Happy New Year! It’s been a crazy week with all of the new year celebrations, so I’ve kept all of my outings casual and local.
Parisian Patisserie Boulangerie
19 Keilor Road
Essendon VIC 3040
Down the Bulla Road end of Keilor Road you’ll find this pretty little French inspired bakery situated in and amongst a mixed bag of shops and offices. With its fresh white signage and décor, from street level the best way to spot it is to look for the vintage white bicycle parked outside.
Before you even walk into Parisian you are tempted by their sweet pastries and cakes through the window, just wiling you to come in and break your diet with a macaron or pain au chocolate. I of course don’t require much coercion when baked goods are involved, I just about leaped through the door with excitement (seriously, it’s like letting a child free in a lolly shop). Before I walked in the door I gave myself some boundaries – to only purchase one pastry and leave. The problem is it’s so easy to ignore self inflicted boundaries when there is no one else around to keep you to it, so of course I picked up more than one pastry. Seriously? How was I supposed to only pick one when they all look so good! I’ll worry about the diet later.
I picked up a pain au chocolate, a chocolate beignet and a custard beignet. The pain au chocolate was a bit dry for my liking but those beignets were delicious! The chocolate custard was very rich, so much so that it overpowered the flavour of the beignet itself, that aside, if you can handle rich sweets which I absolutely can, you’ll love it.
The winner of the lot was the custard beignet. It had a beautifully creamy consistency, and full vanilla flavour, no lumps or eggy taste to be found here. The beignet itself was also great, soft, fluffy and the perfect encasement for that custard. I will go as far as saying this is the best custard I’ve tasted in Melbourne! Big call? Go and try it, then tell me if you disagree.
Special mention must also go to the Mille Feuille. I wasn’t lucky enough to get one on this trip, but I’ve brought one in the past and WOW! Beautifully buttery, flaky and crisp pastry, sandwiching that delicious custard. It’s hard to go back to standard cakes after eating one of these.
The verdict? The is absolutely one of the best places to satisfy you sweet tooth, not just out west, but in all of Melbourne.
Hey Jude Café
100 Keilor Road
North Essendon Vic 3041
It’s no secret that there isn’t a huge abundance of inventive, modern and lets say hipster cafes in Melbourne’s west. As soon as you leave North Melbourne and jump on the Tullamarine FWY finding that great lunch/brunch spot can be quite a challenge in amongst lost of mediocre eateries. I’m not saying there aren’t any great places, it’s just that there isn’t an abundance of them, often making them difficult to find.
Having said that, Hey Jude Café is one of those desperately sought after great spots. The place was buzzing when we visited for a casual Sunday brunch with a couple of friends. We were lucky enough to get a table right away and the lovely staff really went out of their way to accommodate my huge stroller (it’s just so damn bulky!).
Upon my first look at the menu I was quite overwhelmed, there were so many great options, I really didn’t know what to pick. They have the usual suspects – buttermilk pancakes, fruit toast, muesli and eggs benedict, but then they have some other real surprises like the breakfast burger, the breakfast salad, or the scrambled eggs with feta, basil and roasted tomatoes. In the end we picked the avocado smash (avocado, feta, heirloom tomatoes) off the specials menu and the breakfast burger ( bacon, egg, baby spinach, hollandaise sauce served with a homemade hash brown).
The breakfast burger was delicious, it was a great change to your standard bacon and egg roll. Tasty and satisfying, it didn’t leave you with that oily and greasy feeling you often have after eating bacon and eggs. The hash brown was also great, crispy on the outside, but soft and delicious inside. The avocado smash was it’s reliable self. It was fresh, light and tasty, so in other words you can’t go wrong.
All in all, I was pretty happy with this place, I can just about guarantee we’ll be back.