Review: The Mess Hall, Melbourne City

Review: The Mess Hall, Melbourne City

the mess hall

the mess hall

the mess hall

Breakfast in Melbourne city. I haven’t done that in awhile as I moved out of the city many years ago and driving all the way in for just breakfast really seems like a waste of time. Plus, everybody knows there’s a ton of other Melbourne brunch places that are way more exciting anyways. Right? RIGHT?

I ended up in The Mess Hall for brunch one morning, not entirely by choice. I was there because I had just been to Cumulus and was told that I had just missed their breakfast hour. Taking pity on me and my disappointed face, the helpful waiter directed us to The Mess Hall, which was how I ended up there.

The Mess Hall is an italian food restaurant that had signage that I couldn’t see. I nearly walked straight past it but the patrons sitting outside in the lazy morning sun clued me into the fact that a restaurant must be around the place somewhere.

Once inside, we were greeted with friendly smiles that lead very quickly to a table and menus.

Service however was a little slow. After what felt like forever, our food finally arrived: Hollandaise eggs with ham, spinach, hollandaise & dukkah on a sweet bun and Corn fritters served with avocado, cherry tomato, cream cheese and chilli.

The food was pleasant enough, though I wasn’t overly taken by the Hollandaise sauce. It seems nobody can beat homemade hollandaise sauce yet (made by Sefie, not me), ah well. The eggs were well poached, the corn fritters tasty.

Would I head back? I doubt it. While everything was pleasant enough, it just didn’t pack enough wow factor into the place, service and food to warrant a re-visit especially since I have moved out of Melbourne and am now one of those annoying tourists who tries to cram too much eating into one stomach. Oh wait, that’s really everybody. Never mind.

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Eating Out: Bar 9 @ Glen Osmond, Adelaide – The beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Eating Out: Bar 9 @ Glen Osmond, Adelaide – The beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Bar 9
08 8373 1108
96 Glen Osmond Rd
Parkside, SA 5063
Bar 9

Sometimes, relationships grow over time. Sometimes, it’s love at first sight. My relationship with Adelaide is definitely of the former, rather than the latter, and Bar 9 in Glen Osmond was definitely one of the reason for that relationship with Adelaide to grow favourably.

Breakfast is one of those meals that I tend to skip. I know it’s not exactly the healthiest thing to be doing, nor something I really should be all that proud of (I’m not!) but between sleep and breakfast, I tend to vote sleep. During weekends and holidays though, that’s a different thing. I love having breakfast and it usually starts my day on an incredibly positive note if I have a breakfast that I’m happy with.

On that particular morning, I sat in Bar 9 with the boy and Sherry. We had trekked to the other side of the city for breakfast because Sherry had highly recommended the place. She was nervous, she said, of recommending places to me. Nervous that I wouldn’t like the place. I didn’t think she needed worry as her favourite breakfast place didn’t disappoint, Bar 9 was really quite superb!

The decor of Bar 9 is that of a quirky nature. With their mirrors painted over with images of cups and coffee machines, I couldn’t help but relax into the easy going atmosphere. It really reminded me of Melbourne and its easy going breakfast cafes and I felt right at home instantly. Already in love with this place even before the food and the coffee, this can only mean better things are yet to come, right?

And come it did.

House Cured Ocean Trout – served on creme friache and dill on rye – $16 was Sherry’s dish. I couldn’t help feeling a pang of jealousy when the waitress popped this dish in front of her, it looked spectacular! Luckily, my table of friends seem to have adopted the unspoken rule of breakfast sharing and I managed to get a share of this absolutely beautiful breakfast as well. And just as well I did, as the freshness and cleansing feeling the dish contains needs to be tried to be believe. Incredibly refreshing, this is a breakfast dish that is destined to wake anybody up with a burst of sunshine in the mouth with just the nice touch of sea breeze to give you that extra morning kick.

Creamy Truffled Mushroom Ragu – on toast with poached eggs and finished with truffled honey. $17. Nothing screams indulgence more than truffles, and definitely nothing is more rich in the mouth than this creamy truffled mushroom ragu. I was rolling about in my ecstasy and couldn’t stop bragging about how amazing my breakfast dish was to my companions. Not that I really had anything to brag about, since their breakfasts were equally as good and I was going to have to share my breakfast with them anyways. But for that first few minutes, I must admit to a tinge of: “Ha Ha, this is awesome and you have none!”

Runcimans Breakfast – breakfast of champions: bacon, eggs, tomatoes and swiss brown mushrooms $17. This is the boy’s standard breakfast fare. If there’s a big breakfast of sorts on the menu, he’s bound to get it. Perfect really, that way he gets to gauge a cafe on a standard that is found in almost every breakfast cafe. This big breakfast was quite nice. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was definitely right up there with one of the best big breakfasts. Yummy bacon with juicy mushrooms, can’t get any better than that really.

Bar 9 definitely has something special going on. Even though it’s on the other side of the city to where I live, I’d still happily trek over on a weekend and indulge in some incredible food. Yum.


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Eating out: Coin Laundry @ Armadale, Melbourne

Coin Laundry Cafe
03 9500 1888
61 Armadale St
Armadale, VIC 3143
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In my ideal world, I want to live next to Coin Laundry. Good food, good atmosphere, and good eye candy. Ahhhhh….

Coin Laundry is my favourite breakfast haunt, hands down. It’s named after what the original space used to be, with the decor taking inspiration from that: from the chairs hanging off the walls, to the fabric hanging from the ceiling. I really adore it!

Specials are written on the brown paper roll, which is a fabulous idea, but my complaint with that the folks sitting on the other side of the restaurant can’t actually see what’s written without walking over to the other end of the restaurant. I’m one of those who just can’t concentrate when the wait staff rattles off the specials, I prefer to read it myself.

If you are heading to Coin Laundry, be prepared to wait. My first visit there had me waiting for 45 mminutes! But it was well worth it, as the food was incredible. They change their menu regularly and so the dishes I’m putting up here are no longer on the menu. That said, ingredients for dishes are sourced locally and are always so amazingly fresh. I have been back a fair few times now, and it has never disappoint!

The coffee is pretty decent, so’s the hot chocolate. I’m happy enough to sit back and relax into the atmosphere in the little cafe, and watch the world go by… that’s how relaxing the place is! Plus, it really helps that the wait staff are always so hot. Ahem.

I have to say though, that out of all my visits, my very first breakfast with Coin Laundry will always be the best. The dish House cured ocean trout, potato croquette, pickled zucchini, beetroot puree and lemon yoghurt was an explosion of flavour right from the word go. Every single mouthful saw me alternating between swooning or squealing. It was a truly orgasmic experience and it took an incredible amount of willpower not to order another plate right away. The potato croquettes especially have set a new record for what croquettes should taste like. The amazing crunch on the outer layer of the croquette that gives way to a fluffy inside that just melts away sent shivers down my spine!

The boy prefers something a little more hearty when we eat breakfast out, so his usual choice would be the Coin Laundry Breakfast. Delightful and definitely hearty! The poached eggs were always done to perfection, and you can just close your eyes now to imagine the oozy goodness that happens when the knife cuts open the egg…..

Again, in the ideal world, I’d be living next to Coin Laundry. I’d go everyday if I could!


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