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Monday, June 9, 2008

Cafe Plum: 5

Cafe Plum

Do you find that sometimes you get bored with things that you enjoy? Fortunately that hasn't happened so far with our favourite café – Plum. The boys and I went there for brunch (again) the other weekend, and I wasn't intending to blog about it since I've already raved about here, here, here AND here. And really, how many different ways can you find of saying, "this place is great"?

Me, being me, I took photos of the food anyway, even though I wasn't going to blog the meal. Yeah, I know, I think it might be a compulsion.

Cafe Plum

Alastair ordered the French toast with bacon and (real) maple syrup (about $13 from memory). His meal came out first, and I snuck a bite after taking a quick photo. I'm glad I took a photo because:

Oh. My. God. Best French Toast Ever.

The inside of the bread was perfectly cooked and soft, but the outer edge was crispy. It was fragrant with just the right amount of cinnamon, and the sweetness was perfectly judged. So good!

Cafe PlumCafe Plum

It was lunch time by the time we arrived (we slept in!) so Bro and I ordered off the lunch specials board. I had the potato and ricotta fritters with smoked salmon, horse radish, creme fraiche and tomato and chive salsa ($16.50). Bro had the rigatoni with meatballs in a rich tomato sauce ($16.50).

Our meals were good, but Bro and I had food envy after we tasted Alastair's French toast. Normally neither of us would order a sweet brunch, but when Alastair couldn't finish his French toast, we polished it off for him!

After we finished, Franco (the owner/chef) came up for a chat and – get this – asked us if we had a blog. And, what's more, asked if it was this one. Totally found out! :)

On the last Sunday of the colder months, Cafe Plum does a roast dinner. We always intended to go, but never got around to it. It just so happened that the following night was the May roast dinner. Franco started telling us what was on the menu - duck. As soon as the Boys heard duck they were sold (they love it).

So the next evening, we went back to Plum for dinner! It was a three course set menu ($38). There was a vegetarian option, which we didn't try.

Cafe Plum

The first course was a beetroot soup with goats cheese crostini. Look at the beautiful colour in that soup! The soup was thick with a bit of sweetness and perfect for a cold Sunday evening.

Cafe Plum

The main course was a roast duck confit with marsala glaze and served with a parsnip gratin. Everyone received a large maryland and the small drumstick pictured. I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of duck, but I really enjoyed this. The duck wasn't very gamey, with the hint of marsala complementing the slight gaminess, and the flesh was moist and tender.

The parsnip gratin was eggy and cheesy with the flavour of the parsnip fairly subtle. It was a large slab and very filling!

Cafe Plum

There was also some crunchy, dressed greens - snow peas, green beans and spinach.

Cafe Plum

Dessert was a choice between cheese or a pannetone pudding with chocolate ice cream and custard. I had the pudding. A posh bread and butter pudding, it was sweet and rich, plus soft and almost gooey in the middle. There were occasional bits of glorious crunchy toffeed crust.

Cafe Plum

The cheese was a Gorgonzola with spiced walnuts and crackers. The Gorgonzola was very tingly and pungent!

I think the next roast dinner is on Sunday 29 June. Call to check (and book). We had a great time, and will definitely go again.

Cafe Plum
193 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne 3051
Ph: (03) 9329 8867

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