Pope Joan

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.

Rating: ***

Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street. Brunswick East. www.popejoan.com.au

Idyll Foods and Truffles – Trentham

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 enquiries@victrufflesfestival.com.au