Monday, January 21, 2013

Beatrix

January 12, 2013


Beatrix has been on our "to visit" list for ages. Ages and ages. The steady stream of gushing about the quality of their cakes did not go unnoticed, and when you add in Sarah's declaration that it's her favourite place in Melbourne and stern blog commenters demanding we visit, it's clear that we're long overdue.

We finally made amends for lunch on a Saturday, grabbing a seat at the window counter and trying not to get too excited by the cake counter before we'd had something savoury.  Thankfully, the savoury menu doesn't require too much concentration - there's a granola and two vegetarian rolls. We took on both of the rolls, starting with Cindy's small meat-free howl (roasted red and yellow beetroot with warm ricotta, mint, hazelnut dressing and roquette, $13.50). It should be noted that neither of these rolls could really be eaten sandwich-style - we deconstructed them and dug in with cutlery.


First of all, I can't emphasise enough how great the bread is here - these rolls were to die for, and would make a wonderful lunch even if the fillings didn't stack up. Thankfully, that's not the case here - the mint was bursting with flavour, working nicely with the sweetness of the beetroot. I thought that it was missing something a bit salty or tangy to cut through it all, but Cindy was completely satisfied.

I ordered the Shak-in-a-roll (spicy Israeli-style braised peppers, with a fried egg, fetta and fresh mint, $12).


This was perfectly suited to my tastes - a soft-fried and well seasoned egg, a bit of spice on the peppers and more mint that was just bursting with freshness. And the bread! Ah the bread. The only problem was that it was all so wonderful that I scoffed it down (plus a good portion of Cindy's) without making sure I had room for cake. But I gritted my teeth and pushed on.

I couldn't go past the rhubarb and real vanilla custard crumble tart ($6), which was mercifully modestly sized.


It was excellent of course, tangy and sweet in all the right places, with a good crunchy top and lovely light pastry. Having gone through a bunch of blog reviews since our visit (see below), I'm a bit sad I didn't tackle their signature doughnuts, but there's always next time I guess.

Cindy looked to the specials board, ordering the raspberry tiramasu tart, at $9.50 a slice.


Nearly $10 seems like a lot for a slice of cake, until you see the mountainous chunk that they're labelling a slice. It was almost meal size. And it was amazing - soft, fruity and nicely boozed up, with a generous chocolate sprinkle on top and layer after layer of custardy, cakey goodness.

Beatrix lives up to all the hype - it's a tiny little space that's cutely decorated, with the glorious sweets cabinet the clear focal point. The staff were friendly and the service quick and efficient. The only vaguely negative thing that I'd mention is that they really don't seem to cater for vegans, who might be better served up the road at El Ceed or Grigons & Orr.  They do offer a reasonable amount of gluten-free goodies for non-vegan coeliacs though.
____________


Snap Story was a bit less enthused, at least when it came to the savouries.

____________
Beatrix
688 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
9090 7301
Veg brekkies $8 - $15, Sweets $4 - $9.50

Accessibility: There's a small step at the entryway, and things are pretty crowded inside. There are a few outside tables as well, and you get full table service (although the menu is on a chalkboard inside). We didn't head to the toilets.

13 comments:

  1. Yay! You visited! Thank-you for the mention :)

    Each time I go, I tell myself that I won't fill up on the ciabattas and just have cake... but I've never managed to achieve that!

    FYI in winter their permanent veggie ciabatta is a mushroom one (i.e. instead of the capsicum one) which is incredibly delicious - best cafe mushroom dish ever IMHO. I know the veggie options or limited but that one is worth a special trip! :)

    xox Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah! Well you were right about this place, of course. :-) And the savouries are actually as good as the sweets, I think. I love mushrooms so I'll definitely keep an eye out for that one.

      Delete
  2. *are limited

    Sorry for the typo :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. The retro crockery in that place makes the food something special, like visiting your aunt for afternoon tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, kitchen hand! It's a charming place.

      Delete
  4. Yay its good to see you went and weren't disappointed! :-D We blow way too much cash at Beatrix - actually - its been too long since my last hit though!
    That tiramisu looks spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KittyMeow - thanks for insisting we get ourselves over there. :-D

      Delete
  5. Well, now I feel highly abashed as it appears that I am now the only food blogger in Melbourne who hasn't made it to Beatrix. The shame! But the size of that cake has swiftly convinced me that I have to visit sooner rather than later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hayley, there's no need to be ashamed - just put it top of your list for the next cake craving.

      Delete
  6. Holy moly that Tiramisu cake looks humungous! It all looks really nice, actually!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt, it was truly ridiculous - a slice half as big still would have looked generous with those thick dark chocolate shavings on top.

      Delete
  7. thanks for refering me and do try out the meringue clouds next time as they were yummy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sally - I'll keep an eye out for those meringues if we go back.

      Delete