Mr Nice Guy
Shop J, 535 Lt Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(enter via Healey’s Lane)
03 9973 1761
Dinner catch-ups with Lachy can be a bit of a venue waltz, a common phenomenon amongst my friends. We first start off with the agreement that I can pick where to go. After some ruminating, I finally suggest 4-5 places, but it gets promptly vetoed and we end up somewhere else that’s recommended by Lachy. =)
That’s EXACTLY what happened for this dinner visit… and you need to know that I absolutely don’t mind it at all. I love recommendations, it’s a place that had never sat on my radar, and I trust Lachy’s taste.
Now that I think back, I remember Fakegf mentioning this place, and I also remember seeing instagram posts by Pla (of Middlefish) having some beautiful looking Thai-style brunch food. For some reason, I’d always thought that Mr Nice Guy was a cafe in Thailand, and that Saturday evening with Lachy, it finally *clicked* that the cafe’s actually in Melbourne. Such a doofus I am.
Those of you who’ve been to Middlefish will find the decor here familiar (and probably less discordant). The cafe sits on a quiet laneway off Lt Lonsdale St amongst a few other Asian eateries in a less travelled sector of the CBD. The thoroughfare here is small and you have to know of the area’s existence rather than stumble across it.
Mr Nice Guy serves brunch service on weekdays, and they do dinners every night. For a Saturday night, the place was empty… Lachy and I liked the peace and quiet (we’re unfond of long queues at overly hyped places), but this quietness is probably not good for business.
Thai Style Iced Milk Tea 4.5
I don’t know what happened… but yes… the person who’s drinking wine with Thai food was… *gasp*… me. Nooooo… somebody call the food police!! …*hides behind a potted plant*
Pork Neck Skewers 7.5 | Pad Thai Prawn Roll 8.5
Anyway, the backstory here was: Lachy came here a few weeks ago and was blown away by the chicken dish (see later). By the time I’d visited with him, he’d paid so many revisits that the staff now recognise him and he’s tried every dish on the menu. This was perfect, because it meant that I didn’t have to decide on what to eat, he could choose for me!
We started off with sticks of juicy, flavoursome pork neck, which I really liked. Lachy then declared that the prawn roll was all for me to enjoy. A unique dish… almost like a variation of ha cheong (rice noodle roll with prawn) at yum cha places, but using delicious king prawns with a Thai herb-fragranced filling inside the roll and prawn salt on the side.
“Sharing Is Caring” – Mr Nice Guy Famous Chicken, Som Tum, Sticky Rice $50
For our mains, Lachy chose the sharing menu, which came as a whole chicken with a choice of som tum (green papaya salad) and a basket of sticky rice. The som tum had generous slices of chargrilled dry aged Black Angus beef rump.
But the winning dish of the night was the chicken indeed! Delicately cooked with an almost French-style succulence, served on a bed of grilled cauliflower with a hearty masterstock sauce. We devoured the whole chicken very quickly.
Lemongrass Cheesecake, Smoked Pineapple 15 | Thai Tea Panna Cotta, Meringue, Lemon Sphere 12
For sweets, we shared a deconstructed lemongrass cheesecake that came with crackle n’ pop candy in its crumble. And a lovely lovely Thai milk tea panna cotta.
All in all, dinner at Mr Nice Guy was a good experience… plus it’s a bit of a secret find at the moment, considering how quiet the place was on a Saturday night. I plan to come back for brunch here.
We’ll end this post with something that I baked on Sunday – a mushroom bourguignon pie… baked in a tart pan… lol! My friend Damo helped me a lot with tips on how to bake it. The pie was my contribution for a Bastille Day French potluck party with my blogging friends that evening. The fresh thyme came from my balcony garden and I used Swiss Brown mushies from South Melbourne Market.
That day, I learnt that pie making is actually quite a time consuming affair… but it also unlocked my inner monster for buttery pastries. Now I seem to have developed a mild obsession for making and eating crumbles, pies and pastries. It won’t be long before fatboo becomes fatterboo… or god forbid… fattestboo!