My optimism of decent food diminished even further when I realised I had to order at the counter, pay in advance and take a plastic table number to one of the many tiny tables or the handful of massive share tables that were on offer. No good food has ever come from a place with a plastic table number.
I dully ordered the boring-looking French toast that was written on the black board (the entire menu is written on the blackboard – fail), took my seat at the back of the cafe and stared at a giant nipple that hung on the wall until my food arrived.
I bet you’re thinking the toast was rubbish, right?
Although it would be a far funnier review if the food matched the decor and the facial expression on the floral-clad lady at the end of my table who yelled at me because I took her friend’s seat (who never arrived, mind you), this French toast was a fantastic treat which kind of tasted more like sweet pancakes than egged up, pan fried bread. Seeing as the Judgement team have struggled for weeks to review pancakes around town (because apparently it’s not cool to eat them anymore), I reckon we can consider this dish a half/half call on French toast and pancakes.
Sure, the strawberries were just slapped on the top and there wasn’t nearly enough of them, but I enjoyed it so much I was disappointed to be dining alone when my ‘mmmm!’s and ‘ahhmmm!’s were wasted on a guy in earshot (who I’m pretty sure thought he was going to score with me later in the day).
Now, I’ve never claimed to be the smartest person around. Heck, I’m lucky to remember how to button up my pants in the morning, but I found it perplexing how the whole Urban Deli thing was set out. Half of the place looks like a drab, sub par sandwich shop with a couple of cheap tables and chairs thrown around the place. The other half – the half I sat in – is made up of long, dark wooden share tables, blackboards showcasing the three million egg dishes on offer, big windows that peep out onto Swanston Street and this beautiful big clock that reminds you that you’re late for work. Honestly, it was like two cafes in one. One had taste, the other…well, not so much.
Apart from the big clock on the back wall there is nothing inspiring about this cafe at all, which is a shame. Urban Deli has as much personality as Gwenyth Paltrow, but if you’re not phased and just want a solid French toast then swing by, and maybe grab one of the 5,000 fresh juice options on offer.
*pile of poo.