ME and Mrs. Jones. It’s a soul song, written many moons ago, about an extramarital affair. And it’s the name of a warm, intriguing dining establishment gracing the corner of Kingston’s Giles and Kennedy Streets.
Me and Mrs. Jones swung open its fire-engine-red doors, complete with classy brass plates, last week. Unlike the lovers, I didn’t arrive at this corner café prompt on 6.30pm, but rather at 9am for breakfast. The morning menu isn’t “same old, same old”. Yes, you can get toast and muesli, but you can also fuel your body with a white bean cassoulet, speck lardons, and baked eggs ($19), smashing avo, Persian feta, soy linseed toast and poached egg ($16), or the delightfully presented tortilla ($16) – stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs and served with roast corn, black beans and guacamole.
Photos by Silas Brown.
My next visit was lunch (I’ll arrive one day at 6.30) when I fell in love with chilli and lime-dusted calamari, a super fresh dish with glass noodles, fresh micro-herbs, dainty pea sprouts and housemade nam jim. The health conscious will adore the bean and pistachio falafel ($18) and quinoa tabouli, with a dollop of beetroot pesto ($18). Another fave was the braised rabbit pappardelle – the baby capers, olives and rich tomato concasse flavours build as you work your way through.
Other lunch items include burgers ($17 to $20), with the vegetarian (chickpea and pistachio patty) and classic beef winners. Other mains are eye fillet and duck confit (both $36). Many gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free options are available.
The pastry cabinet showcases the work of Canberra’s Tony Muscat. Mums and bubs relax through the day with cups of tea and coffee and something small to delight, like macaroons.
Daniel McConnell, who worked at Sydney’s Quay Restaurant, heads the kitchen brigade. Front of house is gracious Simon Spence. Branding is by graphic designer Sophia Kochinos.
The fitout at Me and Mrs Jones takes you back in time – perfect given Canberra’s Centenary. Every inch of this 1927 building tells a story. The private function area exposes original brickwork, complete with a crack zigzagging up one wall and bits of old newspaper articles uncovered. The strapping under the outside awning has been meticulously reproduced.
Everything is custom made or carefully sourced. The floor is from a North Queensland barn and table tops made from Australian recycled hardwood. The exquisitely decorated tiles are from Europe, authentic caged light fixtures from an old mine and the massive clock from a Czechoslovakian railway station (check out the time on both sides).
Me and Mrs Jones has a thing going on – a good thing, indeed.
Me and Mrs Jones, open seven days breakfast, lunch, dinner. Giles and Kennedy Streets, Kingston. Call 6162 3355.