Looking up the best Croque Monsieurs in Melbourne reveals a number of obvious results such as Chez Dre, but one I’d forgotten about was South of Johnson. I had a need and SoJo was going to fulfil it.
A couple of blocks down from Proud Mary, SoJo is also a bit off the beaten path and feels quiet on a weekend until you get close and see the crowd inside and out. On the two occasions I’ve been I’ve found the staff to be good and energetic, serving a hip and relaxed crowd.
I add fried eggs to the “ham and gruyere” to turn Monsieur into Madame. It is smothered in bechamel and the bread is so rich from the sauce and cheese that you almost could say the ham is holding it together! It is just what the doctor ordered.
Catherine’s avocado toast on the other hand is a bit plain. Toast with thick cut tomato, smothered in avocado. There is nothing wrong with it but there is nothing exciting either.
The coffee is great and I order several long blacks through breakfast. Unlike many house blends there is a good level of interest and complexity and a slight fruity tone. I should have asked as it could be single origin, but they don’t mention if it is.
SoJo is a nice place for breakfast and definitely worth going out of your way for the ham and gruyere. It demonstrates to me the strength in our cafés as in many Capitals this would be one of the best cafés, not just one of the better ones in the area. We are extremely lucky indeed.