To continue the Port Phillip Arcade theme, I bring you Jolly J’s. As mentioned in the previous post, Port Phillip Arcade is a Mecca of cheap eats in Melbourne CBD. Some good. Some terrible. But noone seems to agree on what is what. So I can only do my bit and let you know what I like.
Jolly J’s is a little bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to your cheap CBD lunching needs. The menu consists of various hot food items (such as chicken parma, calamari rings and garlic prawns) and hot chips. But of course, the main draw card for Jolly J’s is their Sri Lankan style rice and curry.
(Jolly J’s daily specials of Sri Lankan style rice and curry – $7.50)
I, of course, went directly to the Jolly J’s Daily Special – Rice & Curry. How can you argue against a good, wholesome interesting Sri Lankan lunch for $7.50? Did I mention it’s super cheap?
As any other Sri Lankan rice and curry shop in Melbourne, you get a choice between white rice or yellow rice, a choice of vegetable curries (eggplant, pumpkin, lentils, mixed vegetables, etc.) and a choice of meat curry (beef, lamb, chicken). You will also get yoghurt condiment (sometimes called ‘curd’ at Sri Lankan restaurants), coconut sambal and chilli. A poppadum is also served on top.
(Left clockwise: lentil, mixed veggies, chicken curry, eggplant curry, coconut sambal. Middle: chilli sauce?, raita (yoghurt and vegetable condiment), yellow rice)
Because I prefer my Sri Lankan meat curry to be mind numbing hot, I found the meat curry to be on the mild side. The vegetables, on the other hand, were perfectly cooked and well seasoned. The eggplants soft and silky (and oily, but that’s to be expected) and the vegetables not cooked into grey mush. I also enjoyed the condiments. Jolly J’s also lets you heap on a few extra chilli condiments if you were after something more spicy. I would do this next time.
Jolly J’s Curry Shack may not serve the most perfect rice and curry in the world but their food is indeed decent and it is an excellent value. And as all other Port Phillip Arcade outlets, I recommend you get there early unless you enjoy a game of lunchtime rush musical chair.
Jolly J’s Restaurant
Address: Shop 8-9 Port Phillip Arcade, 228-236 Flinders St., Melbourne VIC 300