611 Gilbert Rd
West Preston, VIC 3073
03 9471 1900
I confess that this post has been sitting in drafts for a very long time now because I was afraid of being too bitchy writing it. In essence, the food was okay but we didn’t like the coffees. But you know what? There are good visits and bad visits, all eating places have their good days and their off days. I’ve decided it’s only our personal opinion and taste of a place at just one specific point of time, every venue deserves a different perspective. And remember that this blog is about stories around food, it is not a review or a critique on food.
Fakegf and I trundled down to this neck of the woods on a Sunday after she read somewhere that it’s one of Melbourne’s top 30 cafés. Jackson Dodds is tucked at the corner of a row of dustily quiet shophouses at the end of the tram 112 service. This tram line has significance to me because I used to live in St Kilda West at the other end of the line. Good ol’ days in a rented studio apartment by the sea…
The café fit-out has a homely put-together-by-a-band-of-friends neighbourhood feel. Definitely not one of those flashy big game players in the brunch industry. I liked the bright family-friendly atmosphere, complete with a little play area for kids.
Lachlan, my coffee mentor, once told me when he brunches at places he isn’t familiar with, he’d usually lets his friends order the coffees first so that he can see how it looks. If it looks potentially bad, he would ‘tea it’. Haha! I found what he said both hilarious and alarmingly bitchy!!!
Unfortunately, being more and more nitpicky with coffees lately, I did a Lachy here. When the friendly waiter asked if we’d like to start with coffees, I took a quick peek at the somewhat basic barista set-up and then at the pale-looking lattes sitting on other tables, and decided to ‘juice it’.
Dare I say that the juice was rather lovely? Especially on that warm Spring day…
But fakegf took the plunge and got a skinny latte (they don’t serve magics). Aside for the lovely latte art, my sixth sense was unfortunately correct. She found her cup weak and uninteresting and left it half-finished. I sipped and agreed. To me, it nearly tasted like the soy caro I tasted in Truman Café, ie. like a mildly nutty decaf.
Fakegf wanted the dukkah eggs but the kitchen was out of that at 2pm. So she went with what every other blogger had tried when they visited here, the pea and halloumi fritters w/ bacon, baby beetroot leaves and house made tomato relish $14.
Very photogenic and delicious looking dish. Fakegf found the dish okay, though the fritters were on the floury side. After what she’d heard and read about it, it did not taste as wonderful as she was expecting it to be. And on the more OCD side of things, I always thought beetroot leaves had red stems and red veins in them. We really wanted to have a taste of beetroot leaves but aren’t sure whether these were it.
At that point in time, I had this insufferable craving for eggs eggs eggs. While I really should have done the right thing and ordered poached eggs so that I could watch them bleed beautifully the way Ashley described it on her happy visit here a few months earlier, I instead decided on Omelette Tony Bennett – smoked trout, grana padano cheese and basil on toast $14. My omelette was moist, flavoursome and quite satisfying. However, my bread had a chewy crust while I was kinda hoping it would be crispy.
Hey you know what? I admit I’m fussy with coffees and brunch fare. I hope this slightly bitchy post won’t upset anyone. I have images of local residents in the area chasing me with torches and spears, lol. But on the bright side, I actually liked the homely, honest feel to the place and its warm casual staff. Atmosphere was bustly, the food was alright, but the main let down were the coffees. I hear there might’ve been a recent change of management just around the time we visited, so maybe they just need time to adjust and come back into the swing of things.