Sadly we were only in Melbourne for the weekend so we were on a tight schedule. Yeah I know I'm really bummed out too. As I'm writing this, I do regret about the places I did not get to try (Manchester Press, Chin Chin, Hammer and Tong, Cumulus Inc etc etc) but I cherish about the places that I have explored. We had a late night on Saturday so we were really exhausted trying to get up early. Plus the girls wanted to spend the day shopping.
Our hotel was located in Flagstaff so there wasn't many dining options in the area. We were originally planning to walk to Manchester Press but since we were on a tight schedule and we made a booking at Nieuw Amsterdam at 12:30pm, we decided to eat at Brother Thomas which was only a few blocks away from our hotel. Due to its location, it was much quieter compared to the other Melbourne cafes but peaceful if you want to sit down and chill without having to worry about the 50 other hungry people queuing outside.
We had our usual coffee to kick start our day especially with little sleep from the night before. My mocha was not bad but thought that the cocoa seemed a tad dense and grainier compared to what I usually get. CC had her chai latte, which she found to be very disappointing because it was way too much milk and not enough tea and spices that you would normally expect with this kind of drink.
Bacon and Poached Eggs on Toast
While I was happy with my juicy bacon, I was sadly disappointed with the poached eggs. Although it looked perfectly poached on the outside, the egg yolk was overcooked. No oozy action this time unfortunately. At least the bacon was succulent so I was able to enjoy the rest of the meal despite this.
The Big Breakfast (Eggs, Bacon, Pickles, Tomatoes)
On the other hand, both CC and S (who both ordered the same plate), found that their poached eggs had a good amount of ooziness. Combined with the zesty tomato, drool-worthy bacon and sour pickles, the plate was very filling for them so it was a struggle to finish.
While Brother Thomas impressed us with the hip decor and reasonable prices, the food and the coffee didn't blew us away especially with the many other cafes around. However, it is a decent option if you are working or staying in the Flagstaff area and you are under a tight schedule since there weren't many cafes in this part of the city.
350 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9328 7535
After a few hours shopping and a few touristy errands, we headed to Nieuw Amsterdam for our lunch booking on the hip and trendy Hardware Street. Originally we were planning to go on Saturday night but the restaurant was booked out. Since we did not have much time left and both CC and S really wanted to dine there, we settled on this place for our last Melbourne foodie stop (until next time of course).
I should have done my research before making a booking but I was quite bummed when I realised that the lunch menu is much more different to the dinner menu. It mostly consists of meat trays, deli sandwiches, salads and a limited choice of mains. The atmosphere remained quite busy and noisy even though the venue was not too packed.
Southern Style Pork Banh Mi - pate, crackle, apple sauce, cucumber salad ($16.00)
I was intrigued by the above dish because of its fusion of classic Vietnamese street food with a Southern touch. Was pleased by how it tasted especially the crunchy pork crackle and the sweet apple sauce combined with the usual condiments that you would normally expect in a banh mi. Although it was no Mr Crackles, it was satisfying enough for me. Very generous servings though since I struggled to finish the second half of the sandwich and didn't ate much of the chips that came along with the salad as complimentary sides. From the chips that I did try, I thought that they had a good amount of crunch.
Baked Eggplant Sandwich - tomato fondue, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil ($13.00)
CC managed to eat halfway through her sandwich but barely touch the rest of the plate (to be fair, the dishes we had earlier at Broher Thomas caught up with our stomachs). I did not try this dish but CC thought it was an alright dish.
BBQ Shrimp Salad - edamame, avocado, radish, cucumber, sesame, miso ($19.50)
Similar to the Southern Style Banh Mi, the salad also had an Asian touch with the use of miso, edamame and sesame. Looks quite healthy plus the prawns tasted plump and fresh. Very generous serving.
Berry Split - berry jelly, white chocolate mousse, cream cheese sorbet ($14.00)
We were absolutely stuffed but the desserts looked amazing so we stuck around for that. We were certainly not disappointed by this dessert. I didn't manage to try much but CC and S gave it double thumbs up. It was fruity, creamy and not too cheesy. This was definitely the winning dish for us in this visit.
I was a bummed that I did not end up trying Nieuw Amsterdam's signature Nieuw Chocolate Bar so will definitely consider about making a return visit in one of my future Melbourne trips especially for the dinner menu. It opens very late every night so this is a great option to dine when flying into Melbourne straight after work. If only I could travel to Melbourne on a regular basis with so many more cafes and restaurants to explore. A weekend (even if it's a long weekend) really isn't enough!
106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9602 2111
Sun-Thurs: 12:00pm - 3:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm - 5:00am