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
I heard so many good things about LuxBite that I had to force myself (not too hard, obviously) to make my way to their South Yarra location. LuxBite serves primarily sweet desserts and confectionary, but they also serve coffee, breakfast and lunch too! What makes LuxBite slightly different is that they have a slight Asian influenced to some of their desserts, for example one of their macarons has a Kaya filling. Kaya is a Malaysian term for Coconut Jam and homemade Kaya is absolutely delicious.
Their store is quite close by to South Yarra station, so it makes it convenient for those without cars or car-averse.
In the above picture, hopefully you can see their selection of macaron flavours. There are your popular flavours such as Salted Caramel and Hazelnut have more interesting flavours like Rose and Ribena Lemonade.
Their store has quite a number of sweet delights to choose from, with many having that French flair ala Elcairs as shown at the bottom of the image.
It was really hard to choose a couple of desserts to try because they have so many on offer! We were still heading towards the city for the day so I couldn’t choose anything that needed to go to the fridge quickly so that helped.
As shown above, we chose the Chocolate Hazelnut Macaron. It’s this plus sized macaron with chunks of hazelnut pieces and a hazelnut and chocolate ganache. I quite enjoyed the macaron, it’s as you would want from a macaron. Crispy, slightly chewy and sweet. The hazelnut flavour of the chocolate and nuts really helped blend everything together. A real treat.
We chose the interesting Lemonade Ribeena and Kaya Toast macarons. The Kaya Toast macaron has kaya as it’s filling. I think it’s homemade, but their kaya was unfortunately too sweet for my liking. I would even have preferred the Kaya jam jars you can buy from an Asian grocer with pandan. Even that jam is less sweet. For those that haven’t tried Kaya before may like it though but for me it lacked the coconut flavour and was way too sweet to be enjoyable.
The Lemonade Ribena on the otherhand was very interesting. It has this cream based lemonade flavour filling but inside there is what I believe (or remember) a small Ribena jelly cube. The Ribena jelly was delicious and made that macaron one of my favourites because it had such a pleasant flavour and was different to things I’ve tried before.
Last on my list was LuxBite’s Lychee Raspberry Macaron. I love all things Lychee too so I couldn’t help to be intrigued by a Lychee and Raspberry Macaron, plus it looked amazing.
Inside this macaron, there is a whole lychee, but the salmon pink filling as you can see in the image was also slightly Lychee flavoured. The combination of the sweetness of Lychee along with the sourness of the icing sugar dusted Raspberries worked a treat. It melded together really well as the freshness of the Raspberries cut through that sweetness of basically everything else. A joy to eat.
LuxBite impresses with its well crafted pieces that look amazing and taste great too. It’s no wonder people keep coming back for more. I really do recommend giving LuxBite a try.
38 Toorak Road
South Yarra VIC 3141