Touchwood – Richmond

Touchwood
Richmond
http://touchwoodcafe.com/

 
Touch wood has been on my radar for some time; I read in a blog that the PB& J waffles and that the Pulled Pork Tacos were to die for, so I checked the menu online and rocked up one Sunday to try my luck. Unfortunately I didn’t have any, and we ended up waiting around 20 minutes for a table – which I think in around Melbourne these days is pretty standard.

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After grabbing a seat I looked at the menu, and it had changed drastically. I was thrown and needed more time to decide what to order, so I got a long black (they use five senses coffee, one of my faves) and began my deliberation

After about 10 minutes and almost an entire coffee later, my friend and I settled on 3 breakfast items and 1 from the lunch menu. We ordered the Fruit bread, but swapped out normal butter for their maple butter, the avocado toast option 1 (beetroot relish, burnt lime, pickled red oinion, coriander and sumac salt among other things) with a side of bacon and a lamb chop (Yes, they have lamb chops on their breakfast menu, and yes, it is amazing), the banana and blueberry wholemeal waffle and a 50/50 pork veal sub with fontina cheese and tomato sugo.

I also ordered a coconut cold drip to go with the food, mostly because it was something that a) I had never heard of, and b) didn’t think could work.

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The wait between ordering and receiving our first meal was a long one, and first out was the Wholemeal waffle. It was dense, probably a little too much so, but nevertheless perfectly balanced in sweetness; the slightly tart berries and the sweet syrup and bananas all worked perfectly with the mascarpone on top. I enjoyed it, but would have preferred if they didn’t try to “healthen” it up with the wholemeal.

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Out next was the avocado with bacon and the lamb chop. I started with the chop because it looked fantastic, and it did not disappoint. Served with salsa verde and grilled to perfection, it was practically flawless – there just was not enough.

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Onto the avocado; mashed nicely and layered with flavours of burnt lime sourness, beetroot and pickled onion with different types of sweetness, then a crunch of mixed seeds and finally topped off with a hit of salty bacon: divine. There was nothing left of this dish I can tell you that.

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The sub came out next, and out of all the dishes it was the biggest let-down. Nice flavours but all of them were too subtle, and there was just too much bread. Definitely one of those dishes you could replicate at home for a fraction of the cost.

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Oddly the last dish out was the fruit bread, and was more bread fruit than fruit bread. SO much fruit, overly heavy on the apricot with not enough fig. It came with a banana ricotta and the maple butter – the maple butter was phenomenal, and melted on the bread was heavenly. Once I started with it I didn’t even touch the ricotta.

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I left Touchwood thoroughly satisfied with the majority of the dishes I ordered, though was let down by service (they were busy, but still) and the weird coconut water coffee (odd flavour and just didn’t sit right in my opinion). I would go back to try the rest of their menu, or even simply just for another plate of those lamb chops.

 

 

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Lady Bower – Reservoir

Lady bower
Reservoir
http://ladybower.com.au/

I’ve wanted to go to Lady Bower ever since I first heard they did a lamington milkshake, but always get side-tracked.

I finally found my chance on a ridiculously hot Saturday last week. I suggested Lady Bower in hopes of finally getting that shake.

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We arrived and were greeted and offered a seat at their communal table (everywhere else was full) or alternatively were invited to try and brave the sun, which we decided to do.

We were given water and ordered a couple of single origin (from Peru) long blacks as we sat perusing the menu, deciding what to eat.

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I looked it up and down and wanted to get a combination of 3 sandwiches and sides and share but my friend wasn’t up for it this time around, so I ended up ordering the pork and apple slaw roll with sriracha mayo and a side of chorizo beans.  To my dismay they had changed the milkshake but did tell me the lamington one would possibly be back soon, and settled for a salted caramel one instead , while my friend ordered the roasted chicken sandwich.

About 15 minutes and one smooth, delicious long black, later our food arrived.

My friends’ Chicken sandwich was picturesque. He was really happy with his choice, simple premise and well accomplished, with a slight twist of mint which he considered a fantastic addition.

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My pork belly with sriracha and apple slaw looked really good. The flavour was well balanced with the crackling, slaw, juicy pork and creamy spicy mayo created an interesting and memorable twist, on a well-executed classic. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

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While the Beans were flavoursome and the chorizo adding depth and spice, my friend enjoyed them more than I did due to the way they were cooked. While still creamy, they had a bit of a crunch to them whereas I prefer creamy soft cooked beans. They were good beans done well, however it does come down to personal preference.

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The salted caramel milkshake was good but rather lacking in a wow factor, it was in essence just nicely flavoured milk.

After eating lunch I was jonesing for something sweet but not overly rich. The waitress suggested any of their wonderous baked goods, including 2 types of cupcakes, a chocolate brownie and a ginger nut maple butter cream yoyo which I thought sounded perfect.

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It was a dense, lightly gingered biscuit with a sweet cream that had just enough maple to stand out but not overpower. It was a great end to a great lunch.

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Simple, quality, homemade classics with great twists seem to be Lady Bowers calling card and they are doing it well. I can see myself going back there for one of their enjoyable sandwiches or  divine baked goods, who knows, maybe next time I’ll finally get to try that lamington milkshake.
Lady Bower Kitchen on Urbanspoon