- Establishment: The Mess Hall
- Address: 51 Bourke St, Melbourne. (#86, 95, 96 Tram along Bourke st, City circle or get off at Parliament station)
- Hours: Open Weekdays 7:30am-10pm; Weekends 8am-10pm
- Contact: (03) 9654 6800
- Visit date: 30th Aug, 2011 10:45am-ish
The light in this place reminded me of those lovely airy attic rooms in the Ikea catalogue. (pg 152 of the 2012 Ikea catalogue). At first, it seems that the decor is a little sterile bordering on simple but after a while, you appreciate the minimalist approach. It’s the staff and the food that warms to you.
Even though, I was a little miffed that I had to pay an extra $2 but these slices were generous UNO card size and sliced about 2cm thick. I slathered those slices with butter, took a bite and then my eyes rolled into the back of my head from sheer ecstasy……..*drool. It had to be THE BEST gluten free bread I’ve ever sunk my teeth into! It was springy, a little chewy (the good sort of chewy like ciabatta) but light and had such a gorgeous flaky crust dusted with flour. OMG, I have come home to bread heaven. I miss having bread because it makes me feel poorly and the usual GF bread is small and compact and taste and feels like dry washing sponges and cardboard. The frugality in me just disappeared after that experience.
My scrambled eggs were done nicely and it didn’t look too much like ‘cottage cheese barf’ or ‘curdsey’. That shouldn’t put you off having scrambled eggs because at times that version can be nice too. I prefer to have mine with wacky layers from just pushing them to the side of the fry pan on an angle to let the rest run down and cook and not by stirring the eggs. I’m glad that the smoked salmon wasn’t all cooked because I do like having it pink. Adding it at the last minute was perfect.
I love it when the staff dance around because it’s infectious and makes me smile. Lots of soul diva music was playing and when Etta James came on, I started to unintentionally bop along too.
Flat white: It was decent, just a tad burnt 2.5 out of 5
Food: Heavenly…for the GF bread alone and those pretty egg layers with salmon poking out was nice.
Bonus points for staff and that I could see the kitchen from where I was sitting. The table I was perched at had a centrepiece wine box (?) packed with long thin tree branches bursting with white green blossoms. The atmosphere was very ‘kick back and relax’ and it was good to see bike couriers, suits, quarrelling lovey-dovey couples and tourists come and go.