Monday, September 26, 2011

Friends of Mine

There's not much to not like about Friends of Mine, at least to look at. The newest, but biggest, addition in the family that includes Snow Pony and Porgie + Mr Jones.

On a bright day such as the one Bryan and I visited on, on his regular day off during the week (I would never want to try to venture here on the weekend I think...), it's yellow awnings from outside, emanate a character with a cheery disposition and you can't help but smile. Or I can't, because I freaking love yellow.

This cheerful character spills on inside, with worn but homely decor, brightened up with...more yellow. And some random knick-knacks that give it a quirky charm as well. I went a little gaga over the yellow coffee machine. If I did drink coffee, I would want that in my house, never mind if I lived on my own!

I was quite surprised with how big Friends of Mine was, with lots of space in different rooms, which had slightly different decor in each space.

And who doesn't like a gentle reminder of appreciating the simple yourself? It's funny how much impact there is in seeing such a straight forward and honest message like this is...

I found my chai a little weak, not the best I've had, but good enough.

Bryan got his new coffee favourite, the Magic, although initially the waitress gave a slightly puzzled looking face when he asked if they had them. I like the cups that Magic's come in, they're quite cute!

It actually took me quite a while to figure out what I wanted to have. I was so overly tempted to go for the smashed avocado, which is also at Snow Pony and Porgie + Mr Jones, and which I love oh so dearly....yet, I strongly felt that I needed to try something different. And I may as well, especially since Friends of Mine provides a bigger menu than it's other siblings, with much more lunch options, steering away from eggs, available.

So I opted for the salad of warm French lentils, roasted baby beets, goats cheese and spiced Dargo walnuts. This was oh so pleasant, it made for a lovely and filling dish, with a nice mix of flavours. The beetroot added so much sweetness and was absolutely delicious. Can't go pass the goats cheese as well for a bit of punch as well!

Bryan was quite a bit more ambitious to me and went for a dish that was unique to Friends of Mine, the "Hung" over with cheesy toast, poached googies, bacon and smashed avocado. It came out and you could just smell the cheese in the air. When it was placed on the table, I think my jaw dropped as I was so surprised at how....much presence it had. It was a pretty big ass plate.

Unfortunately Bryan didn't seem to fully enjoy his dish, although it did fill him up quite satisfactorily!

I don't often do a lot of dessert when I go to cafes, although I would like to, as usually by the time I finish up some eggs, I'm frankly...quite full! However, when you're out with fellow food bloggers....there's always room for more food...and more pictures.

I couldn't resist trying out the rocky road, as I had had the one at Snow Pony before and become absolutely smitten with it. However, the one at Friends of Mine I didn't find as good. The chocolate wasn't as cocoa-y as I remembered it being and I think the ratio of marshmallow to chocolate was more than I would have liked it to be. It ended up being a bit too sweet, even for me!

I won't lie, I got mega excited when I saw that the macarons were from Madame Josephine. It had been a while since I had come across them so I knew we had to have a few! We chose the passionfruit and chocolate, coffee and raspberry. The texture of them were consistently and just lovely, the shell gently breaking away and a nice easy to bite through density.

Flavour-wise, the passionfruit and chocolate was easily our favourite, the passionfruit came across as bright, bouncy and very natural which was just perfect with the rich chocolate. I didn't mind the raspberry, but compared to the passionfruit, it's flavours didn't shine as much.

Whilst I do like Friends of Mine, even though Snow Pony has the same menu, I somehow like it better. Maybe the interior, while quite fun, is a bit too big for me, the atmosphere is not quite the same, which for me, does affect my eating experience. So I may revisit, but I think I'd rather take the trip down to Snow Pony anyway....

I am however, quite keen to check our their 'High Tea' one of these days....who doesn't want an excuse to wear a cute floral dress?

You can read Bryan's view of Friends of Mine and find out what he thought of his dish here...!

506 Swan St
Richmond, 3121

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