Scopri Farm To Your Table

The popular Italian restaurant, Scopri, in Carlton has been devoted to using farm fresh ingredients and creating meals tasting just like great Italian food should. This farm to table claim is not the usual menu marketing ploy but the real deal with produce coming from their own farm in Lancefield. This inner city favorite may have had to close its doors to sit down customers but it has been as busy as ever preparing take home weekly meal boxes, consisting of three main meals, three vegetable side dishes and a loaf of bread for two people (delivered Thursdays in a 10km radius of Scopri or for pick-up Wed – Fri afternoons, $125). These weekly and also the four week subscription meal boxes have been so popular they have completely sold out but don’t panic more are to come. This may be an expensive way of eking out an existence during the pandemic but after a while you may want a little luxury and a “night out” of the kitchen. Set the table, light the candles, play some soothing music and be reassured that you have played a little part in keeping your local restaurant afloat. Buon Appetito!

Woodfrog Bakery Gets It

Some time ago I wrote about the difficultly of buying good quality fresh bread after business hours. If you are working long hours but want to make your own wholesome sandwiches for lunch the chances of getting fresh bread very early in the morning or on your way home from the CBD are hopeless, that is, until recently. Woodfrog Bakery (St.Kilda, Kew) now have fresh bread kiosks on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Street (outside the old GPO) and also on the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street. Open from 7:30 am until 7 pm in the evening, the kiosks sell nice sourdough loaves and pastries for you to pick up on your way through town. I always thought it would be brilliant if some enterprising baker sold bread in the evening when hungry workers make their way home, after all a baguette is a better prospect than some junk food and how nice to have a baguette to go with cheese and wine when friends come over in the evening. Parisians have the luxury of multiple baking times every day to ensure what appears to be their birthright; a daily crispy baguette, available morning, noon or night (well, until 8 or 8:30 pm). In contrast, we have to contend with plastic wrapped or stale mass produced supermarket bread or be happy only enjoying a great loaf on weekends. At last commuters have a touch of Paris in town. Woodfrog also sell freshly made sandwiches, so you can pick up something really tasty for lunch as well as a croissant or Danish pastry for your morning coffee break. Thank you Woodfrog – I hope the kiosks do well.

Falco – A Small Batch Of Goodness

New to Smith Street, Collingwood is a wonderful bakery, Falco, that describes itself as a small batch bakery. And a small batch of goodness it certainly is. Let’s face it most mass produced foods lose that je ne sais quoi, that something that makes artisan foods worth the extra dollars or extra distance to obtain. Falco takes the time to make lovely breads in the traditional manner and if that means in small batches then so be it. With that dedication comes great baking expertise; head baker and co-owner, Christine Tran, hails from Tartine in San Francisco as well as honing her skills at Tivoli Bakery in Melbourne. That skill and attention to detail really shows in the bread I tasted. Falco’s light rye is probably the best I’ve had in Melbourne and I’ve been on the look out for good rye breads for years. Sandwiches here are wonderfully tasty and fresh. Ingredients are locally sourced and the coffee (also excellent) is roasted nearby, so you can stop for a coffee and a pastry or a lunchtime sandwich when you pick up a loaf.

Falco is open seven days a week (now that’s dedication) 8 am – 4 pm.

288 Smith Street, Collingwood

New Urban Farm

Acre, the new urban farm with eateries and more, has just opened at the Burwood Brickworks site on Middleborough Road, Burwood East. This exciting and unique project is a huge food garden hub with various places to eat the produce, enjoy the view over a drink or coffee and cake, learn about sustainable food production and cooking, engage with the community and generally have a good time. There are events spaces for weddings or small functions and lots of community workshops are in the planning. It’s still early days and the food garden is in its early growth phase but the cafe, bar and restaurants are open and there is also take-away food, perfect for summer picnics. The cafe and cake counter are open 7 days a week and the Eatery & Bar is open Wednesday to Sunday. Check opening and closing times at the Melbourne Acre website.

Black Star Pastry Revisits

Sydney iconic cake makers, Black Star Pastry, have opened a pop-up store/cafe in Acland Street, St. Kilda. As I wrote when they last visited Melbourne in 2017 their fruit-driven cakes are not only extremely pretty but delightfully fresh and flavoursome. These cakes are not the dense, super sweet numbers meant for a long shelf life you mostly see around town these days. Black Star Pastry’s cake are very fresh and light with interesting flavours such as raspberry and lychee, pistachio and lemon, dragon fruit, pineapple and pomegranate. Forget Instagram, come on down, use a fork and get stuck in and enjoy it. Their previous pop-up in Carlton closed in 2017, so don’t dilly-dally too much as this pop-up store will close in April 2020 and it could be a while before we see a permanent home in Melbourne. I guess that will depend on how much love there is in Melbourne.

Black Star’s iconic watermelon cake

2C Acland Street, St Kilda
Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm
Sat, Sun, 8am-5pm