Located in Eastland’s Town Square, Kyoto Cafe provides a bit of Japanese flavour to Ringwood. Its interior is reminiscent of modern Japanese restaurants with its generous wood panelling all around. It has an open kitchen with kitchen-side dining, and room upstairs as well.
While Kyoto Cafe do offer a few Donburi’s (Rice bowls), they do have a more extensive Yakitori menu, as well as tapas dishes, sushi and bento choices. They also offer a few dessert options, most are displayed at the front of their restaurant which are basically a variety of cakes and cream puffs to choose from.
One of their bento options comes with fresh sashimi, tempura, chicken katsu and steamed egg with dipping sauces.
The sashimi were sliced into smaller pieces, but tasted quite fresh. The chicken katsu was crispy, and tender, while the tempura was also crisp with a light batter surrounding it and soft inside. There was also this odd vegetable wrap, I wasn’t fond of it and tasted a bit bland.
The steamed egg wasn’t as soft as I would have liked either and also was a tad under seasoned but still one of the better ones I’ve tried.
The Japanese Fried Chicken here has this very dark, sticky glaze on it. The chicken was tender and crisp but I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavour of the marinade. Just give me the normal Chicken Karaage.
To be honest, the main reason for coming to Kyoto Cafe was to try their desserts. The Yuzu cake had an amazingly punchy Yuzu flavour with a soft mouse layer, and a cake base.
The Green Tea cream puff wasn’t as crunchy as I’d like but it had a great Matcha cream flavour inside that kinda oozed out. The Black Sesame flavoured one is on the list to try!
The ambience at Kyoto Cafe makes for a great dining experience. The food here, while it may not be amazing, will give you a tasty meal and sometimes that’s all you’re after. The beautiful desserts don’t hurt either.
Eastland Shopping Centre
Level 3, 175 Maroondah Highway (Town Square)
Ringwood VIC 3134
Manchester Press is one of the popular coffee and bagel eateries in Melbourne. Tucked away in one of Melbourne’s laneways, it has an extensive variety of bagel dishes. Their open bagels, an adaption of the typical open faced sandwiches, is also an interesting option for diners. While there are also several options for those not feeling like a bagel like salads and breakfast bowls.
However, being an eatery known for its bagels you have to try it at least once. The Grilled Chorizo open bagel is served with melted cheese, tomato salsa and a side of pretzels and pickles. I loved the combination of the grilled chorizo with the fresh and tangy salsa, melted cheese and a bit dense bagel. The pretzels are a bit ??? but it adds to the kinda American charm and especially so with the pickle.
Manchester Press does bagels and it does them well.
8 Rankins Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Mr. Ed Cafe is located along the busy Racecourse Road in Flemington and minutes walk from Newmarket Station. While their offerings for breakfast and lunch may, on first glance, be your typical cafe dishes. On some of them, they do an interesting take on it. For example, their Smoked Salmon comes with sumac rolled eggs or their Baked Eggs comes with leek and chorizo ragu and Persian feta.
What Mr. Ed Cafe calls their ‘Horse’s Feed’ is like your big breakfast, served with poached eggs, taleggio croquette, chorizo, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms. The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, with that golden oozy yolk. While I would have preferred the bacon to be more crispy, it was decent and not overcooked. The chorizo, however, was interestingly sliced horizontally and pan fried. Overall I’d say it’s a decently tasty dish.
Their Baked Eggs as mentioned before is very interesting, it isn’t your typical tomato based Baked Eggs. Instead, it comes with flatbread and yoghurt, and has like curry or Indian spices with beans and chorizo, and of course eggs. The eggs were a bit over cooked and I found it to be quite rich. However, it’s quite tasty and especially so with the flatbread.
In addition to their menu, they also have muffins, and croissants if you want something a bit smaller as a meal or as a snack.
Not only do they have a breakfast and lunch menu, but in the evenings Mr. Ed also has a dinner menu which is basically all burgers and sides, and offering wine and beer as well.
Mr. Ed Cafe serves tasty food and offers something different to the norm.
285 Racecourse Road
Flemington VIC 3031
Laksa Town is one of the newer Malaysian eateries in Glen Waverley. Located on the popular Kingsway, it offers a variety of Laksa options, as well as Nasi Lemak, and serves Claypot dishes and Bak Kut Teh as well with a selection of classic Malaysian drinks like Teh Tarik and Cendol.
Their Claypot Mee Pok which reminds me of a dry Pan Mee with the crispy anchovies, mushrooms, and mince meat with flat noodles. It’s actually quite nice and I’d definitely go for it on a hot day instead of the soupy Pan Mee.
Their Laksa has a more spice infused broth and not as creamy or rich as you’d find in Laksa King or Chef Lagenda, or even Yong Tofu in Glen Waverley for that matter. It’s not bad by any means, and I think it just comes down to preference.
Laksa Town’s Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken had a nice flavour to the curry sauce. A tad spicy but lacked the punch from the sambal that is needed for the Nasi Lemak. The fried egg though is a nice touch.
Their drinks menu has the typical 3 Layers, Milo Dinosaur and Teh Tarik. On this occasion, we tried their Ribena Lychee Sparkling and the Cendol Special. The Ribena drink was something I haven’t had since I was a kid, but with sparking water and lychees which had a lovely fruitiness to it.
The Cendol was quite nice actually, the Cendol jellies were soft still and had the nice gula melaka syrup flavour. The addition of red beans and grass jelly was nice too.
Laksa Town does distinguish itself with its extensive variety of claypot dishes but nothing we tried was amazing and I do prefer O’Town in Glen Waverley for good Malaysian food. However, I recommend giving it a try.
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart opened in Melbourne Central and Box Hill late 2016 with locations across Asia as well. Their stores only do takeaway, and it’s pretty much a one item store, only offering their cheese tarts for sale, but you can also grab a coffee with your tart too.
The cheese tarts have this amazing texture, it’s so creamy and light but not overwhelmingly cheesy. The buttery shortcrust pastry complements the filling well but I prefer the tart casing to be a bit thinner. Overall, it’s just creamy, cheesy, buttery goodness.
While the cheese tarts are honestly pretty darn good, I find the price just a bit too steep and especially so for the size of the tarts.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart – Box Hill
SP016 1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128