To the moon and back

Life on Mars

842 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn


He says:
I’ve only seen Total Recall once, dubbed over in Italian which unfortunately I don’t speak a word of. Apart from the three breasted stripper and Arnie kicking a lot of evil corporate ass, the only other part of the movie that made any sense to me was that it was primarily set on Mars. Luckily, Life on Mars makes a lot more sense. And isn’t in Italian.

Forgoing red rocks and little green men for reclaimed wooden benches and tables, Life on Mars has a very cool recycled (freecycled?) fit-out, which seems to be the norm nowdays. I particularly liked the little potplants on the wall, and the suspended chairs and crates, which gave it a surprisingly homely feel.

The menu had a splendid assortment of items. Obviously I couldn’t go past the Rueben, which was surprisingly filling and very good value for the price. It’s an item I see far too infrequently on menus.


She says:
We were hanging out at home on Sunday and trying to figure out where to go for lunch. We wanted to go somewhere new (because we’re food whores like that) but I’d gotten to that stage of hunger where I get really indecisive and just want to give up and never eat again, slowly starving in a corner instead of making a decision. Yeah, I know that’s not normal. Anyway, luckily for me Gerard remembered having seen an article in Broadsheet about a new cafe in Hawthorn called Life on Mars (article here).  It was close, it sounded delicious and it had reclaimed decor. I was in.

The cafe was really nice. Lots of greys and wood tones and polished concrete. I liked the chunky wooded share tables. Oh and the pot plants on the walls, I’m a sucker for walls with plants. Just a cool, casual atmosphere. I was also very pleasantly surprised to find that there was no wait for a table. In fact there were tables to spare, I have a feeling that won’t last long though.

I was impressed by the menu. There isn’t a huge range but I struggled to choose something because it all sounded really delicious. In the end Gerard and I both decided to go for something lunchy rather than breakfasty. I’m looking forward to going back to try the breakfast, if I could have eaten two meals I definitely would have tried the duck egg frittata with asparagus ($12.50). Next time my pretties, next time (hopefully soon enough to avoid the queues that are bound to appear when word gets out about this gem).

We ate:
Gerard had the ruben sandwich made up of corned brisket, pickled cabbage, swiss cheese, cornishons and russian dressing ($11.50). Gerard thought it was a little dry but overall enjoyed it. He also thought it needed a bit more meat (to be fair I think the last rubens we had together were at Katz’s deli in NY and looked like "Katz's“>this so there was a high meat content standard to live up to). I thought the sandwich was pretty good value for $11.50.


I had the Aylesbury braised duck pie with shallot and tyme jus and young leaves ($14). That’s diet/health kick friendly right? I thought so. I thought this pie was delicious. Seriously, delicious. The pastry was crunchy and buttery, the filling was meaty and tender. I couldn’t ask for anything more from a pie, well, other than maybe more of it (it was, by a happy diet concidence, a little on the small side). I would go back for this pie in a second, even the thought of an extra couple hours of gym to make up for it couldn’t put me off. Despite the not-mammoth size again I thought this was great value, and delicious, did I mention delicious yet?


The final word:
Great quality food, great value. Get in there before it gets too popular for itself.


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