Monday, August 31, 2009


24 Hall Street, Newport VIC 3015, (03) 9391 6404

Apparently cafe culture has moved to the Western suburbs. Yeh, yeh, I know that places like Yarraville, Seddon and Williamstown apparently have cool little cafe's that do really great food and have done for years. But this is the first I'd heard of in Newport.

I'd known about Nosh in Newport for quite sometime, since I grew up in Newport and my parents still live there. However, for some reason I'd chosen to avoid it, despite being in Newport most weekends. Something inside me was telling me to stay away. So I did. For many a year. Until I read recently that David Azzopardi from Ezard was doing Friday night dinners at Nosh. Now Ezard is by far my favourite restaurant, so in my eyes, the fact that David was cooking there, gave this place a hell of a lot of credibility. So, this weekend, I stopped listening to that little voice inside me and thought I'd give their breakfast a go. The place is regularly packed when I drive past on a weekend, so it can't be all that bad. That is unless the people of the west have a lower standard, than us 'trendy' inner city folk. I guess it was time to find out.

We arrived on a very rainy Saturday morning, to find the place very busy indeed. There were tables outside and undercover, but everyone had chosen to sit inside, which added to the hustle and bustle. The cafe is located on a corner building, which originally was the Newport TAB and then The Pepper Tree cafe. The Pepper Tree was one of the first of it's kind in Newport. Unfortunately, Newport wasn't ready for cafe culture back then, so it wasn't long before it closed down. Nosh took over the cafe and gave it a bit of a spruce up and it is what you see today.

The guy who seated us, looked very familiar. I believe he used to be a manager at Joe's Garage in Brunswick St and is now the manager at Nosh. (Correct me if I'm wrong).

Within seconds of being seated, a very young looking waiter appeared asking for our order. We hadn't even looked at the menu yet. It was so loud in there I could barely hear him and he couldn't hear me. So when I ordered an English Breakfast tea, he wondered where on the food menu I found an 'English Breakfast." Ummm, no....When my tea did arrive, I never got any milk to go with it. That was mistake number one.

For breakfast I ordered the poached eggs, with locally handmade chevaps and smoked ham hock baked beans. When the plate arrived I saw no chevaps. It appears they were so small they were hiding under my toast. Then I took one look at my eggs and they were very, very raw, you could see clear globules of uncooked egg white, without even breaking into the eggs. I very quickly sent them back. A few minutes later the eggs arrived back at my table, as the waiter placed them down mumbling something... but again - it was so noisy, I couldn't hear him. The 'locally made chevaps' were less than average. If locally made sausages are this bad, you should be importing them. Em' and I both agreed these tasted exactly like those standard pink sausages you would get from Coles or Safeway.
The baked beans were OK. Nothing like the delicious smoky baked beans I had at the Wye River General Store recently.
Worst of all, the butter was Western Star butter in a foil wrapper! Attention to detail my friends, is what makes or breaks a place. Butter is a detail and Nosh failed to pay attention to it. Nothing screams lazy to me like a foil wrapper of butter. There are so many better options than butter in foil, at least take the foil off!
We actually also noticed a table full of girls next to us also sent their eggs back as they were undercooked.

Em' ordered the Bacon and Egg roll, with onions and relish. These fried eggs were better, the yolk was runny, however, the bacon inside was like cardboard and it was that dry crumbly sort of bacon that nobody likes. The onion was pretty overpowering and quite similar to one of those Sausages with onion you get at Bunnings on a weekend. But overall, Em' was happy with the roll.

Overall a disappointing performance from Nosh. Nothing special here and this is exactly the sort of place I would expect to find in Newport. I'm suprised though that it's made such a name for itself in the area. Is that because there's nothing else around? Possibly. Raw poached eggs, dry bacon, LOUD atmosphere and wait staff that just look like they would rather be someplace else.

So despite the fact that David Azzopardi is cooking there on the occassional Friday night - he obviously isn't cooking breakfast there. I won't be returning in a hurry, if I want Ezard, I'll go to Ezard, thanks.


Madeleine said...

Nosh has never been anything grand. The staff are unwelcoming, I've never felt comfortable there. Its not totally terrible, I just think there are far nicer cafes in the western suburbs (I live in the west). Try "fruits of passion" in kensington, it's fantastic, pancakes the size of dinner plates! Love your blog btw!

Adski said...

Hey Madeleine,
Thanks! Glad you enjoy the blog! :)
You're right on the money, 'unwelcoming' is the perfect word for Nosh. It's not warm, homely or welcoming. I think most of that is due to some of the wait staff who obviously don't love their jobs.
I've never heard of Fruits of passion, but I'm definately keen to sample more places in the west. I've heard Le Chien is good and I LOVE the station hotel in footscrazy, too!

John said...

What a shame - I've had some great meals (and pretty good staff) at Nosh in the past - albeit a while since I've been there.

Anonymous said...

I went to Nosh a few times when I first moved to Newport and found it not just disappointing but actually irritating. The dishes were work cafeteria quality and "salads" were just a massive fistful of rocket - the stringy, unpalatable kind. Service was inconsistent, with some pretty unfriendly blokes behind the till and an irritating woman who kept calling me 'madam'. Plus, it was pram central (very noisy). Sounds like it hasn't improved. Fortunately things are looking up in Newport with Pizza Train.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say but I totally disagree!!!!

I live in Newport and in m opinion Nosh is a great (not a fantastic) place but certainly way more welcoming than some williamstown or yarraville places, pram central? granted :) but the food is pretty fine, breakfast paella and the seafood paella are fine fine dishes, coffe, a tad bland but still OK.