If there’s anything that makes me sad about leaving Elwood, it has to be this great new cafe. Replacing the less than impressive Turtle Cafe (but still retaining their great coffee) A Girl Called Jayne gives you a reason to start walking to the end of Ormond Road again!
It was great to see A Girl Called Jayne was bustling when we arrived, and enjoyed a steady stream of custom during our visit. Situated at the point where Glen Huntly and Ormond Road meet it’s a lovely space with windows almost all around, and an outdoor seating area out front. Turtle Cafe was one of the first cafes I reviewed, almost a year ago, so almost finishing up the year by visiting A Girl Called Jayne is a fitting bookend.
Now I’m not going to make this a review of comparisons, but just quickly. What’s the same: the menu is similar in terms of it’s a focus on brunch with a few lunch items, the venue is still gorgeous and they’ve kept the Code Black Coffee. What’s different: the service and the food. Service was prompt, attentive and friendly despite them being practically packed to the rafters. They seem to have changed the layout a little too – a smaller counter maybe – anyway, while it’s still not a spacious cafe, you can now safely walk around your table without falling face first into someone else’s brunch.
We ordered the smashed avo and the brulee french toast. I usually find smashed avo a good barometer to measure a cafe by, and this one was fresh, pretty and creative. Instead of your standard avo, it was a avocado salsa – mixing the traditional smashed avocado with pico de gallo and feta. I could eat tomatoes all day every day, so this made me pretty happy and mixed with the huge chunks of feta it was just a great dish! You could have eaten nothing but avo for a week and still love this dish. While retaining that Melbourne staple of the avocado it was also so much more – a bruschetta-esque kind of dish.
The french toast is a simple, understated dish compared to many. Again, made with Challah bread, it had a little twist and was creative with poached fruit and berries. M.B. disliked the fact it didn’t come with strawberries – despite the fact he hated strawberries 6 weeks ago – however, I liked the different fruits. I always think it gives a healthier feel to french toast – and in the fitness conscious suburb of Elwood, I think it’s well judged for the market. We both agreed it could have done with a touch more maple syrup or ice cream, just for a little more moisture – but as with many new cafes, these minor details tend to work themselves out in the wash. Overall, two very fresh, healthy and enjoyable dishes that we’d happily go back for.
In summary, I think the key question my loyal readers are asking here is, if I still lived in Elwood, would I be prepared to walk that bit further to brunch at A Girl Called Jayne, and the answer is undoubtedly yes! Fabulous service, a select, yet delicious menu and they’ve kept that awesome coffee. Thanks for having us A Girl Called Jayne!