After an initial wander to confirm that there are many lunch choices available on Carlisle St, I’ve been returning to explore further. Here’s three meals that are indicative of the variety available. First, at Hearty Hungarian you can get a main and sides for $13.90.
As a self-confessed first time visitor to this tiny cafe, which has only 3 tables and mainly does take-away, I was given a thorough explanation of the food by the woman behind the counter, who had prepared it all, and who gave me a little extra in the form of a third side to sample. Below is my chicken stroganoff and sides of nokedli, creamed spinach and potatoes. Rich with garlic and cream, the creamed spinach is luscious.
On a second visit I managed to make the usually enormous serves a little smaller (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat with sauerkraut) so I could try the cherry strudel, which is also amazing. Hearty Hungarian is easy to overlook but to do so is to dismiss some wonderful food.
A few doors down you can get a plate of palloo pork (a Thai/ Chinese pork stew with whole boiled eggs) with green beans and rice for $10.50 at Baba Louey, a Thai food cafe (below).
Finally at Batch Espresso I had a lovely fresh and appetising dish consisting of chicken breast fillet with lemony potatoes and coleslaw (below, about $16). They also make a really good coffee. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much good food there is on the Windsor end of Chapel St, but Carlisle St in Balaclava is better and more interesting I think, as well as being better value for money.