Concrete, wood, marble, brass. A combination that never seems to bore me. Neither do pumpkin pancakes with bacon (as you might have noticed in my previous post) and very good coffee. You will find it all at Fifty Acres in Richmond, Melbourne.
Fifty Acres, 65 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Melbourne, MON – FRI 6:30 – 4 / SAT 7 – 4 / SUN 8 – 4
Finding restaurant Freemans might be a bit of a challenge but if we’re talking about so called hidden gems we can count this one in for sure. At the end of a small, dark alley on the Lower East Side you’ll find a string of lights leading you to the charming entrance of Freemans. The alley separates you from the city, and even though the place is not that hidden anymore (open for more than 10 years already), it still made me feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland, stepping into a new world I wanted to explore.
The inside is a collection of cosy, intimate rooms. Even though you might not have a house filled with mounted animals, this place is one where you will feel right at home. Wooden tables, wooden floors, collections of paintings, flowers.. It’s a comforting place and so is the food they serve. Feel good, simple, rustic American food like mac and cheese, stews, sausage plates and much more.
When I visited the restaurant (October 2013) it was just before Halloween so pumpkin dishes were served everywhere. I love these orange veggies so at Freemans I enjoyed the fluffy American pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, ice-cream and bacon on the side. It was a quiet peaceful weekday lunch for me but this place is packed during weekends and in the evenings as well for before/ after dinner cocktails.
Freemans, at the end of the Freeman Alley, Off Rivington Street between the Bowery and Chrystie Street
The Butcher’s Daughter, a casual, very vegan-friendly cafe in Nolita that will dazzle any vegetable lover. When I stumbled upon it I got attracted by the visually appealing, stylish appearance which shows a quite feminine and colorful take on old butcher shops. But instead of serving meat they’re more like a ‘vegetable slaughterhouse’ (like they call it on their website). The smashed avocado toast with curry and mustard seeds I had was packed with flavor despite it’s simplicity. The highlighted vegetables attract the young and healthy, giving the café a casual and hip atmosphere. It’s been quite a while since my visit when I took these pictures but I don’t think a lot has changed, believing the internet reviews it still seems successful. Next to breakfast, brunch and lunch you can now have dinner there as well. And the lucky ones living nearby can enjoy their home delivery.
19 Kenmare St. New York
I can’t wait for spring to come, go to Paris, and sit back and relax on the sunny terrace of one of my favorite cafés in my all-time favorite city. Situated next to the Square du Temple on a quiet corner in the 3rd arrondissement, The Broken Arm is the perfect place for a tasty breakfast or lunch in the sun.
Unfortunately, a decent coffee in France is not that easy to find but The Broken Arm serving Solberg & Hansen coffee is one of the exceptions in Paris. Next to good coffee they provide a small, daily changing, menu of sandwiches, salads and soups. I enjoyed a green pea soup with mint and lemon thyme croutons.
Don’t worry if the sun doesn’t shine. The clean, minimal, but cosy interior with a typical French tiled floor and lots of plants makes this place a lovely hangout for rainy days as well. And when it’s too busy to find yourself a table right away you can entertain yourself in their next door concept store and try again when you’re done shopping.
The Broken Arm, 12, rue Perrée, 75003, Paris
Nestled in a gorgeous, 1880s, typical Victorian house. In contrast with the big sleek, modern apartment towers build around it but it works together perfectly and almost makes it look like a surrealistic artwork. And this is just the outside..
Inside you’ll find honeycomb mosaic tiles, green ceramic tiles, concrete, wood, plants, marble, brass: everything merges seamlessly. It’s light, elegant, stylish, detailed and simplistic. Perfectly designed by Studio You Me.
Not only the interior is a pleasure to look at, the dishes are real artworks as well. I was happy to see they serve the huge ricotta hotcakes I saw coming by earlier at their other venue Top Paddock and a lot on social media like Instagram as well. I was glad I finally got to taste them an they didn’t disappoint at all! Neither did the home-made colorful decorated coconut yoghurt and the cray fish roll. Looked and cooked perfectly.
Ohh.. how I miss having my Australian ‘brekkie’..
The Kettle Black, 50 Albert Road, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australië
Of course there was a reason we went to the other side of the world. In first place to relax but also to find out more about the Australian cuisine we heard so much about. Our first food experience in Australia was at Smith Street Alimentari (former Gorski and Jones) in Collingwood. We felt a bit hangover cause of our jet-lag which resulted in terrible cravings for eggs and bacon. And we soon found out Aussies are very keen on their eggs! Baked, poached, scrambled: every breakfast/ lunch place includes eggs in their menu. We took the sweet potato latkes with a poached egg, baba ghannooj and rocket and toasted pumpkin bread with humus, mashed avocado, bacon and tomato salad. Comforting food accompanied by freshly pressed vegetable juices and good coffee. Just what we needed after the long flight from Holland. The laid-back atmosphere in the sunny rear courtyard, the colorful and detailed interior and the attached food store made this place the perfect start of our Australia trip. We got excited to discover more of Melbourne, starting with the rest of Collingwood. Smith Street Alimentari 302 Smith Street, Collingwood Daily 8am-7pm
Back to Melbourne! One of my favorite places I visited so far is Top Paddock in Richmond. People are queuing up to find themselves a spot in this popular restaurant. With over a hundred seats, the waiting doesn’t take too long and it isn’t bad at all, especially not when enjoying one of their home roasted coffee’s. And let me tell you: It’s worth the wait.
The menu offered many dishes that sounded very appealing. I was curious for the sticky black ginger bread with drunken cherries & chocolate ganache but diet-wise (after weeks of indulging myself) I chose the gin & lime cured Huon ocean trout fillet with pickled beetroots, potato galette, poached eggs and goats curd, which didn’t let me down at all.
Not only visually a beautiful dish but a beautiful balance of flavors as well! My partner had the soft shell mud crab with a fennel and dille salad on a brioche bun, one of their best selling lunch dishes and it was obvious why.
Despite the busy lunch, the service was up to scratch and very prompt. This restaurant is managed and runned by professionals who, as I later learned, also run the successful restaurants Three Bags Full, APTE and Two Birds One Stone.
Hmm, my Australia to-visit list is getting longer and longer each day and I have only 2 more weeks to go..
Mon – Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am-4pm
658 Church St, Richmond, Melbourne
Jet lagged but impressed, we arrived in Melbourne! Relaxed atmosphere, lots of sunshine and an impressing food culture with well prepared, balanced dishes. There are so many great places I could spend all the seven weeks we’ll stay in Australia right here. But just one more day and we’ll be off to Adelaide and Barossa Valley!