When we first heard that Chef Matt Wilkinson had left Circa, the Boy and I were devastated… here we were, planning to go to Circa, because of him and he goes and leaves it!
But then, it was announced that he would be opening up his own restaurant…
Pope Joan was born!
Don’t go and Wiki Pope Joan, or you might discover a bit more than you wished for…(or you may wish to, for some light bed time reading), it’s quite a depressing story…
As we arrived, there were already a few other groups waiting outside and I was dreading the wait…
However, as I approached indoors to ask for the wait time, one of the nice wait staff apologetically told me that it’d be 25 minutes…
Happily we agreed, with the actual wait time only about 10 minutes (or at least I think so, we were given cute little crates to sit on so I wasn’t too bothered)
As we were seated, we were greeted by the wait staff and politely given the menu (and upon receiving one stained menu, was apologised to, and given another one!)
Amazing service… it had the fun and casual feel of a cafe cum bistro partnered with the service of a fine dining establishment
The setting and decor of the restaurant was quaint and quirky…a bit like a mountain cabin lost in the middle of a busy inner city suburb…
From a moose head to a moose inspired clock (above the main doors), there was a sense of humour in the decorators theme…
There was even a random old sports trophy sitting atop a bookshelf which was being used as a teapot/cups/glass cabinet…
Twice we tried to get a picture of the man himself in action, but alas, he works at super sonic speed and it was hard to capture him hard at work…
So we took a break to enjoy our English Breakfast teas….
The Boy tried again the second time, but like before Matt was much too busy (which is a good thing) and thus, we rest assured knowing that we would never successfully become paparazzis…
I had the Not So Full English Breakfast which consisted of Melbourne pantry bacon, Cumberland sausage, baked beans and scrambled eggs $18
This in itself made me extremely happy, as opposed to paying $19.50 the week before for essentially a plate of baked beans and A toast at RHCL…BAH
Tastewise… the sausages and scrambled eggs were absolutely smack bang perfect… the baked beans were good as well (although, *i’m choking to say this*, the baked beans at RHCL were much nicer, but then they did charge $19.50 for just a dollop)…
The Boy, upon persuasion, ordered the Fried egg, Grilled Ox Tongue with Sauce Gribiche $15
And he absolutely loved it! He said it was really quite refreshing to have something other than bacon and eggs (BAH) for brekkie…
Would we ever step foot and return upon this humble establishment?
A DEFINITE YES!!! I speak for myself (but I think the Boy would agree), that I was so full and happy dining on an excellent breakfast that I was almost regretting that we were on the way to Taste of Melbourne… *almost*
I wonder if Matt Wilkinson will grant me an interview? HmMmmmm….
*Disclaimer: All food ratings are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality
Food/ Cuisine: Modern Contemporary Australian (I think)
Dining Style: Bistro/Cafe/Restaurant
Overall Food Rating (Based on the Dining style): 8/10
Restaurant ambiance: 9/10 (for what it was, I really loved the atmosphere and the decorations!)
Service/ Attitude: 8/10
Value for money: 8/10 (Typical breakfast fare pricing and you’d be expecting to pay a bit more here anyway because of the fresh produce used in the cooking)
77-79 Nicholson Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
Tel:(03) 9388 8858
Pope Joan is open for
breakfast and lunch 7 days a week from
7.30am til “erm about afternoonish” and
soon-ish for dinners
How to get there:
I will have to put this on my – must visit list –
So many great places in Melbourne! It's enough to make a gal want to move there! 😛
Ooo I must make a trip to Pope Joan to check out Matt Wilkinson's twist in career.
My other favourite chef during the same era, is Michael Lambie (I dunno if he still consults at Taxi) but, he has like a bistro somewhere in South Melbourne which I've yet to try out too haha.
Interesting that chefs with such calibre, have moved on to different paths in these food businesses, I guess the massive pro, would be having the luxury of not constantly stressing out over many little things hehe.
Chanel: It is a good brekkie spot!!
Lorraine: YOu should move here! BUt you have way more 3 hats over there!
Ling: Yeah it really is different to a fine dining establishment.
Apologies for the late responses people… I don't know my name anymore =P