Lots of vowels in uninhabitable. Not alot of people (ha) but many, many vowels. Getting distracted. Focus, JP. You need to help the public here. Now. I hate complaining about any food. Or any cafe. Or anything to do with food, really. Yes, it’s a first world problem, but if you’re going to be a good cafe in Melbourne, especially on Glenferrie Rd with so much competition, you gotta be good. And Life on Mars…you ain’t.
I used to be a Kew resident and would frequent Life on Mars most weekends. I loved the lively atmosphere, the creative menu and the ever friendly staff. Take the opposite of all that, and that’s what I got on a recent visit to the ‘new’ Life on Mars. I’m not sure when they changed hands, but they are definitely poorer for it. Reow, indeed. Yes, I’m gonna be bitchy coz I get c-ranky when I get a bad b-rekky. Especially when it’s accompanied by bad service.
I really should have taken the hint when I visited at 9am on a weekday and there was only two other patrons. I mean, I was on Glenferrie road and it was the ‘before’ version of Life on Mars, then it would have been buzzing.
There were two staff members just chilling behind the bench, so I thought, I’ll just sit down and they’ll come over eventually.
So as you can see from my very artistic shot above, they didn’t come. They saw me, they chatted. They ate their breakfast. Yep. They ate their breakfast, and I waited. and waited. A couple of people came in and got take away coffees. I made that awkward eye contact with the waitress. Still nothing. I would have sat there and seen how long it took one of them to approach, but my tummy was growling like my little Puggle so I got up and wandered over and asked for a menu. She didn’t seem to care that I’d done that, so hey, maybe that’s their style. We stand here and eat and you manage without us. Cool. New concept….
After a while, she had finished picking at her breakfast and came over to see if I wanted a coffee. Yes. Yes I did. I ordered a Long black, and after repeating it a few times after her asking me if I wanted a “Long black latte” (?), I got my cawfee. Hooray! It oddly came with a mint sugar lolly. But hey, I’ll let that slide. Everyone has their little quirks, and maybe that was theirs.
Artistic coffee shot. I took a million. I had time.
To be honest, the menu really wasn’t exciting and nothing jumped out at me. I was used to their previous offerings of ten types of mushrooms and various fritters and funky smoothies etc. Nope. I saw baked beans and chorizo with poached eggies so went with that. It was hearty. I’d been waiting a long time already. I needed a good feed.
I waited. And waited. I was thiiiis close to cancelling the order. With noone else left in the cafe aside from me, I knew it wasn’t looking good. And my bad food radar was buzzing. Yep it happens. Not often in wonderful Melbourne, but it happens.
After taking a few more million snaps of my coffee cup and realising they probably had Coles cinnamon donuts in their front cabinet, my food came to the table.
Yes it definitely looked hearty. A massive white bowl full of four bean mix, passata and i’ll admit some tasty chorizo. Then there was two types of bread. The cheese baguette shattered when I tried to break it in half, so that was given a little home on the side of the plate. The thick white bread was tasty but definitely didn’t need such a big serve. The dish was super bland, the eggs were over-poached (is that a thing?) and I left half of it behind. I. left. half. of. it. behind. That never happens to me. Especially when I’ve been waiting an hour since I arrived. And that hour note is important. Because, as a side note, I went back to my little Golf after my long, underwhelming breakfast and found a lovely little parking ticket on my car. What a way to cap off my morning. Cheers, mr parking inspector. I’d recommend you, and only you, visit Life on Mars for breakfast.
Overall. Poor form, Life on Mars. Yes that was ‘JP the nasty’, but when you’re paying top dollar for a breakfast, service, of any kind is often appreciated. I could have gone to Hawthorn Common. Hawthorn ‘amazing everything’ Common. Or Crabapple ‘give me all the treaties’ Kitchen. But nope. I didn’t. I went to Life on Mars. And will never go again.
I don’t wanna be mean. Pick up yo’ game, Mars. No score required.