Yes, Sir!

Mister Close

246 Bourke St, CBD (inside Midcity Plaza on the Swanston Street side)

Mister Close

On Monday I braved the potential rain (and associated hair nightmare) to go for lunch with K at new CBD lunch spot Mister Close. Gerard had been with a friend when he was working in Melbourne last week and (despite forgetting to take any photos) had said good things so I was keen to check it out for myself.

I have to say, first impressions wise I was a little surprised/confused. From Gerard’s description I’d expected it to be in a little shop front on a Melbourne-appropriate hard to find alley. In reality Mister Close is an open fronted cafe in Midtown Plaza, pretty darn close to a food court location. What’s not close to a food court though is the food, but we’ll get to that later.

The cafe itself is bright and modern with some fun touches like the big shilouette logo on the wall, chalkboard paint columns and artful stacks of old national geographics. A generous seating area and an open kitchen give the space a larger-than-it-is feel. Definitely the nicest semi-food court fit out I’ve seen in a while (including some of the fancy places at Sydney CBD Westfield’s new modestly named “food atrium”). Confession time though, I am automatically sold on anywhere that uses chalkboard paint, I know it can be a little cliche but it’s my decorating kryptonite, that and empty birdcages.

Open kitchen in action

We turned up at about 12.40 and easily got a table which is nice for somewhere in the city. After sitting down we were presented with menus and our waitress explained that the menu changes each day with hot food made in the morning ready to go for lunch. The menu has a bit of something for everyone with a mix of salad, soup, hot stuff and sandwiches. There are a large number of vegetarian options and the menu offered to adapt anything for vegan, lactose or gluten free requirements.

I ordered the Spanish chicken served with rice ($17), but only after shooting a few mental jealousy knives up to Gerard because he scored osso bucco last week. The chicken was fall apart tender and the sauce (looked to include tomato, onion, capsicum, carrot and olives) was zingy. There was also a good sauce to rice ratio, I hate people who get their sauce ratios wrong. In his typical style K questioned the Spanish credentials of the chicken but after some intense googling I’m siding with teacher on this one (point off for lack of noticeable chorizo though). If google were a sport, I’d dominate. That or start to come up with excuses why I couldn’t do it anymore and maybe present it with a forged note from my mum.

Spanish Chicken

K went for the poached chicken, avocado, brie cheese and rocket sandwich with a side of lentil and avocado salad ($12 including the side salad, no option to go without on the eat in menu – eat your greens children). The salad was solid but nothing to write home about. The sandwich was more exciting, great quality chicken with delicious melted brie. Life lesson – a melted soft cheese makes everything better.

Chicken and brie sandwich

K also had a latte which he described as “smooth, not burnt. It’s pretty good.” I feel like “not-burnt” isn’t much of a compliment, but he seemed  happy so let’s focus on the “pretty good” part instead.

I should also add that Mister Close serves what looked like a dangerously tempting range of sweet snacks (including gluten free options). Luckily I don’t work within afternoon munching distance.

I’ll be back, even if it does break my 2 block radius (3 at a stretch) rule for work-day lunches.

Mister Close postcards

Update: K insists that chicken tasted more Italian than Spanish. I can’t really argue so I think he’s won this round. He also thought my summary undersold the coffee which was apparently quite good. So there you go, the coffee was better than I made it sound, and the chicken more nationality-confused.

Mister Close on Urbanspoon

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