Square jewel

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Little Sister Cafe, 55 Wingara Avenue, Keilor East. Phone: 9336 2270

Wangara Avenue is one of three streets that make up a secret Keilor East Square.

Sounds a bit nutty, hey?

But it’s true.

The square has an old-school small-town vibe and is within cooee of the busyness of both Millera Road and the Calder Freeway – but I doubt few beyond the locals know of its existence.

The square has all sorts of food outlets – kebab and chook shops, noodles, pizza and even, quite wonderfully, a craft shop that does stuff like scones. That’s for another post on another day.

 

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The square hot spot without doubt is the fine neighbourhood cafe that is Little Sister.

We’ve eaten here before and are happy to do so again as guests of the management (see full disclosure below).

We arrive as the Saturday overlap between breakfast and lunch is in full swing and the many cheerful and on-the-ball staff are busy and doing a grand job.

All the eggy dishes we see go whizzing by look very nice, but I manage to steer Bennie away from the ricotta hot cakes and towards the lunch list.

 

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He inhales with gusto the “Hanoi brothers” ($19.90) of prawns and calamari with Vietnamese herbs, chilli, tomato and lemongrass and pepper on steamed rice.

With its tomato base and Asian seasoning it has a touch of Ital-Asia about it.

He reckons his dish is superior – or the luckier choice – than mine, which is an amazing thing to say because …

 

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… my oven-baked Atlantic salmon ($20.90), from the specials board, is wonderful.

The fish may have been cooked in the oven – to a pleasantly well-done degree by the normal rare-in-the-middle standards of this species – but it is finished in what amounts to a tomato stew with capsicum, onion and saffron.

The overall vibe is sunny Mediterranean and the toasted bread on the side is a fine foil.

This a terrific and keenly priced dish.

 

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A side serve of chips (a $3 bargain) is very good.

 

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For afters, we share a house-made brownie ($4.90).

It’s rich, of deep choc flavour and has a range of textures – and goes good with my beaut cafe latte.

Little Sister is a member of the stable that will soon unveil Dear Abbey at Moonee Ponds.

(Consider The Sauce dined at Little Sister as non-paying guests of the management. CTS chose the food involved and Little Sister neither sought nor was granted any access or say in the writing of this post.)

 

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Very extremely dangerous in Keilor East

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Blonde Chilli, 1/19 Webber Parade, Keilor East. Phone: 0402 331 022

It’s a well-known* fact that Consider The Sauce doesn’t just regularly check out the sprawling industrial/commercial estates of the greater west but also actively enjoys doing so.

We like finding out what’s at the end of any given street or boulevard.

 

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And there’s always the chance we’ll find food.

That doesn’t happen very often, mind you …

 

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But today’s outing is no aimless adventure, as we’re on the trail of a hot tip – so to speak.

 

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We check out the surrounding streets of a light industrial hub pretty much on the opposite side of the ring road from the Star Weekly office at Keilor Park, before zeroing in on our destination.

 

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The plain doorway and lack of signage don’t look at all promising.

 

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But inside we find a well-appointed, cozy room stuffed with hot sauce.

Lots and lots and lots of hot sauce.

 

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Welcome to Blonde Chilli.

The eponymous blonde, boss lady Belinda, is elsewhere but we’re made welcome and talked in a darn right friendly fashion through the store’s many spicy wares.

 

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Those wares are all about bottle after bottle of hot sauce.

 

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Though there’s some potato crisps, spice mixes and even jerky on hand.

 

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There’s quite a few sauces from Australia, with the rest being from the US.

Interestingly, there appears to be few or none sauces from the southern states, nor from the Caribbean – but we’re not complaining!

 

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Aside from the locked cabinet of limited edition and signed goodies, all the sauces are available for tasting.

So taste we do.

The taste buds on my tongue are shot after just four drops from four sauces.

In the end, we buy a bottle each of Volcanic Peppers’ Lava Hot Scorpion BBQ Sauce and Blair’s Beyond Death Sauce.

 

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And a couple of packets of crisps.

 

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Check out the Blonde Chilli website here.

The shop is open Tuesdays noon-6pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

* Snort!

 

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