To make your mark as a top quality café in Melbourne you need to be pretty good. For some reason over the last few years the number of great cafes for breakfast or lunch has just exploded compared to the number of comparatively good new Chinese, Indian, Thai or French style restaurants. This is emphasised even more by some well established styles of food seemingly going backwards. I mean, how often do you get an invitation to check out some great new suburban Italian or Greek restaurant?
Porgie and Mr Jones definitely sits high on the list of new high quality cafes. While I wouldn't rank it at the top of the tree it is a contender for one of the top ten cafes I've been to in Melbourne, maybe even for the top five.
Offering a number of differently styled areas in which you can sit and eat, from the more open and communal front room to a couple of quite small and cosy rooms back towards the kitchen, it also appeared to have a nice courtyard out the back. We didn't really go out to investigate, settling ourselves in a couple of very comfortable high backed leather chairs next to the fireplace in one of the backrooms. With roughly painted walls, San Pellegrino on the shelves and tables not too close together, it was nothing earth shatteringly novel but a well put together package.
Snooze went for the Dukkah eggs, poached on toasted grain bread with spinach, roasted tomato and hazelnut dukkah. This also normally comes with roasted red peppers but Snooze chose instead to go with smashed avocado. It didn't feel like a particularly complex dish but the eggs were nicely poached and the toasted grain bread and dukkah gave it a nutty flavour which we both enjoyed. The serving size was also generous and it thankfully didn't have the common problem of over toasted bread.
Looking for something light and cheerful I went with the rosewater poached fruits - summer fruits with rosewater, yoghurt, honey and oat crumble. This looked extremely colourful in the bowl and according to my count contained at least ten different fruits and berries; passionfruit, watermelon, blueberry, boysenberry, apple, rockmelon, cherry, pineapple, raspberry and strawberries. The crunch of the oats added texture and despite it also being a generous serve after finishing I was looking around for more.
Looking at the cakes at the front counter I decided to go for the scones with jam and cream. The scones themselves were excellent, hollow sounding when tapped, warm and quite fluffy, a pleasure to eat. The jam and cream were also good if not as much so as the scones, smooth and sweet.
A very pleasant place to eat good food. I was a bit in two minds about the service though. It was efficient and friendly but some of the friendliness appeared a little put on, like the staff were making the effort to be friendly but it didn't come naturally. Still a solid B+ in this regard. Prices were consistent with the quality of the food and I'd recommend you get in before 9 for breakfast - half full when we arrived it was just about packed by 9.30.
Food - 8
Ambience - 8
Service - 7.5
Price - 7
291 Auburn Road
Tel: (03) 9882 2955