Sunday, 9 October 2011

Brunch & Co's Event #3 - Aussie brunching

A recent work trip back to Australia was inspiration enough for our latest brunch event.  After all the amazing food I'd had in Melbourne I was keen to recreate a little bit of that same magic back here in Singapore!
Good ol' Caramello Koalas served as namecards
To help with the event, I managed to cart back a bundle of Aussie goodies to treat our new round of special guests.  I even managed to use up my entire business class baggage allowance as well as I look & feel like a crazy bag lady stumbling onto the plane with a load of fragile hand luggage.  Hopefully the taste of free range eggs, organic sourdough toast, Victoria Market butter & artisanal jams was worth it!

We had a lovely group of guests at today's brunch who mingled wonderfully together, it was fun to watch old friends reacquaint themselves and new friendships start to form.  Thanks to all of you for coming along!

To get the Aussie party started, we had soft boiled eggs served with Vegemite toast soldiers.  I made some little egg hats to keep the little tuckers warm & cosy....aren't they cute?!  Ayne even named hers!

For our main course, I prepared my own version of the classic Aussie pie - a chunky stewed beef version for our meat eaters and a lovely ratatouille & pesto version for our vegetarians.  The pie consisted of two different types of pastry, as recommended by the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, a shortcrust pastry for the base and a lovely light crisp puff pastry for the lid.  The pies were served with a homemade tomato chilli jam for a little kick in the spice department and a light herb salad, flavoured with orange blossom flower water.  Here's a picture of the assembly line!

...silence descends as the munching begins...  The concentration was palpable!

Phew!  A relaxing comfort break and some light strawberry granita palate cleansers were in order.  This was followed by another Aussie classic, The Lamington.  Essentially a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and coated with desiccated coconut.  I filled our version with a layer of raspberry jam.  We served these along with bowls of fresh strawberries brought by one of our lovely guests, Sue.  Thanks Sue!!

Ok, I had to add another photo of the dessert to show you a new addition to our Brunch & Co crockery family - I picked up 3 of these cute hand painted floral & gold rimmed plates from Camberwell Market, a Sunday morning Melbourne institution (my all time favourite carboot in the entire universe).

Today's meal was complimented beautifully with lovely New Zealand wines courtesy of another of our wonderful guests, Faith, as well as some Brunch & Co homemade lemon & passionfruit cordial & iced tea made with T2 "Melbourne" tea given to me by my amazing & awesome friend Lisa.

I couldn't resist serving up some English Breakfast tea orders in more new crockery additions - this time from Ebay!  Totally gorgeous pastel vintage tea cups and matching saucers.  Tea really does taste better when drunk from a proper tea cup!

So another happy brunch done and dusted.  Hope you all had as much fun as we did!  Look forward to seeing you at our next event most likely to happen early December - do let me know if you're interested!  In the meantime, happy brunching to one and all!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Trip to Melbourne - Brunch capital of the UNIVERSE!

I've been lucky enough to score two glorious weekends in Melbourne hanging out with my awesome Sis & Bro with a week in Sydney for work inbetween.  Every time I visit, I can't get over the number of new & amazing cafes that have popped up whilst I have been away.  Each is so unique & oozing its own personal identity, charm & special take on food & coffee.  One thing I did notice is how serious coffee has become.  We used to joke about having a long list of types to choose from which included soy, skinny lattes, capuccinos, espressos, machiatos etc, now we have filtered, drip, syphon, long pour.... the list goes on and it's pretty frightening!  I'll, umm, have a coffee thanks....?!
The food on offer at each cafe is also varied & delicious.  Reading the menu has been known to bring on bouts of anxiety - what to choose?!?.  There's lots of fusion going on too, and with access to such fresh & fantastic produce, it's hard to go wrong.  Here are some of the highlights in my quest to search for Melbourne's best brunch cafe...
Perfect cappucino at De Cleu

The most GIGANTIC stack of pancakes at Cafe Loco.

Perfectly gooey scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.....I was in heaven.

Poached eggs with baby spinach & dukka at Porgie & Mr Jones.

Need I say more?
Perfect brew - liking my Charles & Di teaspoon! 
Another heavenly brunch experience at Las Chicas - the pesto on top of the smoked salmon was amazing....

A perfect Sunday morning at a cafe called Porgie & Mr Jones. Poached egg perched on top of glistening slices of chorizo, grilled mushrooms and smashed avocado.

Babka - a Brunswick St institution.  Here we have their ginger french toast with poached pears & berries.

My last coffee for this trip at Proud Mary.
With so much inspiration I hope this weekend's brunch at Brunch & Co won't disappoint!!  I have special treats handcarried all the way back for our guests.  Menu coming out soon!