Sitting in my sewing class after returning from Bali last month, I felt very out of touch when discussion turned to Yarraville's newest cafe. I'd never heard of it, so I made it my mission that week to scout out this place called Wee Jeanie in my lunchtime.
With the same owners as old favourite, The Cornershop, this newcomer is the last shop before Yarraville Station on Anderson Street and occupies what used to be a record store (or so say the fine folk at the next table) . Coffee is good, and so it should be when served from this impressive Slayer, said to be worth about $30,000.
Staff seemed understandly proud of this beast.
Something warm is in order so soon after returning to chilly Melbourne. My enourmous serve of chicken and sweet corn soup ($13) would warm the coldest heart. Fresh and tasty, the soup contains small chunks of succulent chicken and is served with rosemary bread that has a deliciously salty tang.
Such a large bowl takes some time eating but it is quite enjoyable to stay awhile in these surroundings. Wee Jeanie is a little like a fish bowl with so many windows, allowing views on three sides of the cafe. All that people watching must make washing dishes less of a chore by the window.
The fitout is largely utilitarian, with natural wood and lots of white in the painted brick and subway tiles making for a fresh, welcoming space. Subtle, rustic features in the exposed brick, enamel jugs and light fittings get me excited. The clusters of dangling Fowlers vacola jars make an interesting twist on the bare bulb craze. Maybe my mother is right hanging onto her vintage collection of these, even though her preserving days are few and far between nowadays. I was even more excited about these lights when I found this post on the blog Small Acorns that very evening. Bright ideas, indeed!
The display cabinet holds several things I'll be heading back to try. Mushroom and feta quiche, bacon and broccoli quiche, baguettes, interesting salads, strawberry brûlée tart and orange almond cake to name a few. This is cafe-style fare so most things are pre-prepared or partly so, making it a good destination for a quick, simple lunch. I'll also be back to try their take on the avocado on sourdough, one I always enjoy at The Cornershop.
Stools down the back overlooking the courtyard which in turn overlooks the station and the car park at the back of the Sun theatre.
One look into the courtyard and the sight of yellow stools is enough for me to declare that Wee Jeanie has my tick of approval.