The Super Six at Ocha…

I had heard a lot about this local gem of a restaurant Ocha, in it’s old form in Kew. Now in a shiny new premises on Barker’s Rd Hawthorn, I organised a gang together to do the monthy Mon night degustation. This normally occurs on the last Monday of each month and consists of a 10 course menu at $120 per head. Unfortunately for us, we scheduled in a month where a famous noodle chef decided to visit from Japan and the degustation night got moved to a date we were unable to attend. So rather than reschedule a whole month away, we decided to make the most of the very reasonable $7 per head BYO policy on the Friday night instead.

The menu was very long, so many choices, don’t want to stuff up! So, as per my preferred way of ordering, we let the staff take control. We thought this would deliver the best degustation experience without actually having to spend $120 per head… pretty smart right? Here is a selection of what we ate… Yep, we were very hungry…

Japanese meatball

wasabi infused salmon tartare on homemade potato crisp with flying fish roe

Crunchy prawn dumpling served with green tea salt

Grilled scallop in its shell with Ocha’s hollandaise sauce

Crunchy calamari “legs“ tossed with fresh chilli and garlic

Pork belly special

Sushi & sashimi platter with soft shell crab rolls

Miso marinated black cod, grilled and served on salad

“Would you like dessert?”

Silly question really… The dessert menu is definitely worth a look, once again there are lots of choices! We went with this super crispy banana fritter and a perfect “ooey, gooey, chocolate pudding”.

deep fried crunchy rice flake covered banana with chocolate sauce & green tea icecream

One side of the table also had free entertainment as we watched the SUPER AWKWARD action of a new couple (arguably a first date) unfold. A seriously over the top date, with both participants dressed to the nines, with perfect ringlets and dripping in jewellery. He even reached across and kissed her hand over their meals. Cute right? Or gross! Ha!

One thing we hadn’t accounted for on this Friday night was just how thirsty we would actually be. We brought along 3 bottles of wine but the boys decided it was premium japanese beer night and proceeded to drink 10 steins between them… I am not bringing this up to shame them, us girls ordered at least another bottle (and I think a couple of glasses) of delicious german reisling, but rather to explain the size of the bill; it equated to $125 per person which shocked us until we delved a little deeper into our hydration habits. We were certainly satisfied though by the amount and the quality of food.

I was unsatisfied the next morning however, when I woke up with a humungous hangover, only to be informed by smartypants Ben, that German reisling has a higher sulphur level than most white wines, and should really be drunk in moderation (like all wines obviously)… I informed Ben right back, that this information would have been super handy to have accompanied his wine reccomendations (all German reislings) at the time, the night before…
Ocha on Urbanspoon

A sisterly coffee in Hawthorn…

A catch up to discuss living arrangements now we are both back in the one city… and we own the one house together… in that one city… inneresting…

Sis is currently renting in Hawthorn, around the corner from Porgie and Mr Jones, a place I have heard a lot about, a place where a queue is standard. Today it was a case of good timing as we rocked up at noon and there were a few tables available… Not for long though, the lunch rush started about 20 mins later…

This was a coffee date but I was super hungry and couldn’t resist an order of folded “scrambles” with fresh herbs and chunks of goats cheese…

Scrambles with fresh herbs & goats cheese

It was really delicious (a nice ordering change for me) and seemed good value for around twelve bucks but I found the menu pricing super confusing with my old favourite eggs and avo on toast at approx $17 yet most of the dishes were around $12 or $13 dollar mark… The avo was costed with a few other things, as an extra at $5 which seems a little extreme for extras too… maybe I have just lost track of how much avos cost these days… It’s just I am not normally a price driven consumer and on this occasion it seemed to stand out. Overall I would definitely re-visit… at noon of course.
Porgie and Mr Jones on Urbanspoon

Mother’s Day at Axil… Or should we call it Auntie’s Day..?

Stunning weather for Mother’s Day in Melbourne this year… or maybe not. I woke up to heavy rainfall on the window for about the fourth morning in a row… Bob the Dog could tell you exactly how many days it had been, as it would also be the number of days that he hadn’t been for a walk…. oops… Anyway, he definitely wasn’t getting a walk this particular morning either so I snuggled back under the covers… without turning my alarm back on…. double oops…

So we were late again… Ben and I in the car… me being a front seat driver in the rain… eeekkk. We were off to meet Auntie Chrissie (Mother of Max) for a little Mother’s Day brunch. Also in attendance, London sister and her NZ boyfriend, in Melbourne for a flying weekend visit. I warned Auntie that we were running late… She responded with:

“I have put us on the list”

List dammit?! What is with queuing for brekkie in Melbourne (special weekend I know but this is pretty standard these days)! When we arrived at Axil on Burwood Rd in Hawthorn, I had flashbacks to uni days flitting between The Glenferrie Hotel and Nevermind Bar but I have no idea what used to be in the cavernous space that is now Axil. Cool space too. With massive milk-can pendant lights and a barista training room – which on this particular day just had a family sitting in the glassed-in room enjoying brunch. We didn’t wait too long but it was pretty funny as each time “the doorbitch” (one of the owners I think) flew past he kept telling everyone quite loudly that they were all at the top of the list… We were seated at one end of the big share table watching the food come out. We ordered and were delivered our coffees really quickly which was super impressive given the busy-factor. Good coffee too but unsurprising given the coffee pedigree of the owners three-times barista of the year or the like! Our meals were also served up quite quickly.

Fran's obligatory smashed avo & goats cheese with poached egg

Haloumi corn fritters

quesadilla with eggs, avo & chilli

A really delicious meal was had by all. I was very boring ordering my standard avo and goats cheese on toast but was happy with the range around the table. I am definitely returning to try the frozen yogurt muesli brekkie when I am feeling a bit sweeter… frozen yogurt for brekkie would be a first for me and maybe needs to wait until it’s a bit warmer but I guess that will give me more time to get back to my Northside brunch quest

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