They say that one should not hang one’s dirty laundry in public, but that’s exactly what the folks at ‘Jam and Cream‘ in Heidelberg Heights have done to great effect.
This new eatery was discovered by accident during the week and it was the old-fashioned undergarments hanging in the window that caught the eye of my colleagues and I.
This curious little eatery on Orr Street in Melbourne’s Heidelberg Heights intrigued us.
Aside from the undergarments in the front window, we also spotted a large pink 1960′s caravan parked down the sideway with various bits of outdoor furniture. We weren’t sure if that was an additional eating area or a display but it was certainly eye-catching.
The shop itself was rather full of customers (a good sign) and given the name, I guessed that they may sell scones. Well, I hoped that they would, but a part of me was concerned that the name may have been ironic somehow (I am used to that sort of thing, having lived in an inner-city suburb for years).
Fortunately the name wasn’t ironic as some work colleagues and I discovered on Friday when we decided to satisfy our curiosity and sample the fare at Jam and Cream for ourselves.
Jam and Cream is decorated with a lot of mid-twentieth century paraphernalia and the proprietors have clearly tried to use nostalgia as a selling point. Being far too young for that, I was unaffected but I could appreciate the sheer effort that the owners have gone to in order to decorate their shop. Nothing has been done by halves and whilst there is so much scope for such a themed coffee shop to be clichéd or even tacky, a skilled eye for design has prevented both outcomes.
Retro eateries aren’t a novel idea. In visiting Jam and Cream I am somewhat reminded of Sugardough in Brunswick although Jam and Cream have taken the decorations considerably further. What makes this attractive tribute to post-war life more exciting is that it isn’t in a trendy inner-city location but rather the most unlikely of outer suburbs.
Jam and Cream sell a range of scones as well as small cakes, tea and coffee. Considerable attention to detail has been paid and the beautiful cakes are presented amongst the other knick-knacks on the main counter near so-called “Nanna’s Jams” and “Grandpa’s Honey”. Much effort has been put into giving the shop a homely feel and it’s worked although it does feel like a hybrid between grandma’s house and a 1950′s corner store.
I ordered some traditional scones and a coffee and was rather impressed. Two scones with raspberry jam, freshly-whipped cream and a caffè latte cost $14.00.
The scones were cooked to order and I can attest that the 10-minute wait was well worth it. The scones were hot, fluffy and complimented with fresh cream and quality raspberry jam. The coffee was also particularly good and clearly prepared with skill. Because of the range of decorations in the shop, there was plenty to occupy the eyes and the friendly table service added to the pleasant atmosphere. My colleagues ordered various different items from the menu and the general consensus was extremely positive.
One of the drawbacks is the “cash only” policy. I never understand why some proprietors seek to make it more difficult for customers to pay. Hopefully the good folks at Jam and Cream will see the error of their ways and reform accordingly.
Jam and Cream is well worth a try and I am sure that I will make a return visit soon (as long as I have cash in my wallet). The venue is located in the unlikely-looking Shop 3 at 1 Orr Street in Heidelberg Heights (near Waiora Road). Orr Street is partially concealed behind Kingsbury Drive but as long as you look for the undies in the window, you won’t miss it!
- Atmosphere: 4.5/5
- Food quality and taste: 5/5
- Value: 4/5
- Service: 4/5 (a point lost because of the absence of an EFTPOS terminal)
Update (5 September 2012):The owner of ‘Jam and Cream’ has contacted me and informed me that an ongoing telecommunications connectivity problem has prevented the implementation of an electronic payment system.