It’s not often that you can return to the same place for lunch every day and eat something different.
That’s the joy of Mister Close, a cafe that changes its menu daily ‘because staying the same bores us’. Hear hear!
The cafe is actually quite hard to find due to its uninspiring shopping centre corridor location, but that just means that once you do find it (enter from Swanston Street) it’s a lovely oasis away from the CBD madness. That’s not to say that it’s not busy – in fact, there was a bit of a fight for tables during a weekday lunchtime as office workers and shoppers-on-the-go have discovered its charms. Fortunately tables turn quickly and they also do a steady trade in takeaway (in biodegradable containers, no less).
The cafe fitout features wood panels, piles of National Geographic magazines, globes and chalkboard walls. Why? It’s the story behind the cafe – Mr Close was the geography teacher of the two owners who met in Year 8 of Trinity Grammar School and like Mr Close they want to take their customers on a journey around the world with their food.
Mister Close opens for breakfast with an interesting selection of eggy, bready and grainy things before seguing at 10:30am into a lunch menu of salad, soup, sandwiches and hot dishes.
Being a cold wintery day we gravitated towards the hot food. R chose the fragrant Indian masala lentils with potato and peas which came served with some charred flat bread and a ramekin of yoghurt and declared it ‘exactly what she felt like’ ($15.50).
E also loved her crusty seeded loaf sandwiching poached chicken, avocado, brie and rocket ($12) and said that it was a marked improvement of the terrible ham and cheese toasties for which she was sometimes forced to pay $9 at her office food court.
My chicken, bacon, mushroom pie was full of meaty filling though a little heavy-handed on the pastry for my liking ($15.50). Maybe the traditional English pork-pie style pastry would have been less dry with the accompanying sour cream (which I didn’t touch as I don’t like sour cream)?
For dessert we shared the prettiest sweet I could find in the cabinet – a crusty on the inside, gooey on the inside hazelnut meringue capped off with a swirl of cream cheese icing ($5).
Coffee comes courtesy of Campos beans and they obviously take their coffee seriously, just look at that scientific contraption!
All in all R, E and I were most delighted with our experience at Mister Close. Somewhere in the centre of town that services reasonably priced, tasty food in cute surroundings deserves all their success.
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