Miss Marmalade: Muesli Not To Be Missed

After waking in terror last night during a particularly violent thunderstorm, it was fortunate that my nerves were to be soothed this morning by the unique combination the company of Ms Sourdough and muesli. There is nothing like a bowl of oats to fortify the spirit (and to activate the gastrocolic reflex, but as it is not polite to mention this in conversation this important truth is relegated to brackets).

It had been a while since Ms Sourdough and I had managed to align our schedules to facilitate a coveted weekday breakfast and so I wanted to take her somewhere memorable. That place was Miss Marmalade, a cafe tucked away in Union Street, just East of Barry Street and opposite the Union Hotel in Brunswick. How could I resist the Inception-esque allure of a muesli within a Miss Muesli  within another Miss?

Miss Marmalade is a charming place.  The faded-white awning overhanging planters brimming with…plants…(botany is not my forte)… outside is reminiscent of an old country town general store. The homeliness of the warm, rough brown of the counter and furnishings is accentuated by the dark brick walls and the warm light reflecting off the array of enticing cakes displayed in quaint glassware. There is an eclectic mix of decorative pieces including a collection of green bottles hanging on a wall – which brings to mind the consequences of what happens if one should accidentally fall – how endearing to be reminded of primary school bus songs in such an unexpected setting!

Miss Marmalade has two muesli on offer, a Bircher and a granola. According to the menu I chose:

Berry Nutty Bircher Creamy Rolled Oats with Tahitian vanilla, royal gala apples, mixed berries and sweet dukkah

Sweet, sweet dukkah. What is dukkah, we both ask? Well according to the Google it is a mix of nuts and spices from Egypt and can also be spelt: duqqa. That description makes the topping and the tasting of this muesli make more sense:

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How pleasantly fresh. The thick, creamy vanilla yoghurt was divine and was the perfect vehicle for delivering the soft, earthy oats and crunchy nuts into my person. The berry nuttiness of this dish was not a misnomer, the joy of encountering whole hazelnuts and macadamias with every bite is only comparable to the joy of not being allergic to nuts. There were so many nuts! What a treat. The slight spice that I now know is attributable to the dukkah was a lovely accompaniment to the tartness of the raspberries and blueberries, as well as adding to as the crisp freshness of the sliced apple. It speaks volumes for this muesli that not only did I love it, but so did Ms Sourdough and she has a much more refined palate than the one in my relatively-uncouth yap.

Final word: Take this opportunity to be adventurous and explore the backstreets of Brunswick to find Miss Marmalade. Your reward will be great, as this muesli is one of the best in town.

Good Muesli, Melbourne!

-MM

Miss Marmalade on Urbanspoon

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Wide Open Road: Muesli Revisited

Firstly, it has been way too long between muesli.

Secondly, this is due to the double-whammy of being busy doing things that do not involve me eating oats (if only I were a horse, that would go a ways to solving that problem), and the fact that I destroyed my phone a couple of weeks ago. After being annoyed that all my contacts and text messages were gone, my heart sunk as I realised that recent muesli-related notes and pictures were also lost!

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My reaction to all of this was to mope. Oh how satisfying it is to balefully stare at the non-smart (dumb) backup phone that was kindly given to me by Lady Grey, while trying to tap the non-touch screen to make a call. I revelled in the martyrdom of techno-poverty that had been thrust upon me (by my clumsiness). Boy, I am the worst. Safe to say I got over it once Chic Pea took pity on me and lent me a phone without too many buttons.

Anyway, I returned to Wide Open Road with two wise-men; Monsieur Croque and The Burgermeister, for a cheeky Friday morning breakfast. Happily there was a new muesli on offer:

Date and coconut Bircher muesli with strawberry banana jam and almond clusters

What a mouthful. Let’s see what it looked like before I scooped it up:

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Wide Open Road definitely makes muesli with a rugged, woodsy look. It is with utmost affection that I compare the aesthetic of the jam and toasted almond topping with tanbark in its earthy familiarity – you could almost imagine furnishing a children’s playground with it. Most importantly, this was a delicious muesli. The crunchy almond crumble perfectly complemented the creamy texture of the oats and yoghurt, and chewiness of the dates. The soft chunks of banana in the jam were a nice surprise (although the menu did strongly suggest their presence) in that banana is sadly not often used in cafe muesli. Despite my having it every morning on weetbix, I cannot get enough of breakfast banana. The jam added a sweetness that, even on top of the coconut strewn through this dish, was not overpowering – which is quite a feat. Unlike the previous Wide Open Road muesli, however, I was not particularly full after this meal as I noticed my beady eyes resting on the breakfast-dessert options at the counter. In a rare display of self restraint (directly proportional to having only $15 on me) I refrained, but will certainly return for a coffee and crumble.

Final word: Regardless of the season, Wide Open Road does great muesli. Go there and order it, but bring enough money for a post-brekky treat.

Good Muesli, Melbourne!

-MM

Wide Open Road on Urbanspoon

Le Miel Et La Lune: Le Muesli Et…OK

My French is terrible so when I try and recommend this pretty trendy place on the corner of Elgin and Cardigan Streets in Carlton I turn what is probably an elegant five syllables into an embarrassing mush of grimacing awkwardness. I wish the muesli was terrible so I could now go on to say “and you know what else was a grimacing mush…” but it wasn’t that bad so I’ll have to maybe use that analogy somewhere else.

Anyway, why is Le Miel Et La Lune “pretty trendy”? Two words: Ceiling plants. This place has pot plants hanging from the ceiling like light fixtures. Additionally, it’s right near Melbourne Uni so you get the whole students-who-for-some-reason-have-enough-money-to-afford-this-place-oh-wait-Centrelink crowd who I share the pleasure of identifying with but at the same time disdaining (mostly the ones who look younger than me). And finally it has another stupidly unhelpful (but cutesy) website like Milkwood. Infuriating!

I’ll stop being snide, I was told I have to be more mean and it’s not sitting well with me. I actually really like how big this place is – the timber tables with stone (or cement? or it could be more timber?) floors and huge windows give the cafe a really breezy, open feel. It was lovely on the mild Summer morning that I took Mr Scrambled eggs (the pseudonym my brother chose for himself…he ended up having a fried egg, but who cares about non-cereal foodstuffs?) out to breakfast.

To paraphrase the menu, the muesli on offer was some sort of:

Homemade muesli with seasonal fruits

And it looked like this:

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First up, I love that they give you a separate little milk bottle. There is no assumption that just because I have ordered a yoghurt-based muesli I do not also want to loosen things up with a sneaky drop of milk. I definitely wanted to loosen things up with a sneaky drop of milk so this gets major ticks from me.

If the experience of eating something could be expressed as an average I would have to say that for this muesli x̄ = pleasant. A highlight was the fruit; the addition of raspberries as the main berry attraction was a lovely, tart surprise (I always expect strawberries, which I like, but am bored with) and there were chewy chunks of date throughout that I enjoyed. There were also little black seeds involved that I’m not sure I could taste but my eyes liked them being there so that was enough. However, apart from the fruit the yoghurt and muesli itself were not particularly flavoursome. The yoghurt wasn’t too sweet which is a plus, but it also didn’t have a distinctive presence in the meal (excuse me while I finish my wank…). The oats were crunchy but seemed to be present mainly to bulk out the yoghurt and fruit.

I enjoyed my breakfast at La Miel Et La Lune and will return, but I think I’ll try something other than the muesli. Don’t mis(smuesli)understand me, I liked it well enough but that might be due in equal parts not only to the pleasant taste, but also the comfortable atmosphere and good company.

Final Word: You should try this muesli, especially if you do not feel like having your mind blown that morning but still want cereal for breakfast.

Good Muesli, Melbourne!

MM

LE MIEL et la lune on Urbanspoon