Fitzroy is over-gentrified, breakfast joints are over-saturated and there are still way too many people at cafes on weekends. We hear you, concerned citizens of Melbourne. All these concerns are genuine — and come not without cause or reason — but every so often a cafe opens and in spite of all that stuff, it still surprises. Opening in Fitzroy in late August, Might Boy Eatery is all about South East Asian breakfast and lunch (but yes, it's busy on weekends).
Gertrude Street wasn't in desperate need of another cafe, but Mark Peou (of Collingwood's Tiny) opened it up anyway. And as it turns out, it could be one of the best additions the strip has seen in a while. It’s casual daytime Asian fusion dining at a very reasonable price. They’re not the first ones to do it — Middle Fish has been successfully cooking up Thai brunch for the last three years, and Nora has just opened to much praise (us included) — but at Mighty Boy it’s fresh, spacious and everything is under $14.
Order a sky-high haloumi and bacon sandwich ($12) and spend a good few minutes wondering how to tackle it, or go for practicality with the baked eggs with mushrooms, tomato, tabasco and a perfect house-made Thai sausage ($14). Add a Niccolo coffee to your bill and you’ll still be able to walk away with change from a twenty. Truly miraculous.
Late breakfasters beware: post-12pm, lunch is the only thing on the menu. That’s okay though, because if you’re either a) hungover, or b) just love all the food, lunch is the best part. The appearance of Pad Thai is predictable, but the noodles are gooey, the serving is big and, for $12, it’s a spot-on comfort dish (you can even choose chicken or tofu). The same can be said for the crispy chicken fried rice with a fried egg on top ($12). But, really, who can go past anything wrapped in roti bread? Choose from pulled lamb shoulder, tofu, chicken and pork belly roti wraps ($10 each) and perhaps wash it down with coconut, pineapple and lime ice drink. It’s something that works a charm on a Sunday, but would be just as nice on a weeknight after work too.
At the moment Might Boy closes at 4.30pm, but there are plans to stay open after dark in the near future. And that’s what Fitzroy needs. There’s a gap between the cosy cafes that close at 5pm and the bars scattered along Smith Street; there’s not too many casual and cool places to meet for a quiet dinner in a cafe-like setting. But Mighty Boy feels right, and with its lunch menu that could easily transform into dinner (for under $15, no less), adequate small group seating, and recent success of the Kerala dinner pop-up, it might just be that place.
Image thanks to embartlett8 via Instagram.