Monday, December 4, 2017

Mister Greens, Forest Hill by Bureaucrat

Hmm...the cafe Mister Greens seems to be struggling with a bit of an identity crisis - I'll give it points for trying but it doesn't quite hit the mark.  Searching through the Entertainment Book app (which we're promoting to help fundraise for SecondBite - buy a membership here!), the branding for Mister Greens looked very appealing.  An eye-catching logo that's surrounded by enticing dishes.  I thought this might be unassuming but great cafe located in the rather humdrum suburban shopping village of Brentford Square in Forest Hill.

Mister Greens, Forest Hill, seafood pasta
Seafood pasta

Mister Greens shares a sub-divided building that looks like it once housed an old-school Pizza Hut or Barnacle Bill with a superannuation company.  The exterior of Mister Greens looks like a local suburban pub or RSL club, and that vibe is also felt on the inside - the heavy wooden tables, the pleather dining chairs and the bar/counter reinforce this vibe.  Although it wasn't quite the hipster-style cafe that I had been expecting there was some effort to make it feel like that - there were the wallpaper of exposed bricks, a big communal table with stools and a vertical garden of faux plants.  

For a mid-week lunch, Mister Greens was popular with the golden oldies and young families.  We found it a bit odd that the staff sat all the diners close to each other.  While I know why they do this, as two introverts, we both felt that we were all sitting a bit too close to everyone else.  We were led to a rather sticky table.

Mister Greens, Forest Hill, coffee
The Lawyer started off with a latte.

Mister Greens, Forest Hill, steak sandwich
For our mains, I dithered between the wagyu burger and the steak sandwich - ingredients-wise, they were similar bar for a few minor differences. I settled on the steak sandwich because it had bacon (can't say no to bacon!).  When it arrived, I thought "d'oh!" - I should have gone for the burger.  The sandwich was okay but rather underwhelming - the individual components of the sandwich didn't add up to something greater than the sum of the parts.  

The whole thing felt like the kitchen staff had rummaged around what was left to make this sandwich.  The sourdough bread seemed stale, the cos lettuce leaf was definitely chewy, the caramelised onion and beetroot relish seemed like they just scraped some out of old jars, and it wouldn't surprise me if the cheese was a slice of Kraft Singles and that the bacon was leftover from the morning's breakfast session. It didn't help that it was served on a rather scruffy wooden board and that the sweet potato fries didn't look appetising... it looked like the fries were either twice-cooked (i.e., reheated) or had been cooked in old, old oil.  Further, some of the fries tasted under-cooked. 

At $29, the Lawyer's seafood pasta didn't seem very impressive (see first pic).  The good points were that it seemed a reasonable size serve and there was a good amount of seafood.  I was rather critical of the soupyness of the sauce - it was quite watery (not a sign for a deep-flavoured, unctuous sauce that's been simmering carefully for a long time).  But in spite of this, the Lawyer said that it was reasonably tasty - certainly not the best he's had but not the worst.


We wouldn't return
We wouldn’t return.
Mid value
Mid value.


I know I'm being quite critical of Mister Greens.  I didn't set out to dislike the place but I'm struggling to find good things to say about the food (and also the overall decor/ambiance of the place).  There was one standout feature of the place - the service.  The staff there were very friendly and prompt and eager to help. It's just a real shame that the food isn't quite up to scratch.

Find it at

Mister Greens
502 Canterbury Road
Forest Hill VIC 3131
Phone: (03) 9872 3844

Mister Greens Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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