Sometimes places just work. The Bell Jar for instance - it opened to a small burst of hype and has seemingly settled into a steady and successful addition to the inner-north's range of breakfast options. It boasts a stylish interior that doesn't beat you over the head with its hipness, a cute little courtyard (complete with friendly local cat), cheerful and obliging staff and a decent sized menu with lots of interesting dishes to choose from.
Our second visit brought with it weather warm enough to try out the courtyard - there are only a few tables out there, but it's a light and sunny place to start your Saturday morning, and the cat's antics provide some simple entertainment. Typically, we split into our sweet and savoury breakfast ordering modes. I went for something from the specials board: spicy corncakes with chipotle, poached eggs, coriander, creme fraiche and avocado (subbed in for the standard bacon without any issues at all, $16).
This was right up my alley - clearly more cafes need to incorporate chipotle into their breakfasts. Perfectly poached eggs, ripe and tasty avocado, a thick crunchy corn fritter and the simply amazing combo of spicy/smoky chipotle and cooling creme fraiche. My only problem with this meal was that it was so delicious that I wolfed it down too quickly. I hope it turns up on the menu proper in future - it's too good to be limited to occasional star turns on the specials list.
Cindy's sweet treat was also from the specials menu: ricotta hotcakes with apricots, orange blossom mascarpone and a nut crust ($15). Cindy realised soon after this arrived that ricotta hotcakes are probably her least favourite member of the broader pancake family - this was a decent version, but the whole concept is a bit 'squidgy' for her. Still, the wonderful combination of toppings more than made up for it.
A word of praise too for the coffee - the two flat whites they served me up were reminders of how good coffee can be. The Bell Jar is fast becoming a contender for my favourite breakfast place in town - it's got some stiff competition, but their all 'round consistency is hard to fault.