Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 9, 2010: The Bell Jar II

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.

Since we first blogged The Bell Jar, Hayley and Gluten Savvy have discovered its delights, while Brian has also revisited successfully.


  1. Oooh I recently went to the Bell Jar as well and loved it.. such a nice relaxed place, good food and lovely cat to boot! Now just to finish that blog post (it's in the draft folder with about a million others!)

  2. I really need to revisit the Bell Jar, it definitely counts as one of my favourite discoveries this year. And if it means I get to play with a kitty as well as have an awesome breakfast, well, so the better!

  3. Oh, s/he's like a long haired version of my kitty! I just know I'd go there mostly because of the kitty and be likely to be disappointed by the kitty being elsewhere that day.

    ...now if there were able to be some guarantee of tuxedo cat...

  4. I love the place too - I had the same savoury dish and it was divine!!

    mmm thinking about it is making me hungry. :D

  5. I am very impressed with their coffee - hmm maybe a visit this weekend?

  6. OK, when I think of the Bell Jar I think... unpretentious, relaxed, understatedly cool, awesome coffee, friendly staff, a home away from home. Memorable, Scott Brissy