11.30am on a Saturday can be a rather confusing time on the weekend for me. I have to struggle with several options, all associated with food one way or another. Often, it comes down to the choice that requires the least amount of re-location, so a short stop at Pope Joan isn’t a decision that is too agonizing. Well, the headache does dissipate after my usual flat white and a really tasty pure chocolate truffle, which I can’t admit being too aesthetically appealing, looking like a flattened turd with sandy grit coating. But it’s very nicely sweetened without reducing the melt factor excessively. At $4.50 for a 5cm x 2cm rectangular piece, it’s on the pricy side, but worth the nibble.
The Seven Hills Spicy Goat Sausage comes served on a flat bread with a perfectly fried egg, couple of slithers of avocado and topped generously with coriander. Again, it is heavier priced at $19, but I do not have qualms with the quality. There is a small sprinkle of dukkah and a teaspoon worth of chilli jam just to mix up the flavours. I have to mention the generous portion of scramble egg that arrives next to the Goulburn River Smoked Trout ($18), plenty to be shared by two.
Lunch specials start service at 12 noon, and the roasted quail sounds mouth-wateringly appetizing.
No faults thus far at Pope Joan. Pretty, friendly and attentive staff, there is ample seating and a middle outdoorsy bit that is certain to be popular during the warmer months. I love the location of the coffee counter with a small open top kitchen in the corner where the eggs reside waiting to be scrambled and fried. The little cakes tend to be overlooked but are visually captivating and might entice you back for a ‘next time’.