It was a Saturday and we were off on another coffee expedition trip. This time to Focus, a cafe in Balwyn that came recommended.
You may be shocked (and maybe slightly offended) to know that pizza is not on my list of favourite foods. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. So when I found out that awesome pizza place (disguised as a late night hipster pot-smoking bar) just a stone throw from my apartment, I did not lose my pants over this news. But I have to admit that Lazer pig has the best pizzas I’ve ever tried (excluding the ones I had in Italy)!
I am quite ashamed to say that both times Brit and I had Lazer pig, we had it takeaway. The option to make an order on the phone and show up 20 minutes late in my pajamas was just too tempting to pass up. Nonetheless, we still has the chance to check out the interior upon pick up.
The decor is not what you’d expect as pizzeria to look like. First of all, the exterior of the restaurant are filled with sleeping cartoon pigs (which mislead me to believe the name of the place was “Lazy pig” instead of “Lazer pig” for a long time). As you walk in, it’s quite dark, only with some decorative lighting – a little bit like an upper class version of Perseverance/PAs (college kids, ya know what I mean). There is some cute chalk writing of menu specials on the walls – presumably to pay homage the style of traditional pizzeria ancestors.
Alright, time to pig into the food (pun intended). The stand out feature about their pizzas is the pizza dough. To me, it’s what makes or breaks a pizza. I wouldn’t classify it as either thick of thin crust, but somewhere in between. The best way I describe the dough to my friends is it has the fluffy “sink your teeth into it” consistency of Naan bread, but is thin enough so that the toppings still have a chance to shine. Secondly, the ingredients are so incredibly fresh and the combinations of toppings on offer aren’t the regulars. There are some awesome aussie flavours for those who are on the bogan side.
So far we’ve had the Prawn fraser (tomato base, south australian prawns, buffalo mozzarella, lemon, chilli, roquette and pesto), Smashing pumpkin (garlic base, roast pumpkin, spinach, goat feta, buffalo, mozzarella and chilli), Mary had a little lamb (garlic base, slow cooked lamb, fior di latte, red onion, olives, fetta, rosemary and lemon) and Lazer pig to the rescue (fontina bechamel base, pulled pork shoulder, BBQ onions, smokey BBQ sauce, chilli, basil and apply cider reduction). Might I add that they have the cutest pizza boxes too?!?!
My favourite is the Smashing pumpkin. Brit reckons the Prawn fraser is the best. We’ll both agree to disagree on that.
Also, we recently found out that they have $10 margaritas during happy hour! Bonus!!!
Alas, I finally made it to the end of the post. Its been so hectic lately, I’ve only had time to write this post in 10 minute intervals taking the tram to and from uni (ikr, how sad is that).
We had just watched ‘The Eagle Huntress’, a documentary showing at the MIFF about a Mongolian girl who defies tradition by becoming a master eagle hunter (a role traditionally reserved for males). The film had absolutely breath taking cinematography and the story it captured was equally moving – a girl with the courage, strength and passion to challenge gender stereotypes and a father’s unconditional support and love for his dear child.
Ok, so I’m going to keep this one pretty brief because I don’t like to dwell on the negatives. I was quite disappointed with my brunch experience at Higher Ground yesterday. Here are my thoughts.
I was looking forward to a wonderful brunch with my dear friend Alice. I normally steer away from new, hyped-up places (because they are usually not worth the hype) but that day, I was in the mood to surprise myself.
I was excited to see there was a heated seated outdoor waiting area. For once, I didn’t experience an inner-conflict between waiting out in the cold and giving in to going somewhere else to with no waiting time. The staff were super friendly and on-the-ball too. The concept of the restaurant was impressive – a refurbished warehouse with different levels to dine on, overlooking the main atrium (hence, “higher ground”). Unfortunately, these will be the only positive aspects I’ll be writing about…
On a first glace, nothing on the menu seemed to tickle my tastebuds (some say I’m a picky eater, but I strongly disagree). Upon a second read-through, I settled for the Eggs Benedict – thinking I couldn’t go wrong with a classic. Plus, ordering classic dishes at a restaurant I’m trying for the first time is one of my favourite ways to get a feel for its culinary standards. When the eggs ben arrived, I was extremely underwhelmed with what was served to me – 2 slices of bread and 2 poached eggs slapped onto the plate. The portion size was tiny and the presentation was pathetic. I was halfway through my meal until I realised a little piece of bacon was squished between the bread slices (can’t even be seen in the photo). The hollandaise sauce was too salty and sour. I was convinced they had served me mustard instead. I will go as far to say that I have never had an eggs ben worse than this! They totally butchered this classic brunch favourite. It was also one of the more expensive eggs ben I’ve come across too…
Alice had the spiced cauliflower scrambled eggs. It wasn’t as disastrous as my dish – the flavours were there and visually, it looked much more appetising than mine. But again, the serving size was small for what you paid for.
I know its not exactly fair for me to judge a restaurant based on 2 dishes, but if you can’t get the basics right, it doesn’t instil much confidence in me to try your other creations.
On the other hand, I beat Brit here (she had plans go 3 days after me, but did know it was close on a Sunday night until she got there) so that’s a win for me.
I was supposed to meet a friend for brunch at Workshop Brothers on Saturday. An hour and a half before the designated meeting time, I receive a message from him asking me whether I wanted to meet at the branch in the city or the one in Glen Huntly…then I saw the black cat in the Matrix for the second time…
Last week I bid a good friend farewell – he is going to the UK to spend some time with family for a good few months. As I think back to the past 10 years of our friendship since we first met as young law students, the most recent standout memory of our time together was spent D&M-ing over dinner at The Grace Darling Hotel.