Cafe

[NYC] Ruby's Cafe - Excellent Aussie-Inspired Eatery in Soho

Categories: Australian, Brunch/Breakfast, All-day
Date Visited: July 2018
Address: 219 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012
Price:  $$ 
Reservations: They don't take reservations! 

Verdict: A hundred times yes! A laid-back spot in Soho with excellent food. Summer vibes all-year-long, Ruby’s is where you want to go for a casual meal any time of the day. Reasonable prices too. 9/10. 

Left:  Breakfast Bowl / $14  Right:  Lamb Ragu Pappardelle  with burrata & tomato sauce  /$15

Left: Breakfast Bowl / $14
Right: Lamb Ragu Pappardelle with burrata & tomato sauce /$15

Breakfast Bowl / $14  soft egg, spaghetti squash, brown rice, fermented cabbage, wild mushrooms, house made chili sauce

Breakfast Bowl / $14
soft egg, spaghetti squash, brown rice, fermented cabbage, wild mushrooms, house made chili sauce

[Melbourne] Hash Specialty Coffee + Roasters

Hash Specialty Coffee + Roasters

Categories: Cafe, Brunch
Address: 113 Hardware St, Melbourne (CBD) 
Hours: 7am-3pm (weekdays), 8am-4pm (weekends)
Price: ~$20-25AUD/pp
Verdict: Yes for brunch in the CBD area. Honestly not sure why Hash isn't more popular than it currently is, especially given how crazy long the lines are across the street at Hardware Société.

Hash is a consistently reliable brunch/lunch option with reasonable prices if you don't want to get out of downtown Melbourne!

Dates visited: March 2016 + April 2016

@hashspecialtycoffee | +61 3 8899 6680

Dishes to Order: 

  • Smashed peas and trout toast
  • Hot chocolate
  • Side order of pork belly 
  • Batch brew coffee - single origin, clean tea taste
Beetroot cured kingfish,  herb aoili, house pickles and poached egg on potato rosti!

Beetroot cured kingfish, herb aoili, house pickles and poached egg on potato rosti!

The famous  #Hash hot chocolate a ka a multi-sensory experience featuring a beaker of melted 85% premium MORK chocolate and a cup of snowy white "fairy floss." You pour the chocolate into the cup and ding-ding you have a cup of thick, rich and decadent hot chocolate! #hashhotchocolate

The famous #Hash hot chocolate aka a multi-sensory experience featuring a beaker of melted 85% premium MORK chocolate and a cup of snowy white "fairy floss." You pour the chocolate into the cup and ding-ding you have a cup of thick, rich and decadent hot chocolate! #hashhotchocolate

Smashed peas and trout toast  topped with a poached egg. 

Smashed peas and trout toast topped with a poached egg. 

[Melbourne] Brunch List

Zzzz.. It's been ages since I last posted. Apologies! I've moved to Australia recently (two months ago, early February) and I haven't gotten around to post anything related yet. So here's the first to many to come!

Let me attack one of the most asked questions: what's your favorite brunch place? I haven't checked out too many at the moment (there are tons here) but these are some worthy brunch places I recommend checking out if you're in and around the city. Most of the time I feel like I'm eating a plate of art, in terms of both taste and appearance. :)

Melbourne has seriously nailed the brunch game! 

P.S. Some photos embedded here were ripped from my IG: @gofindalice!


Addict Food + Coffee

240 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9415 6420
@addictfoodandcoffee

Date visited: Feb 2016
Recommend: Definitely yes!
Dishes to Order:

  • Any of the specials, but their regular menu is very solid (even their avocado toast is atypical - yes, much better than your average Melbourne classic!)
  • And chai tea latte please, with soy!
2016-02-20 11.41.07-1.jpg
Not your usual smashed avocado toast!

Not your usual smashed avocado toast!

Smashed avocado toast with mint, parsley, lemon, poached eggs, goat's feta and grain toast. So good.

Smashed avocado toast with mint, parsley, lemon, poached eggs, goat's feta and grain toast. So good.

Archie's All Day

189 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9417 0066
@archiesallday
http://www.archiesallday.com/

Date visited : March 2016
Recommend: Yes!
Dishes to order:

  • Smashed avocado with Meredith goats’ feta, mint, parsley, lemon, sumac and pepita dukkah
  • Salad of roasted cauliflower with salted zucchini, golden raisins, mint, quinoa and tahini + add pulled lamb
archiesallday-brunch

[Los Angeles] The Daily Dose

Categories: Café, Breakfast & Brunch
Address: 1820 Industrial St,  Ste 104, Los Angeles 90021
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am - 8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Date visited: January 2014
Price: $10 per person
Verdict: What a fabulous cute little gem tucked away behind an alleyway in the Arts District. Forget Urth Caffe. Come here for coffee, tea, brunch or dinner if you want to eat near Downtown LA. Just come. 

www.dailydoseinc.com | (213) 281-9300

You might feel like you entered the wrong address into your GPS. Don't worry, you didn't. It just takes a little more effort to find, but trust me it's worth is. You're in the right place. It's Keep looking. 

Everything here is made in-house, with unprocessed and the freshest ingredients. The restaurant's philosophy is to serve "honest" food, meaning that everything is organic and most of their produce come from their own yards and ranch. If not, they're sourced from trusted vendors. 

The menu consists of a variety of: breakfast foods (eg. omelettes, eggs) and healthy but hearty lunch/dinner specials. 

The Sunny Side ($9)  - 3 sunny side up eggs in olive oil, served with arugula salad, sweet potato, with baguette and housemade butter/jam

The Sunny Side ($9) - 3 sunny side up eggs in olive oil, served with arugula salad, sweet potato, with baguette and housemade butter/jam

Beautiful and delicious!

[Los Angeles] Sqirl (2)

Categories:  Bakery, Breakfast/Brunch, Specialty Store, Café, American (New) 
Address:  720 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, 90029 (Silver Lake)
Hours:  Mon - Fri 6:30 am - 4 pm
             Sat - Sun 8 am - 4 pm

Date visited: October 2013
Price: ~$12-15 per person
Verdict:  A MUST!!! My kind of "happy food."

www.sqirlla.com | Yelp | (323) 284-8147

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Cute little Sqirl pumpkin decor

My friend who was visiting town wanted to grab breakfast on a Thursday morning. “8:30a.m.,” he said. My goodness. Hm, alright, I thought to myself, Sqirl it is.

If I have to rise early from my pristine bed, then wherever we’re going to eat better be damn worth it.

I mentioned in my previous review that Sqirl is an indie, very hipster “toast and coffee” sort of place. It’s located in the not-so-scenic area of Silverlake, and the storefront itself isn’t fancy either.  I’m sure that when my friend arrived, he either must have thought he entered the wrong address or that I am crazy for bringing him here. I guess from the outside, it really doesn’t look like the type of place you’d take a visitor. But let me tell you, I think he left with a more-than-satisfied tummy and smile.   

At 8:30 in the morning, the place was already packed.

Of course I wanted coffee. I ordered the regular drip, in which they serve in a cutesy glass jar. You also get a small porcelain cup to help cool the coffee down when you want to drink it. The coffee was smooth, light and perfect the way it was. It need no milk or sugar, although diluted cane sugar and milk are available if you want it (also served in beautiful glass bottles).

Drip Coffee ($3.5) 

Cute coffee, milk and cane sugar glass jars

Cute coffee, milk and cane sugar glass jars

I didn’t get to try their quintessential Kukuho Rose Brown Rice Bowl last time, so I knew I had to get it this time. There are two versions:

  • Regular: Kokuho Rose Brown Rice Bowl with sorrel pesto, preserved meyer lemon, lacto fermented hot sauce, black radish, French sheep feta, and a poached egg ($7.5)

  • Vegan  (“The Stella”) – greens & radish instead of the poached egg/feta ($9)

I ordered The Stella. The simple, comfort-food ingredients were very well harmonized. The light and tangy lemony-flavored pesto was blissfully infused with the rice, and hit the spot perfectly. I’m not used to eating rice this early, but this dish was thoughtfully crafted and not heavy at all. It was quite refreshing, in fact. 

"The Stella"

"The Stella"

My friend ordered the Burnt Brioche Toast, house ricotta, seasonal jam ($7).
It looks fabulous and although I didn’t try, I can tell from the look on my friend’s face that it was good.

Burnt Brioche Toast, House Ricotta, Seasonal Jam 

Burnt Brioche Toast, House Ricotta, Seasonal Jam 

Inside of the Burnt Brioche Toast

Inside of the Burnt Brioche Toast

Happy Halloween!

[Los Angeles] Sqirl

Categories: Bakery, Breakfast/Brunch, Specialty Store, Café, American (New) 
Address: 720 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, 90029 (Silver Lake)
Hours: Mon - Fri 6:30 am - 4 pm
           Sat - Sun 8 am - 4 pm
Date visited: Sept 2013
Price: ~ $25 for two
Verdict: Loved it. Will definitely return.  

www.sqirlla.com | Yelp | (323) 284-8147

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If you’re feeling hipster or feel like grabbing your first meal of the day at a nonconventional breakfast/brunch spot, Sqirl is the place to go. I've always admired restaurants that can serve the simplest dishes and make them unforgettable. If you love toast and jam, you'll love Sqirl. Hit up this place immediately as they close at 4pm everyday!

Definitely indie and what you would expect to find in Silver Lake, Sqirl is a “sort-of café” that that has a small indoor communal table with a counter on the side, giving space for around 20 stools. On the outside patio, you’ll find a few more tiny bright orange coffee tables and some chairs. If you’re looking for eggs benedicts or other typical-brunch foods like pancakes and omelets, don't come here. However, if you enjoy eating homemade almost-everything and creative no-frill combinations and pastries, you’ll be satisfied here. The dishes are basic but thoughtfully prepared. The food's not cheap for the amount they serve but it's worth every damn penny.

Also, don't be fooled by the small clammy-looking establishment. The food here is bold and exquisite. LA Times Jonathon Gold’s description of this place is almost perfect:

If you are the kind of person who tends to subtract points from your Yelp scores for service at a place that exists to sell jam and coffee, you are probably not going to like it here.

But if you enjoy chaos as much as you do toast smeared with chocolate ganache and almond-hazelnut butter; toast with poached egg, lemon zest and cream; toast served with quince paste and transparent slices of prosciutto; or toast crowned with fried egg and greens, Sqirl may well be your favorite place in the city — as dedicated to eggs and green vegetables as Animal is to dangling bits of swine.

At most restaurants you are content to sit back and eat. At Sqirl, you may be tempted to throw on an apron and roll out the biscuit dough. In this micro-hedgehog moment in cooking, perhaps that is the point.

Here are the dishes I sampled:  

Kokuho Rose brown rice porridge, Staus milk, toasted hazelnuts, strawberry-rose jam ($6.5).

When I think porridge in the Western sense, I imagine oatmeal-type fares but this was different. I’m a big fan of to Asian-styled rice porridges but this was different and just as good. Available cold or hot, infused with subtly sweet homemade jam, this is perfect if you’re craving for comfort food that’s not pho or Asian congee. Get it cold and it could be a perfect summer dessert as well!

Kokuho Rose brown rice porridge, Staus milk, toasted hazelnuts, strawberry-rose jam

 House Mojama, crispy potato, salsa verde, mint, fried egg ($12)

In a nutshell, Mojaha is tuna “prosciutto.” The preparation and presentation is similar to Italian prosciutto—thinly sliced, salted and dried—but one bite into it and you’ll definitely taste the difference. This dish is a daily special and available only when available. 

House Mojama, crispy potato, salsa verde, mint, fried egg

Scone with house-made Gravenstein apple-butter jam & butter.
The scone was crumbly and buttery on the outside, and perfectly not-too-dry fluffy on the inside. Mmm, and of course with the jam, they were a perfect pair. 

House Mojama, crispy potato, salsa verde, mint, fried egg

[Los Angeles] Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Before I start, let me just say that I am not  vegan and Cafe Gratitude is the first true vegan/raw food restaurant that I've been to. I love it so much now that It's become my staple weekend go-to place. If you've never tried vegan or raw food, I would recommend checking this place out - you'll be blown away!

Categories: Vegan, Raw food
Address: 
- 639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles 90004 (Mid-Wilshire)
- 512 Rose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90291 (Venice)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 10:00am - 10:00pm
Date visited: Multiple times from 2011-2014
Price:  $13-25   
Take out: 
Yes
Verdict:  It's my favorite vegan/raw food place in LA. What more should I say? 

Website  | Facebook | Menu | (323) 580-6383

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Locally sourced organic ingredients
  • Raw, vegan food (excludes all products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at temperatures above 48°C/118°F)  
  • Outdoor and indoor seating options
  • Good service and children friendly
  • Take-out available
  • A variety of vegan starters, platters, and desserts
  • Large portions, you'll come out fulfilled and satisfied
  •  I Am Whole:   Macrobiotic  bowl with sea vegetables, stewed adzuki beans, raw kale, carrots , house-made red cabbage kim chee and sea whip and black sesame seed gomasio with your choice of quinoa or local brown rice, tahini-garlic sauce and teriyaki almonds   [Strongly recommend. MY FAVORITE!]
I Am Whole

I Am Whole

  • I Am Happy:  Mediterranean wrap with live falafels, zucchini cilantro hummus, spinach, red onion, tomato, cucumber, red chili pepper sauce and garlic tahini dressing on live sun-dried tomato bread
I Am Happy

I Am Happy

  • I Am Terrific:  Live kelp noodles tossed with our almond thai dressing with red peppers, carrots, kale, cilantro basil and green onions. Topped with teriyaki almonds  
I Am Terrific

I Am Terrific

  • I Am Transformed: Two organic corn tacos with sautéed seasonal vegetables, guacamole, black beans, salsa fresca and cashew nacho cheese. Served with a side salad.

 

I Am Transformed

I Am Transformed

  • Cheesecake of the day: I've tried a few (mocha, pomegranate, etc) - I  strongly recommend! 


Mocha cheesecake

Mocha cheesecake

WATCH OUT

  • Parking spaces are limited at the Mid-Wilshire location, so street park around the corner!

 

[Oslo] Frognerseteren Restaurant: A Magical Panorama View of Oslo

 

Categories: Diner, Cafe, Self-service
Address:  Holmenkollveien 200, Oslo 0791, Norway (Frognerseteren)
Date visited: February 2013
Price:  8-15 €  
Verdict:  I wouldn't visit for the food, but I would definitely make my way out here for the view! STRONGLY RECOMMENDED! 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Magical and breathtaking view of Oslo from a mountain lodge at the top of Frognerseteren (a popular skiing and hiking spot in Norway located amid the Nordmarka forest)
  • Architecture: a century-old wooden lodge, Vikings styled
  • Self-service cafeteria style, with Norwegian food: main dishes (salmon, filet, etc.), soups, desserts, drink
  • Warm cozy dining room sit-down area
  • Food is quite expensive for what you're getting, but remember that you're paying for the setting
  • Recommendations:
    - Apple cake
    - Inhale the view and atmosphere. Sit back and relax. 

How to get there & tips:

  • Take the metro and get off the Frognersetern station, which is the terminal station of the Holmenkollen line.
  • Follow the signs for a short hike downslope towards the restaurant. Make sure to wear hiking-friendly shoes (NO UGGS)! The journey is a little tough and you may slip a few times, but it's well worth it. 

 

[Oslo] Åpent Bakeri

Åpent Bakeri means "Open Bakery" in English and they're often regarded as the best in Norway. 

Categories: Bakery, cafe
Address: 
Parkveien 27, Oslo 0350, Norway
-
Åsengata 42 (Hans Nilsen Hauges gate), Oslo 0480Norway
Damplassen 24-25, Oslo 0852, Norway
Date visited: February 2013
Price: 60-180 NOK
Verdict: A must. A perfect cozy bakery with the best housemade jam on earth.

Freshly baked scone with housemade jam and cappuccino

Freshly baked scone with housemade jam and cappuccino

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Has a variety of top quality freshly made pastries, bread rolls, cakes, scones, and salads
  • Coffee, tea & juices
  • Good for breakfast or afternoon hangout
  • The housemade jam is the BEST - do not miss out on this (there is a bowl at the counter that you can scoop as much as you want) 
  • Great unostentatious and welcoming environment
  • Very good and cheap option in Norway
  • Recommendations:
    - JAM with anything (scone, bread)
    - Breakfast platter (yogurt with berries, eggs, bacon, etc.)
    - Pain au chocolate

 

[Paris] Le Loir Dans La Théière

Categories: Tearoom, Desserts
Address: 3 rue des Rosiers, Paris 75004 (Marais)
Date visited: January 2013
Price:  8-15 €  
Verdict: : Alice in Wonderland Themed Cute Teahouse? Cute! Will be back to try more cakes.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A cute and quaint little Bohemian-styled Alice in Wonderland teashop in the Marais 
  • Large squishy antique sofas
  • Walls and shelves full of quirky murals and antiques
  • Specializes in baked goods
  • Amazing selection of teas and cakes (huge slices!)
  • Great atmosphere, very cozy, perfect for 
  • Recommendations:
    - Lemon meringue pie

WATCH OUT

  • Closes at 7pm everyday
  • Cakes run out quick! 
  • There may be a long line on weekends