To my dear readers, did you all have a good Valentine’s Day? I did in a way. Although there was no romantic dinner, lavish presents or even being relaxing at all, I did spend it with my beloved (not that I have a choice) and kept myself busy in the shop. I even set up a little Valentine’s Day display with the flower that Yuye got me and some lovely wines and spirits from our alcohol stash. It’s too bad I can’t just open them and drink it all myself…
I’ve been quite busy as you can see, so yet again I’ve had to neglect my blog for a while. This won’t go on forever though I can assure you, we’re still trying to find our footing and sorting out a lot of admin work that comes with businesses like ours. Once all that is done, I can afford to slack off a little every now and then (I’m actually taking a half day off today!! Woohoo!). I do feel a little guilty for leaving Yuye by himself at work though…just a little.
One good thing about not having enough time to go out these days is the fact that when I have time to write, I can actually get through a fraction of my huge backlog. Some of them have been sitting there for so long that I don’t even have the confidence that I still remember what things tasted like or what I actually did. I obviously still haven’t gotten into the habit of writing on the day yet. It’s hard work I tell you!
One such post that I’ve been meaning to write about was my birthday lunch from last November. Yes it’s been that long……
Yuye agreed to do whatever I felt like doing that day. I picked my brain for a long time and I still only settled for lunch at a hipster cafe. How totally original of me. But I couldn’t help it that it’s what I wanted to do most. Oh and visiting op shops all over Melbourne which he’s yet to do for me. If I had a chance to do that on Valentine’s Day, I probably would have picked exactly the same routine.
The cafe I chose on my birthday was Mart 130. It’s a place I’ve been dying to visit for the longest time because of its interesting location and history. I didn’t actually think it would be difficult for us to find! Going by the address, we drove past it time and time again but I kept saying “I can’t see it, it should be here!”. Then it occurred to me.
Mart 130 is situated inside what was formerly the Middle Park railway station and outside its doors, you can literally see the railway lines going past. This line used to be St Kilda Railway Line but now forms the 96 tram line. So of course, I should have known where it was! After finally finding it and feeling very silly indeed, we had the chance to admire the unique and nostalgic setting and anticipating the coffees and food.
I quite enjoyed the outside sitting area where you overlook some sports fields and the occasional dog owner walking past with their dog. Although not a huge area, it’s lovely as a catchup location with a few friends, I suppose just try to avoid the busiest times since it can be cramped and you may need to wait for a table.
It was Melbourne Cup day that day so there were plenty of people across the road watching horse racing on the big screens and yelling out cheers or boos. It certainly was a cheerful day.
My latte came on a cute vintage saucer which went so well with the surroundings. The coffee was rich and creamy, but did need a tiny bit more kick.
Yuye got a cappuccino (if you haven’t noticed, we rarely get the same coffee so I can take photos of both :P) which was equally tasty but would have loved to see it in a prettier looking cup. The art was nice though.
I couldn’t go past the baked braise of chorizo, red capsicum, smoked paprika, tomatoes, queso garrotxa topped with poached eggs ($18.50) which was essentially a baked eggs type dish except the eggs were on top instead. I enjoyed this dish, although I thought it could have done with less chorizo as it made the dish quite salty. Yes you read right, less, not more. Perhaps instead of half of the chorizo, they could have put something else in it like potatoes to take away the saltiness. Since it was there I didn’t want to throw it away.
The eggs though were perfectly cooked with a runny yolk that I love so much. Mmmm egg yolks…
Yuye ordered the smoked haddock kedgeree with poached eggs on top for about the same price (not sure if this is still on the menu). Yuye ordered this dish because of his curiosity and it actually turned out quite nicely. For those of you who haven’t tried it before, it’s an Anglo Indian dish made using rice and smoked fish (the haddock) so effectively a very mild curry rice dish. It was slightly creamy with curry hints and was surprisingly not as heavy as I thought it would be. Yuye liked this dish more than my baked chorizos.
What I particularly loved about the place was some of the vintage decor. It’s these little things about a cafe that draws me in and makes me want to come back. Of course the good coffees and food matters a lot too. Remember if you go there, they only take cash and they are situated inside the station area.
107a Canterbury Rd
Middle Park, VIC