Often when Brad and I get up in the morning on a weekend, he’ll ask me where I want to go for breakfast and I’ll freeze in a moment of panic as I try to recollect everything I had been reading the last week about new openings, or places I had yet to visit and what was still sitting on my wishlist after ages and go into a spinning frenzy of names and options and have a mini freak out until I had it nailed down to three options, before randomly picking one of the three.
So it was most refreshing just this past weekend to wake up in the morning, wash up and know exactly where we were going, since I had planned it earlier in the week.
It feels like Mastic has quietly opened, without too much hype…and right around the corner from me! Well, actually a 5 minute drive, but you know what I mean; it’s in my hood!
My boss had given it great reviews, and once you have a good anecdotal review of a new place, it’s hard to resist. That and my bosses had stolen a menu into the office and once I saw there were some egg dishes on the menu, I knew I could bring Brad on a weekend. Phew!
Mastic is located right next to, or more technically, in Hellenic Republic at Kew Junction, with what was the private dining room (or so I’ve been told) being renovated into an all day, 7 day a week cafe with a focus on whole foods and healthy eating, without skimping on the flavour.
Mastic was bright, poppy and colourful, and a shiny silver sliding automatic door made me feel like I was in the future. I found the cafe itself once you stepped through the door quite dark and cavernous, despite the bright cheery pops of colour, so opted to sit out in the mezzanine area (I guess you could call it that), looking out over the street.
I was smitten with their gorgeous dark blue coffee cups, with white lips, which exactly matched their takeaway coffee cups as well, which I thought was a gorgeous touch (and great brand consistency!). Obviously the coffee is provided by Will & Co.; both Brad and mum (who I brought a takeaway coffee for) approved.
There was no chai latte here for me, so I opted for the green smoothie with apple, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, kale, kiwi, lemon and chia seeds. Delicious. Sweet, but incredibly zesty, with the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and lemon really making a stand in flavour. I contemplated that this is what a green smoothie with an Asian twist would taste like! The price felt a little steep at $9, but in comparison, a pre-made smoothie at Pressed Juice costs the same, for a smaller bottle, so I could justify it when putting it in that perspective!
There’s a healthy selection on the menu for breakfast and lunch, with everything coming in under $15, from bowls of granola and porridge, to egg dishes, to ‘Greek Style’ sandwiches (which can be made with gluten free bread!) and salads. Believe me, it was tough to decide what I wanted to have!
I settled on the Hellenic grain salad (as I had been feeling a bit bloated and heavy as of late), which came with grilled yellowfin tuna. Fresh, textural, with nice vibrant hits of coriander and mint throughout and sweetness from raisins, George’s grain salad has always been a hit at his other joints, and at Mastic it was no different. I loved the addition of the tuna as well, cooked just the way I like it, still a little rare on the inside, so that the knife just melts through it, and it melts in the mouth. So clean, so easy, very delicious.
Brad got the other dish I probably would have got, which was the poached eggs with vegemite, heirloom tomato, avocado, and gluten free toast. The one bite I had was all levels of yum. Their gluten free pumpkin bread is lovely and nutty, with a nice little crunch on the crust. The vegemite layered underneath the fresh produce also added a nice amount of depth in flavour, a richness, and a nice hit of salt.
Although I also had my eyes on the sweets, I figured I would save them for another time. Since Mastic is just at Kew junction, which is on my way to work, I think it’ll simply be too easy to pop in for a quick nibble.
I really like Mastic’s approach to healthy eating, it feels holistic, not preachy, and quite approachable indeed, which is how it should be really! Will definitely be back, especially in the lead up to Christmas when I’m trying to make sure I’ve got some room for those big meals coming up…
26 Cotham Street