• South of Johnston (Oxford St, Collingwood)

We wanted brunch.  Brunch for seven, on a Sunday, in the north, with toddler, and without a booking.  Impossible?  I racked my brain given the task of choosing as the token “foodie”.

As we arrived one-by-one, the staff were concerned, offering us a table, thinking it would be uncomfortable on the soft couches by the fire.  It was the opposite.  Brunch became hours of food and chatter as we could not draw ourselves away from the comfort or each others’ company.

I ordered the French toast, having been so impressed by that at Hobba.  The toast came with slices of poached pear and a delicious vanilla bean ice-cream.  It was lucky for the latter, the toast would have been too dry in the middle otherwise, appreciating the melted ice-cream soaking in.  I don't usually like maple syrup, but this dish needed lots of it.

Later we enjoyed a cherry pie with beautifully tart cherries and traditional home-style pastry.  The iced-coffees looked impressive.  So did the savoury breakfasts.

Everyone was happy, including my friend’s two-year-old son who was entertained with picture books and colouring pencils.

The vibe of SoJo is relaxed.  The staff and decor match this with their down-to-earth attitudes, a natural tree branch hung above the counter and autumn leaves stuck to the front window.

South of Johnston
46 Oxford St
Collingwood 3066
03 9417 2741

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