Pope Joan could be what you would call a multi-purpose eatery. Headed by Ben Foster and Matt Wilkinson, the restaurant (or cafe) sits across a combination of buildings and patio dining areas, all which have their own characteristics but at the essence, there’s a homely atmosphere that permeates through the entire space. The cafe itself evokes a vintage, rustic charm, accentuated by wooden floorboards and tables alike, with each table decorated with seasonal blooms.
I was blown away by Pope Joan’s incredible smoked yoghurt soft serve ice cream at the Taste of Melbourne festival last year and I am glad that my visit last weekend for breakfast did not disappoint. The daytime menu consists of an all day breakfast menu, a few lunch time selections, sides and some smaller dishes for kids (or the kid in us!) from $3 to $8. Coffees are decent however my two friends who were with me were raving about the chai lattes – I’ll have to try these next time!
What blew me away was the simplicity and execution of their breakfast dishes, all of which were presented beautifully and what you might consider as a grown up version of your favourite childhood dish. Eggs and soldiers are served with some crispy bacon bits and herb salt, whilst the Big Breakfast includes house made baked beans served in a tin container. And who could forget another favourite breakfast dish, the Crumpet. I’ve noticed that the crumpet toppings change seasonally and on our visit, the divine Dr Marty crumpets were topped with a velvety smooth pumpkin puree, sliced fig and whey caramel. It actually reminded me of the spiced pumpkin chai Cronut I had a few months ago at Dominique Ansel (minus the Chai of course) and overall a fantastic combination of flavours. Delicious.
Our breakfast spread
Crumpet with crumpet, fig and whey caramel ($7)
“Kinda full English” – David’s bacon, apple & cider sausage, scrambled eggs, Joan’s baked beans ($20)
75-79 Nicholson Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057