Mr Brightside is a homely surburban café with a twist.
Tait Crespin and his business partner George Redwan have an illustrious background in the Melbourne hospitality industry, having had experience in high caliber eateries such as Circa the Prince, The Point, Verge and Pantry Brighton to name a few.
A few doors down from the café is Hendrick’s Food Store, also owned by Crespin and Redwan, which has a whole host of ready-made take home café style meals, salads, soups and gourmet ingredients. All the food is cooked fresh in Mr Brightside’s kitchen.
The menu at Mr Brightside’s, which Crespin says is “designed around familiar dishes that have ingredients the people can relate to, with a Mr Brightside twist,” has plenty of café staples, with a few welcome surprises.
The coffee is sourced from Coffee Supreme, who pride themselves on roasting coffee beans from all over the world. As Coffee Supreme say on their website, every coffee bean will have differences and during the roasting process, it is important to juggle temperatures and airflow to ensure the full potential of each individual bean is reached.
“Darker roasting suppresses acidity and enhances body and sweetness, up to a point… too dark and the best flavours just go up in smoke. Lighter roasting enhances acidity and fruit flavours.”
Around 15 other suppliers bring in various produce to Mr Brightside constantly, to ensure the ever-changing menu is well serviced.
Aside from sampling the coffee and bread (neither of which disappointed), Trading Plates also checked out the Shashouka (middle eastern baked eggs) with a side of the beef brisket and the Greek Salad with charred lamb found on the specials board.
If it is familiar food with a twist that Crespin and Redwan are trying to achieve, they are certainly fitting that bill. The Greek salad came somewhat deconstructed, with whipped feta, cumin spiced lamb, sumoc and basil. While the dish looked amazing, the flavours were tasty, but less exciting than one might have hoped.
The shakshouka was was a traditional style tomato sauce base with poached eggs, crumbled feta and mixed salad. The overall flavours were fresh but the eggs, sadly, were slightly overcooked.
Crespin’s go-to dish on the menu is the potato hashbrowns, poached eggs with slow cooked brisket and mustard cream sauce, so perhaps we will have to try that next time we venture back to Mr Brightside’s.
But most importantly, Crespin says that both he and everyone else in the team at both the café and food store love their jobs, which is really the whole point anyway, isn’t it?
189a Booran Road, Caulfield South VIC 3162
(03) 9576 9588