Category Archives: Four Star rating

La Part des Anges – Beaune

A hip and cool restaurant/wine bar in Beaune. Good menu – nice feel. Of interest – we tried some Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon 2010 red burgundies – Bourgogne rouge and Chambolle-Musigny villages. Spectacular wines – finesse and power in nice balance. The bourgogne rouge drinks well now,  the Chambolle needs a few months yet. La Part des Anges means the amount of wine lost in the barrel due to evaporation etc.

Gypsy Hideout – Northcote

No signs anywhere at 68 High St Northcote – Westgarth end. Coffee is OK but a little simple and weak, but a very interesting and bold menu. We were here on a hot day – no fans inside – lights were all on – why? There is a fan in the backyard terrace area? Why?
Food is interesting though service is hit and miss. There appear to be a lot of people in the kitchen – too many for the amount of food that has to be prepared. Too many cooks …….! Worth a visit – but go on a cool day!  Coffee 3 stars, food 4 stars, service 2 stars. Average of 3 stars. Will revisit!

Has potential to be a Five Star Cafe (or even 6) but inconsistency of service, coffee quality and overall ‘feel’ needs to be improved!

On a recent visit ( January 6th 2012) we can report that the coffee was excellent. Dishes were of very good quality and portion size was good and service was quick. Only comment is that there is a certain ‘sameness’ across the entire menu. Everyone is now doing, poached eggs, chorizo, fetta, harissa etc.  You would think that for a ‘Spanish’ inspired cafe you could find something a little more interesting and authentic.  So for now up to a 4 star rating – which is damn good.  Still no fans or aircon inside – so on a hot day maybe this is not a good choice for those trying to keep out of the heat!

Cafe Ora – Kew

Established in the old ‘Ocha’ Japanese restaurant premises, this breath of fresh air has been lacking on this side of Kew. Coffee is ‘Five Senses Proud Mary blend’ (whatever that means – it tastes like Five Senses to me – creamy and smooth). Coffee is excellent indeed. The menu spans across breakfast and lunch. On our first breakfast visit we thought that serving sizes were a little too small – many of us were still hungry – which is not the reason to go out for breakfast! Maybe they were running low on ingredients (it was Grand Final day) and had to stretch what was left. On a second visit the pancake was nice – but other dishes that were coming out of the kitchen looked a little petite!  Not fully convinced yet – but the coffee is superb. 156 Pakington Street Kew. Coffee gets a 6 star rating, food gets a 3, so the average is 4 star.

Chowder House – Hepburn Springs

Off the beaten track for sure but Hepburn Springs has a few nice eateries and not too over the top prices. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have a range of Cafes etc. Some are average and expensive – and others – like Chowder House offer excellent value, great food and good service. French Toast was great as are most of the dishes. There is something for everyone here. Rating 4 Stars out of 6.

97 Main Rd, Hepburn Springs Phone 03 5348 2221

Red Door Corner Store – Northcote

Red Door is an old style local eatery (a refurbished Milk Bar) way off the beaten track in a quiet Northcote street. The coffee is Gravity fairtrade and is of a high standard. Maybe not in the league of ‘Proud Mary’ but very close. Gravity was popular and hip a few years ago but these days there are so many micro roasters doing interesting roasts.

The menu is quite extensive and has something for everyone. Most dishes work very well but there is the occassional bummer. The muesli can be excellent, or sometimes contain large chunks of dried fruits which are chewy and impossible to eat. The grilled mushrooms are a winner along with all of the ‘toasties’ sandwiches – especially the BLT.  The bread they use is fair but a little too solid and floury. I wish they would use a better quality sourdough bread. Portion sizes can vary from dish to dish and sometimes the quality/value ratio is missing the mark. Service has been very good. Overall ‘Red Door’ is a good addition to the Northcote cafe scene. It maybe needs a little more consistency in style/size/value to gain some extra merit points. Rating 4 Stars out of 6


70 Mitchell St Northcote VIC 3070. (takes ages to load!)

UPDATE: Revisited recently. Coffee was excellent. Website has been redesigned and loads quickly. On this visit we had the grilled field mushrooms and sweet potato and corn cake. Mushrooms were great but some stray walnut shells hiding in the mushrooms spoiled an otherwise great dish. Sweet potato and corn cake appeared a little thick and heavy – not bad but not perfect. So for the time being – the current rating and comments still stand.