Drinks

Get boozed-up here. Try a relaxing tea or a buzzing coffee

Cooking, Ingredients & produce, Wine

Gambling with padrons

Padron peppers: are you game? A box arrived in the post, a big one, packed with padron peppers. They were plump, bright green ones, picked the day before by Garry Crittendon, the pioneering winemaker on the Mornington Penisula, who first planted vines there in 1982 at the age of 28. These padrons were far larger and more vibrant in color than any I’ve seen for sale in some of the better food stores and in Melbourne’s markets. They looked and […]

Bourke St, cafe, coffee, Melbourne, Restaurants

Busting the great Pellegrini’s myth

People love Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. It’s because of the atmosphere and the 1950s charm. It’s a great place to hang out and watch the top end of Bourke Street go by – as long as you are not eating or drinking coffee. If you have anything more ambitious than a glass of water (alcohol isn’t served) you’ll be disappointed because the food and the coffee are also both stuck in the 1950s. But the place is packed, so why would […]

cafe, coffee, Collingwood, Melbourne, Paraphernalia, Tea

Cibi: a cafe and a gallery by any other name

Cibi: try the green tea muffins Cibi is a cafe that thinks it’s a gallery. Actually, it is a gallery and regularly holds openings to launch the various (mainly kitchen) products it imports (mainly) from Japan. Housed in a modern warehouse building on Keele St, the Cibi space features a large open kitchen and grunge cafe mixing found objects and mismatched tables and chairs with a minimalist feel – if that makes sense. It’s the brainchild of former architecture nut […]

Drinks, journalism, Sherry, Wine

A perfect match for sherry

When Heston Blumenthal, one of the world’s most recognised chefs, starts to recommend sherry as the ideal match to food, it’s time to stand-up and reassess this fortified wine. In Australia, we have a ready supply of imported sherries, but also locally made wines in the sherry style. These are now called “apera”, a branding invented because Australia needed a new term for sherry after the signing of the international wine agreement, which outlaws outside countries from naming their products […]

Drinks, Wine

Wine? It’s natural even for you

Voice of the People at The Melbourne Wine Room. Try it. Wine, most of us drink it. Some of us love it. But many of us are intimidated by it, or the wankery that comes with labels, hundreds of grape varieties and the language of the wine critic. All we know is that we like that particular red or white while slumped on the sofa watching TV and we wouldn’t mind drinking something similar down the pub. Or wine bar. […]

coffee, Video

Breaking the coffee (and road) rules

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVfvo16hXvQ] So there we are, driving along minding our own business in Sal’s Fiat 500. Well, we’d reversed out of Flinders Lane illegally right next to the Police Station and then driven through the bollards into Little Collins Street. A traffic warden has the gall to bollock us. Yes, I’m afraid my sound still isn’t up to scratch but here is my second stab of talking coffee with St Ali’s Salavatore Malatesta(who funds these videos) and we have a bit […]

coffee, Melbourne, Video

A laneway coffee festival is born

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfsq56HVVs0] In addition to my journalism, now I am blogging for a living over at Ad News and for St Ali where I’m producing a series of video blogs looking at various aspects of coffee culture and some of the geekery behind it. Cafe and coffee culture in Melbourne is going crazy right now and the new generation of roasters started with St Ali. Perhaps I have sold out, but it’s a great opportunity to experiment with video content and […]

cafe, coffee, Collingwood, Melbourne, Tea

Proud Mary. Great coffee and tea

I‘m starting to judge cafes by their espresso machines. The more serious the machine, the better the coffee. So when you walk into a cafe and you see a six group Synesso longer than a coffin worth some $40,000 and you know something special is going on. It sorta trumps even St Ali’s $30,000 Slayer which is pretty awesome but only has three groups. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8bkRs77uX4] A Synesso in action. And I can tell you it’s official: Today coffee – and […]

Restaurants, Sydney, Wine

My Sydney wine fix

Fix St James: Funnily enough very close to St James station, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 2 9232 2767 There must be something about Fix St James to make me return. During the last two of my trips to Sydney I have visited, three times – twice in the past week. And it is a place now popular with bloggers and twitterers @reemski, @felixexplody and @carmr. But also it is popular with the ACP crowd, including the editors […]