There is nothing better than walking into a cosy cafe oozing of freshly brewed coffee on a wintry day. No wonder Melbourne has such a strong coffee culture - all day breakfast is a favourite local pastime, especially in winter.
Marmalade and Soul, the new venture of restaurateur Raymond Capaldi of Hare & Grace, is one of those cosy places. Nice, simple decor with exposed brick walls, friendly staff, beautiful decorated plates; they've nailed the atmostphere.
Communal table and view of the kitchen
The menu is not extensive and mainly egg based, which suits me just fine. I ordered poached eggs on toast with bacon and green (herb based) bernaise sauce and hubby chose one of the specials, ricotta pikelets.
Poached eggs on toast with bacon and bernaise sauce
This dish was not a winner for me at all. The toast was burnt, the eggs had a vinegary after taste (I'm guessing from the water they were poached in) and the egg whites were not fully cooked. It is a dish that I would normally send back, but our food had taken so long to arrive as it was that I didn't want to risk it.
Apparently our food took a while due to hubby's pancakes. My failed eggs experience was certainly redeemed by the ricotta pikelets.
Pikelets with lemon curd, creme fraiche, apple and rhubarb syrup ($17)
Where can start? Beautiful presentation, soft pancakes with a crunchy exterior and perfectly creamy middle, beautiful lemon curd and ever-so-subtle apple and rhubarb syrup all combined to make a perfect dish.
Seriously, this dish could easily go into my top 10 for the year - absolutely amazing.
You can tell the owner / staff cares about what they are doing and about keeping the clients happy. They didn't charge us for our dishes given how long it took for them to come to the table.
As much as I thought there was a lot of room for improvement in my dish, I would definitely give Marmalade and Soul another go. They've showed they can deliver with the amazing pikelets and most importantly, also showed that they care.
Hoping to see the pikelets on the menu again next time I come :)