Porgie + Mr Jones
In a space full of endearing touches, Hawthorn's favourite dining spot will have you leaving with a very happy spring in your step.
If you're out for a fancy brunch, a very late lunch or are just waking up from the night before with a hankering for coffee, this is the place to do it. Porgie + Mr Jones is bustling regardless of the day of the week and, come the weekend, it is positively bursting with excitement. A very small wait for your table is hardly a blip on the radar when cheery staff accommodate all your needs as soon as you walk in.
Having expanded considerably since its opening a few years ago, the aesthetic of Porgie + Mr Jones has developed with immense thought. The cafe is split into a variety of areas that all offer a different mood — from the quirky front room featuring a takeaway counter for coffee and baked goods, to the more formal dining rooms (the 'fancy rooms'), a private room for events and the expansive outside garden terrace (the 'secret garden'). Wherever seated you'll be entirely comfortable, with the outside garden particularly sublime in the summer months.
The menu doesn't differ too far from other names in the Porgie + Mr Jones empire, which also include Snow Pony (Balwyn), Friends of Mine (Richmond) and recently opened The Stables at Como House (Prahran). Offering something for everyone, it's a big achievement when any cafe manages to achieve the perfect balance of interesting flavours, collective favourites and hearty serves. Whatever your selection, you'll be assured a faultless choice, with food envy possibly the only repercussion.
For those craving savoury, salty goodness, the fabulous herb and cheesy toast with eggplant kasundi ($11.90) as well as the McPorgie, an English muffin stuffed with ham off the bone, Emmental cheese and creamy dreamy scrambles ($5.50) will hit the sides absolutely perfectly. For the health conscious, the bircher muesli with stewed rhubarb, honey yogurt and toasted pistachio ($10.90) is the perfect balance of sweetness. Aptly presented in a gorgeous glass jar, it's just one of the endearing touches Porgie + Mr Jones will leave you with.
Things take a step up come lunchtime, with offerings including the crispy skinned pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke cream, prunes and pear ($22.90) assured to impress. With this expansive, highly-capable daytime menu, Porgie + Mr Jones' recent foray into nighttime dining has proved to be nothing but successful. Open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, the set menu run with the choice of two ($55pp) or three courses ($70pp) is a definite highlight in this part of town. Bookings are, of course, essential.
Compared to its nearby sister Snow Pony, Porgie + Mr Jones delivers the goods in a dining experience that is almost flawless. Come back over and over again to explore the expansive menu and delight in the different spaces. It's a reliable choice when desiring a hearty meal, a cheeky sweet treat or somewhere to take a group. Just remember to take cash with you (cards are not accepted, but there is an ATM next door for convenience), and the buzzing atmosphere will have you out the door with a very happy spring in your step.
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