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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 May 2017
14 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 MAY 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU St Martin’s: Brighton’s new gem Jim Marinis, Mary-Jane Daffy and Brett Hobb’s newest establishment is taking Melbourne’s cafe world by storm, delivering insta-worthy yet unpretentious meals or anyone familiar with Jim Marinis’ and MaryJane Daffy’s creative flair and attention to detail, only one word could come to mind back in October when they launched their Brighton endeavour: success. “The whole journey started for us four years ago with our first venture Little Tommy Tucker in Bentleigh. It continued with Glovers Station, which was such an incredible cafe,” Mary-Jane Daffy tells Neos Kosmos. “St Martin’s is a natural F progression of these two establishments. We’ve taken everything we’ve learnt from the previous cafes and poured it into this place.” Indeed, it feels like they’ve married high-end restaurant culture with simplicity, creating solid yet surprising flavour combinations based on seasonal ingredients. It is evident that there are intricate and deliberate techniques behind the preparation and execution of dishes, however there’s a refreshing modesty to the finished product. There’s an emphasis on locally sourced, free range and foraged products which feed directly into the ever changing menu. “Our business partner and executive chef, Brett Hobbs, and head chef Lachlan Williams utilise their fine-dining backgrounds to create simple, creative dishes with surprising twists,” Mary-Jane explains. At St Martin’s you won’t find smashed avocado, a Melbourne breakfast favourite, or French toast. What may hit the table however is a pillowy omelette topped with foraged pine mushrooms, puffed wild rice, feta, lemon and a lick of chili caramel that lifts the dish to great heights. “Everyone is welcome to come in and have a great breakfast of, say, eggs and sides if they choose,” Jim Marinis says, “but we also have more adventurous options like our slow cooked silverside with mustard butter, white onion puree, pickled zucchini and chili fried eggs.” Other dishes that leap from the menu include the yoghurt panna cotta with gluten free muesli and seasonal fruits; and the hearty fried eggs, spicy beef sausages and golden raisin relish. Apart from the highly FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY: TEAGAN GLENANE recommended pine mushroom omelette, I also tried the eggs Benedict with smoked ham hock, green apple mousse, crackle crunch, perfectly poached eggs hollandaise and compressed apple. I never would have thought, not in a million years, that the mild acidity of green apple would complement eggs Benedict in such an outmatching way. “Breakfast, lunch, magic; that’s what’s written on the door as you enter,” says Mary-Jane.
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