I've been taking it gently as a I settle back into wintery Melbourne. I've been choosing old favourite recipes and restaurants that remind me what I love about home - baking granola, cooking lentil tacos and eating the leftovers in toasties, slurping up legume noodle soup. There's been porridge specials at Wide Open Road, dinner after work at Good Days, and Friday nights in local pubs.
Visiting the Queen Victoria Markets is another Melbourne staple. I picked up some soup ingredients there on a cold, wet Sunday and resolutely took myself across to Twenty & Six Espresso for a treat afterwards. They do Mörk hot chocolates including a vegan one they call the Bounty ($6). It's based on coconut cream and their house-made almond milk. Its richness comes more from the distinctive silkiness of that coconut cream and less from the light cocoa content; it's just a little frothy on top. I rationed it out slowly, with a sweet little (non-vegan) pumpkin cake ($4) decorated with just the right amount of cream cheese icing.
You can read about our previous visits to Twenty & Six here and here. Since then it's received positive reviews on confessions of a little piggy, Yellow Eggs, Concrete Playground, Mango Macarons, gochiso, Food Fable, Addicted to the Sweet Life, Eat. Play. Shop., Snow Crab Nebula and Big Hand and Little Hand. As counterpoints, there are mixed reviews on melbourne brunch scene, Eve Lovelle and GOOD FOOD GOOD MOOD, and negative reviews on Dammit Janet I Love Food and www.bleedingwineonmylips.com.
Twenty & Six Espresso
594 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Accessibility: There's a small step on entry (although there are also some outdoor tables). The interior is pretty cosy and the toilets are out the back via the courtyard (which we haven't explored). I ordered at the table and paid at a low counter in the front room.