With most usual Sundays, the day really starts at about 1pm, after a round of futsal and then off for a round of lunch. However being Fathers Day, the last thing we wanted was to pop into a crowded place without a reservation and wait for a seat.
Marmalade and Soul has been on my radar for sometime, partially because its one of the restaurants that I have added on my Twitter account. With how active they have been on social media, I had the impression this place would have been packed like sardines on a day like this but still picked up the phone to hear that they had a table for us.
Surprisingly when we walked in, the place was barely half full which sort of explains why they are active on social media (just kidding). Anyways, half full places are perfect for us, as it means less waiting time for coffee and food.
Coffee was good but not exactly the best I had. With the quality of coffee in Melbourne generally quite good, I find it hard to differentiate between a good and a bad coffee unless it was an obvious case.
There was one thing that irritated the Wife, their outdated online menu. She was telling me how she was going for the burger on the way there and when she saw that the burger was not on the menu, she obviously got a little upset. What made it worse was after we ordered our lunch, we saw a burger up on the kitchen pass! Next time, we are going to ask and not assume.
Not to say without the burger, the whole meal was shambles. I had sticky and sweet slow cooked lamb with a layer of eggplant hummus and mint salad on top of pita. It was good, the meat was almost melt in your mouth, the mint was refreshing and the pita served as the carbs required to replenish the energy used during futsal.
If there is one dish you got to try as a foodie is their interpretation of a chiko roll. Labelled as one of Melbourne best dishes of the year, it is a world apart from the original, only sporting the same look and to a certain extent the colour. Described as a filling with confit chicken and mousse, the bites I had were more chicken than mousse. The chicken was smooth, tender and almost melt in your mouth from the benefit of going through the confit process. Matched with a garlic mayo and a weird combination of tomato and cucumber (one slow cooked and the other grilled), it was a rather interesting dish.
As we were paying, I came across the biggest of rum balls and had to takeaway one. Double the size of a golf ball and costing 3 bucks, its a steal for those who love rum balls like me.
All in all, if the place is always not over crowded, it's in the list as a place to have a casual meal and catch up with some friends.
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Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. It's interesting to note that it only garners 68% on Urbanspoon and littered with comments about bad service and average food. Whether it was just a case of luck or we are easy to please, you will have to give it a try and see.