“Have You Met Miss Jones?” inquires the song lyric, a line from a would-be swinging bachelor who then finds himself captivated by said lady (taken out of context from the musical from which it originated). The Miss Jones cafe in New Farm plays on this coquettish mystique.
The outside of the building it is housed in doesn’t quite fit the character, blocky and a solemn grey. The signage though, “Miss Jones” in a handwriting-like squiggle against a pastel pink backdrop, is a little more in keeping with it. As you approach, you will also see through the glass the neon pink sign on one of the inside walls, saying “Excuse Me Miss”.
It is a minimalist, modern space, with polished concrete floors and a raw concrete ceiling, and walls that are a light pastel pink on one side, and white on the other (the side with the neon pink sign). The more neutral colours of the concrete, and the earthy tones from the wooden tabletops and bentwood chairs were a counter to the pink, so that it wasn’t overwhelmingly feminine, and male patrons would not feel out of place there. Artificial greenery hung from the light strips overhead, softening what would otherwise be quite a spartan space. Unusually for a cafe these days, there was no music playing in the background.
It is quite a compact space, with most of the seating on one side, using bench seating running along one wall, matched with tables and the bentwood chairs, and a large communal table taking the space left by the service counter on the other side of the room.
We were given menus soon after entering the cafe, and invited to find seats. It was explained that we should order and pay at the counter. The smaller tables were mostly filled when we visited, and as we needed seating for more than two, we opted to sit at the communal table.
Looking through the menu, all of us were drawn to the same thing, the Eggs benedict. It wasn’t so much the egg part that did it, but the hash, cheddar, and ham waffle component. The other items, like the Smoked salmon roll and the Breakfast burger, just seemed more ordinary and less interesting.
One of our party couldn’t resist the temptation of the Malteaser shake. It arrived topped with whole Malteasers. It was a thick milkshake that tasted just like Malteasers, which wasn’t surprising, as you could see the ground up Malteasers mixed through it. If you like Malteasers, this is definitely the drink for you. It was on the sweet side though.
The flat white was well textured and a good strength.
The soy iced latte had a good flavour, with dark chocolate and berry notes. We did find it odd though, that both this and the milkshake were served in disposable cups, even though they knew that we were going to be eating there, and we hadn’t asked for them to be takeaway.
The Eggs Benedict dish was listed on the menu as coming with hash, cheddar, and ham waffle, avocado, chorizo, chipotle hollandaise, and poached eggs. One of us requested the poached eggs be changed to fried eggs, and they were happy enough to oblige. The poached eggs had nicely runny yolks. The fried eggs were also well done, with neatly cooked whites that weren’t rubbery. The hollandaise sauce on the poached eggs was creamy and a little spicy, but didn’t have the other notes we expected from a chipotle sauce. The waffles that had caught our attention were, as hoped, house-made. They were soft inside, and had a little crunch on the outside. Every so often, you would get a little savoury hit from the bits of ham embedded in the waffle. The smashed avocado that topped the waffle added creaminess, and still had little bits of unmashed avocado, giving it some texture. The chorizo pieces were smoky and meaty, and were cooked just right, so that they were still tender, rather than tough and leathery. It made for a tasty dish, all together.
Miss Jones is a cafe that certainly fits into the yuppie hub of New Farm. Along with that though, seems to go the yuppie price tag. That $19.50 (if you sidestep the psychological pricing, that’s $20) only got us two waffle quarters apiece (so half a waffle, and these were not large waffles to begin with), even if topped with the other ingredients, seemed steep, especially compared to what you can get at other eateries (for instance, Freja’s Cafe). It was a similar problem to what we found at The Brunswick Project.
Overall, while alright, other places come off better for value in comparison. While the hipsters living in the inner city suburb may be happy to dine there for those prices, we are less convinced.
Price point: $16 to $22 for more than toast and condiments.
Address: 1/599 Brunswick St, New Farm
Phone: 0478 116 920
Website: Miss Jones