This new eatery is in a busy little precinct in Nicholson Street – parking may not be easy. Our first visit still catches Pope Joan in its early stages on opening. Coffee was a little inconsistent, Cream of Mushroom soup was superb, Rice pudding with poached fruits was a tiny serve – smaller than a kids size – but flavours were good. Toasted sandwich with pickled green tomatoes was good, but we thought the pickles were way too sharp and dominated the dish. There is potential here – we need to wait a few weeks to allow Pope Joan to establish itself. At the moment it rates 3 stars out of 6.
Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street. Brunswick East. www.popejoan.com.au
While in Trentham we dropped in to Idyll Foods and had a great conversation with Truffle expert – Chris Macquet. He will have Truffles available for about 15 weeks during the year – from W.A. TAS, NSW and hopefully New Zealand (maybe white truffles). Trentham truffles will hopefully be online in a few years time. Trees were planted in Trentham a few years ago but unfortunately they were incorrectly innoculated with the Truffle spores. New plantings have been correctly innoculated and should be producing Truffles in a year or two. The Trentham climate is perfect for Truffle growth. Cool in winter – with a burst of sun mid July early August. Chris has on sale – innoculated oak tree seedlings – so you can start your own Truffle farm at home!
Idlyll Foods are at 14 Market Street, Trentham. Tel: 5424-1144. There is a Truffle festival on 31st July and August 1st 2010 in Trentham. You can see more info at www.victrufflesfestival.com.au and enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
We went out to Trentham today to revisit Red Beard Bakery. Brunch is a real treat here with a great range of artisan breads, cakes and pastries They use local produce and Istra small-goods from Daylesford. The ‘big breakfast’ was my choice and Eve had the sausage roll. Coffee is good. You can visit www.redbeardbakery.com.au
Coffee from Five Senses is quite superb. Caramelized figs are great when in season, along with smashed avocado and pork belly sandwich. There is a lot to like about Proud Mary. Recently had a great spicy chocolate also.
On a recent visit, Pork Belly sandwich was superb, along with the crispy hash and pancakes. Serious food.