Monday, May 24, 2010

Mart 130, Middle Park by Big Fil

This place has the potential to become my favourite Melbourne Café. With great food and a really nice place to just sit and eat, I just wish it was a little cheaper and closer to home. Or maybe not, otherwise it's possible I wouldn't try anywhere else!

Cannellini beans and ham hock on organic sourdough toast, with crumbled goats cheese

At lunchtime during the week Mart 130, which is at Tram stop 130 on the 96 line, isn't much to look at from the outside. A few chairs, a couple of bare wooden tables, and not many people to be seen until you get inside. However, come on a weekend and you'll probably have to wait for a table.

The second time I came here with Hungry Pete on a Sunday we were told the wait for a table for two would likely be around 10 minutes. We eventually got a table after 30 minutes. Staff coming around asking patrons if they would like a coffee while waiting for a table to be available made the longer than expected wait a little less annoying.

Coming here twice gave us the chance to sample four of the breakfasts. The first thing Hungry Pete chose was from the daily specials board - an omelette with prosciutto, roasted zucchini, tomato, capsicum and goats cheese on sour dough bread. The omelette itself looked really nice, although I am not a huge fan of the presentation style of putting the food on such a huge plate that it makes the dish look small. I also like my omelettes (and scrambled eggs) to be light and fluffy, and this one was a little denser than I prefer. Hungry Pete also would have preferred the bread a little softer, but I didn't have the same issue with it. A good but not outstanding omelette.

The first dish I chose was the triple pancake stack, with banana, Belgian chocolate sauce, toasted hazelnuts and vanilla bean mascarpone. I was in two minds about ordering this, as I am not generally a huge fan of bananas on pancakes. I am glad I did though, as it was the best dish we tried. Nicely soft pancakes, firm and not mushy bananas combined with the slightly gooey topping meant that I scoffed through this in record time. Also, a big tick on the bottle of authentic Canadian maple syrup served with the pancakes.

On our return trip Hungry Pete went for the French Toast, with organic brioche, grilled bacon and maple syrup. Nice French toast, sliced thickly but still light and not too dense, slightly crispy bacon and again the generous servings of maple syrup. A simple dish very well prepared and presented.

Lastly, I went for the cannellini beans and ham hock on organic sourdough toast, with crumbled goats cheese (see first pic). Again, a very tasty example of a fairly simple dish.

Excluding the weekend crowds Mart 130 is just a pleasure to eat at. Simply furnished, full of natural light and even with wooden surroundings and lots of customers not so loud as to make it difficult to carry on a conversation. The staff sometimes seemed a little nonchalant but were friendly and efficient. Suggest that you visit either on a weekday or early on a weekend to avoid the risk of having to wait for a table. It does carry a bit of a Middle Park price mark-up though, with prices around 20% higher than some other nearby suburbs. On the other hand, the food here is very good.

Ambience - 8.5
Service - 7.5
Food - 8.5
Price - 6

107 Canterbury Road (at the light rail station)
Middle Park VIC 3206
Tel: (03) 9690 8831

1 comment:

RMIT Newintstudents said...

hey i went there today too and enjoyed my pancakes.
unfortunately I had to wait a while for them :(

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