Saturday, October 6, 2012

8am lunch at the South of Johnston.

I've been dreading the month of October all semester, mainly because it's the month when I've got 5 assignments to hand up and 1 test to complete. I suppose a completely assignment-and-test-free September needed to come with a price. Guess that might explain my lack of blogging for the week.. and from now on.

South of Johnston
46, Oxford Street, Collingwood VIC
03 94172741
Mon - Sun, 7.30am - 5pm
[ tram 86, stop 15 (Gertrude St/Smith St) ]

 South of Johnston on Urbanspoon

We were up and out of the house and got there by 9am. I love starting the day early.. It gives me so much time to chill for the rest of the day.

It's not too hard to find the place, but we walked right by the front door at first. There was another couple outside, probably looking for the place as well.

Seeing that should've given me warning bells that it was a kid-friendly place. And.. it was. Out of 9 tables including Jason and mine, 6 had toddlers (i think that's what you call 3-5year olds). No matter, the kids were very well behaved and VERY cute. (I'm not THAT much of a kid hater..)

I like how their menu features the toy tractor that by the front door. This café has an extensive selection of food, probably the most extensive as far as I can remember. And the best part about this place.. is that lunch can be served at 9am. 

"We've got people coming in from the airport after a long flight, asking fot pasta at 7.30am so... yeah"

The usual soy latté, $4.50 and Jason's strong latté, $4.

Felt great to have some good coffee after a week with more late nights than i usually do. I'm so bad with caffeine, it's not even funny.

Risotto with pumpkin, green peas, toasted pine nuts and parmesean, $18.90

It looked like a plain and tasteless dish.. but I was completely blown away by the taste. I can't even describe it. It may be slightly on the pricier side, but I'd gladly pay for that. That's saying something cause I'm a real cheapo.

Seared sashimi grade tuna with organic soba noodles, cucumber, coriander, cashews, capsicum, and a lime/chilli dressing, $18.90.

Knowing that a kilo of can cost up to $40, this dish was definitely worth the price. It came with a pretty darn big piece of seared tuna. The soba noodles with the dressing was the part that won me over. I LOVE chilli and lime together, which might explain my love for Thai food.

The tuna was bit more cooked than I would've liked, but it went really well with the crazy-on-my-palette soba noodles. I felt great choosing the relatively healthy dish today. Really really great. (It was between this and a french toast with blueberry compote and mascarpone. Thank god, right?)

You'd think that $18.90 is pretty pricey and it is, but those were about the priciest items on the menu. I'd gladly pay that price for those dishes again. The other items were about $15-$17 for, from what I've observed, pretty reasonable portions.

Cherry tart, $5.

There was nothing particularly amazing about the cherry tart. The filling wasn't sweet, more like a sour cherry (in a good way) type of filling. The actual tart itself was more of a softer crust rather than the shortbread texture that I'm used to.

The place used to be a sort of warehouse that was converted into a café, which explains the high ceiling and the large space all round.

They even had a real fireplace, with a real flame, and real wood and a real chimney! I've never come across a real fireplace before, so pardon me. There were comfy couches around it too, which makes me think of old Enid Blyton books.

Big, open space, comfy chairs, quiet environment. I'm too used to crammed, packed and noisy cafés with wooden upright booths or stools. Never felt so comfortable in a café in a long time.

Since Spring has really sprung, it might mean we've got plenty of rain coming our way. I'll bring my rainbow umbrella out pretty often from now on, just in case.

I love my rainbow umbrella. And a lot of strangers do too. You've no idea how many people gave it a second look with a smile. Feels great to be able to put a smile on someone's face on a gloomy day. The happiest $13 ever spent on non-food items this semester.

I can't wait for tomorrow! We picked up another deal from, not for a café but for dinner this time! Celebrating our 14th month anniversary. Usually one of us would cook up a storm at home, but we decided to eat out this time. I really hope their lighting doesn't suck, I'm a little too shy to use the blinding flash on my camera while other people're enjoying their dinner. Fingers crossed!

/ edit /

Food: 8
Coffee: 7
Ambience: 9
Value: 7
Staff: 8

2 assignments done, 2 almost due, and 2 more to go.

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