11 May Mr Brightside, Caulfield South
Named after the popular debut single by the Killers, Mr Brightside is a busy cafe, even when we visit for a late weekday lunch. Thankfully the tables on the footpath are both undercover, and heated too. The corner cafe is larger than expected, but the interior is cleverly broken up by a mix of tables and counter seating, and the tables are well-spaced, giving some sense of privacy.
The menu at Mr Brightside seems to have a focus on simpler dishes done well. Rounded Potato Hash Browns, seasoned with rosemary, are each topped by a poached egg. Also on the plate is sliced beef brisket. The thinly sliced brisket is tender enough to be cut easily, is not too salty, and is covered with a creamy grain mustard sauce. It may have been placed on the plate in an unceremonious mound, but flavour is king, and this dish has it in spades.
The large, flat and singular Sweet Potato and Leek Fritter comes with mushrooms, grilled haloumi, broccolini, beetroot, hummus, dukkah, and a poached egg. The fritter is full of shredded sweet potato, and although its exterior is not completely crisp, there’s lots of moisture on the inside. We love the pairing of the earthy hummus, beetroot and dukkah, with the sweetness of the leeks and sweet potato.
Slathered in caramel sauce, and arriving with plenty of banana, is the Challah French Toast. The mascarpone sandwiched between the huge slices of challah helps to break up the sweetness, though the dish could have done with a little something extra to freshen up the flavours. If you like things sweet and salty, there’s even the option of adding bacon.
With food that’s unpretentious and tasty, it’s not hard to understand why Mr Brightside is almost as popular as its eponymous song. The flavour combinations are thoughtful, and on the most part, well-balanced. If we lived closer, I wouldn’t be too surprised if we joined the ranks of its loyal regulars.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Mr Brightside as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time
189a Booran Rd
Caulfield South, VIC, 3162
(03) 9576 9588