I do tend to be a little unrestrained with food and drink around July and August. I think it is a combination of the cold weather, short days, and the birthday season that triggers my indulgence in such comforts. Today I'll talk about a few eateries I have been enjoying lately.
Bracegirdle's is a local chocolate shop/cafe business run by a former teacher of mine and his wife, a chocolatier. They make an exceptional hot chocolate; rich, creamy, and with near perfect froth. Many of you are aware that I've had some strict rules about the consumption of chocolate for the last nine months, as I have serious self control issues when it comes to food. Chocolate used as an ingredient is one of the few ways I can indulge in it, and so this is an excellent treat for me. Comes in milk, dark, or white.
A big, hearty breakfast is important in Winter, especially if you have a bit of a hangover from a weekend of conventioning while a little ill, and two little drinks at an after party. I ended up at Our Little Cafe in Mt Barker on the Monday afternoon post-AVCon. Unfortunately positioned on the shady side of the street, and thus never as busy as they deserve, they dish up a solid all day breakfast. While not as fancy as some, a plate with eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, and a hash brown is pretty darn good. Add to that an order of Canadian crumpets with butter, bacon, and maple syrup, and you are on your way to a happy stomach. Their vegetarian option is good too.
If you are feeling a little fancier with your breakfast cravings, try Aldgate Providore & Cafe. Though a little less recent, I went there for a hangover cure after Tamara and Paul's excellent wedding. Everything was delicious, my only problem with it being I wanted more on my plate/board.
Nairne is happily home to what many believe to be the best Indian restaurant in the state, Chingari. It is definitely the best of the half dozen or so that I have tried. Their Vindaloo is superb, expertly combining blazing heat and rich flavour that lingers perfectly, where other restaurants would sacrifice one for the other. The owner did me a favour when I had a cold with a Vindaloo just before closing recently, which I won't forget in a hurry. Some of their dishes tend to vary a little, possibly depending on who cooks them, or whether it is at the start or end of a pot or some such, but the Mutter Mushroom, Aloo Ghobi, and Beef Pasenda all get very big ticks of approval from me. My mother will also rave about their Naan, and she can't find any to match it in Melbourne.
Although the exact opposite of a "Winter Warmer", I will include Gelato Bello here because I have been there more times than were good for me recently. Though I do love their chocolate, vanilla, and caramel flavours, they really shine when it comes to the fruits. Their apple and banana gelati are amazing, but the real star of their current range is the mango. The only one I have ever had that beats it is their Apricot flavour. It is an absolute travesty that it was unpopular enough that it got discontinued, and I frequently threaten to make a special order of a couple of tubs one Summer soon.