Thursday, 26 March 2009

HOT: Mess Hall, 51 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000

Ever since my last visit to MEL, I'd been looking forward to a repeat tasting of the homemade muesli at The Mess Hall. Well, the clean-cut walls, dark wood tables and friendly service were the same, but god knows what they've done to their muesli recipe! Not only was it not the same as last time (dreamy) but it was absolutely awful, with such a weird savory taste that I couldn't actually make myself finish it and had to order a pot of earl grey tea to rinse out my mouth.

I might have to ask them about that next time, as I think it's a lovely spot that does the basics really well, and so I've decided that it should maintain its HOT rating.

Enroute to the bathroom I also discovered an upstairs function room which seats 30 on a long wooden table, with the trees of Bourke Street casting dim dappled shadows over the large sash windows. I will just have to make up a function so that I can use it one day - maybe I can pretend I'm turning 30!

Update 4 April 2009: Desperate for sustenance after hauling ass here, there and everywhere for house inspections, I ducked into Mess Hall for some hot cross buns. Unfortunately, I was not too impressed - there was no cross, the top had an incredibly stick glaze as opposed to my favoured crispy top, and my bun had minimal fruit and maximum dough (although RM's bun fared better). An above market rate $3 per bun too.
Update 21 May 2009: Finally! Mess Hall has fulfilled its earlier promise by delivering a delicious arancini salad for lunch. Mama Mia delightful!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

NOT: Becco, 25 Crossley St, Melbourne 3000

Ever since I was a wee articled clerk, I'd wanted to go to Becco. In my very first rotation, my supervisor had told me that it was one of the best restaurants in Melbourne, and in fact he knew the chef so well that when his wife gave birth, Becco's chef sent meals to her so she wouldn't have to eat manky hospital food.

So I didn't hesitate when selecting a venue for my first dinner back in MEL. I was in town for a one-night only performance and the stars had aligned so that I'd also be able to meet my London-based friend for dinner.

As we walked to the laneway restaurant, Renaissance Man (RM) said to me 'you do know how expensive it is, don't you?'. Gah, no! And even if I wasn't unemployed and there wasn't a recession, I think it's safe to say that $30 for a bowl of pasta is NOT good value for money. My orecchiette only contained beans, mint and ricotta, for goodness sakes! It was good, but not that sadly I won't be going back unless someone else is footing the bill.

More decisiveness for you!

In the beginning there was Jetsetting Joyce, out to conquer the Time Out listings and blogging about what was HOT and NOT in Big Bad London (while ostensibly holding down a full time day job as a lawyer).

When she stopped the jetsetting and became just 'Joyce' (and unemployed), she discovered that she couldn't stop her habit of tagging everything as HOT or NOT....

So here's to continued decisiveness! Welcome to MEL: HOT OR NOT.