Saturday, 29 June 2013

Porgie + Mr Jones, Hawthorn - Quirky

A weekend visit to Hawthorn should inevitably involve some time being spent at the venerable Porgie + Mr Jones, a very quirky cafe on Auburn Road. I took time out for lunch with one other on a recent trip to the area, as it is always good for a relaxing laugh and some extremely fresh and tasty food.

Despite being open for dinner and having a small degustation menu available two nights of the week and having a bit of a reputation for a killer breakfast, I found myself there for a relaxing Saturday lunch mainly because I slept in after an enjoyable night prior listening to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (presenting Rachmaninov's Third) and of course enjoying some alcoholic beverages, as one does.

Wanting some sugar, I ordered a Coke however an organic "SOHO" cola was presented. Personally I can't stand the taste of organic cola so I didn't drink it and instead offloaded it to my dining companion. Porgie + Mr Jones takes the produce that they purchase and ultimately sell very seriously so I wasn't surprised that something organic was being flogged as a substitute. We started our lunch with the crostini with sardines ($16.90) which was served at the same time as the steak standwich ($22.90) and the Porgies parma ($21.90) as we were feeling especially hungary.

The Lillydale-sourced chicken probably made this parma one of the more robust offerings that I have ever had. Slices of apple complimented the ham hook, cheese and roasted tomatoes where the perfect amount of sauce made this lush, moist and huge piece of bread crumbed chicken a contender for my forthcoming "best of" commentary. The crostini translated as "little toasts" were accompanied by three dollops of roasted tomato salsa, avacado and a herby sour cream respectively. The avacado was amazing and you can easily tell that everything is freshly prepared which makes the journey to this cafe really worth the effort.

This is a very active and popular place and we were fortunate to only have to wait for a minute before securing a table. Besides having a takeaway counter for desserts and coffee, the cafe is segregated into areas with noticeably different themes: quirky hipster cafe, more formal dining room with lighter colours, a room for events and a garden terrace that is popular regardless of the weather it seems. You are certainly spoiled for choice.

Besides needing to source street parking in the area which is always a challenge, you need to remember to bring cash as credit cards are not accepted. Conveniently located next to the restaurant is a Commonwealth Bank ATM, so payment doesn't turn out to be a drama at all.

I really like Porgie + Mr Jones. It has something for everyone, is a relaxed place with a buzzing ambiance and after you enjoy some hearty yet fresh food, you ultimately will leave happy.

Porgie + Mr Jones, Auburn Road, Hawthorn

Porgie + Mr Jones
291 Auburn Rd  Hawthorn VIC 3122
(03) 9882 2955
My Rating: 13.5/20
Service: 3/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Comment: Cash only

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

When I made this post originally, 81% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like Porgie + Mr Jones.

Porgie and Mr Jones on Urbanspoon