Armageddon Cake

Where: 7 McLarty Place Geelong

When: Thursday to Saturday 7pm to 11pm

Web: www.facebook.com/pages/Armageddon-Cake

What more can we say….CAKE….CAKE…and more CAKE. We just had to go and try this little gem of a place our selves as we had heard so much about it. And we didn’t try it just once, I went back the next week and did it again. Yes, that’s just how much we like CAKE. Nat is a huge sweet tooth, me, I love a bit of sweet and sour and I was not disappointed.

First time around we had the boys in tow, so we opted for the tasting plates, well we ordered two, as we just had to try everything on the menu. And not only that, it came with a plate of equally delicious sweet sauces and condiments to go with it. I could have eaten a whole bowl of the special lemon curd, but decided to restrain myself and have it on all of my cakes.

The menu at Armageddon is short and sweet, well it is CAKE. With 6 staples to select from plus a few weekly specials there is something to tempt everyone. With a cheesecake, decadent chocolate brownie and an apple pie, there are also cakes for the vegans and gluten free diners as well, along with the weekly pudding, there is something for everyone. The tasting plates offer you a half serve of each cake you select or you can go for a very generous full serve that is perfect to share as well. I think the cheesecake rocks, but the brownie is pretty decadent too, especially when you slather it in house made raspberry sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

Armageddon Cake

To find Armageddon look for the electrified blue bike and head down the lane, a little world of sweet delights await you along with speciality tea and coffee. It’s a great place to head out to for a sweet bite to eat, to sit and relax and to catch up with friends for a chat. The inviting atmosphere and friendly staff make you feel very welcome. Quirky vintage decor and fun walls give you plenty to look at or pick up a book and have a laugh. If you can’t stay you can grab your cake to go. Takeaway can be arranged or you can phone through an order. But if you are after something special for an event, Armageddon can organise an amazing cake for you. Just ask.

We really love Armageddon and i’m sure you will too. Who doesn’t love to eat CAKE…

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 

Cartel Coffee Roasters + Tea House!

Where: 21 Leather St, Breakwater

When: 

Phone: 5222 6115

Web: www.coffeecartel.com.au

Oh! Hello Geelong really loves surprise discoveries, we just can’t get enough of them! One place we never ever expected to make a surprise discovery of such grand proportions was right in the middle of industrial Breakwater. Here we made one of our biggest (not to mention craziest) G-Town surprise discoveries to date.

What made this adventure all the more fab was that we thought we had it covered when it came to where to go for coffee and tea in G-Town, oh how wrong we were! Okay, okay, we’ll end the suspense! Our adventure this week was to the absolutely mad but wonderfully tasty coffee and tea house known as Cartel!

From go to whoa…

So we decided to do a random drop in to Cartel on a rainy morning after a friend suggested we go and suss it out. From the minute we walked through the front doors we felt the Cartel buzz (and forgot about the rain)! The staff, the delish smell of freshly roasted coffee, the sound of the coffee machines at work, the café’s kooky floor space, the display of scrumptious cakes and lunchtime goodies together created an atmosphere that was seriously hyperactive. However, what really gave the space a real zing was the energy of owner and super barista/roaster extraordinaire Nathan Johnston who made us feel instantly welcome and at home – thanks Nathan!!!

There’s so much to say about Nathan and his energy and business savvy, but what really stands out is his passion for coffee beans and his commitment to sourcing the finest quality and most aromatic and flavoursome beans from around the world for his customers back at home – lucky us! Nathan’s seasonal range of coffee comes from as far away as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Asia and Costa Rica and is roasted by Nathan and his team on a daily basis in his roasting shed which looks into the cafe; the smells and sounds are so divine. During our visit Nathan just happened to be roasting some Yirgacheffe beans from Ethiopia and let us watch him at work (there’s a bit of a science to coffee roasting we have to say). While we were watching the roast, Rylan, Nathans trusty apprentice whipped us up some delicious sample shots, Yum!

Now Nathan did give us LOTS AND LOTS of super random facts about coffee which we could never do justice to here so we suggest you speak to Nathan or anyone of his team of coffee experts behind the counter – there is way more to coffee than milk and froth!!!! Oh and if you’re really keen you can enrol into one of Nathan’s barista training or coffee appreciation courses! But don’t worry if it’s just a good cup of coffee and some grub you’re after, Cartel really serves it up.

Just chillin’…

So what do you do if you’re a tea lover like Oh! Hello Geelong you might ask? Or what if you’re looking for somewhere to mellow out? Well, Cartel has that base covered too. After we had thrown back all the coffee we could handle for one morning we were shown to the tearoom at the back of the café (keep your eyes out for the red door), which has a real kitschy Asian Zen-vibe going on – we loved it! The room is full of old-world treasures and off the wall (literally) displays, oh and most importantly jars and jars of lovely smelly tea! Like the coffee range, Cartel’s tea is sourced from all over the world and includes green, black and herbal teas (and many more!). And not to be outdone by the coffee bean out the front, tea master Sharyn Johnston (who happens to be Nathan’s adorable and hilarious Mum) offers tea courses for tea lovers and sells a huge range of tea products! Best of all, you can enjoy any one of the amazing teas you see on the shelves right there in the tearoom. Tea lovers unite!

From a nice surprise to serious addiction…

Since our first visit to Cartel, Oh! Hello Geelong has been back a collective total of three times (so much love)! What drew us back each time was how Cartel made us feel as well the passion of Nathan, Sharyn and all the staff who work there – great work guys, you rock! We also love the kookiness of the interiors and also that tea lovers were not forgotten amongst all the coffee hype. This was a truly fabulous G-Town surprise discovery.

PS: Cartel is ranked number 1 café (in Australia and the world, yep the world) on Beanhunter – and it’s right here in G-Town!!!! Now that’s a big deal!

PPS: The Cartel kitchen is preparing for a shake up…new look and new menu on the way. Can’t wait!