We were at Dempsey pretty early on Saturday morning (around 10.45), initially to try the breakfast/brunch menu at Culina, which apparently was only served until 11 am. We must have read a very old review/article, because when we got there, we saw that they only served lunch, and only from 11 am onwards. When asked, the servers looked a bit stunned, and said they hadn’t been serving breakfast for a long time. Because it was too early for a full-on meal, we bailed on Culina yet again, and found ourselves at next door Jones The Grocer, where extended breakfast hours on weekends are now 9.30 am to 3 pm.
This was only our second visit to Jones; the first time was back in October last year when they were still fairly new, and had some staffing and logistical problems. It was much better this time – they have more staff now, and they’re generally more clued in as well. Also, this time we were early enough for brunch, so I didn’t have to resort to having a sandwich like I did the last time.
A obviously doesn’t have any problem with sandwiches though – he ordered the bagel with smoked salmon, avocado and watercress. I like the creaminess of the avocado paired with the quite strong watercress, but as a result the smoked salmon, which was quite mildly flavoured, ended up taking a backseat. The toasted bagel was good though – I used to think bagels were overrated but this may have changed my mind.
I ordered the Jones English breakfast, consisting of eggs, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and sourdough toast. This is a more refined, less artery-clogging version of the Penny Black fry-up; it has less oomph, and the sausages at Penny Black are much better, but at least you can enjoy this more often without the guilt. There was a slight glitch when I ordered sunny side up eggs and they served me scrambled, but they took it back and replaced it without any questions asked.
Coffees are good here – my flat white was better than A’s latte. Also, what I like about coming here is browsing the aisles after eating. This time we checked out the cheese room, and ended up getting a couple of wedges of delightfully creamy brie. Note to self: the French brie is much more strongly flavoured, but the Australian brie, being milder, lends itself to eating in more copious amounts.
Being an expat joint, I’m not surprised by the price; I just expected the portions to be bigger. My bagel looked deceptively tall only because the thin layer of salmon covered a huge load of avocado.
Although the service here is now very good, I don’t really fancy this as a breakfast place. Choupinette is still tops in my book.
Jones the Grocer
Block 9, #01-12
Opening hours: Tues-Sun: 9.30am to 11pm; Mon: 9.30am to 6pm