Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Punchbowl Canteen’s bloggers lunch where I sampled thirteen dishes. Yes, THIRTEEN! Luckily I paced myself and had a small sample of each dish otherwise I would have been in a food coma no doubt.
Now, when you think of the word ‘canteen,’ it is likely that you would associate that word with dim sims, chips, potato cakes, pies etc, however Punchbowl Canteen is far from the typical ‘canteen’ definition. Punchbowl is a vibrant cafe located in an industrial side of Port Melbourne that focuses on locally sourced and ethical produce and creating ‘mind blowing, finger lickin’, plate scraping food.
Punchbowl Canteen offers a large variety of drinks, Industry Beans coffee, Matcha Maiden matcha lattes and Golden Grind golden lattes and an interesting variety of juices and smoothies. As it was a Sunday, it made sense for me to order their Sunday Peaches made from mango nectar, peaches, banana and blended with coconut yoghurt and almond milk right?
That day we sampled the following thirteen dishes:
Pumpkin Doughnuts – cinnamon sugar, whipped yoghurt, freeze dried mandarin
Out of all the thirteen dishes, this dish would be hands down my favourite! crispy golden pumpkin doughnuts that are generously coated with cinnamon sugar, freeze dried mandarin and a light airy whipped yoghurt! Would return just for this dish!
Porridge – Semolina, poached mandarin, pistachio with full cream milk
A creamy semolina porridge with beautiful pieces of poached mandarin and pistachio for added texture.
Chia seed pudding – lemon curd, buckinis, rhubarb, strawberries
This chia seed pudding was fresh and had a variety of textures and flavour – the tartness of the rhubarb paired with crunchy buckinis and creamy chia seed pudding!
Porridge – tapioca, fresh lime zest, peanuts, with coconut milk
This porridge resembles rice pudding with Asian influence from the combination of tapioca, peanuts and coconut milk. It really reminds me of the sweet glutinous rice desserts that you have at Thai / Vietnamese restaurants.
Avocado on toast – blackbean dressing, house tea-smoked trout, poached egg
Woah! This avocado on toast is not your average avocado on toast! I love Punchbowl Canteen’s version of the avocado on toast! The black bean dressing on the tea smoked trout and avocado has made this dish rather unique.
Fish Cake Scotch Egg – radish, pear, chard and shaved beetroot salad, curry mayo
I didn’t get a chance to try this dish, but it looks so appetising and colourful right?
Thick Cut Bacon – gruyere potato cake, beetroot relish, chipotle mayo, poached eggs
Oh man.. the thick cut bacon was amazing! Anything bacon is amazing haha. Whilst you can’t see the gruyere potato cake, it was so smooth and creamy! yum!
Warm Pine Mushrooms – mascarpone, hazelnut dukkah , radicchio, parsley, poached eggs, toast
This was another dish I didn’t get to try, but I had fun cutting the egg for the other bloggers to take the egg porn shot though!
Warm red curry chicken salad – Asian slaw, peanuts
Put your hands up if you stalk instagram before visiting a cafe/restaurant? When I was looking through Punchbowl Canteen, I saw this dish and really wanted to try it! Super colourful, fresh, lots of texture and packed quite a bit flavour!
Baked Semolina Gnocchi – cauliflower cheese, hazelnuts
Whilst this dish isn’t the most insta-pretty dish, it was surprisingly good – pillowy and fluffy gnocchi with creamy cauliflower cheese and hazelnuts for texture. Definitely a must try!
Wood-fire Pork Belly – carrot & miso puree, apple remoulade
Anything with pork crackling on top must be good right? I had a small piece of the wood fire pork belly and it moist and tender. The crackling itself? the end bits had a good crunch factor!
Korean Fried Chicken Burger – Kim chi slaw, fries
Okay – I was pretty full from here on in, but I did manage to eat a small piece of the Korean fried chicken (without the bread) and it was full of flavour thanks to the gochuchang. Apparently this dish is one of their best selling dishes. If you’re a lover of Korean Fried Chicken and burgers, give this a try!
If you’re looking for a vibrant, relaxed and spacious cafe, this is a cafe you should put on your go-to list. Punchbowl Canteen offers a large variety of dishes, so even the pickiest eater will be catered for!