Busy Oven Cafe, Johnston and Nicholson corner

On Sunday, I had breakfast at Busy Oven on the corner of Johnston St and Nicholson St (9415 7418), not exactly an auspicious location. Once you’re inside, though, it’s lovely. They have new opening hours, and are now open from 9ish on Sundays.  It’s a good place to go for a quiet, quick breakfast on a weekend, with a good chance of getting the paper to yourself, only locals, not too crowded, honest food.  Its decor is just a bit too living room, too utilitarian, too local lunchspot, to be really stylish which keeps out the too-beautiful people but at the same time it is a nice place to be, and if the mufffins aren’t yet ready, it’s not because the delivery is late but because they haven’t got them into the oven yet. I suspect its prices are pitched just a little high ($3 coffees, $5 toast), but if that doesn’t bother you, and you don’t plan on stealing my paper, get along there. I spotted the Scottish Karl Roche who runs Element, a cafe which kicks arse in every way, in there for his morning coffee, and that is probably the best advertisement a place can get in my book. He’s so cool he’s got a girlfriend (named Bonnie?) from the Cook Islands, or at least he did, and his cafe doesn’t have a phone, or at least it didn’t, and as far as I know, still does, and still doesn’t.

Watson & Di Palma’s, near the ‘wood Kinderbauernhof

Matt Preston ate 150 pizze before committing the article “Melbourne’s Best Crusts” to print in The Age two and a half years ago. And so I learnt that Watson & Di Palma’s is a chain store, the youngest kid in the unhappy company of Hawthorn and Kew sibblings. The  Hawthorn store made it into the “Other Names Worth Mentioning” category, well below Abbotsford’s E-Lounge which got its own write up (deservedly so). I ate dinner at the Abbotsford place last night, and had a good meal for not too much by ordering entree sizes. Pizze are from $10 to $13.50 for a small, and from $16 to $18.50 for a large. Secondi are from $23.50 to $28.50, and pastas from $13.50 to $16.50 for small and $17.50 to $22.50 for mains.
Continue reading “Watson & Di Palma’s, near the ‘wood Kinderbauernhof”

A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi

Yesterday my curiosity about this place prompted me to detour from my otherwise rigidly fixed route to work on my bike, in my suit. It doesn’t exactly leap out at you when driving past as the missing breakfastry of Abbotsford, and even after peering through this window last Sunday when it was closed, its true nature did not reveal itself, but Bomb Cafe & Bar, as I have discovered it is known (229 Johnston St, not far from the corner of Hoddle St, 9486 0699) is a great spot. Like so many long thin places on Johnston St, a small front section gives onto a middle room and then a magnificent back yard graced by a large peppercorn tree. The hot breakfast menu looked promising, the people behind the coffee machines engaging, but I had a pastry with custard and raspberries with my coffee. Steak, red wine, and salad followed by cheese and walnuts at Vue de Monde didn’t really help at lunch. Continue reading “A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi”