Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 18, 2011: Mister Close

Cindy and I needed to be in the city on Saturday morning, so we decided to tackle the CBD weekend breakfast challenge. Luckily, I'd recently read this review of CBD newcomer and Saturday-trader, Mister Close. The only problem was my inability to track down a breakfast menu - I didn't want to drag Cindy in only to find a whole load of bacon-y dishes with no changes available. A quick tweet-exchange later the guys from Mister Close had popped a sample menu straight into my inbox. A promising start.

The cafe itself is tucked into a CBD office block, next to a Starbucks and giving off a kind of food-court vibe. Mister Close has done a solid job of bringing trendy cafe design to a shopping centre space with a cute logo, lots of angular style and lighting that isn't as harsh as the fluoro glare coming from outside. Things were pretty quiet at 9:30 on a Saturday morning, so we tucked ourselves into a corner and sussed out the menu. Most of the big savoury options are laced with meat, while there's a good range of smaller choices and sweet treats (we weren't game to try chocolate French toast that early in the morning). The highlight of the menu though is the spiel at the bottom, promising to 'work a bit of magic' for vegans, coeliacs and the lactose intolerant.We gave our waiter the heads up that we were vego and he fired off a range of ideas and suggestions. In the end, we just took the two dishes we most liked the look of and asked them to veg them up for us. I went for the Piece of Resistance ($18.50, crispy mashed potato cake with mushrooms (instead of bacon), spinach, poached eggs, pesto & mayo).

This was a great combo of perfectly poached eggs, chunky mushies and a potato cake with crispy edges and a soft, mash-like middle. The bread got a bit lost under everything else, but the potato cake well and truly had the carbs covered.

Cindy also went savoury: sweet corn fritters with avocado salsa, spicy beans and roasted tomatoes, with the beans and tomatoes replacing bacon and tomato chutney ($17.5 - at least this is what the menu has listed for the equivalent meaty dish, I didn't double-check exactly what we got charged).

The corn cakes were a bit more pancakey than Cindy's ideal - she likes a high kernel-to-batter ratio - but their buttery flavour won her over... especially when smeared with surprisingly perfect avocado (is it in season now?) and some spicy beans.

The Campos coffee was excellent, as was the service. We suspect that they'd quickly figured out that we were bloggers but I don't think we got any special favours - the staff seemed naturally friendly and quickly and positively rectified a mistake with an order at a table nearby ours. Mister Close seems like it's destined to succeed - if only by adding a classy cafe to an area that's densely populated by office workers and poorly served by cafes.

It's worth noting that it's not a particularly cheap place - $18.50 for brekkie is probably pushing the boundaries a little, so order more modestly than we did or save it for special occasions. Or swing by for lunch (with a menu that changes daily), when you can get a sandwich, salad and sweet for $15. I reckon we'll be giving it a shot.


Blog-wise, only New International Students seems to have reviewed this place so far, although it was 3000's review that inspired us to check it out.

Mister Close
Shop 13, Midtown Plaza, 246 Bourke St, CBD
9654 7778
veg brekkies $4.5 - $18.5

Accessibility: Mister Close is step-free and there's plenty of space between tables. Ordering and payment happens at the table. We didn't make it to the bathrooms.


  1. thanks for referring people to my blog. check out some of my other eats.

  2. What a great article, thanks! I always struggle to find good weekend brekky places in the city; hence I usually end up at the Vic Market with a kranksy (not that there's anything wrong with that.) :-)

    I also love that you include information on accessibility, price, and vegetarian options.

  3. to K_Born you can always check out my cheap eats at

  4. I wandered past here yesterday on my twice-weekly "Oh god there is no good food around mid-Bourke Street I'm going to be forced to eat mediocre sushi again" lunchbreak trudge. It's a very incongruous place for a trendy-looking cafe (which made me a little suspicious), but it's good to know that it actually stacks up! Lord knows the area needs some good brekkie/lunch time vittles.

  5. OMG! I recognise this place!!! Okay, so I realise that's not exciting for many people, but I'm Canberran, and realising that I saw this on my last weekend trip (of only 4 visits ever) to Melbourne is somewhat thrilling. The only thing more exciting would be if I'd actually eaten there ;)

  6. mm.. I have to make a visit to this place for their chocolate french toast :p sounds like a treat!

  7. You're welcome, Katy_Em!

    Hi K_Bom! Well the Vic Market's always good for a feed - we often hang out there on a Saturday morning too. :-)

    Hayley - it really is an incongruous spot, huh? And I imagine the mood is quite different on a workday lunchtime.

    Hannah, if only you'd recognised its new excitingness! You could have had a cutting-edge tweet right there. :-D

    Miss Adriennely - I know! Must make sure I have an appetite for chocolate on my next visit.