Tasty mess    

ANYONE for buttered crumpets and an episode of Murder, She Wrote?

That was the vibe when I walked towards Messy Munchies, a quaint-looking cafe in Applecross where pensioners convened under an ornate verandah and talked about their favourite episode of Quincy.

My heart sank and I thought I was in for quiche-hell, before I noticed the Asian menu on the sign at the door.

It transpires that Messy Munchies is actually a cafe specialising in sushi, bubble tea, bao and all things oriental and yummy.

The branding and decor were a bit muddled, but thankfully there was no ambiguity when it came to the lovely cuisine.

The menu had a range of bao bun sliders, sushi rolls, Vietnamese banh mi and their “signature” bubble teas. They also did brekkie bao buns, smoothies and teas and coffees.

The paper menu was a bit quirky and looked like it had been printed using Microsoft Word, with thumbnail images pasted above the text, but not to worry.

After ordering at the till, it wasn’t long before the waitress was back with our Munchies share platter ($42), which was beautifully presented.

The large chunks of salmon in the big sushi rolls were super fresh, while the cucumber and bonito flakes added a nice crunch, as sometimes the texture of sushi can be a bit monotonous.

The mayo wasn’t too spicy, and there was some wasabi if you wanted to liven things up.

In the past I’ve had bao buns that were tougher than Paul Hogan’s buttocks, but these were soft and light with a delicious filling including char sui pork, cabbage, bonito flakes and an exotic relish. Delicious.

Across the table my wife was enjoying a chicken satay stick.

“The rich sauce is delicious and tastes homemade, while the scrunched-up peanuts on top create an extra texture to the dish. Very, very nice.”

Rounding things off were some superior prawn crackers and a teensy salad with a nice tangy-style relish.

The platter was great value and came with a choice of iced or bubble tea, or coffee.

I opted for the super detox bubble tea, which had a life-extending mix of lemon myrtle, hibiscus, ginger, beetroot and mint.

Hailing from Glasgow, where you get a telegram from the Queen if you make it to 30, I felt like Sean Connery drinking the holy grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I’m no expert on bubble tea, but this looked and tasted the part, but the slightly bitter aftertaste may not be for everyone.

My wife tried the passionfruit version, which had a nice medley of lemon myrtle, dried mango, jilungin, ginseng and mint. She soldiered on, but wasn’t a fan of the tapioca pearls.

The cafe began to fill up during lunch hour, including quite a few asian customers getting sushi and bao, which is a sign they serve authentic cuisine. 

I really enjoyed my lunch at Messy Munchies and while the theme and decor is a bit muddled, the actual food and service is great.

Messy Munchies
3/42 Ardross Street, Applecross

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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