© Helen Cathcart
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu May 3 2012
When Lantana opened in Fitzrovia in 2008, it was one of the first of the daytime Antipodean cafés in London that reflected what’s happening in metropolitan Australia. Dishes like Bill Granger-inspired corn fritters appeared, as well as friands – little almond teacakes, specked with raspberries or blueberries.
Now, the Aussie café has opened a second branch near Old Street roundabout. Much bigger than its sibling, Salvation Jane seems to be targeting the lunchtime and after-work crowds. A large display counter at the entrance is reserved for takeaway orders, while a spacious dining room is tucked away at the back.
Just like at Lantana, there’s a big emphasis on brunch-style dishes, such as French toast with maple syrup, bacon and fried bananas. While the lunchtime menu revolves around sandwiches, salads and more substantial main courses with an Australian influence, a small plates offering takes over in the evenings.
At our lunchtime visit, the corn fritters came stacked on a bed of rocket and were served with bacon – to our regret not crisp – and chilli jam. The sweetness of both the fritters and jam was nicely counteracted by the salty bacon and peppery rocket, but an otherwise innovative ‘slaw of red cabbage, fennel and raisin disappointed with little of the expected fennel flavour. Better was the own-made confit duck leg that it accompanied: crisp skin and moist and flavoursome meat.
Where Salvation Jane really excels is with its cakes. The window display (pictured left) is stacked with mouth-watering sweet treats. A gluten-free lemon and polenta cake was outstanding: moist, bursting with butter and lemon flavours, and covered in a tangy lemon frosting. The café’s Aussie roots could be detected in a cherry ripe slice – a homage to the Australian chocolate bar of the same name. The biscuit base topped with a red glacé cherry and coconut mixture, covered with a thick chocolate layer, would make any Aussie expat nostalgic.
Like Lantana, Salvation Jane owes its name to a rampant weed. But with this only being the second branch, these Aussies aren’t yet in danger of taking over.
Salvation Jane 1 Oliver's Yard
- Cross Street:
55 City Road
- Venue phone:
020 7253 5273
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 7.30am-6pm Mon; 7.30am-11pm Tue-Fri; 9am-5pm Sat, Sun. Breakfast served 7.30-11.30am, lunch served noon-3pm daily. Brunch served 9am-3.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10pm Tue-Fri
Tube: Old Street tube/rail
Main courses £3-£12. Meal for two with drinks and service around £40
- 1 Oliver's Yard
- 020 7253 5273
- 1 Oliver's Yard
- Salvation Jane