Have you met Zigfrid?

Who: Zigfrids

Where: 65 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch & dinner!

Geelong West's newest eatery and bar!

Geelong West’s newest eatery and bar!

On our morning walks to and from our local caffeine dealer, Andrew & I have been coveting a particular red brick warehouse on Pakington Street and imagining the things we could do to it if it belonged to us!  As it turns out, the real owners, two very experienced Geelong locals (Beav & Donna), had a vision far beyond ours!

When I discovered that they had finally opened last Friday night, I decided that we needed a night out for a family dinner and to see what had been going on behind closed doors all these months!

Sorry Jen; we’ll have a girls night there when you get back from LA!

Slick industrial fit-out designed by Donna!

Slick industrial inspired fit-out designed by Donna!

The first thing that had me gobsmacked was the slick fit-out, which compliments the buildings original features – clearly Donna has a natural talent, as she designed it herself!

While we were there, an elderly couple arrived and spent quite some time soaking up the interior.  They were once the owners of the property and used to run it as a mechanics workshop. They were so impressed that the old building had been brought back to life with the use of polished concrete floors, exposed bricks and spectacular handcrafted and locally made dining tables. I don’t know about you, but I love the increasing trend of new owners of old buildings in Geelong, re-purposing them for all of us to enjoy!

So we sat for a couple of hours and were fed by Zigfrids incredibly talented chef; Alex McIntosh, who hails from Canada and has now, made Geelong his home.

We started with a tuna titaki that literally melted in our mouths and some oysters from St. Helens in TAS and Coffin Bay in SA. The Tassie ones are my absolute favourite as they are small and sweet (Don’t gag Laura; I’ll make an oyster connoisseur out of you one day!).

They don’t have a specific “kids menu”, but there are plenty of kid-friendly options (think Pork Sliders, Chicken wings, Lamb ribs) and the kitchen was happy to make them something simple, if we wanted. Our kids are pretty adventurous eaters and will try anything put in front of them, so it was definitely not needed!

Miss 9 and Master 6 had the prawn cocktail, which was absolutely NOT the 1980’s version; this one had yummy fat prawns, amazing Asian-style dressing and killer chilli!  Not sure how many kids would cope with that much chilli, but it was pretty easy to avoid!

The pork sliders were perfect! Miss 7 managed to down all 3 of them without having to share! I did have to ask her very nicely if I could have a bite so I could write about it!

Tuna Titaki, Pulled Pork Sliders & Killer Prawn Cocktail!

Melt-in-your-mouth Tuna Titaki, Perfect Pork Sliders & Killer Prawn Cocktail!

For main course, Andrew had the HUGE pork loin, with smoked apple puree and toasted oats; which he described as a pork apple crumble!  I wanted to save room for dessert so I had the perfectly cooked salmon. (Unfortunately the soft shell crab wasn’t available last night, so I had a super-sneaky lunch there today and can HIGHLY recommend it).  We couldn’t decide if we wanted the coconut panna cotta for dessert, but I’m a sucker for chocolate & cherries, so we went for the very naughty ice-cream sandwich!

Moriac Pork, Tasmanian Salmon and a naughty ice-cream sandwich!

Moriac Pork, Tasmanian Salmon and a naughty ice-cream sandwich!

What we sampled on Monday night was just the tip of the iceberg!  Zigfrids is open 7 days a week from 8am – 11pm  and bookings are recommended.  Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner, they’ve definitely got you covered and there is a casual outdoor area if you just want a snack and a drink. Their extensive list of Australian wines, as well as local and imported beers & ciders, are all served by staff that were both friendly and super-efficient!

I loved everything about Zigfrids and I’m so happy to see Pakington Street continue to evolve into a real destination for eating, drinking and shopping!

Very much looking forward to my next visit!

xx

(photo’s courtesy of Andrew Cirillo)

Warren & Hutch

Where: 156 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Monday – Friday 8am ’til 6pm
Saturday 8am ’til 4pm
Sunday 9am ’til 3pm

Phone: 03 5229 7720

Web: www.warrenandhutch.com.au

Let’s be honest, most of us that live in G’Town have a favourite spot and tend to stick with what we know.  I know I’ve been guilty of that.  So most of you that know Warren & Hutch think they are only good for sourcing that hard-to-find spice or a ‘Jonathan’s’ sausage; well it’s time to think again!  What was once simply a provedore, has evolved into so much more!

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Jasmine & Keith Bainbridge bought the business in November 2012 with the intention of improving upon what had already been established.  Keith, originally from Durham in North East England, has been a chef since the age of 16.  He has worked all over the UK and more recently the Bellarine region before taking on this new venture. If you pop in for breakfast or lunch, you might not get meet Keith; he’ll be busy out the back cooking up a storm for you!

Jasmine grew up in Geelong and met Keith whilst on a working holiday in Scotland.  They traveled all over the world before deciding to make Australia their permanent home. Coming from a real estate marketing background, Jasmine had never intended to work for the business, but fate intervened and 2 weeks before the new venture kicked off, the company that she worked for closed down without any warning.  Really not a nice thing to have happened, but as the saying goes; one door closes and another one opens!

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The first thing you’ll notice is that the clutter has been removed and replaced with a vibrant wall of Marimekko wallpaper.  I’d like to think there is a little more behind that choice than simply some happy looking cows’ frolicking in a green field!  To me, it perfectly sums up the philosophy of the new Warren & Hutch: to deliver ethical and sustainable produce from the paddock to plate!

Gone are the freezers and in their place rustic crates housing an array of seasonal, certified organic and chemical free fruits & vegetables, baskets full of super-fresh free range eggs that you can select yourself and an incredible selection of oils, condiments and essentials to cater to every foodie’s whim! All of the fresh produce is sourced locally.

In the fridge, you will find organic meats from the top producers in our region, cheese & ciders!

If you can’t be bothered cooking (and let’s face it; we ALL have those nights!) never mind the usual suspects for your mid-week take away.  Warren & Hutch have freshly made meals available every day!  The small size serves 2 – 3 people and the large size serves 4 – 5 people and they are all a far more delicious alternative to take away!  Pretty soon, you’ll even be able to order it online and pick it up on the way home!

On weekends, they are serving a cooked, full free-range breakfast or you can be really naughty and try one of Keith’s INCREDIBLE apple & custard Danish pastries! You all know I’m a sucker for anything sweet, but you’ve not really had a Danish, until you try one of his!  He makes everything on site, right down to the pastry!

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Unfortunately Jen wasn’t with me today, so I sat at the beautiful timber communal table and had lunch with Andrew!  Actually, I bribed him with lunch, as my ulterior motive was to get him to take the photo’s!  I had freshly squeezed blood orange juice and we shared an Indian-style spiced lentil & vegetable soup followed by roasted spatchcock served with roasted vegetable couscous & a lemony yoghurt dressing.  And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds! I could go on and on, but maybe we could just meet there on the weekend and you can see for yourself!

Nat xx

James St Bakery – High Tea

James St Bakery – High Tea

Where: 10 James Street, Geelong

When: Breakfast and lunch Mon to Fri 7 to 4 & Sat 9 to 2 (High Tea is held on the last Sunday of every month)

Ph: 5221 3909

Web: www.jamesstreetbakery.com.au

When Oh! Hello Geelong received an invitation in the mail to attend High Tea at the James St Bakery in Geelong’s CBD we knew we were in for a treat.

And treated we were, thanks to sister duo Helen Brosnan and Trish O’Halloran who are the owners, operators, makers, bakers and creators (along with Helen’s talented husband Laurent Praud) of this lovely boulangerie in the heart of G-town.

As first timers to the James St Bakery and its High Tea experience, Oh! Hello Geelong were curious not only to check out this little café / bakery (which had been on our to do list for months) but we wanted to see just how a High Tea would work in a bakery setting.

What we quickly discovered was that the James St Bakery (especially on High Tea day) is not your typical bakery, far from it! What immediately came to mind during our visit were the food shops of France; think cosy and intimate cafes, elegant patisseries and warm, toasty bakeries. As well, we noticed no signs of typical bakeries, as we know them (ie bread racks, flour dusted aprons or hair nets). Instead there were several dapper young waiters dressed in smart black and white (we think polka dot bow ties would be a perfect addition), a selection of beer, wine and bubbles, tables dressed with white embroidered linen table cloths, a little glass cabinet filled with THE most mouth-wateringly delicious looking macarons we’ve ever seen outside of France (well, that Penny has seen outside of France anyway!) and of course tables filled with oh so delicious sweet and savoury treats that make you wish High Tea could be a permanent fixture in the daily diet.

To help whet our appetite, we each kicked things off with a glass of champagne and a pot of tea (we loved the mixed collection of bone china tea cups – very pretty and fun). This was followed by the first round of food, made up of savoury High Tea favourites; we loved the scrumptious finger sandwiches, warm soup in a teeny tiny tea cup and the scones which just melted in the mouth…so yummy!

And just when we thought the second round could be no match for the first, we were met with a two-teared sweet stand displaying the most adorable selection of sugary sweet goodness including; mini chocolate éclairs, colourful macaroons, rich chocolate truffles and spiced meringue with orange cream (just to name a few). Of course most of these were devoured quicker than you can say “bon appetite”!

Oh! Hello Geelong could see that High Tea at James St Bakery is a popular day out (and we can totally see why), so the trick is to book in advance so you don’t miss out – just contact the Bakery on the number listed above. However, if you don’t make it to High Tea, the bakery is open six days a week for breakfast (all day) and lunch, where you can choose from a selection of goodies most of which are made in house (including the relish, jam and mayo) or sourced locally – Oh! Hello Geelong can’t wait to get back for more ladylike food love.

Thanks to Helen, Trish, Laurent and family for inviting us to experience this little piece of deliciousness in Geelong – merci beaucoup!

PS: the bakery is a family friendly, we spied a high chair out the back!

 

Love Penny + Laura

FUEL Coffee + Food

Where: Shed 2 Gore Place, Geelong

When: Mon – Fri 7.30 to 4

0423 224 808

www.fuelcoffeefood.com.au

As readers of Oh! Hello Geelong may well know, we are two long time tea devotees who love nothing more than sipping perfectly brewed loose-leaf tea morning, noon and night. However, not even two chai loving ladies can ignore the force of the coffee revolution that has taken over G-town! One of the major players in this revolution is FUEL Coffee + Food, which produces bold, no-nonsense coffee (and tea + food – yay) from a fabulous little shed in G-town’s CBD. As well as making damn good food and drink, owners Greg and Georgie Matheson have done quite a job turning a little old shed into a very cool and superbly designed / decorated café space . Think: super cool industrial features and furniture, yellow pops of colour, natural wooden panelling and a few push bikes suspended here and there.

Oh! Hello Geelong was lucky enough to borrow a little of Georgie Matheson’s time for a Q&A – thanks Georgie!

What was the inspiration behind Fuel? Who is behind Fuel’s amazing interior design?

There were two main inspirations behind FUEL. Firstly, we wanted to create a destination in Geelong where you could get consistently great coffee regardless of who was behind the machine whilst at the same time providing friendly and welcoming customer service.  Secondly, with two young children and years of split shifts and weekend rosters under Greg’s belt, our main objective was to find the perfect work/life balance that suited our family.

I’m not sure if many people are aware, but Greg has over 23 years experience in hospitality, it’s been his life and it’s all he knows. He set out from day one to make it his profession, and I honestly believe that it shows in his work, through his dedication, energy and attention to detail.  Many of our customers have followed Greg from Le Parisien, Lotus Living, The Cottage and even from his early days at Cafe Boticelli (under Lindsay Powell) and Cats Bar & Cafe (in it’s heyday) which is a testament to his warmth and professionalism.

With Greg’s experience and our shared inspiration, we decided to open our own venue. During the early stages of developing the café, we visited Melbourne regularly and were impressed with the direction and style cafes were taking and wanted to bring a little bit of Melbourne creativity to Geelong. It was really important for us to find the perfect location and as luck would have it one of Greg’s loyal customers mentioned that he had a tiny unused garage in a CBD laneway; it was perfect!

The fit out process was really simple – I had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve and took cues from the shed’s bone structure and history as an old mill.  We stripped away decades of paint, plaster and carpet tiles to reveal stunning red brick walls, a polished concrete floor and the original timber beams and trusses. I must admit that I have become a bit obsessed with the styling of the cafe as interior design and visual merchandising are passions of mine (Oh! Hello Geelong just discovered that Georgie designed and operated @Luxe designer homeware concepts in Geelong West back in 2001!).

Where did the name come from?

The fit out of FUEL is industrial and a little quirky, with plenty of references to Greg’s other great passion in life – cycling and motorbikes; hence the name FUEL!  It’s what your body needs everyday and so do his machines!

Who are your Tea/Coffee suppliers?

Our coffee is from Campos (roasted in Carlton) and our tea is from LoveChai Love Tea (a wonderful Geelong family who recently located to Byron Bay). They are both an absolute pleasure to do business with!

Can you give us an overview of the range of food available at Fuel?

Our simple breakfast and lunch menu showcases a range of delicious seasonal choices including vegetarian and gluten-free options. A wonderful local artisan baker makes our bread, cakes and pastries daily.  Perhaps for breakfast you’d like to try the Irrewarra Granola served with Gippsland yoghurt and housemade rhubarb compote or for lunch perhaps one of our toasted paninis with spiced beetroot relish, Meredith Goats cheese and rocket (yum!).

What three words describe best describe Fuel?

Bustling, friendly and consistent

What is your favourite coffee and why?

Greg – A short Macchiato – If done correctly, it’s a punchy little coffee with a silky finish.

Georgie – I love a Latte using our Campos Superior Blend – its creamy, and has hints of caramel.

What makes THE perfect coffee?

A knowledgeable barista, spotless equipment, a superior product and great customer service!

Fuel is perfect for…

anyone who’s after a great coffee whilst in town!

What are your G-town loves?

Melbourne is only one hour east and the Great Ocean Road is only one hour west!  Two of our favourite destinations all within an easy drive!

Where was the last great meal you had in Geelong? And drink? 

It was definitely at Empire Grill.  Greg and I don’t get the opportunity to go out for dinner that often, especially without the children, so if we do, we like to go somewhere that’s not too formal.  We enjoy relaxing at the bar for a little while before taking a seat for dinner, especially if the open fire is going. Empire Grill is a great spot to unwind and it’s lovely to be on the other side of the counter for a change!  The service is always amazing and the food is contemporary and delicious.

PS from Georgie – We are absolutely thrilled with the way Geelong has taken to us and appreciate everyday FUEL is open.  It’s a tough climate for small business at present and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, friends and family who continue to support us!

This has been an exciting journey for us, and we look forward to the next chapter.  Stay tuned

So, go on! Get yourselves down to Fuel, dear readers! We know we’ll be back there very soon. 

Thanks again to Greg and  Georgie for the wonderful insight to the story behind such a fab place and space.

Love Penny + Laura