As soon as the plate is on the table, the sweet smell of home-made pancakes hits you. It’s the familiar, mouth-watering combination of sweet and savoury that makes your tummy rumble. If the smell alone wasn’t enough, the food on the plate looks like something from a Lewis Carrol storybook. It is bright, pretty, sugary goodness on a plate and it looks almost too good to eat. Almost.
The Jam Pantry is the brand new Brisbane cafe from loveable, kind-hearted chef and entrepreneur Naomi (Nims) Zavackas and her husband Gideon. You’ll remember Nims’ creative approach to food from her previous cafe, Comfort at My Table in Milton.
What was supposed to be a hole-in-the-wall, selling home-made jams and conserves, Jam Pantry evolved into a cafe with a buzzing kitchen, exciting menu and a line of hungry breakfast-lovers waiting for the doors to open. Watching Nims and her team create each dish is like watching your food fantasies come to life—you can almost see each meal come to life from her imagination onto the plate.
The cafe is located on Logan Road at Greenslopes, a short drive from the city and a welcome addition to the south side’s cafe scene. It is a warm, homely and welcoming space similar to a country cottage. White chairs and wooden tables dot the cafe with floral wall paper, grey parquetry walls and antique light fittings hanging down. The shelves are stocked with Nims’ home-made goodies like strawberry and apple jam and zucchini and apple relish. All this giving it the feel of visiting a good friend’s house to eat.
The exciting thing about Jam Pantry is that it’s different from everything else. The menu has a few of our favourite staples on it like avo on toast, eggs benedict and eggs on toast, then it branches out into interesting combinations and exciting new eats you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Each meal is a mix of well balanced flavours and textures, from the crunchy and gooey to the sour and sweet.
For a big hunger, ‘The Whole Pantry’ consists of fried eggs, 4-hour lamb shoulder, oregano pea smash, grilled haloumi, peach relish and toasted turkish bread served with grilled lemon. The specials board, also known as the Flip Boards, list Nims’ revolving door of tasty seasonal creations like brown sugar batter pancakes with baked apple, honeyed nuts, filo flakes and greek yoghurt topped with turkish delight. Get out of my dreams and into my tummy.
The fritters at Jam Pantry are unlike any other; Hawaiian yellow sweet potato with poached eggs, bacon, mustard cream, cress and toasted marshmallows. Yep, marshmallows for breakfast! Other tasty treats to appear on the Flip Boards include spinach, zucchini, mint, dill and walnut omelette and poached eggs, grilled asparagus, parmesan and beetroot relish with sourdough.
If you though the thrills stopped at food, you’re wrong. The coffee is a treat unto itself, large mugs of creamy cappuccino topped with shavings of real chocolate that is rich and melted from the heat of the milk. After you devour the top of your coffee, you hit the crisp, clean, light flavour of Cup Coffee Roasters delicious Five Star Day Blend. If you don’t know a lot about coffee, all you need to know is this: it tastes damn good.
The Jam Pantry is a refreshing change to the Brisbane breakfast scene, where the focus is on creating interesting and delicious food from fresh, seasonal produce. It’s exciting to eat somewhere with a menu full of things you haven’t tried before and it’s a nice break from the uber-cool hipster cafe scene. This Brisbane café is going back to the simple, classic and traditional cafe roots where the food on your plate is hearty and delicious.
If you’re looking for a breakfast experience that takes you back to your coffee-loving, food-enjoying roots, stop by new Brisbane cafe, The Jam Pantry and try out this homely cafe hero. Just be sure to get there early or book a table so you don’t miss out!
Image credit: Esteban Rivera