Early, girly brunch at Three Bags Full

My little gang of girlies used to brunch super regularly! Ben could never understand how we needed to see each other so much and we would still have so much stuff to talk about… DER… Anyway, a core member of the gang has moved to Sydney on a short (hopefully) sabbatical and it turns out she was the main organiser of our brunches… therefore we haven’t had one for AGES!

Having heard about the queues, we knew we had to get organised pretty early when we made the decision to try out Three Bags Full on a Saturday morning. 9AM was meeting time. I heard a few of the boyfriends had a raised eyebrow at the time we all got up this particular Saturday… Things are definitely changing… There was only one alcohol-foggy brain amongst us… and after a coffee we were all on an even playing field. Three Bags Full seems to spread across three rooms. The main room and outside area was PACKED. We were shepherded into the middle room which was pretty empty when we arrived but filled very quickly. Brekkie was delish and felt noticeably cheap… but maybe that’s because recently I have been on reduced caffeine….

Bircher muesli with shredded apple and yummy crunchy bits (nice sunnies Em!)

Avo, persian fetta & pepitas on toast with one SOFT poached egg

I ordered the avo on toast which perfectly hit the spot and although the serve of avo looked huge on arrival… as usual I managed to finish it all. I also had a little taste of the bircher which was outstanding. I am not normally into bircher as I find it too soggy but the addition of yummy, crunchy bits was an inspiration… A really fab start to the weekend but we were hurried out a little… first the bill came without us asking for it, and then we were politely asked to leave… Kinda annoying but there was a big queue as we left I guess…

Ticked a second northside destination off my list… I need to hurry through the rest so I can come back to this one… maybe on a weekday though…
Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Life lessons at Pope Joan

My northside brunch challenge began today with a visit to Pope Joan. I learnt two very important things:

  1. I will never be cool enough to live Northside, no matter how hard I try (and the trying thing is probably the problem)
  2. I LOVE MELBOURNE! I really do!

The morning started early. I have recently had the pleasure (?) of meeting a couple of “breakfast bitches” (who would have thought we would be putting our names and numbers on a list for a table before noon?) and wasn’t keen to see one this morning but while the place was packed (and much bigger than I though), my clever aunt had arrived earlier than me and nabbed a small table in the side courtyard. The problem with a 9:30am brunch is that it isn’t actually brunch, it’s breakfast and therefore I cannot order pork belly. I was intrigued by the polenta waffle with scrambled eggs, avo & smoked salmon and so I ordered it. For me, the only thing it needed was a chunk of butter on top… Only because when I think of waffles, I think of greasy, fattening, delicious waffles and this was much healthier than that. MOST people would MOST likely prefer it Pope Joan’s way. Ha! Chrissie ordered the roasted heirloom tomatoes, with basil and smoked mozzarella rarebit. This is going to sound ridiculous but I always thought rarebit was meat… because it sounds like rabbit obviously… when in fact it’s actually glorified (and super tasty) cheese on toast. It was sensational!! I will definitely be ordering this one next time.

polenta waffle with scrambled eggs, avo & smoked salmon

Roasted heirloom tomatoes with basil & mozzarella rarebit

Three hours later after fabulous food, coffee and brilliant conversation, plus a quick honda civic face-off, I began the trek home. I drove past a couple of other places on my northside brunch challenge list. I drove along Johnson St past Jim’s Greek Tavern (mental note: must go back soon!). I drove over the river next to the Collingwood Children’s Farm into leafy kew, and at that point realised what an awesome city we live in and how glad I am we moved here for my formative adult years… Even though I had called it Smellbourne and laughed at the brown river when initially told of the move from beachside Sydney… Oops!

Pope Joan on Urbanspoon

A Northside brunch pledge

I posed a question on facey the other day:

Can I please have some brunch suggestions for NOTR (north of the river)? What are your favs?

Wow, what a response! It could have been my most popular facebook post ever! So I have compiled the list in order of votes and am now aiming to brunch my way through them in order over the next 12 months or so… First stop 9:30am tomorrow at Pope Joan. Here is the list for you:

pope joan 4
three bags full 3
apte 2
auction rooms 2
the premises 2
twenty & six 2
albert street food and wine store 1
arcadia 1
backstreet 1
birdman eating 1
de clieu 1
di bella 1
eat, drink, man, woman 1
gluttony 1
ici 1
madame sou sou 1
a minor place 1
Mixed business 1
Proud mary 1
rays 1
seven seeds 1

This makes me think I should create a tab dedicated to reader’s input for places to try… Or maybe the facebook page is fine? Mapo seems to be doing very well so far!

The Estelle – another trip over the river

Another trip Northside on another Sunday night. I should say at this point that I love Northside, it’s just that, from St Kilda, it’s a long drive for a meal, worth it though, worth it! Mostly the whinging is just a joke, though Northcote really is pretty far!

And in the case of The Estelle Bar & Kitchen in Northcote, it was well worth it! Our visit to The Estelle came on the recommendation from a long time family friend of Ben’s with many, many years experience in restaurants. We actually all went together to the diner. It really is a diner. We sat at the bar and and ordered the 5 course tasting menu (Ben rolls his eyes) for $70. A friend of mine looked at these photos and said: “Well that meal looked like every cooking cliche in the book” and… my response was as always: “I love that shit!”

polenta, truffle and egg poached at a very low temperature

pepper crusted kangaroo with potato, celeriac & red wine jus

Roast pork loin with spring onion & black garlic

Vanilla rice pudding with passionfruit & puffed rice

Poached rhubarb, musk ice cream (super musky), rosewater meringue & beetroot powder

After this meal, I have invited myself to every other dinner with this couple… EVERY! Even on the Northside!

The Estelle on Urbanspoon