Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 25, 2007: Jungle Juice Bar

After a fairly unsatisfying scrum through the crowds of chocolate and coffee connoisseurs at Fed Square, Cindy and I decided to hunt down lunch somewhere away from the crowds. We strolled up through Degraves Lane into Centre Place and stumbled onto Jungle Juice Bar, a tiny hole in the wall offering up a wide selection of bagel-based meals, juices and sweets. We perched on the primary-school sized plastic chairs around a little table in the alley way and watched the hipsters stroll by as we perused the menus (which are bound up in covers of old Golden Books). There are very few vego options on their list, but they're happy to prepare things with meat components excluded. I opted for the Royale (minus the bacon) - poached eggs with rocket, tomato, mozzarella and homemade mayo in an open-faced bagel sandwich, while Cindy went for the vegetarian bagel, with rocket, tomato, cheese, tomato and a splash of tobasco. We'd both ordered fresh juices (mine just OJ and Cindy's orange, pineapple and ginger) and they washed down the bagels splendidly.

With the exceptionally low table and tiny chairs, I was forced to balance my plate on my lap, inevitably resulting in bits of egg and tomato ending up on my trousers as I tried to saw my way through the bagel. Mess aside, it was a pretty satisfying lunch - probably a little cheesy for me, making it impossible for me to even pretend it was healthy - but otherwise a success. Cindy really enjoyed her bagel sandwich, and it brought back some fond memories of her trips to New York. It wasn't quite the East Village, but we were both entertained by the trendy youth of Melbourne wandering past.

Address: Shop 20, Central Place, Melbourne
Phone: 9639 8779
Prices: Food $6-$13, Juice $4


  1. Michael and Cindy, I looked at your other blog. Are you guys Matlab trainers? I went to a Matlab training session recently and looking into using it at work? Any tips on some good learning material?

    And yes, I'm a nerd/geek too. You should see me in my own hand made "Intellect Inside" t-shirt. If that's not geeky enough, what is?

  2. Aahh...and they do a damn fine coffee there too!

  3. I love centre place - no other cities in Australia do 'back lanes' quite the same way Melbourne does.

    Sounds great!

  4. Thanh7580: we're not Matlab trainers, but I use Matlab a lot in my job. I create mathematical models of ecological systems, and the other blog was our travel journal when I got a two-month job modelling a Swedish moose population! (So I'm a nerd, but not an IT kinda nerd...) I only make use of a small subset of Matlab's capabilities (and after my introductory training, have really just taught myself using the help section!) so might not be able to offer the advice you're after. Oh, and Michael's a bit nerdy too, he just doesn't use Matlab. ;-)

    Mellie, we skipped the coffee this time but I'll probably indulge when we revisit. Your blog is such a resource for CBD workday eating that I trust your coffee recommendations. :-)

    Lucy, you are absolutely right. In my hometown of Brisbane, a back lane with a visible dumpster is rarely a place to visit - in Melbourne, you'd be missing out on a lot of the good eating and all the hip bars if you took the same approach!

  5. Apart from lunch, I'd go there for the LGB menu covers. I recently found a first edition The Taxi That Hurried at a market.

  6. The menu covers are a real trip down memory lane if you're given the right one!