Looking for a funky, casual place in the city where you can relax over lunch? Something that promises a constantly changing menu with something for everyone? Then you can’t go too far wrong with Mr Close. I have managed to get to Mr Close on a number of occasions and each time enjoyed gazing at the amazing array of food to choose from. Every day is a little bit different, but there are consistent variations on a theme. Lots of fresh salads, lovely fritters of some descriptions, great sandwiches and wraps, as well as some kind of hearty braised dish.
Set in a rather obscure location at the corner of Bourke and Swanston, the café is actually hidden away down a mall like corridor. It’s pretty close to the entrance though, and people in the know are familiar with the location. Thankfully, they have managed to set up loads of tables and chairs – and one good thing about the mall-like corridor is that it provides additional seating space.
Inside the fit out is lovely – cool blonde wood, quirky features, and cute table decorations.
The first time I dined here, I had the zucchini slice. It was a gorgeous conceptual dish – creamy layers of zucchini, ricotta and béchamel complemented by a beautiful, fresh spinach salad. Unfortunately, the zucchini slice was a little greasy. Alas, this is probably one of the side effects of re-heating food – because while the food is incredibly fresh here – it’s generally cooked early and then reheated. Other than the film of oil, it was a nice dish.
The second time I dined here, I had the zucchini fritters – unfortunately they were on the burnt side of well done, and also were a little oily. This is a real pity… I was starting to see a theme.
At that same visit, my lovely companion, Row from SheRides Cycling was on her gluten free kick – so she faithfully dug into a selection of 3 salads! These were fresh, vibrant and delicious. And the serve was very generous.
On my next visit with the gorgeous T-bird, I decided to go for something different – the lunch burrito. This was a real winner – I totally enjoyed it. The outside was toasted to a nice crisp, and the filling was flavourful meat with just the right hit of spice and heat. It was served with some sour cream and avocado (delish!) and a fresh salad. Great value.
T-Bird enjoyed a focaccia with a carrot salad – which was also toasted beautifully, and served with a very moreish side of carrot salad.
If you have room for more, there is a selection of sweet treats! And it really is hard to walk past that display.
Overall, Mr Close offers a fantastic assortment of offerings for the discerning lunch goer! There is certainly something for everyone – and every day is different. They do publish their daily lunch menu on their website – so go there for some inspiration. Maybe today they’ll have some spicy meatballs to combat this cold, wet Melbourne!