77-79 Nicholson Street
Another day, another brunch post! Matt Wilkinson (he of the new book Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables, which I’ve been eyeing off) is the chef and co-owner at Pope Joan in Bruns-a-wick, which makes cheffy and delicious brunches and gets absolutely packed out. Get there before prime brunch-o-clock, or sit next door in the bar where you can still order the same dishes but the tables are less comfortable.
Some friends and I went for breakfast before attending a Green Renter’s workshop up the road on how to make our own jams and preserves. On a side note, I’d recommend, if you are going to a workshop like that, NOT to eat this much beforehand, as Cate (the workshop presenter and half of Green Renters) will have prepared a delicious spread for you to try out jams on scones, cheese platter and the like. Regret!
The dishes are presented beautifully, which is what I meant by cheffy. Check out my order – scrambled eggs, cornbread loaf, smoked trout salad with capers and fennel. I must say although I enjoyed this dish I found that the components didn’t really marry with each other on the plate as well as I hoped. The eggs went well with the cornbread, but the salad felt like a completely different dish. On the plus side, this meant I got to eat breakfast AND lunch, all at once.
Friend Nat went for a pumpkin and haloumi pie, which she said was amazing, and indeed looks amazing in the photo below. It’s on my revisit list when I return. Squeaky salty haloumi is God’s gift to cheese.
Incidentally, I’m laughing as I type this because looking at the stack above is reminding me of the episode of Black Books where Manny and Bernard try to serve restaurant dishes in the bookshop, and on Bernard’s orders, Manny creates a tower of soup:
But I digress. It looks much nicer than that.
My other friend A ordered the feta omelette with herbs and it came out looking pretty as a picture and strewn with herbs and flowers. That’s gluten free toast on the side, kids, so you can ask for that if you’re coeliac (as A is). She loved it but found it a large meal.
Pope Joan is one of those cafes that does really interesting and different brunch food, and is a must visit especially if you live in the area, and even if you don’t. Worth queuing up for.