between the smoked salmon, pickled beetroot, dill & creme fraiche with poached eggs on toast and the gingerbread waffles with maple syrup, baked apple, vanilla bean ice cream and candied walnuts. But yours truly, the super problem-solving machine, suggested that she have the smoked salmon as her main meal, and we could all share the gingerbread waffles after. That way she would have the chance to try both and not have to worry about finding space in her stomach to finish 2 full-sized dishes. Yay!! Problem solved!
This time, we were more adventurous and ordered a different dish each. So DS had the smoked salmon dish mentioned above, I ordered the roast field mushrooms with goat's cheese, hazelnuts and greens on toast, BL had the minute fillet steak with smoked tomato sauce, mushroom, and greens with free range eggs on sourdough, MK had the avocado and house marinated fetta (with a poached egg on the side) on organic sourdough toast, and EP had the grilled pancetta, slow roast tomato and parmesan with free range poached eggs on sourdough toast.
Everyone really enjoyed their food - the bread was awesome, my mushroom dish was very yummy, and EP's pancetta looked like little crunchy strips of bliss. And then the pièce de résistance: The gingerbread waffles that came not only with maple syrup, but also baked apples (do I hear your tummy say YUM?), vanilla bean ice cream AND candied walnuts. Yes - it was all that we expected it to be, and more. It was a lovely construction of warm, golden-hued components, topped with a scoop of that delectable vanilla bean ice cream. I couldn't think of a better way to end our meal :)
And now, you can feast your eyes on the food. Enjoy! (P.S. I cropped some of my photos in a new and cool way...)
|Smoked salmon heaven|
|Avocado n eggs.. Mmmm :)|
|Mush"vroom!" Mushroom, hazelnut and goat's cheese *sigh*|
|Artsy photo crop - grilled pancetta|
|To Die For - Gingerbread Waffles|
|Look at allllllll the space!|