I’m always on the lookout for new lunch places in the city. Mainly because I hardly ever manage to bring my own lunch to work. I’m not one of those organised people with their sandwich or soup which means I spend a fortune at lunchtime. The upside is that as soon as a new place opens near work I’m all over it. So I couldn’t help but head to Mr Nice Guy as soon as it opened with my friend Lize.
Mr Nice Guy is owned by the same team behind the great Thai restaurant Middle Fish in Carlton. Like Middle Fish the menu at Mr Nice Guy focuses on Southern Thai food but the offerings are more limited than its Carlton big sister. It does include classic Thai dishes like Pad Thai ($14.90) which is light and freshly made with just the right accents.
Middle Fish’s most popular dish, the Kha Na ($14.90) also makes the menu. For lunch the Som Tum salad ($7.90) is light and bright. It’s made with sweet slivers of green papaya, cherries and pineapple gently pounded together with roasted peanuts and chilli and mixed in with vermicelli noodles. You then add your choice of protein from char grilled chicken ($4.90) to tofu. The combination delivers just the right Thai balance of sweet with sour, spicy with salty, hot with cool and light flavours with rich.
Colourful mosaic tiles on the walls, brightly painted multi-coloured and waitstaff dressed in denim overalls give the little laneway cafe a fun feeling. Unfortunately service is not great with a disorganised system for waiting for tables and our orders constantly getting confused with the people at the table next to us. Hopefully these issues will be sorted out once the cafe has been open a little longer. I’m prepared to overlook the service to get a bit of Thai action in the city to spice up my lunch break.
Details: Mr Nice Guy, 10 Healeys Lane, Melbourne, Vic 3000 (Ph 03 9973 1761)
Damage: Reasonable. The bill for two came to about $35.