Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hey-Ho, To The Farm We Go!

The Farm Cafe
Collingwood Children's Farm
18 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Telephone: 03 9415 6581

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm; Sat-Sun 8am - 5pm

Finally, my last 21st for the year, and boy did BFF J want a 21st with a difference! Eschewing fancy dinners and function rooms, she decided she wanted an 'outdoors' coming-of-age party. And not just outdoors, but 'properly' outdoors with "trees and animals and sunshine"!

And no prizes as to who was left with the task of planning this party with an Amish desire - on a tight budget!

The Farm Cafe seemed a logical choice of venue, given that there is no 'indoor' area - it is all open, rustic, 'properly' farm-like. You have been warned - pick your footwear with practicality in mind! (I initially had on a pair of heels, this being a '21st' and all, but ended up slopping around in the Japanese slippers I keep in the car to drive!)

I spy with my little eye a friand beginning with Dench...

To the credit of the staff, they weren't put out at all when we arrived without warning in a group of 20, having been informed the week before that they had a 'no-reservations policy', even for groups. See for yourself!

In retrospect, we maybe should have called them up the day before. But given the rainy weather at the time, BFF J was contemplating calling the whole thing off even until 30 minutes prior. Luckily, the drizzle dissisipated when we arrived, and anyway there were great big umbrellas and shades for all!

And now, on to food. A short note before you cast your eye on these - I don't feel like I can fault the staff for the fact that the meals took ages to arrive, given the sheer numbers that were in attendance. However, I would say that this isn't somewhere you'd go especially for the food (I'm thinking of Mart 130 or Tempura Hajime when I say this - places 'off-the-beaten track' but worth trekkin' for!), because it didn't taste particularly amazing nor was it in any sense imaginative. However (again), portions were hearty (and as you will see - they look fantastic!), everything tasted 'satisfactory', service is great (a difficult commodity these days in the trendiest of breakfast places) and heck, I've got cows at ma' side, and peacocks at ma' feet!

Your menu goes here:

Your animals go there:

Being that I am:
a. shameless; and
b. happy to use my blog as an excuse for blatant gluttony,
I got to sample a bit of everyone's dish - and drink!

(Before I forget, one the best drinks here which I don't have a picture of unfortunately is a frozen apple juice, much like an ice blended apple juice slushie. Just what the doctor ordered!)

These are the other drinks that people had:

Good ol'-fashioned chocolate milkshake ($4.90)

Friend B had to top that, obviously, with a decadent ice chocolate ($4.50)

And the food:

This was my order, a gob-smackin'ly gorgeous-looking scone. With jam and cream of course. ($6.00)

The taste? Alright. Not as light as a scone should be, nor as creamy/buttery as one should taste. In fact, it tasted rather like plain bread, and I'm not complaining but by the time I was done with the scone, it looked liked I'd barely cracked into it. I'd settle for a little more quality over quantity! Jam was lovely though, I love it when I get seeds in my jam!

About 15 people ordered this one:

The Farmer's Breakfast - poached eggs, bacon, sausage, roast potato stacks,
mushroom, apple tomato chutney on sourdough toast ($17.00)

You can't see it, but the poached egg was overdone, so much so that the yolk was no longer runny - things like that can really kill a spectacular brekkie. And it was served lukewarm, erring on the side of 'cold'. Again, I'm not sure whether I can fault them on this given we were such a large group to cook for, but as all the food came out meal by meal anyway, rather than altogether - can that really be an excuse? Other than that, everything was pretty good!

A very classy breakfast choice, ironically named The Ploughman's Lunch:

The Ploughman's Lunch - board of ham off the bone, aged Gippsland cheddar, fresh
fruit, house pickles & chutney with sourdough bread ($17.00)

I was assured this was good, it definitely looked pretty fantastic! And I had a bit of the cheese, it was tasty and dry the way good cheese should be!

And finally - the special of the day, so there wasn't really a name for it.

I'd say....poached egg on spinach and corn chutney? It was not bad at all, though again the egg was overdone. The chutney was not bad, but it was both sweet and savoury if you know what I mean, which isn't really to my taste.

All in all, an adequate breakfast. Would I go again? Maybe yeah, for the novelty. And a small entrance fee gets you into the farm after - see details here. (Note that this is much more a petting farm, as opposed to an actual 'farm' farm.) I also really liked that we were allowed to linger at the cafe and the surrounding area for ages and no one harassed us at all to leave. But there are definitely better breakfast places if it's just food you're after! (If you do go, parking is $4.00 per entry, and it's got be paid upfront into a machine, entirely in coins.)

And finally - a picture of Jen's birthday gift from me! Come January 30th 2010, my industrious friend and I will be undertaking the daunting task of learning how to construct this Chocolate House masterpiece from Master Chocolatier Arno Backes (formerly of Koko Black) at Ganache!

Expect triumph! Expect pictures! Oh and don't you like the poem - silly J made everyone write in a 'scrapbook' and I felt a bit awkward doing it since I've known her about 8 years now so this came out instead...

Happy 21st Birthday, Fatter! And thanks.

Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. What a great idea for a 21st. I regret having mine in a fancy function room I couldn't fill... but at least the food was brilliant... or so I was told.. I didn't eat any of it =(....

    Happy 21st Fatter :P

  2. scones!! I'm drooling right now. There's nothing better than the fresh smell as soon as you break them open....ahhh...

  3. Thanks Shellie, she's VERY grateful! I actually regretted having a small 21st after organizing large ones for my friends, would've been nice to have more people there to celebrate my coming-of-age! Where did you have yours??

    Adrian, I just made scones this morning actually! They were quite awesome,if I do say so myself - we should organize a food blogger picnic at some point and I promise to bring some! =o)