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Spent a very relaxed granny easter in mt Dandenong on Sunday, mixing it with the tourists, families and elderly demographic. We had a wander around Sassafras, sampled some house-made dips at a deli (spicy pepper? And then they mixed it with sour cream and coriander and POW – like Doritos salsa but about 100 times better), discovered beetroot chips, bought some magical stones from the fortune telling shop for prosperity (gold and glittery haha) and for safe travels (a nice comfortable mustard) and came very close to buying an aloe vera plant.

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AND. Squeezed in a lunch at Ms Marples Tearoom. This place is some what of an institution, known for its famous scones and ginormous desserts and has become an increasingly popular with tourists in the area which has really pushed out their wait times (they don’t take bookings, 1 hour and 15 min wait for the two of us at 12:00pm – they open at 11:00am). This, combined with the rather snooty attitude of the front of house waitress who seemed to want to scare us away with her proposed wait time to cut down their lists, makes me want to try out some of the other lovely places I saw on the drive up.

But anyway, my rant aside, we had a lovely lunch (with excellent service from one of the younger waitresses), highlights as follows 🙂

Miss Marple’s Tea Room
382 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd
Sassafras

The chicken, cheese and asparagus fingers. Delicious when warm, soggy when left for too long.

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The chicken pot pie! The epitomy of heartiness on a plate. So good, that I almost broke my rule of not ordering the same thing as my better half, almost.

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The quiche lorraine with hot chips and salad. I got this partly because I had a hot chip craving and partly because I wanted a salad to cut the richness of the meal, I’m a conflicted being. Advertised as egg and bacon… but only a few lost looking bacon bits stuck to the bottom pastry… on the plus side a whole lot of fluffy tasty egg 🙂

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The waffles with berries, cream and ice cream. Yummy, but the waffles were the wrong kind of crunchy… like stale-crunchy rather than light-fluffy-crunchy as per the waffle man in degraves st.

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We stayed away from the scones this time, avoiding the embarrassment of our previous epically greedy meal here where we piled on a Sundae Best on top of scones on top of a main meal. Excellent self control all round this time.

Miss Marple's Tearoom on Urbanspoon

We tried to walk it off after with a little stroll around the Rhodedendron Gardens (told you it was a granny weekend!). It wasn’t the perfect weather, but I managed to get in some practise with the DSLR in preparation for our Europe trip at the end of the year (YES! Can’t wait to blog about all things tasty from Vienna en route to Prague :D).

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Sigh such perfect fresh air in the Dandenongs! Pretty sure my lungs are shrivelling and turning black as I sit here blogging from suburbia.

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A lovely view! …And a quick mid-afternoon snack break to share, sweet potato chippiess and sparkling honey nectar (yep I’d never heard of this either, but delicious, and fresh tasting, not at all cloyingly sweet) courtesy of the aforementioned deli.

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Much Easter Love!

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Lucky Coq: Cnr Chapel and High St, Windsor

After hearing so much about the amazing (and cheap!) pizzas at lucky coq, I finally managed to visit on a summer night for a friend’s birthday a few weeks ago. I can’t believe I’ve been a uni student for 4 years now and have never been!

The interior is laidback with couches and bar stools downstairs and upstairs – I spotted a lovely outdoorsy/patio area upstairs which would have been the perfect place for those warmer months. I loved the vibe, a great place for good friends, cheap pizza and cold ciders! Be warned though, the place does fill up quickly..

We had one off the special menu with beetroot and zucchini, can’t remember the name but this was probably my favourite 🙂

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Souvlaki:

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Organico: pumpkin, soy cheese, pine nuts and rosemary. The soy cheese was odd, but still yummy 🙂

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Lo Zenzero Prawn: prawn, coriander, chilli, lemon and liberal amounts of bean sprouts

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Salsiccia Festa: lamb and leek sausage, capsicum and red onion

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And some sweet ones!

Mixed Berry: strawberry, raspberry and blueberry with mascarpone

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Chocolate: dark belgian chocolate with mascarpone

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I thought the pizzas were delicious, with nice crispy bases and generous toppings that pretty much went right to the edge of the crust – yummy! I did think that the mixed berry pizza was a tad light on sweetness though, if only it had a bit of the dark chocolate.

Looking over these photos has made me hungry again… mmmm pizza. I would definitely go back and try some of the ones we missed 🙂

ps. pretty much all of the pizzas we had were 4$, check their website (http://www.luckycoq.com.au/) for when the deal is on!

Lucky Coq on Urbanspoon

Today marked day 5 post wisdom teeth extraction for the BF, and with a reduction in facial puffiness and renewed ability to chew, we decided it was time to venture out in search of food of the non-mashed and non-pureed variety.

Trippy Tacos: 234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

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Here’s an exceedingly noob confession to make:  all of my life, i have believed that tacos were meant to be hard (a la old el paso).  However, I’m incredibly pleased to have been proven wrong in recent months, finding that pro mexican foodlets make the most lovely soft tacos 😀

Our first stop, trippy tacos, was no exception.  It’s a vego/vegan/gluten free place which is small, but busy, and stocks all the necessary condiments for an enjoyable taco experience:

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To start we ordered the sweet tamales, described as a dumpling steamed in a corn husk.  what actually came out was not a dumpling by any asian standard and had us reaching for the chipotle sauce because, well, it was sort of bland looking.  It tasted good though and while it was a bit sweet, still went well with the chilli sauces.

Most importantly, the texture was soft, so this was definitely a goer.

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As for the tacos, we had the original trippy tacos and the tofu asada tacos.  We ordered both in the meal size, and while i felt full after it, it may not be enough if you’re super hungry/used to eating meat/exceedingly greedy.

Original:

Beans so soft! Perfect for recovering gums.

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Tofu:

Such an interesting texture! Like chewing on something exceedingly fatty, but it’s actually tofu and good for you!

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Overall a tasty meal, but not as good flavoursome as the tacos i’ve had at mamasita or paco’s tacos.  probably means i would be a terrible vegetarian.

Trippy Taco on Urbanspoon

Breizoz French Creperie: 49 Brunswick St Fitzroy

After tacos, we decided dessert was necessary – crepes! crepes are soft! And being the true fatties that we are, drove the 200m from trippy tacos to the nearest french creperie.

Luckily we did drive because at 3 they close for 1 hour (siesta?) and we only just managed to get some quick takeaway:

Jean Ma Special: apples, jam and creme in a crispy galette.

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Banane and Chocolat.

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And yes, I do realise that they look exactly the same in the photos… but you get the gist. They were both yummy, although I was expecting apples slices rather than the puree in the jean ma. Also messy to eat! but maybe because we forgot to take knives and forks with us…

ps. A quick shot of the exhibition gardens where we were exiled to enjoy our crepes, such a beautiful day today!

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Cumulus Inc: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

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Had the most amazing dinner at cumulus inc recently, apologies to all those friends that had to endure me going on and on about it!

A 15 minute wait with little pitcher plants, cook books and some lovely drinks.

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A cute display of ortiz anchovies

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Some tasty tasty bread, the one in the front was a brioch-y and cheesy.

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the slow cooked octopus, dehydrated olive and aioli.  the basil, tomato and chilli on top was exceedingly complimentary, now i just need to learn to slow cook octopus to imitate it at home….

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Tuna tartare with crushed green pea salad.  omgfavourite.  fuel to my love of tuna sashimi.  also  spent a long time counting the ingredients in the salad and came to at least 8, including garlic flowers!  So deceptively simple at first glance…

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And a close up for effect:

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Kitchen Charcuterie Selection.  Highlight was the wagyu bresaola with tarragon and the duck (?) terrine with the mustard sauce.  Not such a fan of the prosciutto, the saltiness stopped us from appreciating the taste of it, but maybe that’s because we’re charcuterie noobs.

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Roast Baby Chicken with sweet corn, coriander and green sauce.  Perfectly cooked chicken and the rice/salad/corn/coriander was so tasty!

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Pimms Jelly with watermelon sorbet and some sort of foam.  didn’t feel like something heavy like the rum baba so went for this instead, light and refreshing 🙂

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Madeleines!! The waitress forgot our order, so we were given two extra.  no complaints here!

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So many simple ingredients so cleverly put together and all neatly and prettily presented… so much love.

Would like to try out their brunch some time too, the watermelon salad with yoghurt and mint sounds yummy 🙂

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon