When I first decided to review cafés, I decided without really thinking about it that I wouldn’t review cafés in large shopping centres. But, the more I thought about, the more I realized that even shopping centre cafés can have noticeably awesome staffs, do an excellent coffee and have other features that might keep me coming back.
Thus, here is my first review of a large shopping centre café: Café Moderno in Eastlands shopping centre.
For a place located in a food court, Moderno has taken advantage of the small space they have to their best ability. From mirrors that make the tucked in dining space appear bigger to rather chic and modern furnishings otherwise, you can somewhat escape the crowds to sit and enjoy a coffee.
The coffee is decent and well made, but it’s always good to specify exactly what you want in terms of strength if you want something other than the ‘decent standard’ you’d usually find almost anywhere in Melbourne and suburbs. If you aren’t quite in the mood for coffee, Moderno always has some sort of deal going. Hardly one to offer the same deal every day, they might have anything from all-day breakfast to a discounted new milkshake flavour.
The food is great, most items falling in the good price and good flavour range. There have been a few things that made me scratch my head in terms of pricing but certainly nothing to stop me from going there altogether. If you like pastas, pizzas, focaccias and the like, this is definitely a place to check out.
Always a big plus in my book, Moderno uses a loyalty card system (buy five to get one free) to keep customers choosing them over the multitude of other choices. The buy to free ratio isn’t the best I have seen, but it is better than a lot of other places in the same food court – if you can get a loyalty card at all.
My disappointment comes in the inconsistency of staff attitude. I have had some staff make me feel great and eager to come back while others make me wonder if being a shopping centre food court worker is one of the rings of hell. No one has been rude to me – a plus – but there are some prime examples of people who shouldn’t be in hospitality who are working there.
Overall, it’s a nice stop – one of my preferred for take away or stop in. I’m not keen on staying there much, but that’s more a matter of the masses of people than anything the café is doing.
I would like to note that the only reason I have rated this place as a newspaper is because it is in a noisy shopping centre food court. With a space more to itself, I would give it a higher rating.
Eastland Shopping Centre Food Court
171 – 175 Maroondah Hwy