April 12, 2012 1 Comment
Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
Coffee: Coffee Supreme
“The great Australian dream was cultivated after WWII and for the majority of the population it still continues to run deep in our psyche. It’s the belief that owning ones home leads to a better life. An expression of success and security. The house must come with a front and backyard and be equipped with a lawn mower, Hills Hoist and a barbecue. After the war, Melbournians had migrate outwards with the incentive of cheaper, larger blocks of land to mow. One such suburb is Pascoe Vale and as the current population pressure increases, these blocks have been sub-divided. Clever architecture has been adopted to attract a sense of urban living. As more trendy people live further out of the city, the latte parameter has been extended and so has the increased demand for a good brunch spot. It seems Jack & Daisy have stepped up to the spotlight.
My initial observation on Jack & Daisy was that it had some characteristics of a ‘normal’ suburban cafe. Plenty of seating but a decor which lacked an exciting vibe. One might just cut their losses and go elsewhere, however it is the subtle aspects which made Jack & Daisy special. This included the white picket fence out the front and the cute kiddies corner. That’s right - a kiddies corner. Jack & Daisy embraced the cafe-kid-factor in the right way. The little corner had toys, providing unlimited amount of fun to let the kids be kids and the adults be adults. If the kid’s corner wasn’t enough there was a massive cubby house out the back. They also had ’babyccino’ drinks and a kids menu.
Jack & Daisy provided its suburban goodness from Coffee Supreme (not my favorite but lately I have been warming up to the taste). It’s the perfect blend when you’re not keen on tasting flavours but after a well-balanced, crisp coffee to start your morning. It had a lovely dark, rich coffee taste, but occasionally a slightly harsh overtone could be tasted. It was a conservative coffee blend which was well suited to both spectrums of the demographic.
Their breakfast menu was limited and after careful consideration and deliberation with Miss SL, I went for Daisy’s favourite – poached free range eggs, smoked salmon, herbed fetta, guacamole & multigrain [$14.50]. There was an unusually long wait to get to our meals and on arrive I felt a little disappointed. The plating didn’t do the dish justice. It felt like I was paying for the food at a shop with no consideration to plating and presentation. It may just be a conservative brunch meal but it seemed like very little effort was made. On the taste front all of the ingredients were fresh, especially the smoke salmon which went extremely well with the rich and authentic goats cheese. With that said, the shape of the poached eggs seemed off and the guacamole tasted like it could have been whipped up at home. Overall, I felt that this dish lacked substance. There was no creativity or attempted to wow the punter, although they do get points for the freshness of the food.
Jack & Daisy have been operating for over a year and I had been pretty excited to visit it. I want to be ‘wooed’ and to tell all that even the outer suburbs could produce fabulous brunches. No more do people of these lovely suburbs have to suffer with mediocre coffee and poor food. Sadly, Jack & Daisy haven’t captured the true essences of an outstanding cafe. They have provided the right environment with a different coffee bean, but on this occasion the food was disappointing. Improvement and persistence is the key and I hope that Jack & Daisy strive forward to improve on their weaknesses.”
“Since what seems like mid-last year, Mr LB had been nagging me to try a cafe that had opened up in Pascoe Vale – a kid friendly place known as Jack & Daisy. While I constantly got it confused with Jack And Jill (who went up the hill), at least the cafe name stuck in my mind.
We’d arrived to what looked like a rather average cafe, playing popular rock behind the various conversations that were taking place between gossiping mothers, fathers and groups of friends just out for a coffee. A waitress zoomed passed us, offering a table that she said she would come back and clean up for us. The plates were cleared but the crumbs and spilt jams were left behind as she forgot to come back and wipe down the varnished table top. I seemed to have had my cranky pants on that day and I must admit that this lack of attention to detail had created a grey outlook as to my expectations for this particular experience.
As I sat there trying not to put my elbows on something disgusting on the table, I flicked through the weekend newspaper pull outs. Frustrated, I decided to go for a walk around the venue. Going around the narrow corner past the ‘baby’ bathroom, I entered into a magnificent courtyard out the back. The rich green astroturf provided a soft landing ground for rambunctious children who were more interested with playing fairies and cars than eating their breakfast. A giant cubby house to the left of the courtyard offered salvation to parents, where the children scribbled on colouring books and had toys to keep them amused. It was like a completely different cafe out the back and my mood was immediately lifted.
I pranced back in I told Mr LB of my findings. Even he decided to go look! I’d forgotten about the crumbs on our table as I made an order of Scotch fillet steak sanga with onion relish, swiss cheese, salad & fries [$16.50] add bacon [$17.50] to go with my soy latte. When my sanga came out I was a bit surprised – the meal felt like it had taken almost 25 minutes to come out, but it was minute steak! My sandwich was dense and the minute steak was a little dry on the inside. There was very little relish on the bread further adding to the dryness of this meal. The onions and swiss cheese were delicious and the chips perfectly cooked. They would have been perfect had my dish been served hot - but it seemed it had sat on the counter for a while and become luke warm. Some recognition has to made, however, to the fact that the bread was not soggy from the minute steak and relish.
Overall Jack & Daisy was a nice place to visit. Had I been in a better mood and I’d sat out the back, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the experience a lot more. Kudos to the team there for coming up with a cafe tailored to being truly child-friendly – it’s rare that you would ever find a place so generous towards children that they provide a substantially sized play area. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to Jack & Daisy, but if you’ve got a little one and need some time to breathe, perhaps this is the place to visit.”
Final thought: “A kid-safe cafe”