Barry is a bit of a Northcote institution. It feels like it’s been there for ages, and is always busy, with people spilling out onto the tables on the sidewalk if the weather is nice. Funnily enough we’d never been there, but on one morning when we were told there would be a ninety minute wait to get a table at Tinker (yes, you read correctly NINETY minutes), we decided it would be safer for all concerned if I was fed sooner rather than later. And so we strolled down High Street to Barry, found ourselves a spot at the communal table and realised how much better I felt already, just knowing that food would be present in my very near future.

As usual, I started with a coffee, Five Senses, and I was suitably satisfied. It provided me confidence that my breakfast would be good.

I decided to go for a relatively healthy breakfast choice and settled on a breakfast salad.  My bowl was lined with slices of pan fried caciocavalo (which is the Italian version of haloumi), and balanced with crisp spring vegetables, pomegranate jewels, two poached eggs and dressed with lemon juice and dukkah. As someone that loves cheese, eggs and vegetables, this really was the perfect dish for me. The dukkah was lovely and nutty and the acid of the lemon brought the dish together.

Of course, all opinions were subject to the yolk porn test, which Barry passed with flying colours. On a side note, the gooey yolk was delicious to mix through the salad as an additional dressing!

The other half decided to completely indulge and chose one of the sweet specials. His breakfast was house made donuts, served with plum curd, pistachios and fresh blueberries. Naturally, he thought it was delicious, (how could you not when every element sounds delicious!), but it was a very small serve. He could have easily eaten about three serves before he was full!

A special mention must be made about the service we received. Despite being busy, the staff were very attentive and constantly making sure our needs were met. The fabulous staff, the bustling atmosphere and the creative and delicious food made for a lovely brunch adventure.

Barry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
The team behind We Are Kerala and Host Brunswick have joined forces to present a series of collaboration dinners, showcasing Indian food from the state of Kerala with a fusion twist.  Mischa Tropp together with Laura Neville create a beautiful 4 course meal, focusing on South Indian flavours and these are matched with curated drinks by the team at Host. The food is dominated by flavours of curry leaves, mustard seeds and coconut, but are complimented with a modern twist to bring them into the fine dining world.

Mischa is of Keralan descent, and both he and Laura have spent time in India learning about ingredients and flavour combinations, which was evident in our meal. Our dining experience commenced with a trio of starters. We were served a passionfruit half with chilli salt, a steamed South Indian rice cake known as idli paired with chickpea and  a parcel of goat’s curd, pickled pumpkin and curry leaf. There were also non vegetarian variants of these dishes, which included chicken liver instead of the chickpea gravy and boarfish to replace the pickled pumpkin. These dishes gave us a taste of what was to come and left us eager for the meal to continue.

The next course was a little more substantial and consisted of two small plates. The first was smoked tomatoes served with coconut, Kashmiri chilli and ruby grapefruit, with the non vegetarians served raw kingfish instead of the smoked tomato. This was a fresh dish, with punchy flavours. The second plate was grilled eggplant served with a spicy sauce made with a spice blend called recheado. There was a slight amount of heat in the recheado, but it warmed the palate up for the next course.

Main course was an array of dishes served on the table, almost like a mini banquet. We received a traditional cabbage curry, known as thoran, an okra pachadi, which is okra in a creamy yogurt based sauce, chickpea curry (or beef fry for the non vegetarians), and ghee rice. We were also served some epic sized pappadums which were amazing. The highlight of this course for me was the okra pachadi. Okra has long been one of my favourite vegetables, and when served in the creamy gravy with the strong flavours of spices, it really was a perfect match. I later found out that the recipe was from Mischa’s mother, so it was no wonder that it tasted so good, everyone knows that mums are the best cooks!

By this time we were getting close to ridiculously full, but we activated our dessert stomachs to enjoy the last course. Served on a ginger sable, was a ball of carrot sorbet (or halwa for the Indians!) coated in goat’s yogurt, and topped with cumin praline. The yogurt cut through the sweetness of the sorbet, and it provided a refreshing end to the meal.

Host provided the perfect surrounds to enjoy this meal and the curated drinks were also carefully thought out. We tried the iced soy chai mocktail, but there were alcoholic options on offer too. We Are Kerala are doing beautiful, creative food and I look forward to seeing what the menu holds at their next collaboration dinner in April! This dinner is already sold out, but keep an eye on the We Are Kerala website and Instagram to see what other delicious adventures they will be involved in.

Note: I was invited to dine at Kerala x Host , however all opinions are entirely my own. 

*A version of this article was first published on The Plus Ones website.
I should start with an apology. The first quarter of the year is over, and I think I've only managed one blog post. But I have a good reason. Seriously. I got married! So in between planning two weddings (that's what happens when an Indian marries an Italian), buying a house, selling a house, and just trying to get through life, the blog has fallen by the wayside :( But now that it's almost over (we just have to move house and we'll be done!) I'm hoping that things will pick up, and I'll be back into it. But in the meantime, I think it's only fair that I do a bit of a review of what's been happening, using the questions from the lovely Meet Me At Mike's blog....

Making: Lists. Lists of things to pack. Lists to things to get rid of. And also lists of people to whom we need to send thankyou cards for the wedding!

Cooking: Not much. We've hardly been at home. Instead I've been spending lots of time at Tamil Feasts, who always send me with leftovers galore, plus we have two sets of parents who love having us over for dinner.

Drinking: Water. Detox imperative.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I'm only of the very few people who have never read or watched the Harry Potter series, so I thought it was about time that I rectified that.

Wanting: Sleep. I am ridiculously sleep deprived. Daylight savings couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Looking: Forward to moving into the new house!

Deciding: What songs to use for our wedding video. I want some western music and some Indian music.

Enjoying: Looking at our wedding photos. I can look at them multiple times a day and it always makes me feel so happy! As cheesy as it sounds, it really was the perfect weekend.

Waiting: For the rest of our wedding photos. Unfortunately we will be waiting for at least another five months :(

Liking: Married life. It's nice :)

Wondering: What the Tamil Feast menu will be this week. I'm lucky enough to have a volunteer shift, which means I get to spend time with some awesome people, and eat some delicious food.

Loving: The fact that we got our first wedding invite addressed to us as Mr and Mrs Russo. It's a bit special :)

Considering: When is a good time to change my surname. I've already decided that I will change my name, however given that we have a lot of bank paper work to sign regarding the house transfer etc, I figure I should wait until all of this is over to avoid any confusion.

Buying: A new drink bottle and a new wallet. Both my old wallet and drink bottle have died, and it's a perfect opportunity to replace these items with sustainable, environmentally options. I'm open to suggestions...

Watching: Not enough. I am so behind on all my TV shows, plus I've added to the list of shows I need to watch. At some point I need a week of downtime so I can sit there and watch Grey's Anatomy, The Leftovers, Black Mirror, Big Little Lies, Riverdale and Suits.

Hoping: For another holiday soon.

Marvelling: At how we and our families managed to get through our crazy wedding weekend in one piece and smiling on the other side!

Needing: Time. We have been so busy, that we really just need some time to relax and do nothing.

Smelling: The gorgeous eucalyptus type scent of my Burt's Bees lip balm. I love it.

Wearing: My DeJour jeans. I love them. If you haven't got a pair, get yourself down to Brunswick and get a pair of custom fitted jeans for a ridiculously reasonable price.

Following: Lots of different podcasts about my favourite TV shows.

Thinking: About writing our wedding thankyou cards. We really need to get onto it.

Admiring: My wedding bouquet, and all the wedding flowers in general. One of my husband's cousins took the lead on arranging all the flowers and she was seriously amazing. We gave her no brief, no clues on what we wanted, and let her have free reign, and she delivered beyond our expectations. We are so lucky to be related to such talented and generous people.

Sorting: My wardrobe. I need to do a purge before we move house.

Getting: Excited for Easter. I'll be glad to have a few public holidays and hopefully some time to rest.

Opening: Emails. My work inbox is a mess. I really need to clean it out.

Giggling: Thinking about various comedians I've already watched at the Comedy Festival. I'm lucky enough to be seeing a lot of shows this year as part of a media team. I've made a point to go and see smaller shows, by unknown comedians, and some of them are bloody hilarious. We saw Jeeves Verma last night, and I haven't laughed that much in a  long time.

Feeling: Exceptionally lucky. Life is good.

Snacking: On cheese. Our wedding cake was a cheese cake. Like literally, wheels of cheese, and we still have a lot of the hard cheese leftover. This is great news for me, it means I can spend the rest of my foreseeable future eating cheese and crackers with quince paste. It is not so great for my waistline though.

Hearing: The office hum. I miss being on holidays.

What’s been going on in your life?