Towards the end of our round trip from Melbourne to Adelaide and back, we stopped in Ballarat again. The plan was to go back and fill our stomachs with more pizza from The Forge but it was, unfortunately, closed. Instead we decided to visit a spot I had researched, and originally wanted to stop at, called Knife Fork Spoon.
Knife Fork Spoon is located on Lydiard St., right in the heart of Ballarat, and just over an hour from Melbourne. From 1851, Ballarat was where many flocked to the goldfields during the Gold Rush seeking to make their fortune. By 1855 the city had grown to a population of over 100,000, and a lot of the wealth generated was put into the buildings. The downtown is lined with stunning bluestone and handmade brick structures
Inside, this small café still holds bits of the history visible form the outside. The details of the pressed metal ceiling, the intricate stained glass windows at the front. But apart from that, everything is fresh and new (make sure you visit the bright blue outhouse in the back complete with luxury soap).
We really enjoyed Knife Fork Spoon. Knife Fork Spoon is the creation of chef Kylee Laird Church. Her focus is on seasonal local produce and she loves to create interesting creations and test and refine them with the help of her more than willing customers. Her husband was on the floor running the show while we were there, and he brought the space to life.
They have a whole menu for Little Persons complete with expertly coloured menus created by the owners kids. They also designed a pretty over the top babycino with tiny teddies, marshmallows and sprinkles for free for the wee ones. For the big kids the menu is even more impressive. I had the chorizo, bubbled Egmont cheese, caramelised onion bagel with a fried egg and mustard which was so much more than the sum of its parts. It was juicy and bold and satisfying.
The hot chocolate is from fantastic local company Grounded Pleasures, which you will hear me mention quite a few times over the upcoming months. A local Ballarat company, they have a range of different flavours and at each café we visited that served Grounded Pleasures I tried a different flavour. This time it was the chilli, surprisingly spicy, maybe a tad too spicy for my mood today, but just as creamy and delicious as the rest of the Grounded Pleasures hot chocolates that I enjoyed on this trip.
The most popular thing on the menu though was obviously not the food, or the hot chocolate, but their fancy shakes. Today’s flavours included oreo, licorice, salted caramel and raspberry white chocolate. If I had seen these shakes before I stuffed myself with their fantastic food I would have ordered one. These are no ordinary shakes though. Served in large pint glasses they are seriously decadent and over the top. A good reason to come back…
Verdict: We ate at two spots in Central Ballarat and both were fantastic. Is the rest of Ballarat like this? Still a lot of gold in Ballarat obviously. Knife Fork Spoon, 16 Lydiard Street, Ballarat, Australia