Mörk Chocolate Brew House

When I was at University, I used to indulge in some hot chocolates whenever I could. I was a poor student though, so I was not able to go too often.

When a place proudly sells chocolates, and chocolates only, you would assume they know about their chocolates. And they do. As I started to slow migrate away from being a poor student, you sometimes wish to visit those places you have fond memories of. It was a sad day when I found the shop I used to go to had closed, was a pleasant surprise when I was driving down North Melbourne for a coffee, to find this guilty pleasure.

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Entrance sign to Mork

The shop doesn’t have flashy lights, or anything else that suggests the greatness that is within. However, I have since learnt that this is Melbourne style. The subtle signs that only those who know will find.

As delighted as we were, we had come straight from a brunch meeting so both my friend and I were quite full and only wanted a place to have a drink and spend some quiet time. However, both of us forgot about the coffee we were craving, but just the pure indulgence of hot chocolate we could remember from this place.

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Once inside, we were greeted with a fresh interior decor and the scent of chocolate wafting about. There is a little corner set up for people to buy the hot chocolate to make at home, as well as a section with cakes and cookies.

 

 

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Eat in menu

There are different menus for take away and eat in. I guess some of the chocolate indulgences are too difficult to pack into a box or cup for take away. Since we had the time, we decided to try their ‘signature’ dishes.

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The layered chocolate was a fine mix between cake and drink. I was advised to drink it first and then use the spoon. It was a fine experience of hot and cold mixed together. A chilled chocolate oozing through the warm creme custard was definitely an experience.

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The campfire chocolate was another popular drink, with many people around us having at least one of these on their tables. As my friend describes it, the subtle scent of smoke intensifies the experience of the hot chocolate. Also, the marshmallow is apparently the best she’s tasted.

 

So, all in all, a great find, and a pleasure for chocoholics like me.

Mörk Chocolate Brew House

 

Tues-Sun 9:00-17:00

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink

It was a rainy morning and as I was in Carlton anyway, I thought of making my time worthwhile by visiting another hidden coffee spot. The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is a seemingly hidden place, where you wouldn’t even imagine a cafe would be.

You have to go down a street next to a fuel station, which doesn’t even look like a street in a normal person’s eye. As I was doubting my google maps gps in finding the correct location, I came to the street sign and had to salute google maps again.

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The street at which Raffa place is connected to

Even though I could see the street sign, walking down the alleyway was still a little bit of a mystery for me. Feeling uneasy, I turned the corner, and there it was, welcoming me with the ‘now open’ sign. Maybe if it wasn’t raining, the self-doubt could’ve been less, as I would just follow the wafting scent of coffee. As I came closer to the door, I could feel my inner caffeine sensor kick in. All in all, at least I knew I was welcome here.

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Entry into the cafe

As soon as you walked in through the doors, you’re welcomed by the wait staff, and a nice cozy looking area filled with the scent of coffee. It’s not just the scent of the coffee, but a gloriously positioned coffee roaster and a display counter filled with coffee beans for those who are brave and skilled enough to make their own at home.

After taking in the fullness of the coffee scent, and also since I was holding up the wait staff in taking me to my table, I finally stepped into a whole new environment. If the entrance and coffee drinking area was a dark but cozy and comfy feeling, the dining area was bright and sunny, with plenty of sunlight pouring in through the skylights even on a gloomy rainy day. The addition of real greenery inside the room surely helped liven up the place too.

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Once I was seated, it didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted some COFFEE! and also some food. The menu is a seasonal menu, and hence not the usual favourites are on the menu, but more little twists of this and that which trickled my curiosity.

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Summer menu, courtesy of vertuecoffee.com.au

The coffee and food was served in a timely manner, and although the food was a little too much in quantity for me (I always make the mistake of trying to eat everything on my plate even when I’m too full), the flavours were delicious, and the coffee definitely worth coming. And all through our meal and our extended conversation after the meal, we didn’t feel rushed or ignored, which I would have to give a lot of cudos to the wait staff for having that fine balance. It is a little on the far side for me, but I wouldn’t say no to venturing up here once in a while.

 

If there was a hiccup in the whole experience, it would maybe be the fact we ordered one flat white and one latte, and got delivered two flat whites. Although my friend didn’t mind the flat white, the wait staff were so worried they wanted to give the latte too. They’re still humans and make mistakes, but they acknowledge it and make you feel valued and cared for.

 

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink

8 Raffa Place Carlton,

Mon-Fri: 7:00-16:00

Sat-Sun: 7:30-16:00

Operator 25

It was one of those mornings I could afford a breakfast in the city. I also needed to treat a friend to a good breakfast. So we decided to try out operator 25. I have seen this place pop up here and there on my Facebook, instagram, coffee reviews and what not. So I thought let’s give it a try.

Whenever I go visit a place that is full of hype I try to go on a weekday. This is my magic hour when I  can get to enjoy the vibe without too much crowding and queuing that tends to annoy me.

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The entrance was a little hidden in a side street (Wills street) off Latrobe. It was conveniently near flagstaff station, and hence was perfect for me and my friend who needed to go our separate ways from there on.

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As soon as you step inside you feel the hip ambience. The tiled walls and the back lit signs and decorations make you feel like you’ve stepped into a diner, but the wooden furniture and central coffee station with sweets screams out “cafe”.

The serving staff is very friendly and attentive and the coffee was great.

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The menu was interesting though. Both my friend and I had trouble deciding on what we wanted as the usual wasn’t there.

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Nowadays melbourne cafes seem to have a changing seasonal menu all the time. Which makes it interesting to visit the same cafe again and again. But sometimes you want your staple. I guess I was craving a bit of bircher muesli.

In the end we ordered the Matcha crumpets and the smoothie bowl.

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Although the flavours were a bit strong for my taste, overall very interesting mix. Cudos to the chef for creating such interesting mixtures. The Matcha crumpets don’t have the Matcha bitterness but more of a fruity tang because of all the berries on top. Which mixed well with the pear and lychee sago. Having these small bubbles pop in your mouth bursting out lychee flavour was definitely a wonderful start of the day.

The smoothie bowl was very interesting as it had a mix of pineapple mango and coconut, which brought out a very sweet flavour, and the rosewater infused watermelon tasted like Turkish delight. There are oats at the bottom of the bowl which my friend only realised after eating half the bowl.

Overall a delightful getaway from the buzz of people heading to work, and most of all, great coffee.!

Operator 25
25 Wills St, Melbourne VIC 3000
7-4 mon-Friday
9-4 weekends

The Hungarian

This may be a bulk post, but it was Australia day public holiday, and hence I was out and about for the whole extended weekend. Monday night was a dinner out at my friend’s local. It was a Monday hence we decided let’s find anything open, and ear there. How bad could you go on Bridge Road in Richmond?

But this place was a little cutie waiting for us, with Monday night specials.

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I can never say no to a special deal, so I ended up ordering a goulash, whole my friend ordered a pork schnitzel.

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The interior was quite cute with obviously a European touch, and I thought might as well join the European ambience with a grape and apple fizz from Austria. You can also use your time waiting for the food learning hungarian. The waitress is more than happy to teach you the correct pronunciation.

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All in all a delightful place to visit for an affordable meal whilst reminiscing the times I spent in Europe. Great service too. Only downside is the surcharge in credit card use and no split bills.

The Hungarian

362 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121

Mon-Sat 6pm -930pm
Sun 12pm-930pm

Kinfolk

I love going out for breakfast and brunches. I find it is harder for me to go out on weekends, so I end up meeting up with people who are like me(loving breakfasts or brunches) on weekday mornings.
Kinfolk cafe is a convenient location for me to meet my friend as we both go through the cbd to get to work. It is a short walk away from Southern Cross station, on Bourke st.

I have had takeaway coffees from this place, and they had always been good. So I was looking forward to finally having something to eat too.

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This place not only does great coffee, but also makes you feel good about it. The interior is neat but homey in a way, but not the most comfortable seating.

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I sat down near the window waiting for my friend, and ordered my flat white. It was as delicious as I remembered. I like it that this place doesnt overheat the milk, and the coffee is just strong enough for my taste.

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The menu is quite simple,  and I had the eggs special. It was a 63 degree poached egg (just that little bit runny!!) And broccoli, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms on sourdough. Beautiful!

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It doesn’t have the hipster decoration touch such as flowers, but the food was amazing. I was saying to my friend, “could easily be the best breakfast I have had!”

So feel good whilst eating out and drinking coffee, and support a great cafe who really deserve all the $ they charge anyway.

Kinfolk cafe
7:00-15:00 weekdays
https://goo.gl/maps/vworc8F4LMC2

Cafe lafayette

It was a crazy windy day today but it was also a brunch/lunch date with a friend I had planned a week ago. So despite the crazy weather we decided to go and enjoy the windy beach view at Cafe Lafayette in Port Melbourne. I don’t know why they named the cafe as Lafayette but the only clue I got from Google was about a count who existed. Maybe he liked breakfasts.  Maybe it wasn’t about him. It didn’t matter. Because they have good coffee.

I remember this place being somewhat different. I came here for breakfast with friends a couple of years back and was quite disappointed. So to see this place getting revamped, I thought I will give it another chance. The interior is very bright and the vibe is quite fun and modern. Clean? Would also be another good word to describe this place. The subtle colours are inviting yet quite simple not to overwhelm you.

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Their coffee board shows how much they care about their coffees. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to try their filter but I am willing to visit again just for that purpose. So watch this space.

The location is great towatch the people getting on and off the ferry (spirit of tasmanania was fun to watch with the tug boats pulling it…). On a sunny day I think it will be even better to have a seat next to the window and stare out at the water.

Although there is ample choice of coffee and tea variety (even Matcha latte or super crazy smoothies/milkshakes) we opted for the flat white. The coffee was strong with just a hint of bitterness in the after taste. I don’t know the correct way of describing the taste, but it is a soft bitter taste that is more like a subtle burnt wood flavour.
The food choice is incredible where I was staring at the menu and struggling to choose for 15 minutes before deciding on a  french toast.

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If I haven’t mentioned before, I am a sucker for chocolate and cheese. Both the Matcha hotcakes and french toast had mascarpone in them, which I adore. The Matcha hotcakes even had honeycomb sprinkled on top. The equivalent of the honeycomb for the french toast must have been the caramel popcorn.

OK. I admit, it was sweet. But it was so good. As I saw what other people were eating, I think the eggs, Matcha hotcakes or the ocean trout is generally a favourite here.

I think the place doesn’t open till late though, and hence would be my place of choice for morning coffee or brunch. The only downside is that you can’t get there easily by public transport. There is a 109 tram going close by though.

I would definitely recommend this place and I would re-visit to taste the filter coffee and crazy shakes.

Rudimentary

It is back to work, back to business. A long drive in the morning and another in the evening. But today is Friday so it’s a coffee meeting on the way.

I stopped blogging last year as I wasnt going out as much. However, I do love coffee so I have been a frequent sipper at many different places. And I love going to new ones.

Rudimentary came as a recommendation from a friend who lives in footscray. Wasn’t a fan of this suburb before but have since changed my mind as I find all these great places to visit. The notion of going back to basics is something I admire and support. The place has many little garden beds, a little private courtyard and a clean and open space. You wouldn’t recognise it as a reworked container box at first sight.

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The bright interior and preppy looking staff is very welcoming. Having water already on the tables was a good touch where some places it takes 10 minutes for them to remember to bring you water.

The coffee was just intense enough and I love my flat whites having just the right frothing of milk to bring the sweetness out. And this place had it all happening.

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The menu changes seasonally and hence some items come and go where the traditional eggs and toast is still there. The food was new and interesting. I had the pumpkin and kale with haloumi which was an interesting mixture of taste. But the kale was a bit too salty for my taste. ‘Should have remembered to tell them low salt!’

Overall, a delightful place for a morning meeting, catch up and even family affairs. Very dog friendly too for your furry friends.