Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cheap As 2

Il Fornaio was a welcome surprise to my Sunday. Walking past the industrial interior and well populated tables, my $5 bill sensed something great...Or was it the smell of freshly risen bread that snuck up my nose and made me lose all consciousness until I found myself standing in front of the counter...

Sent into a dreamy wonderland staring at the brioche, cakes, pastries, tarts, pies, brownies –not to mention the take home meals, ice cream and artesian bread, I was starting to think I might have to get Mr Five Dollars to whistle his friends over. Determined to follow through my challenge I had to make a decision – this $5 was only going to get me one outcome.

A little bit lost in this food fantasy the waitress guided me to a table and told me to wipe the saliva off my chin (joke...). Sitting down with brunch / lunch menu in front (all above $5) I pondered my options, read The Age and relaxed. With my back to the cabinet a rush of panic took over when she asked for my order, ‘ah, um, can I have that muffin thing with blueberries on it?’ and coffee? I knew this was going to break my budget ‘ah, um, ah um, Yes, skinny latte’. My choice took me by surprise as Melbourne has for the last 3 years provided me with one disappointing muffin after another.

First arrived my muffin, it looked like a cupcake mixture, lemony cream colour with a sprinkling of berries on top – typical, no guts in the middle –sigh. Coffee arrives. Splitting my muffin in half I am stunned to see a clump of butter in the middle, hah! I laugh out loud, this place is your typical mutton dressed as lamb affair – thank god I am not spending my fortunes. Muffin now in mouth, something of a religious experience happens, the texture so soft it melts like candyfloss and beyond my wildest dreams, the butter is lemon curd which ignites my tastebuds into a frenzy of orgasmic proportions. Shuddering in my seat with excitement I take back my prior thoughts. Giving my body a few seconds to re-group I close my eyes and enjoy a fantastic coffee.

I will be honest, this clocked in at $7 and I don’t regret it one bit.

For those with more self-control than me I offer 3 ways with $5
Coffee -$3
Muffin -$4
Coffee and share muffin - $5

All under $5 and utterly blissful.

5/5

Il Fornaio
2 Acland Street
St Kilda, 3182
Ph. 03 9534 2922

Cheap As 1

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and I took to the streets of St Kida last Saturday. After my first week back at work I needed some relief that the holidays still go on and summer isn’t just a fantasy outside my office window.

I wasn’t sure of anywhere specific to go, the St Kilda beach front was an obvious start. Around the Sea Baths (Jacka Boulevard) are caf├ęs and bars that exploit the beachfront views. My eyes quickly locked onto an available table in the upstairs outdoors area of Soulmama. Elevated - you get all the benefits of a beach side experience without sand flicked into your eyes or that meat-market vibe that is inevitable when half naked people are the norm.

Soulmama specialises in using fresh seasonal food that allow for a forever changing menu. With special attention paid to Vegetarian and Vegan food to those stretching beyond the $5 mark, it’s a great opportunity to cleanse the system after the excesses of Christmas. However…for us flaunting our five dollar bill I say no more. Coming in at the $5 mark was an Affogato – sometimes referred to as a ‘cold shower’. The perfect way to celebrate the beach, kick your senses into gear with a shot of espresso and a good scoop of vanilla bean ice cream makes the occasion that little bit different and after all, you are using utensils to get at the ice cream. Does that qualify as a dessert, for under $5?!

4.5 /5
Best to go out of peak eating hours to secure a table upstairs

Soulmama
10 Jacka Boulevard
St Kilda, VIC 3182
Ph. 03 9525 3338
Open daily

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cheap as bro

Doing it cheap has unwelcomely turned up in my life; I thought it got washed away with text books and all nighters when I graduated into full-time employment but alas...it has returned. Hold back your donations; it’s not that bad I still have a job.
After frolicking in the joys of passive income I made a commitment to start saving for things beyond a Kings of Leon concert and quite frankly the passive income is taking a beating. I am sure anyone who has saved for something; overseas holiday, deposit on a house, higher education knows what it is like to wake up in the morning and feel Povo, bro ( for those who have never walked in this land, its short for Poverty).

Like you though – I don’t want to give up my lifestyle or pleasures so...over the next few weeks I will be out and about on the eating and drinking scene flashing my $5 bill like I just-don’t-care to report back to you, how much fun you really can have on five dollars.