Heartsoul Desserts

The Heart and Soul of my Baking Journey coming alive

Archive for the category “Foodie Reviews”

Restaurant Review #1 – Claremont Cafe, Malvern

Cafe Claremont. 18/20 Outstanding.

  • Food Breakfast and Lunch
  • Where 5 Claremont Avenue, Malvern 3147
  • Phone 03 9500 1504
  • Cost B $5.50-$13, L $6-$15, Drinks $3.20-$6, Misc $4.50-$6 Unlicensed
  • Owner Carolyn and Alan Markham
  • Service Good
  • Vegetarian Yes
  • Outdoors Yes
  • Seats 25
  • Bookings Yes
  • Noise Low
  • Parking Ample street parking 
  • Wheelchairs No
  • Cards MC, Visa and EFTPOS
  • Hours Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, closed on weekends and Public Holidays

Score: 1-9: Unacceptable. 10-11: Just OK, some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Trully excellent. 18: Outstanding. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria’s best.



For the last three years, I walked by this cafe every day on the way to work and never actually stepped into it. One day as I walked home and smelt the freshly brewed coffee, I was curious and finally gave in. As I stepped into this quaint little cafe, the first thing I that struck me was how the friendly the staff were. They were genuinely interested in how my day went and after a couple of visits, they knew exactly who I was and how I wanted my coffee or meal served up.

It is located near Malvern train station and is only a walk away from the busy Glenferrie road shopping strip. It is the only cafe on this avenue and therefore is a great location for those living nearby. The owners come and go frequently and you will definitely see either one of them walking around talking to their customers as if they were long time friends.

A major draw card of this cafe is the consistency of the coffee and meals served. The serving size of their breakfast and lunch meals took me by surprise as it was never short of anything but wholesome goodness. You could tell straight away that everything here was made from scratch and definitely with love. Not only is it love for their customers but respect for the produce that they cook with.

From what I gathered after speaking to staff, some of the menu items came from meals cooked at home in the Markham family. The children’s menu consists of items that Carolyn’s mother Wendy had cooked for her as a child, of which Soldiers with ham and cheese is most popular.

Up to today, my favourite breakfast menu item is the Avocado with roasted tomatoes, feta served on toasted rye (with added mushrooms). At only $10 (additional for the mushrooms), the large white plate is stacked to the brim and it will definitely not leave you broken hearted.

If you are after something heartier, then perhaps the Lean beef burger with crispy bacon, fried onion, fresh tomato slices, lettuce, homemade aioli and tomato relish would be the one to go for. This burger tower served within a foccacia bun is one of the most popular menu items served up each day. At a bargain price of $13.50, you will definitely enjoy each mouthful down to the last drop of sauce on the plate.

Eventhough the menu may not be as extensive as some other cafes in the area, the cooks at Cafe Claremont does every item on that menu justice. From their daily homemade sandwiches to moorish quiches and hearty soups, there is a range large enough for every taste bud and dietary requirement. The food is unpretentious and the produce speaks for itself without all the usual unnecessary garnishes.

Cafe Claremont uses a Brazilian blend from Grinders Coffee which aroma fills the cafe when it is freshly ground. One of my favourite beverages is the Arkadia cinnamon chai latte which is made to perfection by the experienced baristas at Cafe Claremont.

The service is sometimes slow when they are busy during lunch but they handle themselves very well and there is always a smile on their face regardless of how stressed they may feel inside. The staff seem to have a keen sense of what they are doing at all times and have this uncanny connection with their customers. This attention to detail and genuine interest is one that guarantees return customers be it rain or sunshine. The cafe decor is inviting, cozy and warm especially on a cold rainy day and even on a hot summer’s day.

They recently started a new range of products ‘Too tired to cook’ and it is targeted at those who are in desperate need for some wholesome good food for dinner. It ranges from pies, lasagne, caseroles to quiches and soups. All at affordable prices.

This is definitely the place to be if you are longing for some friendly company and great food. I believe that life is too short to eat mediocre food and you will definitely feel very at home at this cafe I call my second home.


Canberra 2010 – Food Guide

Day 1 – Dinner at Sanur’s in Belconnen
The chicken and soto was awesome and little satay sticks were presented wonderfully!


Day 2 – Lunch at Dobinsons Bakery Cafe, Bunda Street, City
Quiches, Little cakes, great coffee


Day 2 – Snacks at Jazz Apple cafe, City and Urban Pantry, Manuka
Had the caramel mud cupcake and a calamari salad 


Hobart 2010 – Food Guide

Took a short break over the school break to Hobart for an eating spree with 3 other girl friends..

1. Day 1 – Brunch: Zum, Salamanca (standard breakfast items and coffees)


2. Day 1 – Snack: 1 kg Tiger Prawns, Calamari, Scallops and Curried Scallop Pie


3. Day 1 – Dinner: Flathead Fish Cafe, South Hobart (fresh seafood and beer)


4. Day 2 – Brunch: Plum, Salamanca (standard breakfast items and coffees)


5. Day 2 – Snack: Salamanca Bakehouse (choc croissant, tarts, brownie and vanilla slice)


6. Day 2 – Dinner: Quarry, Salamanca (seafood chowder, woodfired pizza, steak, risotto and seafood fettucini)


Foodie Events

So this year, I decided to volunteer my time at some well known Melbourne Foodie events.. had heaps of fun, met loads of people and I am looking forward to more opportunities later this year.

1. March 2010, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival: Ticketing and Information at the Cellar Door event


2. June 2010, Good Food & Wine Show: Ushering at the Celebrity Theatre event
The last picture is all the goodies I managed to score from working there


3. August 2010, Taste of Melbourne: Back of House, assisting restaurant chefs (Pop Up restaurant: Izakaya Den)
The menu was Corn Fritters with Green Tea Salt, Spicy Tuna Tataki and White Sesame Mousse with Tapioca
The last picture is little cakes I bought from Sweet by Nature. They were absolutely fabulous!! (L->R: Tiramisu, Carrot Cake, Sticky date, Passionfruit cheesecake, Lemon Meringue and Choc Mousse)


Sydney 2010 – The foodlovers guide (part 4)

Here are the pics from the trip.. continued..

Day 7 – Ferry ride from Circular Quay to Balmain | Adriano Zumbo (again), Balmain | Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont | Malabar, Crows Nest | Bravo Trattoria, Crows Nest


Day 8 – Kam Fook Restaurant, Chatswood


Sydney 2010 – The foodlovers guide (part 3)

Here are the pics from the trip.. continued..

Day 5 – Bagan, Strathfield | Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk | Passionflower Dessert Cafe, Capitol Square | Wagaya, Harbour Street, Haymarket


Day 6 – Malacca Straits Thai Restaurant, Broadway | Bourke Street Bakery (again) | Sukjai Restaurant, Pitt Street


Sydney 2010 – The foodlovers guide (part 2)

Here are the pics from the trip.. continued..

Day 3 – Sushi Samurai, Pyrmont | Pasta and Birthday Cake, Waitara


Day 4 – Satang Thai, Haymarket | Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills | Jet Cafe, York Street | Cupcakes on Pitt, CBD | Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Hunter Street


Sydney 2010 – The foodlovers guide (part 1)

So after an exhausting 6 months of school, I decided to treat myself to a foodie trip, took a week off and went to Sydney.. was pretty much eating my way through Sydney, loved every moment of it and also met up with so many friends who were so willing to go the extra mile by tagging along or letting me know which direction to head-off to.. Here are the pics from the trip..

Day 1 – Able Baker Charlie, Melbourne Airport | Ayam Goreng 99, Kingsford | Adriano Zumbo, Balmain | Campos Coffee, Newtown


Day 2 – Hurricane’s Bar and Grill, Darling Harbour | Max Brenner, CBD | St Mary’s Cathedral | Sushi Train, CBD


A beautiful day with beautiful friends..

So on Saturday while the sun was shining, we really had not much planned but in the end spent almost the whole day out and night in the city.

Firstly, we stopped by Terra Rossa on Flinders Lane for lunch and the food was not bad, we had a couple of pastas and pizzas and M had a special. The ambiance I would say far out-did the food but I would like to go back there and try more only because I don’t think we did the place justice yet.. oh and the coffee was superb!

Then we swung by Federation Square for the start of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival for some free tunes, it’s still on until 8th May, so check out yo! (saw the zombies walk by too..)

On to a place for dinner, we walked around aimlessly for a bit then headed to Coconut House on Elizabeth Street for some home cooked Malaysian food.. yumm!! Been trying to get the gang to go there for ages.. and they were so glad they finally did!

Lastly, we went to a bar called The Workshop.. and had a couple of cocktails, it was cheap and fabulous! Definitely going back there again!

Unfortunately, no pictures to entice you all but well, maybe it’s time to get a camera.. haha..

The cupcake fix

So Joanie and I met up on fine afternoon and went for lunch in the city (Eat Drink Bento).. soon afterwards we headed to Degraves Street in the city.. and look what we came across (Little Cupcakes).. we couldn’t really decide, so we had 2 each! haha.. oh and the teapot was sooo cute we had to also take a picture of it!

 little cupcakes

Left to Right: Jaffa, Mocha/Belgian Choc?, Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream

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