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
Cafe Rubix caught my eye with it’s bold typeface and black shopfront along Middleborough Road, Box Hill. On a Sunday, it’s bustling with people, chilling out and having their meals and coffees. It’s a cute little cafe and their menu offerings is similar to many other cafes around but of course it’s the taste that matters.
It took my a while to decide but I was dying for hash browns and so ordered the Hungry Badger, it also comes with two poached eggs, toast, chorizo, bacon, smash avocado and beetroot relish. The eggs were nice and gooey as it should be, and the sweet beetroot relish is an interesting addition which provides a bit of tartness to it too. The mashed avo was nicely seasoned, but the bacon and chorizo I found to be a tad overcooked and dry. The hash browns were lovely and crispy!
The coffee isn’t too bad too as well!
The food-wise it’s decent and service was so-so when I went. Still, I’d probably go back since I’m eyeing the corn fritters.
519 Middleborough Rodd
Box Hill VIC 3128
Finding a good cafe in Box Hill can be quite a challenge. You have the incredibly popular Red Cup Cafe towards the Middleborough Rd end of Whitehorse Rd but if you’ve read my review, you’ll know I was not overly impressed by it. Platform 3 complements the transport hub of central Box Hill, by stylising the place with some train station like aesthetics. What I like about Platform 3 is that although its located in the old Box Hill Central, it’s still far away enough from the bustling noises of the market and food court that you can relax in a quieter atmosphere with a coffee in hand.
Platform 3’s Corn Fritters were favourable in my
eyes mouth. The corn flavour comes through the fritter quite well, it’s not dry and fried just enough. The addition of salmon and the poached eggs with hollandaise sauce give it that extra punch. I love a poached egg done well, and here it’s how you’d want it. Would definitely order again.
Platform 3’s Big Breakfast can certainly be for two, but for one on a healthy appetite this meal can go down well. Comes with bacon, spinach, tomatoes, sausages, mushrooms and your choice of how the eggs are cooked. It really has everything you’d want and cooked well too. Enough seasoning to go round, it’s happy days for me with this one.
While I’m quite fond of their breakfast menu, I haven’t yet delved into their lunch menu. Platform 3 not only do breakfast and lunch but they also have a lively night scene, with a bar for the evenings and serving for dinner. I believe it’s the only bar in Box Hill so you may understand the exorbitant prices for some of their drinks. Though it may just be worth it.
From our hotel on a mission to find somewhere good to eat, we somehow ended up in front of Eggspectation. As their name suggests, eggs are their specialty and they have quite a diverse selection of dishes to choose from even beyond just eggs of course. Such as sandwiches, salads and burgers for breakfast and lunch. Somehow when we decided on our breakfast meals, we all ended up ordering almost the same dishes with slight variations.
The Veggie Omelette looked great, and has wonderful flavour from the mushrooms, spinach and onion. It’s served with Lyonnaise style potatoes which is a French originated dish with pan fried thinly sliced potatoes. I found the potatoes to be warm but not hot that seemed to possibly have been left on the plate waiting for omelettes to be cooked.
I love how most North American restaurants allow you to choose how the eggs are cooked. I find it quite scarce in Melbourne to find a place like that as it’s usually just offered as scrambled. The Eggspectation’s The Classic comes with two (any-style) eggs with the Lyonnaise potatoes and a choice of bacon, sausages or ham and served with baked beans and toast. As pictured, we ordered the sausages and they are quite stock standard sausages. Scrambled eggs were moist but needed a bit of salt and pepper to give it life. Otherwise, I’d say it was a decent meal.
Being in Montreal, you have to try their famous Montreal Smoked Meat, so we ordered the Montrealer which comes with your choice of two (any-style) eggs, the famous smoked meat, pickles, toast and fruit and of course potatoes which were noted as french fries but they came out similar to the Lyonnaise potatoes served in the other two dishes (*shrugs*). I found the smoked meat to be fantastic, along with the oozy poached eggs that just need a sprinkling of black pepper. Again the potatoes were a bit cold, but other than that it was a great meal.
Eggspectations’ Second floor is wonderful in its atmosphere, with a industrial like feel but modernised. However, I found their service though is a bit sparse. Food-wise, the dishes were about average which was a slight disappointment for one of our few breakfasts’ in Montreal but you never know until you try.
1313 Boulevard De Maisonneuve West
Montreal QC H3G
Gourmet Girl in Blackburn is a tiny little restaurant in Laburnum/Blackburn, situated close to Laburnum Train Station. Frequented by many of the locals, and it certainly piques my interest. Gourmet Girl by day serves your typical breakfast, brunch/lunch affair. Toasted sandwiches and Focaccias, salads, wraps, pies and pastries as well as a wide selection for breakfast such as pancakes, eggs, muffins, toast and of course your big breakfast. Variety is there and it’s certainly its strong suit and of course they serve your typical hot and cold beverages as well. By night they have a tapas menu with wine for an enjoyable evening out.
We ordered the Smoked Salmon topped with red onions, and served with scrambled egg with toast and a side of greens and tomatoes. It certainly looked inviting, the smoked salmon had a nice smokey flavour to the fish, but not over powering. The scrambled eggs however were on the bland side, and lacked any sort of pepper or salt seasoning. However, I guess the saltiness from the salmon is supposed to carry the dish so you are not overloaded with salt, but unfortunately the eggs did not have any richness to it, nor did it taste like eggs. It was honestly disappointing. The bread was also leaning on over toasted as well (the edges are slightly dark brown) and almost had a burnt taste to it. Care and attention to detail is key and it’s what made this a real letdown.
The “Canadian” Focaccia that we ordered was also a Smoked Salmon dish with cream cheese, capers, red onions, avocado spread and mayonnaise served with a lightly dressed garden salad. Again you can see it was burnt on several parts of the bread, definitely over toasted. The bottom of the Focaccia was also visibly dark brown unfortunately. Flavour wise (apart from the burnt-ness), was decent. Although, on this occasion too salty. The capers and smoked salmon add the saltiness but there is nothing there to really balance it as you also have the richness of the mayonnaise and cream cheese. The avocado attempts to provide a milder flavour to the dish but the avocados here also lack fragrance. The garden salad was basically a small pile of rocket and sliced cucumber with a huge chunk of grated carrot, with a generous drizzling of dressing. Presentation is not their strong suit. Again, I was not impressed with how this was served, lacking in any consideration and served blackened that definitely should not have gone out in any decent cafe.
Gourmet Girl, leaves a bad taste both literally and metaphorically in my mouth. The customer service at Gourmet Girl was one of the bad experiences I’ve had to sit through. They forgot one of our orders (which was served to another table that came after us), which I admit can happen when its busy and I do understand. When we finally received our order after more than half an hour of waiting, what we received was above, a charred sandwich (as mentioned above). The kicker, no apologies made when they informed us of their mistake nor when actually providing the dish to us. They even asked if we would like to order drinks (to pay for) while we are forced to wait! Absolutely amazing.
I know this sounds like a rant, but good or even mediocre service can go a long way in providing a satisfactory dining experience. One poor (or many in this case) experience can ultimately damage any good will the place as brought with its dishes. Which unfortunately, in this situation it did not generate any.
To top everything off in our visit to Gourmet Girl, they misplaced our entire order when paying. So having to repeat ourselves of what we ordered, we were questioned on our one coffee. In which, the staff leaned over the counter to check the number of cups on our table. You know, that coffee we ordered while having to wait. That one. Served by three staff during our time there, none was positive and that’s not a good sign. Gourmet Girl certainly is a popular place but I’m unsure if its as a result of desperation for a decent coffee around these parts or if my situation was out of the ordinary.
Overall, I cannot overlook the poor service over the sub-standard food served. It would be dishonest of me to recommend this place to someone, but I do hope that if you do dine here that your experience is wonderful and pleasant and unlike mine. I do although prefer Red Cup Cafe which is minutes away by car over Gourmet Girl (both in service and quality of food).
21 Salisbury Ave
Blackburn VIC 3130