Brunch in the east

Mr Buckleys has been very much talked about amongst my foodie friends. Located along Hackney Road, I have been there once prior to my return visit today. They serve brunch all day and have cocktails for day time drinking if you fancy it. The space itself is very simple and is a fantastic place to catch up with friends over breakfast.

Having been disappointed with my breakfast choice on my previous visit, I decided to go for a crowd favourite today. I ordered their potato & courgette rosti, bacon, avocado & poached eggs. My friends decided to go with the minute steak with poached eggs, spinach and béarnaise on sourdough and they thoroughly enjoyed it. As for me, I preferred my eggs a little bit more well done and the whole breakfast ended up being a little too dry for me. The potato and courgette rosti was not crispy on the surface and fell apart when I cut through it. It was not as seasoned as I wish it was but the bacon did the job.

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On this occasion, the service was a little slow with only three people servicing the floor. It came up to about £15 for my breakfast with a coffee and tea. Given that this was my second shot, I am not quite sure I will be back again anytime soon.

Dishpiglets’ rating: 6/10

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The marriage between strawberries & rhubarb

Rhubarb and strawberries are currently in season thus when I found that the rhubarb is half price at my usual supermarket, I decided to get them and make a compote.

This strawberry and rhubarb compote recipe came from one of my favourite pastry chef, David Lebovitz. This is so easy to make and extremely delicious! I have had them over home made granola, frozen yoghurt and vanilla ice-cream. It just taste SO good. Shuhan from mummy i can cook made this jasmine rice pudding with poached rhubarb and I am sure this compote will go just as well with the jasmine rice pudding!

Strawberries & Rhubarb Compote (adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe)
(the quantity below is adapted to suit store bought amounts and it makes about 6-8 servings)

155ml water
155ml ml unsweetened apple juice
5 sliced fresh ginger
50g sugar
50g – 80g honey (adapt to suit your sweet tooth!)
500g rhubarb, trimmed and cut
250 – 300g strawberries, hulled and quartered

First, heat the water, apple juice, ginger, sugar, and honey in a non reactive sauce pan.
When the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is simmering, add the rhubarb and cook until soft (not too soft though!). This may take about 5 minutes, depending on the rhubarb & your preferred texture. Remove from heat and add the prepared strawberries.
When cool, you can remove the ginger slices.

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ENJOY!

To the other side of the world and back…

December was quite an adventure for me and the dude. We were travelling from London to Singapore and Melbourne, then back to London. A whirlwind of trips. Luckily for Dishpiglets, there were some time after the two weddings to hang around in Melbourne to check out new cafes/ restaurants and return to some old favourites! The Dishpiglets also spent Christmas 2012 as an official family in Melbourne!

One of the many things which we were spoilt for choice back in Melbourne is coffee! Many new coffee joints have sprouted since we moved to London. The coffee standard in Melbourne remains amazing and St Ali North was one of the new cafes which we visited during our stay. Situated in Carlton North along a bike path, St Ali North is a welcome stop.

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It is a refreshing change to see a ‘bike through’ type of cafe. Situated in the space right next to Velo cycles, the space was simply filled with lots of coffee drinkers and cyclists!

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Weirdly enough, I was craving for a sweet brunch that morning and was hard pressed to find pancakes or the like. My best bet was the pan fried stone fruit with brioche, bacon ice cream and fruit jus. I was rather unsure about the bacon ice cream that early in the day but decided to go for it in the end. My vegan friend had the braised kale sandwich with saffron chickpeas, sumac onions with a green salad. As for the dude, he ordered the ‘St Ali Royale’ – a wagyu beef burger with aged cheddar, house bacon, russian dressing and pickles.

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My breakfast turned out to be one of the best that I have had in 2012. The bacon ice cream was actually vanilla ice cream with bacon bits but the sweet and salty combination was just the right combination and was an excellent treat for me. Delish!

Dishpiglet’s rating: 8.5/10

St Ali North
815 Nicholson Street,
Carlton North
Victoria Australia

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