Now HERE is a gem. Owned by Raymond Capaldi (renowned chef of many years repute both overseas and here in Melbourne, not least including co-owning Fenix, and now owner of the very fabulous Hare & Grace in Collins St), Marmalade and Soul is located on Queens Parade in Clifton Hill, a stone’s throw from Brunswick St.
The first thing that hits you, aside from the gorgeous fit-out (thankfully not too cliched, with some nice vintage touches, and cleverly-designed light shades made from colanders and other kitchen utensils, as well as an open kitchen and a fabulous communal table) is the incredible menu.
I’ve never seen anything like it, and I eat breakfast out alot. Probably way more than I should. In any case, apart from a few staples, and an offering for the kidlets of either googie-eggs with soldiers or Coco-Pops, we were in uncharted territory. It was impossible not to succumb to the adventure. Presented with such confidence, the sheer balls of it had me going ‘hell yes, I WILL have some scrambled eggs cooked in burnt butter with curry powder’. Thank God I did because that, my friends, was some curry, eggy goodness right there. It also probably didn’t hurt that our waitress was ridiculously lovely, friendly and FRENCH, which meant when she recited the specials <yes they also have breakfast specials> we asked her to do them again, just to hear her accent.
The coffee was SPLENDID. I think it’s worth saying that again. Splendid. So good, I had 3 piccolos and was pinging off my head by the time I left.
But back to breakfast. Between us we also tried the caramelised orange and olive cake, with burnt orange custard, and maple bacon, and the corned beef jaffle with baked beans and salted egg yolk marmalade. My brain hurt trying to think about how this was all going to work, but BAM! Out it all came, on beautifully mismatched vintage crockery, my heart just told me to go with it and my tastebuds happily followed. Everything was fabulous. Loved it all.
Friendly welcome: check. Great service: check. Awesome coffee: check. An utterly original menu that makes you go WHOOOOO! Checkmate.
Good god. After a truly spectacular lunch at Hare & Grace last week with my new food partner in crime, and now this breakfast magnificence, I’m officially a Ray Capaldi groupie. And considering he’s kinda like a rugged Billy Bob Thornton, that may not be bad thing. Unless of course, you’re my husband. Shhhh!