After our visit to Stovetop last week we couldn’t wait to come back to try more things on their menu. This time we ordered three different poached egg dishes: the sweet potato & amaranth hash, the wild mushroom ragout and the citrus cured salmon. Overall, the food wasn’t quite as tasty as what we ordered last week… but it was still made with quality ingredients and was beautifully presented on the plate.
We ordered a chai latte again like last week, as well as a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was made with good powdered chocolate and not a chocolate syrup, which was definitely appreciated. The drinks all tasted good and were reasonably priced.
Wendy ~ When the sweet potato & amaranth hash dish arrived, it was very visually appealing and I could not wait to dig in, but after deconstructing it, it looked like a grated carrot pattie topped with cabbage, poached egg and finished off with hollandaise sauce. Only later when I re-read the menu did I realise that it was actually sweet potato instead of carrot. The sweet potato component of the dish was very sweet and refreshing but the purple cabbage brought out a bitter taste which I initially thought was due to being overcooked. This element was actually the radicchio which is a naturally bitter vegetable.
The final component was the poached eggs which was cooked perfectly and hollandaise sauce had a creaminess which balanced out this vegetarian dish. My overall thought on this dish was that it was very gourmet, extremely healthy tasting and filling without being heavy on the stomach, although I would prefer the baked duck eggs from last week.
Ani ~ I was really excited about trying this dish because I really like mushrooms, and the combination of mushrooms + spinach + polenta + poached egg seemed like an instant winner to me. It looked really pretty on the plate with the swirls of lemon aoli on the outside, and it smelled good too. When I finally tasted it, I really wanted to like it, but the strong kicks of lemon and pepper flavours were just too much for me. Aside from having the lemon in the aoli, they had also included the lemon flavour throughout the dish, prehaps by drizzling lemon juice over the mushrooms and spinach.
They had also cracked pepper liberally onto the dish, which intensified the chipotle flavour in the polenta. Unfortunately I had missed the “chipotle” when I read the menu so I did not realise that the dish would be a bit spicy. I found that the tartness of the strong lemon flavour combined with the pepper flavour to overpower the dish, so I couldn’t really taste the mushrooms/spinach/pumpkin flavours anymore. The waiter welcomed my feedback because he said they are still making changes to their menu, so I expect this dish will improve in future.
Our friend ordered the citrus cured salmon. She said she could not taste any citrus flavour in the salmon, and that there was no discernible difference in taste between the “citrus cured salmon” and normal smoked salmon. Despite this, she was still satisfied with the dish and said that the rest of the flavours made it very tasty.
Verdict: In this particular visit the food was a bit hit-and-miss, mostly due 1 minor thing in each dish that we felt brought it down. Considering how good the food was last week, we left Stovetop today feeling just a little bit disappointed but we are still fans of this brunch venue and we’d still go back again in future. In the end we would definitely still recommend this place as a good brunch location.
Location: 100 Leicester St, Carlton. Their website is here.
Helados Jauja (on Lygon Street)
We headed to Lygon street for gelato and ended up at Helados Jauja. Even though it is still Winter and Helados Jauja is located just across the road from a few other gelato options, they were still reasonably busy. They have a nice variety of flavours, including salted caramel, durian and banana choc. The prices vary depending on whether you choose a normal or deluxe flavour, but they are pretty standard prices for gelato in Melbourne. We ended up buying black sesame, white chocolate & raspberry, cacao 80% and chocolate sorbet 69%.
Our friend had the black sesame gelato and said that it tasted nice, but not as good as some other black sesame ice creams she’s tried in Melbourne. The white chocolate and raspberry gelato was quite sweet and tasted mostly of white chocolate, with hints of raspberry. Cacao 80% was very good and had a much stronger flavour than the white chocolate and raspberry.
Like the cacao 80%, the chocolate sorbet had a strong chocolate flavour and was very good.
Verdict: This is a good gelato option in Lygon street. The quality of the flavours will vary depending on which flavour you choose, but you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Helados Jauja are open from 1:45 – 10:30 pm everyday, so it’s a good place for students to go to satisfy their night time gelato cravings after studying.
Location: 254 Lygon St, Carlton. Their website is here.