On a rainy and generally dull day, my gentleman and I sought shelter in the warm embrace of Dr Jekyll Café in St Kilda. The only trace of Mr Hyde in this café is in the fantastically peculiar artwork adorning the walls that depict a variety of weird and wonderful images.
From the front door, there is a view straight out into the vine decked courtyard, where those fierce enough to battle the cold, lingered, and were rewarded with a tranquil atmosphere.
On warmer days, the courtyard would be my seat of choice, however, not feeling warm enough to brave the elements, we huddled into a cosy indoor alcove and ordered two hot cappuccinos to chase away the memory of the cold, harsh Antarctic winds whistling outside. The coffee was presented before us with a generously dense dusting of chocolate powder on top, like snow covering a mountain peak in winter. We sipped slowly, allowing the rich brew to breathe back some life into our bodies. The blend is robust, but not overpowering and the flavour is memorably unique.
It had gotten to that time of day, when one has been looking for somewhere to have lunch, but time has slipped away and really, it is closer to dinner than anything. Not wanting to eat to heavily seeing as dinner may be just around the corner, neither of us wanted to order a main meal, although there were dozens of tempting options on the well-stocked menu.
Just then my eyes fell on the section of the menu that read 'Ploughman's Platter'. It sounded like the perfect snack for two with a selection of meats, cheeses and condiments. Having been somewhat disappointed in the past by many of these kinds of platters, I was slightly dubious about the quantity and quality of what we may get with this order, but I threw in my lot and hoped for the best.
As a plate laden with bread and a vast assortment of other delicacies floated toward us, I looked around at the other tables searching for whom this hearty order was destined. When the waitress placed the impressive mountain of deli delights in the centre of our table, I could barely contain my surprise.
Four thick slices of fresh bread drizzled with olive oil lay on a bed of rocket, surrounded by olives, pickles, goats fetta, two kinds of gourmet sausage, prosciutto, cheddar and some kind of onion relish.
All ingredients were of the highest quality and made us question why we had ever purchased a platter elsewhere, particularly, when the Dr Jekyll Ploughman's Platter will set you back a mere 15 dollars. It is the perfect dish to share for a snack, or a substantial offering for a hungry traveller.
We left, thoroughly satiated and only $22.20 poorer, with Cheshire grins and warm, happy tums, sure to return again, to the lab of Dr Jekyll.