Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tenth Muse is deeply disappointing, or: I don't finish

I often leave meals languishing in my iPhoto for months before blogging them. This one's really fresh; just hours old and driven by my deep and desperate disappointment. 

The Tenth Muse boasts wide range of omni, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.  I love ordering a vegan meal directly off the menu without going through all the 'no dairy' specifics. This morning I ordered the big vegan fry-up with beans and avocados. 

Coffee (watery) came and went. I read the paper cover to cover. We were the only customers. The music alternated between ear-bleeding and silent. 

Breakfast came. It was big. 

It was the worst cooked breakfast I can recall.

The Turkish bread was doused in what must have been at least two tablespoons of Nuttelex. The tomatoes were barely cooked. The scrambled tofu was soggy and bland. Every single thing on my plate was drowning in oil.

The avocado was black and brown all the way through.  The picture above doesn't do it credit. I cannot believe anyone had the cheek to plate it, let alone charge money for it. 

If I want baked beans from a tin I'll go home and open one of the little tins I keep which cost $5 for 8 at Coles. If I want a McDonald's hash brown I'll go there (I won't. But if I want a hash brown like the one here I'll go to the supermarket and buy a plastic bag full of frozen ones). 

Not a single thing tasted of anything but oil. If I had ordered this at Fat Eddy's Route 66 Side-of-the-Highway Cafe on Wheels at 3 in the morning, I would have been pleased. In a cafe situated in the heart of Melbourne's coffee'n'cafe streets, which has obviously taken great care to create a menu to suit all dietary preferences, this was incredibly disappointing. 

This disappointing: this is what I ate. 

I have rarely not finished a meal, and I've never chosen not to continue one after a couple of bites.  Especially when I'm paying for it. I just couldn't bear to eat this one at all. 

And when our harried waiter collected my virtually-intact plate, there was no checking if the meal was ok. Clearly it wasn't. 

We didn't get charged for our coffees because of the wait. It was the small positive (along with all the same-sex marriage rally pictures on the wall. I liked them).

I left deeply disappointed and feeling ripped off. There was nothing special, nothing even passable, about this breakfast. Much as I want to support any cafe that offers vegan options, I won't be back. I went home and ate toast.


Ruth said...

I had the EXACT same experience (except I didn't order the hash brown or baked beans, as I always check whether they're house-made or not first. The waitress looked embarrassed to report that, no, they were straight from the can/freezer): bad coffee, looong wait despite few customers, super-bland tofu, boring bread and greasy vegies.

I just don't get why you'd bother to have vegan meals, spruik them with big "vegan/vego friendly" signs, then put SUCH little thought and effort into them. Bah. Anyway, good, infinitely more original scrambled tofu dishes are within walking distance at Ici, Bomb and Trippy Taco.

Miss T said...

Oh well put, Ruth! That's exactly what I feel. I LOVE that they've been so cool in offering a big veg*n and GF menu, but really disappointed that despite having done all this, they're just badly put-together meals.

Johanna GGG said...

It does sound disappointing - esp the service but I would have been relieved to get tinned beans as at least I could have confidence that they would be edible if I couldn't trust the kitchen with anything else - I love tinned beans and have had many disappointed home cooked versions

Miss T said...

I love tinned beans too (esp with fresh garlic and curry powder!) but i really resent paying for them! Luckily I've never encountered bad housemade beans, but today I was just too resentful about the whole meal to even eat the beans!

Anonymous said...

worst cafe ever

Ruth said...

I don't mind canned beaned at home (though, even then, I'd rather make my own), but I don't want to pay a cook $3 to stick them in a microwave for me. I go out to eat food I can't make myself.

Nearish to Tenth Muse, Mixed Business (Clifton Hill), Rosamond (Fitzroy), Dench (Nth Fitzroy) and the Collingwood Children's Farm cafe all do really good house-made beans.