Published on August 11th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Mr. Jones & Me Cafe Bar & Grill
Such popularity in so short a time. What’s going on?
Mr. Jones & Me Cafe Bar & Grill is a newcomer on the Noosaville dining scene but you wouldn’t know it.
During our visit on a cold mid-week night – when all sensible people should have been wrapped up under a doona – the doors to the new Noosaville eatery kept opening and shutting with eager customers piling in.
They came in their two’s, in groups, in clusters…and all of them looked mighty pleased to be there.
What a buzz. So how has it happened so quickly?
Inexpensive cafe-style food served in a swanky venue goes a long way to explain the Mr. Jones & Me popularity.
The excellent TripAdvisor feed back-hasn’t hurt either.
It’s kid friendly too, unexpected when you have high-polished floors, gleaming louvres, soft leather banquettes, sparkling glassware and an imposing bar.
If you can sip a martini while your kids slurp on a spider, everyone is going to be happy, right?
The menu is divided into interesting sections: Finger Food; Burgers; All the Other Stuff; More Stuff.
Fun. And inviting.
Owners Paul and Ferne Lammens had mulled over the idea for this kind of sophisticated/casual place for 15 years.
“We wanted to present what we call our favourites,” Ferne Lammens said. “Our menu designed around our favourite foods. We also had the idea of a space that could be used by anyone for breakfast or to share a plate and a glass of wine, or to have a coffee or beer on tap, or enjoy high-end dishes.”
Most locals know the attractive white house in Weyba Rd in Noosaville that was home to River Cottage and is now Mr. Jones & Me.
“It’s a beautiful space that you can come and dine in in whichever manner you want or can afford,” Ferne said.
As for the name…there’s a romantic connection.
“We were driving around Noosa looking for the perfect space to open a restaurant and this song came on the radio,” Ferne said. “It was the very first song we ever danced to. We thought it was a perfect name for us.”
With a background in corporate hospitality, the Lammens bring plenty of experience to the concept and by presenting their favourite things they have now made them ours.
Calamari; spicy barbecue wings; bruschetta are all good to get you started, or perhaps a shared plate of spicy tastes (olives, chorizo, crumbled goat cheese, baked camembert) before you dip into the burger section.
Just the five burger varieties, with a sticky pork and slaw version the most expensive at $15. Even the steak burger with all the trimmings is just $14.
Your drinks arrive within minutes of your request, your food order is taken quickly and cheerfully, and the food arrives soon after – something else to add to your favourite things.
After our calamari, it was all about crumbed goat cheese on a salad of rocket with slivers of pear, a few hazelnuts, little red jewels of pomegranate in hazelnut vinaigrette.
There is a Caesar salad (it wouldn’t be modern cafe food without it), and a quirky twist on the parmigiana called the Parmy Stack.
A beef and mushroom filo comes with garlic marsh and greens, and a slow cooked rib fillet lets you choose your sauce from a line-up of the traditional (béarnaise, Diane, pepper, mushroom…you know the drill.)
We loved the pork belly (who doesn’t?), with its crispy skin and melty meat on a leek puree.
The same menu runs at lunch.
Breakfast has all the offerings you’d expect and some you would not.
Crumbed poached eggs on ciabatta with rocket and a Bloody Mary sauce are worth getting up for, and rather than waffles or pancakes as the sweet breakfast offering, how about ice-cream wrapped in fruit toast, crumbed, deep fried and drenched in a caramel sauce?
The cocktail list stays with tradition. Cosmos, martinis and margaritas are all $15.
A succinct wine list covers most tastes and has a pleasing number by the glass. The range of beers and ciders will have aficionados raving.
It is not an easy trick to offer uncomplicated cafe food in stylish surroundings and at the same time please all palates, all age groups, all budgets.
Maybe that is the secret of Mr. Jones & Me.