Harold Holt – out of the drink

By pure chance I discovered that there is a new kid on the block (notice hipster 90s reference) whilst out walking one lunch last week.

The Harold Holt Espresso Bar has been open for 6 weeks now, taking over from the old Boat Restaurant.

First test was the purchase a coffee … there is some stiff competition in the area and I was hopeful it would work out well … mostly as it is about a half block walk from work.

I was advised by Todd, the barista, that the blend was from Zest and was a mixed blend with a slightly acidic edge, rather than single origin. They use A2 milk which was good news for me also.

Toby was right, the coffee was on the bitter side in taste with a definite acidic edge.

So, decent coffee = tick

Next trip will be for breakfast, which I take very very seriously.  I will report back.

You can read about the cafe on their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/haroldholtespressolounge

One item of note: It looks like the new owners have taken over the old Facebook page and also Twitter account, there are reviews from before the Harold Holt had a soft launch in June, there are tweets under the Tweitter account BoatRestaurant that are the same as are posted on the Harold Holt Facebook page … and the old Boat Website is still up and running. Does make me wonder whether there are truly new owners or this is a re-brand … will investigate.


Update: 21/08/13


Harold Holt Espresso Bar
The Toastie

First food tasting this morning … the chef very kindly made me a traditional toastie off menu and to my specs … it is everything you would want, buttery bread, good quality ham and cheese (but not too overpowering). This will see me through to lunch, although a gym session might be needed at some point, this is not a low fat option!

I have been assured that the owners are new and there is no re-branding occurring and they are the same owners of the popular Kew Cafe Percy’s Aeroplane, read the reviews here.


Coconut Water

The new ‘thing’ to drink … Coconut water is meant to be great for hydration. Read about it here

I was very sceptical until my naturopath mentioned it was worth trying out … and I trust her opinion. So off I went to purchase my first bottle.  After chilling it as suggested I took a long draft … and almost lost my lunch.

I have no idea who could drink this stuff, it left the oddest taste ! I have tried three different brands and have the same reaction to all … looks like I will be stuck with plain water (unless I go the Alkalised water route, doubt it!).

Read about it on Choice here.

Activating da Almonds

I should mention up front that this endevour has not been inspired by the recent Daily Diary of Pete Evans, which caused a massive Twitter Storm … Activated Almonds has already been suggested to me by my lovely Naturopath Lindy Cook (who also runs the awesome business My Green Lunchbox creating zero rubbish lunch boxes and help schools raise money).
So disclaimer aside …. I currently have a bowl of almonds soaking up the good water, seems it is super easy to do yourself. I will let you know how they turn out.

For a how-to visit this site.

nifty flourless chocolate cake

Watching MasterChef has been known to inspire me in the kitchen … Sometimes.

The other night I announced that I wanted to make a chocolate cake … I had a fluffy sponge in mind but came across a lovely flourless version online (where else do you find recipes these days, I say looking at a shelf full of lovely cookbooks).

This cake is more pudding then anything, cooked in a steam bath ( nothing like a good steam bath for cake and people).

It was a hit, eaten warm with icecream … Go and try it now, NOW!

This is from taste.com.au
Ingredients (serves 8)

  • Melted reduced-fat dairy spread, to grease
  • 50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) hot water
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tsp boiling water
  • 1 x 100g pkt almond meal
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Strawberries, washed, sliced, to serve

The how

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted dairy spread to lightly grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.

  2. Combine the cocoa powder and hot water in a medium bowl. Combine the instant coffee powder and boiling water in a cup. Add the coffee to the cocoa mixture and stir until combined.

  3. Add almond meal, sugar and egg yolks to cocoa mixture, and stir until well combined.

  4. Use an electric beater to whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Use a metal spoon to fold a spoonful of egg whites into cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place cake pan in a roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach two-thirds of the way up the side of the cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Remove cake pan from water bath and set aside for 20 minutes to cool. Turn cake onto a wire rack and remove paper. Set aside for a further 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.

  6. Cut cake into wedges and carefully transfer to serving plates. Serve with strawberries.

Snapper with roast beetroot and chickpea salad


All I wanted was hot chips, hot chips from the local greasy … But in an effort to regain pre-preggy healthy eating I decided to make something at home, although there was an internal tantrum at the start.

I had taken Alice to visit a seafood outlet I had been told about in Coburg. Luckily there was also a deli and fruit and veg wholesale shop in the same street. I managed to ignore the cake shop in the same strip.

The snapper was recommended and after picking up some goat feta and mint I headed home.

First I roasted the beetroot ( I wear washing up gloves when peeling and slicing) and some pumpkin.

I drained some chickpeas and finely sliced some mint, washed some salad leaves.

While the beetroot and pumpkin cool I slice potatoes and put on to boil. Also washed and dried the snapper fillet.

The beetroot salad is then put together… Adding the chickpeas, mint, beetroot, pumpkin and salad leaves. The goat feta was to be added at the last minute. Lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt added.

I floured the snapper and pan fried it… Mixed some whole egg mayo with parsley, lemon, capers.

The potatoes were tossed in dill and small amount of mayo to give gloss.

Turned out to be a great alternative to hot chips, and I will feel better for it.

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