Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
09. Feb, 2012
Gee whiz, cafes are swooping in this summer like seagulls on duck fat chips. This week the pace shows no sign of slackening as Marmalade and Soul opened for business, brought to you by the people (including chef Raymond Capaldi) behind Hare and Grace.
Marmalade and Soul is taking over what used to be the Recreation Hotel, on the precipice between Fitzroy North and Clifton Hill. I like renovated pubs, I think there’s something comforting about a place so many pints have been swilled. But maybe that says something about me.
While the guts of the old place have been ripped out there are now plants, shelves stacked with HP Sauce, fresh produce, sweets to fill the space, while plenty of nooks and crannies remain. There’s a nice outdoor area too.
The adventure continues on the menu. People talk about Mexican food crazy sweeping Melbourne, I’m more interested in the British (re) invasion. Chef Capaldi’s Scottish roots are evident in a menu bristling with bloody pudding and rarebit.
While I’m tempted by the likes of artisan toast n’ jam with violet crumble butter and housemade preserves ($6), ‘A Fine Breakfast’ of bacon, black pudding, tomato, sausage, toast, fried egg ($16) and the three egg omelette with date, broccolini, spinach stalks and cheese rarebit ($16), I go for something different.
I’m not normally one for sweets at breakfast. Give me a salt lick any day. However I am not made of stone and couldn’t go by the fried savoury Scottish fruit pudding, pickled plum and spiced sour cream ($14).
I don’t think I’ve ever met a dish with so many oxymorons in the title.
Essentially a mince pudding that’s sliced into discs and then fried. The pudding is great, though it feels a little odd eating one for breakfast in February. Odd, but not unpleasant. I push on – the heat of the pudding compliments the coolness of the thick cream and tartness of the plum. A dish that works best when all three elements pull together. That’s teamwork.
Over the table my friend has gone for the hot smoked salmon kedgeree, poached egg, tomato and orange chutney ($16).
I have to admit I liked this better, and suffered food envy. Originally an Indian dish, the kedgeree has been embraced by the Brits and was a popular dish during Victoria’s reign. Looks like its set to make a comeback in the colonies. Poached eggs and salmon sit atop a heavy base of basmati rice with a curry kick. It doesn’t seem like it should work, but it’s a fantastic mix of subtle flavours and textures.
Marmalade and Soul are currently open for breakfast and lunch, but will open soon for dinners from Thurs to Sun shortly. Beers too, in keeping with the heritage of the place.
Speaking of heritage, why not walk off that pudding at the nearby Edinburgh Gardens?
MARMALADE AND SOUL
170 Queens Pde, Fitzroy North
Tues – Sun 8am – 4pm