Mr Roast Carvery & Salad Bar, Shop 7 Coles Centre, 19-21 Douglas Pde, Williamstown. Phone 9397 7878
Being in a meaty mood and with other shopping endeavours taking me to Williamstown, I ponder a visit to Mr Roast, tucked away at the rear of the Coles complex on Douglas Pde.
I’d stuck my nose in on previous occasions, only to be dissuaded by the rather soul-less vibe and not particularly attractive meats and salads on display.
So today’s the day curiosity will be assuaged.
We’d been tipped to the existence of the Caroline Springs Mr Roast outlet by the bloke who sold us our car. He no longer works for that dealer and we have no idea what the phrase “good food” means to him.
Mr Roast sells chicken, beef, pork and lamb in styles and sizes ranging from rolls ($7.50) and kids meals up to more expensive Mr Roast Meals and Scalloped Potato Meals, both of which sell for $11.95 for a one-person serve.
After asking the “what’s hot” question, I opt for the roast pork meal, with spuds and peas, obtaining a swap of coleslaw in place of pumpkin.
Yes, yes, coleslaw and roast pork are perhaps not a natural fit – but anything is better than pumpkin. (Hi Mum!)
My meal, on real crockery and with metal utensils, is brought to my table with a gravy boat on the side.
The meat is not the super tender I’d been led to expect but it’s a huge serve and really tasty. I make happy with the gravy to make up for the slight dryness.
The gravy tastes good but I don’t want to think about how it’s made or what with.
It’s in a congealed state when it arrives and cold even before I finish my lunch.
It’s a sunny but nevertheless cold day and the doors/windows out to the Coles carpark are wide open, so the rest of my meal is likewise chilly by the time I finish.
There’s so much pork on my plate – I try hard to eat it all, but fail.
The thankfully small serve of crackling is crackly, utterly delicious and sinfully salty.
By contrast, two meager and undistinguished half roast potatoes and what seems less than half a cup of peas seem a bit miserly. The peas are not of the canned variety, but their dull green colouring hints that they may be close cousins.
Reads like a litany of disappointment, doesn’t it?
Funnily enough, though, the sum is much greater than the parts and I enjoy my lunch very much.
Best bet at Mr Roast is to get there soon after the food is ready, as I suspect it will become less appetising as the day wars on.
The Mr Roast website is here.