The Bell Jar

June 10, 2012

656 Smith Street, Collingwood
I am shamefully, horrendously far behind on my blog posts. Sometimes I think there should be some sort of universal, independent body to enforce blogging schedules through peaceful intervention, but then again perhaps I’ve just been studying the structure of the U.N. too much…
Regardless, I am going overseas very soon for about a month, so am going to try and get through as many posts as I can now, which although not optimal, at least gets them out of the way.
Over the summer, as you may know, I interned at a bank. One of the other interns, S, was from Adelaide and we got on really well and thought instead of always eating lunch super-quickly in the city we’d take a morning one weekend to have brunch before the summer was over (yes, I was here in January, and now it’s June. Please someone set up some sort of punishment schedule). I’d heard good things about the hotcakes at the Bell Jar, and S was living in nearby Clifton Hill, so it was a conveniently short walk away.

The front room is quite small but there’s a pleasant communal table in another room and a courtyard out the back. The decor is quite simple and homely, and there are fresh flowers at every table that provide a welcome pop of purple.

Customary shot of flat white with menu underneath. The coffee is excellent here, strong and served at the perfect temperature.


S’s chai tea, which let off a heady scent of cinnamon and honey (Action shot, awesome!)

The menu is wide-ranging, and S and I took a while choosing what we wanted (decisions, decisions!) The specials board also tempts with a daily version of ricotta hotcakes and some sort of omelette. In the end we decided to share two dishes. Among dishes that we didn’t choose but that appealed to me were things like spicy corn-cakes with bacon, chipotle, poached eggs and coriander, or a dish of rosemary and thyme mushrooms with roquette, meredith goats cheese and a walnut pesto.

The first dish to come out was my favourite of the two; a spanish tortilla (which is more of an omelette really) with chorizo, potato, roast tomatoes, craime fraiche and coriander. Dee-licious, I really enjoyed the ballsy flavours of the chorizo and the tomatoes together, though I felt the bread was a bit redundant given the potato in the dish.

To finish, we had a serve of the ricotta hotcakes. On the day we went they were served with caramelised peaches, marscapone, orange syrup, and toasted coconut – brilliant, not too sweet and I really enjoyed the tropical hit from the coconut. A perfectly sweet treat to end with, and I will definitely be returning for a serve of those corn-cakes with chipotle bacon!

Also, just a quick memo to say that the hot duck roll currently on offer at Ora in Kew is spectacular. Slightly on the small side, but absolutely stuffed with succulent duck, cucumber, black sesame and kewpie mayo. Get on it.

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Filed under: Brunch, Coffee, Collingwood