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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Candied Bakery, Cobb Lane, Olympic Doughnuts, Cafe Cui and 8bit Burgers - Melbourne

Salted white chocolate caramel crunch soft serve from Candied, Spotswood

Crazy soft serves, extreme cookies and out-there doughnuts. It's no wonder Candied Bakery has been likened to Australia's version of Momofuku Milk Bar. In the kitchen you'll find Toula Polumidis and Orlando Artavilla. She's the chef, he's the baker. After selling their Brunswick East cafe Sugardough Panificio and Patisserie, they undertook a massive American roadtrip and then opened Candied Bakery on their return.

Candied, Spotswood
Candied Bakery

Ploumidis and Artavilla describe Candied as "an Aussie bakery with a twist". That means lamingtons in the display case as well as more American treats, like S'more doughnuts and peanut butter and jelly cookies.

Bakery counter at Candied, Spotswood
Candied Bakery counter

Sourdough breads are stacked neatly in one corner, and there are pre-made sandwiches in the window, but we're drawn to the eye-popping collection of sugary treats.

Jellied donut at Candied, Spotswood
Jelly donut $3.80

Chocolate marshmallow cookie at Candied, Spotswood
Chocolate marshmallow cookie $4.20

Peanut butter and jelly cookie at Candied, Spotswood
Peanut butter and jelly cookie $4.20

S'more donut at Candied, Spotswood
S'more donut $3.80

S'more donut at Candied, Spotswood
S'more donut $3.80

The S'more donut is at the top of our list. Take one doughnut, add a layer of melted chocolate, cover in marshmallow glaze and crushed biscuits and then blowtorch until golden brown. The marshmallow takes on a stretchy gooey life of its own. We find it a little on the sickly side of sweet but American childhood treats were never known for being tame.

Jelly donut at Candied, Spotswood
Jelly donut $3.80

The jelly donut is a good take on the classic, light and fluffy with the merest smidge of raspberry jam piped into the middle.

Peanut butter and jelly cookie at Candied, Spotswood
Peanut butter and jelly cookie $4.20

But it's the peanut butter and jelly cookie that turns out to be the crowd favourite, two thin peanut buttery cookies sandwiched around a filling of jam and cream. It's like a peanut version of a Monte Carlo.

Hot dog with kimchi and mayo at Candied, Spotswood
Hot dog with kimchi and mayo $7

We throw in a bit of savoury to balance out all the sweet. The hot dog with kimchi and mayo is just the kind of comfort food you crave. A soft steamed bun is wrapped around a bouncy smoked hotdog then jammed with kimchi, mustard and mayo. It works brilliantly.

Salted white chocolate caramel crunch soft serve from Candied, Spotswood
Salted white chocolate caramel crunch soft serve

And because we'd orchestrated a meet-up with Suze, we manage to pillage some of her soft serve too. It's a salted white chocolate soft serve with caramel crunch piled over the top. The corn flakes, caramel and white chocolate are reminiscent of a bowl of crunchy nut.

Cobb Lane Bakery, Yarraville

Cobb Lane Bakery, Yarraville

We hired a car for this trip - a luxury I don't often have when visiting Melbourne - so I was keen to explore areas I hadn't visited before. This post focuses on Footscray, Spotswood and Yarraville, all reasonably close to each other but also accessible by public transport if you're without wheels.

Candied Bakery was our first visit straight out of the airport. Cobb Lane was our second. It's the first time pastry chef Matt Forbes has had his own business. His impressive CV includes working in the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, working as head pastry chef at Vue de Monde and staging at Noma in Copenhagen.

Lavender and caramelised white chocolate donut from Cobb Lane Bakery, Yarraville
Lavender and caramelised white chocolate donut $5

Housemade breads, doughnuts and pastries are crammed into this tiny 15-seater cafe. We zero in on the lavender and caramelised white chocolate donut. The doughnut is light and fluffy although the floral overtones do kinda remind of a scented drawer liner, and okay, yes, it kinda tastes like grandma.

Blackcurrant Paris-Brest from Cobb Lane Bakery, Yarraville
Blackcurrant Paris-Brest $8

We've ended up on a purple rampage here, with the blackcurrant Paris-Brest also in our line of sight. The dessert was originally made to commemorate the Paris-Brest bicycle race that started in 1891. The rings of choux pastry are supposed to represent bike wheels.

There's a sophistication to this version, the choux pastry filled with clouds of blackcurrant cream and draped with tiles of white chocolate.

Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray

Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray
The constant queue at Olympic Doughnuts

Olympic Doughnuts is a bit of a legend in Melbourne. This dinky doughnut shack has been perched next to Footscray station for 35 years. Along with the Footscray station upgrade, the donut shack has had a facelift too. They were yet to put up the signage when we visited, but all you had to do was follow your nose and look for the constant queue.

Owner Nick Tsiligiris at Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray
Olympic Doughnut owner Nick Tsiligiris 

Owner Nick Tsiligiris has been making doughnuts for as long as anyone can remember. It's a tiny two-person operation - one person frying the doughnuts out the back, the other serving customers at the window.

The dolphin raspberry jam injector at Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray
The famous dolphin that injects raspberry jam into each doughnut

The dolphin is just as famous as the doughnuts here, responsible for injecting a squirt of raspberry jam into each piping hot doughnut for hungry commuters.

Alas we found the doughnuts a little oily with a greasy aftertaste, but we bet they taste much better after a long commute. At 80c a pop, they're a cheap afternoon snack too.

Cafe Cui

Cafe Cui, Footscray

Suze put us onto Cafe Cui, diagonally across the road from Olympic Doughnuts with its enticement of Lobster Rolls in giant letters. Owner Phuoc Duong used to live in Footscray, but after running a series of cafes in the city, thought it was time to return.

Lover-Lover lobster roll with fries at Cafe Cui, Footscray
The Lover-Lover lobster roll with herb fries $19

Cafe Cui is noticeably slick compared to the colourful train of African and Vietnamese businesses that make up most of Footscray. Here it's bright white tiles, gleaming gold light fittings and bi-fold windows that flood the dining room with natural light.

Lover-Lover lobster roll at Cafe Cui, Footscray
Grilled lobster 

We had to order the Lover-Lover lobster roll of course. You get two mini lobster rolls with herb fries, the lobster seared on the grill with lashings of butter.

8bit, Footscray

Astroboy and Princess Peach table numbers at 8bit, Footscray
Astroboy and Princess Peach table numbers

One of our favourite eats in the area had to be 8bit. Just the mere mention of 1980s video games won me over when I was researching eats for this trip. There's an immediate sense of fun when you walk into this casual eatery in the backstreets of Footscray. Mario and Luigi plush toys are hanging out on the fire extinguishers and all your favourite 1980s characters are recreated in 8bit form on the table number stands.

Prepping burgers at 8bit, Footscray
Prepping burgers in the kitchen

8bit was started up by Shayne McCallum (Captain Melville), Alan Sam (Captain Melville) and Long Tran. The menu is one great bit childhood flashback, with Golden Axe, Double Dragon and 1 Up Mushroom burgers sending you into a nostalgic spin. In the hot dog section there's the Wonder Boy with bacon, Fatal Fury with jalapeno and 1942 with grilled bratwurst and curry ketchup.

Free arcade games at 8bit, Footscray
Free arcade games

And while you're waiting for your food to arrive, you can always hit up the free video arcade games out the back. The machine has hundreds of games loaded onto it - all for free.

Burgers, hot dogs and fries at 8bit, Footscray
Burgers, hot dogs and fries

Even if you're eating in, everything is served in paper cartons and greaseproof paper. The cutlery is plastic and there's a dispenser of serviettes on every table. Noone seems to mind. The place is filled mostly with under 30s, plus a couple of tradies getting their burger fix.

Wonder Boy hot dog at 8bit, Footscray
Wonder Boy hot dog $7.50
Smoked frank, bacon, grilled onions and bbq sauce

The Wonder Boy hot dog is a skateboarding win. The smoked frankfurter is jammed into a soft sweet bun with bacon, grilled onions and lashing of barbecue sauce.

1 Up mushroom burger at 8bit, Footscray
1 Up Mushroom Burger $9.50
Crumbed portobello mushroom, cheese, tomato, red onion, green tomato relish, lettuce and 8 Bit sauce

The 1 Up Mushroom burger isn't just a cute name, it's downright delicious. The massive Portobello in the middle has been crumbed and fried to an irresistible crunch, without the flood of oil that seem to afflict so many other mushroom burgers.

8bit with cheese burger at 8bit, Footscray
8bit with cheese $8.50
Beef, tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, mustard, cheese and 8 Bit sauce

We dig the 8bit with cheese too, a classic beef, tomato and lettuce combo with pickles, mustard and cheese.

Golden Axe fried chicken burger at 8bit, Footscray
Golden Axe $9.50
Crispy fried chicken, cheese, sriracha mayo, slaw

Golden Axe will slash its way to your heart too. It's a slab of crunchy fried chicken, a thick slice of cheese and a mountain of slaw slathered in sriracha mayo.

Double Dragon double beef double cheese burger at 8bit, Footscray
Double Dragon $13.50
Double beef, double cheese, double bacon, pickles, mustard, lettuce, 8 Bit sauce

But it's the Double Dragon that's the big boss of them all. Just picking up this beast is a mission. It's twice as heavy as all the other burgers thanks to its extravaganza of double beef and double cheese. The Black Warriors gang would be no match for this protein-laden fury.

Cheese and bacon fries at 8bit, Footscray
Cheese and bacon fries $7
Beer battered fries, cheese sauce, bacon and spring onion

And you gotta have chips with your burgers, right? We're all over the cheese and bacon fries, super crunchy beer battered chips loaded with crispy bacon and spring onion in a pool of melted cheese. We didn't leave one chip behind.

>> Read the next Melbourne 2014 weekend post: 400 Gradi, Helados Jauja and Top Paddock
<< Read the first Melbourne 2014 weekend post: Cumulus Up, Supernormal & Om Nom

8bit, Footscray

8 Droop Street, Footscray, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9687 8838
Opening hours:
Open daily 11am-11pm
8bit. on Urbanspoon

Candied Bakery
81A Hudsons Road, Spotswood, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9391 1335
Opening hours:
Wednesday to Saturday 7.30am - 4pm, Sunday 8am - 4pm
Candied Bakery on Urbanspoon

Cafe Cui
58 Leeds Street, Footscray, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9687 6967
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 6am - 4.30pm, Saturday 7am - 4.30pm, Sunday 8am - 4.30pm
Cafe Cui on Urbanspoon

Cobb Lane
13 Anderson Street, Yarraville, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9687 1538
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 7.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 8.30am - 4.30pm
Cobb Lane on Urbanspoon

Olympic Doughnuts
51 Irving Street, Footscray, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9689 4819
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am - 4pm
Olympic Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

>> Read the next Melbourne 2014 weekend post: 400 Gradi, Helados Jauja and Top Paddock
<< Read the first Melbourne 2014 weekend post: Cumulus Up, Supernormal & Om Nom

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Melb - Abbotsford Convent Farmers Market and Beatrix, North Melbourne
Melb - Brunswick and South Yarra: 400 Gradi, Top Paddock, Tivoli Rd + more
Melb - CBD: Cumulus Up, Supernormal, Om Nom, Gami, Fall from Grace + more
Melb - Fitzroy/Collingwood: Belle's Hot Chicken, Bluebonnet BBQ + more
Melb - Seven of Melbourne's best cafes
21 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/26/2014 09:43:00 pm


  • At 10/26/2014 11:00 pm, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    I've been eyeing 8bit on Instagram for months! Need to go to Melbs soon to try the 8Bit with cheese & double dragon (also one of the best games ever!).

  • At 10/26/2014 11:03 pm, Anonymous Cindy (a foodie's joy) said…

    Candied Bakery and 8bit - both now on my list! :)

  • At 10/27/2014 9:39 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    Yes, yes, yes. Doughtnuts and Burgers, two of my favourite things on earth.

  • At 10/27/2014 9:55 am, Blogger MAB vs Food said…

    OMG how cool are the Astro Boy and Princess Peach table numbers! I wanna go to 8 bit now!

  • At 10/27/2014 10:11 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Alas, would it be any surprise to read I've now got a serious doughnut craving! I remember the snaps from 8bit cafe (on your IG feed) waaaay back! I'm going to pass this to my sis, as a itinerary for the next time I'm visiting Melbourne!

  • At 10/27/2014 12:19 pm, Blogger Jacq said…

    omg love the retro video game theme at 8bit! and those doughnuts look so awesome

  • At 10/27/2014 1:01 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    i regret not trying more of the donuts from candied now -_-'

  • At 10/27/2014 7:53 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    Olympic Doughnuts is one of my favourites - I always go whenever I'm working out of our Melbourne office in Footscray!

  • At 10/27/2014 8:07 pm, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    I do have a weakness for sugary jam donuts. I love the look of those purple desserts. You certainly found some great places to visit in Melbourne xx

  • At 10/28/2014 3:12 am, Blogger Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said…

    Sooo I just added all these places to my list of eateries in Melbourne because you made all the donuts look so good. I think I'm going to become a diabetic at the end of my next trip to Melbourne! :P

  • At 10/28/2014 7:13 am, Blogger Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said…

    I can't believe I have never visited Candied before, the first soft serve photo you put up just about made me cry since I was eating pitiful cereal at the time :P

    Choc Chip Uru

  • At 10/28/2014 7:41 am, Anonymous john | heneedsfood said…

    Why do my teeth hurt all of a sudden? So much sugar! And that s'mores doughnut!

  • At 10/28/2014 9:26 am, Anonymous Martine @ Chompchomp said…

    You need to stop! I only have 10 days in Melbourne at the end of the year and you are adding too many fabulous looking places to my hit list. BTW I cannot deny I am in awe at the amount of food you put away on these trips! I thought I was a big eater but you win hands down! xx

  • At 10/28/2014 10:21 am, Blogger Cassie | Journey From Within said…

    I feel like I need or go to Melbourne now to indulge on all this!

  • At 10/28/2014 1:26 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Oh my! I love jam donuts that jelly one looks amazing. The Salted white chocolate caramel crunch soft serve definitely takes the cake though. FROTH

  • At 10/28/2014 8:50 pm, Anonymous Olivia @ mademoiselleinsydney said…

    Wow, these look like cool places! That lobster roll has me drooling!!

  • At 10/29/2014 9:47 am, Blogger Milktea Eats said…

    oh boy, cheese and bacon fries! <3! that soft serve looks amazing, i need to get my hands on some asap, they r cropping up all over hk too!

  • At 10/29/2014 1:08 pm, Anonymous Jenny Chews said…

    WOW! I wish I saw this post before I went to Melbourne this year - I'm drooling at the Blackcurrant Paris-Brest in particular! AND 8BIT BURGERS LOOK AMAZING! Time to plan a 2nd trip back to Melbourne. :)

  • At 10/30/2014 11:06 pm, Anonymous Berny @ I Only Eat Desserts said…

    Urgh so much food envie! That smores doughnut and the blackcurrant paris-brest look and sound amazing :D I'm loving the come back of the doughnuts~

  • At 11/02/2014 4:59 pm, Anonymous Alana said…

    I'll be in Melbourne soon and this post is a limitless source of inspiration. Hotdamn.

  • At 11/06/2014 11:22 am, Anonymous Her @ Oh, Burger Me! said…

    ohmygoodness... why are there SO MANY amazing looking burger joints in Melbs? I dream about 8bit after stalking its Instagram consistently. Very jealous!!


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