One sure fire way of making an immediate impact is to have a clever, and most of all good looking, fit out. This is one thing that even the most nonchalant diner can see straight away.
A good looking venue provides immediate attraction but is only a small piece of the puzzle. There is obviously a lot more to it, but this is one ingredient that should be easy to do, yet is often not well executed. At Denis the Menace in Cremorne, the airy and open warehouse ticks the first box.
This is your traditional café, but with a Thai accent. The menu is filled with all-day breakfast options and has an extensive lunch menu too. We have no trouble finding something enticing.
It was a very busy Friday lunch period and we were lucky to secure one of the last tables, but there is decent turnover. You can tell that with the busy lunch rush the waitstaff are under pressure. That pressure did lead to some mistakes being made, including Catherine’s glass of wine being missed. Once we realised it was not coming, and asked, we got a speedy rectification, and an apology which makes all the difference.
While waiting for our drinks, I ordered the chicken burger which comes in a light bun with pickled vegetables. Catherine ordered the pulled pork roll which comes in a nice soft long bun, topped with plenty of chipotle mayo. The chicken burger was fantastic, flavoursome with the right amount of spiciness, all ingredients working well together. Equally good was the pulled pork in a soft roll, although Catherine will ask for a touch less chipotle mayo next time around. And there will be a next time.
There is a huge amount of potential here. Denis the Menace is still settling down having opened five months ago in an area that is more of an office worker hotspot, than a foodie haven. The food is smart, reasonably priced, and packed full of flavour. Success seems to be assured as long as Denis doesn’t go off the rails like its name sake!