Not too far from the strip of busy, cheap eateries of Hardgrave Street, you’ll find Mondo Organics. Quite a contrast to the bustling atmosphere of some of the Vietnamese restaurants in the area, Mondo Organics is a surprise find in its inner city location.
Mondo Organics, as the name suggests, use organic produce, free range meat and their seafood is sourced from ecological, sustainable fisheries. They also claim to serve wild line-caught fish which gives me a great image of someone in rubber overalls fishing all day just to feed hungry city people.
I enjoy going to Mondo because it more than caters for people with wheat/gluten intolerance. At other restaurants, I’m usually left with a choice of the mushroom risotto or one dessert choice but at Mondo, I have lots to choose from.
The atmosphere is great, they are ‘fine dining’ with crisp white tablecloths but wihtout the poncy service from people in ankle length aprons. They have a covered ‘outdoors’ area which is heated in winter and the restaurant continues inside where you can see glimpses of the kitchen.
They only serve breakfast on Saturdays and it was nice to be ‘allowed’ to make a booking – many restaurants don’t allow weekend breakfast bookings which can be really annoying. I only ever want to leave the house on an empty stomach if I can be guaranteed of a substantial breakfast by 11.
For Saturday breakfast, I was tossed between the Breakfast Tart with poached eggs, grilled tomatoes, goat’s chevre (cheese) and pistou (garlic pesto oil) – a wheat free option made it a breakfast stack ($16.50) and a Cassoulet of pork fennel sausages and tomato baked beans with spelt sourdough toast ($17.50). I ended up going for the Cassoulet because I love sausages. My friend ordered Tea smoked trout on sautéed green leaves, lemon butter and spelt sourdough soldiers ($18). We also ordered some crunchy potato squares with aioli ($8.50) to share.
Service was prompt and polite, water came without being asked (I think it should be a standard across all eateries…but usually, it’s just a nice surprise when it happens). I also ordered a Green Fix juice made with apple, celery and ginger – very refreshing. My baked bean breakfast came and I was quite disappointed as I only got a sliver of sausage (which was very flavourful) but the rest of the cassoulet was a bit bland and boring, it was tomato based and quite watery and the beans were soft but bland in flavour. My toast was unbuttered and I really felt I had to salt everything, I was starving though, so gobbled up everything. The crunchy potato squares (think potato cubes) had a great texture, and very crunchy on the outside and softly textured on the inside, though also lacked in flavour and tasted better with some salt (good thing they leave dish of it on every table). My friend’s tea smoked trout was delicious, flaked to the fork but pink and cooked to perfection (as in, not completely done in the middle), it also came with beautifully poached eggs which oozed its yolk perfectly when you cut into it.
After noon, more people start to come in, many with prams and it seems a good place for friends to catch up because it’s different to some of the other ‘trendy’ places for breakfast like Gunshop (when will they change their menus???). Service isn’t pretentious either and the staff aren’t a bunch of suffering artists who barely crack a smile (Anouk). There are no queues either (Little Larder) which helps. There is nothing worse on a Sunday morning than being really hungry and watching other people eat steaming plates of eggs while they’re slowly reading their paper and thinking, HURRY UP, I WANT A TABLE!
Despite my slightly disappointing breakfast, I really want to go back to Mondo, just so I can try other stuff on their breakfast menus. It’s definitely not just eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs which is a nice change from the norm.