Review: A Girl Called Jayne has big shoes to fill in Elwood (Melbourne)

Yannick Beaucaine’s A Girl Called Jayne, has a lot to live up to as the replacement of Elwood’s beloved Turtle Café. Located on the bustling corner of Ormond and Glen Huntly Road, A Girl Called Jayne is a bright and spacious modern café with a minimalistic interior design.

Inspired by Beaucaine’s years of experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants Le Jules Verne and Chateau des Avenieres, the café’s menu features a concise mix of French, Mediterranean and Japanese flavours.

Despite serving both lunch and dinner, the menu mainly consists of all-day breakfast dishes such as the Harissa Scramble ($18) with scrambled eggs, merguez sausage and chilli dressing on rye toast. On our visit, we decided to try out the popular Beetroot Cured Salmon ($19) from their breakfast section, and the Chicken Katsu Burger ($14) from their three different lunch options. In terms of quality, the two dishes had stark differences.

Beetroot Cured Salmon (Photo: Zaya Altangerel)

The beetroot cured salmon, served with avocado, beetroot, poached egg on rye toast, and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, was a sight to behold. The aesthetically pleasing presentation was a clear reminder of Beaucaine’s experience in top tier restaurants. The juicy pops of the pomegranate seeds, the crunch of the rye toast, and the delicacy of the freshly cured salmon, made for a wonderful mix of contrasting textures and delicious complementary flavours. It was easy to understand why the light breakfast was so popular with customers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the chicken katsu burger.

Chicken Katsu Burger (Photo: Zaya Altangerel)

Made with crispy fried chicken thighs and shredded cabbage dressed in kewpie mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce, all sandwiched between a lightly toasted brioche bun, the chicken katsu burger sounds better than it tastes. In contrast to the beautifully presented beetroot cured salmon, the burger’s aesthetics did little to tempt my tastebuds, especially when accompanied by the soggy looking French fries. Despite the menu listing the ingredients of tonkatsu sauce and kewpie mayonnaise, the distinct sweet and tangy flavours of the popular Japanese condiments were barely there, making for quite a dry burger. This was not made any better by the large chunks of overcooked and chewy chicken thigh. And true to their look, the side serving of French fries were disappointingly soggy.

Despite the mixed quality in its food offerings, one cannot fault the service at A Girl Called Jayne. Every staff member, from the front of house right down to the waiters, were exceptionally attentive to guests and had thorough knowledge of the café’s menu, a quality that should always be acknowledged and appreciated.

A Girl Called Jayne

Address: 34 Glen Huntly Road, Elwood 3184
Contact: (03) 9602 4968
Website: https://www.agirlcalledjayne.com
Hours: Mon-Wed 7am-4pm, Thur-Sun 7-1am

Feature image credit: Kontent