Ever wished your local was just a little more… real? Real in the sense that all you truly want is somewhere nice to sit while you drink a great coffee and scan the social pages for a photo that’s not Michael & Lindy Klim. Good, simple food that lets the ingredients do the talking rather than fancy culinary sorcery. Something a little less bullshit. If you live in St Kilda, Dr Jekyll may just be your sort of place.
Some cafes do one thing exceptionally well to get themselves a reputation, but there’s no one thing to put your finger on here. In fact, what I’d say makes them great is that they do everything consistently well. And without the usual fuss. The service is brilliant, as you’d expect from two guys that have been around the traps including a stint together at Orange in Windsor. Warm and totally absent of attitude. Attitude is so five years ago.
The coffee is on the money and the food is exactly what I expect of a cafe. Simple goodness. Mostly sandwiches and salads, using the best ingredients, like Istra smallgoods and Calendar Cheese Company tastiness. I had a Caprese Baguette with cracking buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto, tomato and basil. What’s not to like?
You get to see some interesting things sitting in cafes for half a day taking photos. Like we did today when owner Matthew’s mum walked in with her wicker basket carrying a warm-from-the-oven cake that she’s baked for the cafe. How real is that? For the record it was a plum cake that made me resent my mother for not being able to bake. If you’re reading this mum, it’s not too late to learn. And yes I will love you more if you do.
There is one thing I do want to highlight; the walled courtyard. There’s something magical about sitting in a courtyard having breakfast while the dappled sunlight falls across your back. Tables on footpaths are OK, but they’re noisy and you’ll probably get cancer from the carbon monoxide. Give me a good courtyard any day. And they’re rare as hens teeth in St Kilda. Inkr7 has a tiny one, Las Chicas has one too, so long as you’re happy to wait an hour to get a table. That’s about it.
So there you have it. This is a good cafe, well worth a visit. It’s simple, down to earth and honest and does everything well without ceremony. Grab the paper, get yourself a sunny spot in the courtyard and enjoy.