Shop 13, Midtown Plaza
246 Bourke Street
Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat: 9am – 4pm
Sun: 10am – 3pm
Note: brunch is served Monday – Friday until noon, Saturday and Sunday until 2pm.
“Building foyers are often vacant pieces of real estate. Bleak and clinical, it’s not a space were people are volunteering to hang out. Filled with long hallways of nothingness and unexplainable art, this soulless space is the last glimpse of the outside world before entering the office. However, a few years back, two primary school mates by the name of James and Matt took on a project to build a café in a city foyer. They called it, Mister Close – after their Geography teacher.
Mister Close distinctive feature is its pledge of offering a wide selection of seasonal food, including a strong selection of gluten free and vegan offerings made daily. The open kitchen parades an array of food offerings with delectable salads, sweets and other yummy bites. As for breakfast and brunch, the menu is intentionally divided into two. The first half contains a good selection of ‘quick’ meals for those that want something yummy fast. Think toasties, breakfast rolls and granola that don’t skimp on the trimmings.
The other half of the menu list more substantial options, ideal for weekends or when time permits. From savoury waffles to their take on a French breakfast dish, Mister Close offers variety from its small set up. Whilst ordering the usual long black single origin [$4.30] – containing smooth citrus notes with subtle hints of cherry – Melbourne’s autumn/ winter weather was in full force. To kill the very wet winter blues, Super porridge with oats, black quinoa, nuts, seeds, seasonal fruit or banana [$13.50] w bonsoy [$14.50] was the best decision I made that morning.
Warm, creamy and super filling; these are the key takeaway points from the super porridge. Containing a number of super food grains made for a healthy and nutty porridge that was quite filling. Being of a large serve and topped with caramelised pear with cinnamon melted into the pear fiber was delectable. The pear easily pulled apart and perfectly complemented the grains and nutty flavours. This was no ordinary porridge.
Mister Close has been operating in its city foyer location for some time, and their commitment to food has continually remained a strong focus. In the cafe world were some owners build up a strong brand and financial position to later sell on to the highest bidder, it’s nice to see long jeopardy from this establishment. From a quick bite to staying a little longer, the diverse food offerings make Mister Close a refuge from the Swanson Street mayhem.”
“As part of my job, I tend to travel around the city. Once in a blue moon, I may even travel interstate. One thing that’s for sure is that no matter where I’m working, I need good fuel to keep me going. Whilst I’ve been lucky enough to be based at HQ lately, I’ve been getting bored with the brunch offerings surrounding my building, so when Mr LB found himself without a car to do a more interesting local brunch, we instead found ourselves dining at lovely CBD café that we’ve been meaning to review for a long time – Mister Close.
Open since 2012, this lovely café is tucked away on the corner of Bourke Street – next to the Telstra store inside the Midtown Arcade – and is the centre point for corporates, tourists and university students in the RMIT building around the corner.
What’s most striking about this venue is how immediately architecturally beautiful and modern it is – compliments of local designers and architects Russell & George, responsible for the architecture of Attica, Crumpler Prahran and Paper, Stone, Scissors.
The interior is tastefully covered in natural toned wood, and includes a hinged ceiling in the dining room contrasted by a fan-like folded ceiling over the counter – bouncing light and drawing your eyes to the café. With all that wood, you would think that your eyes would get bored, but the use of geometric shapes on the tables and chairs creates a linear pattern that is pleasing and symmetrical.
Mr LB and I took a seat towards the back awaiting table service, which was a little slow as a result of high demand at the front counter. We ordered our coffees and I went for the The GFF (so modern) – 2 free range poached eggs, potato rosti w a roast tomato, slow roasted ham, parmesan & rocket salad served w a dollop of house mayo (GF) [$17.50]. My Campos double espresso had an unusually fluffy head to it, but the coffee itself was fruity with what tasted like it could have been stone fruit.
When my main came out my mouth began to immediately water; it smelt delicious! The batter for the potato rosti was deliciously crispy on the outside and had a gentle mix of spices, which went very nicely with the poached eggs. The eggs were crucial in balancing the dish, as they added moisture and sweetness to the dish. The rocket added the right amount of bitterness and nicely balanced by the slowed cooked ham.
The odd location of Mister Close makes it less of a destination breakfast and more of a place to visit if you’re in the CBD and looking for somewhere a bit different. The menu offers some gluten free options, a nice selection of pastries and some darn good sandwiches for lunch.”
Final thought: “Hidden location with a strong menu to curb the hunger bug”