Type of cuisine
Things on toast
In a word
Mono is a trendy-as-fuck bar that opened in Falmouth recently. Hipster to the core, there’s so much facial hair on the clientèle, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a casting call for Planet of the Apes. Appeals to hipsters, aspiring hipsters and people who probably don’t know that they’re hipsters because they’re too busy: being hipsters.
Also, they let us in, so I guess it appeals to arty media types. Oh wait, what?
The upstairs of Mono is rumoured to be all black. I went there a lot when it was The Rum Bar, sometimes for hipster events like poetry. In fact, once I was really drunk at a Ross Sutherland poetry performance and I mistakenly snubbed a Kaiser Chief. That was back when I knew who bands were! Well, I’d seen the Kaisers at Glastonbury anyway, but still didn’t know one when he was actually ‘all up in my grill’. Anyway, long and tangential though it is, this brings me to my point that I am not hipster enough to know any of the bands who play Mono. But they play. Frequently. Loudly. And packing hipsters in like sardines on Cannery Row.
Things on toast?
Yep, you read it right. And yet there is little chance that what you’re imagining is actually what we ate when Jack visited and three of us piled into the menu at Mono. The ‘tache and I had tried their potatoes from a residency outside Hand Bar on a drunken night, and these were certainly not ‘standard’ spuds. They still didn’t prepare us for the understated delicacies Mono offer!
Maybe that’s a hipster thing?
When I was growing up, we lived in houses with things hanging out of walls because we were poor. And we wore torn clothing for the same reason. So, I find these hipster bars with scrappy walls and bits of metal sticking out everywhere quite bizarre, in their contrived downbeat way. I think this is the point of hipster, hence calling fine cuisine ‘things on toast’.
Angus and Mitchell
Feeding voracious festival revellers, pushing out pork n rashers, or residing at Falmouth’s hip new bar, Angus and Mitchell are two chefs who take classic recipes and make them accessible to all, using the best local produce. Since we visited their Mono residency in April,they are changing the menu to suit the season.
Mitchell popped out to say hi, and instantly his South London roots connected him and Jack, as well as the fact that he interned at Vice! We love Vice’s Munchies slot, who have written about a couple of local producers in Falmouth.
I did see their Juniper infused belly pork at Porthleven Food Festival too. These boys know their food, and ain’t afraid to show it.
We tried as many things on toast as we could because we thought this way you can give a more accurate review. And because we were hungry. We got one each of the oysters, which were from Porthilly on the north coast. I lucked out getting the Bloody Mary one, and can hands down say it was one of the best oysters I’ve had. Shuckin’ hell! I might go all and and say it was the best!
Jack and the ‘tache were left with the stout & shallot and the naked, both of which went down well.
Oh yeah, the toast
The toast was never the same twice and wasn’t overbearing in that half a kilo of bread kind of way. There was thinly sliced sourdough with the venison tartar, and the mackerel had horseradish threaded through the bread itself. I was concerned that the bread would be overkill, but the toppings, the ‘stuff’ took centre stage. Holy shit, that bread, dough! 😉
We got some mustard greens to accompany the things on toast. Hot and peppery, with a smooth creaminess to round off, these were seriously good, kicking us in the ‘flavaz’ with full force!
Same can be said for the anchovy butter on toast with heritage tomatoes. Jeeping fuck! The cucumber sauce which was drizzled around this dish was creamy and kind of like cucumber milk. I mean, if you can imagine such a thing. It totally balanced the saltiness of the anchovies and helped to bring out the salad-y flavour of the heritage tomatoes. This was my favourite of the things on toast we had.
The mackerel itself was kind of buttery, which reminded me of this awesome butter mackerel I used to order pretty much every day when I lived in Japan, but then the bread was flecked with horseradish to kick out some heat and remind us that this was not no country club.
Jack and the ‘tache seemed pretty taken with the venison tartare, in which they said the sharp and gamey flavour of venison was toned down to a creaminess. Also the textures Angus and Mitchell played with made the dishes what they were. Throughout the tartare of venison were crunchy vegetables and even crunchier bread.
Atop a poached duck egg was black pudding and smoked mushrooms. The smokiness making up for the bacon’s absence, the black pudding was playful or incongruous, depending on who you asked from our motley crew. Either way, there was no shortage of skill and creativity with these dishes, which were anything but ‘things on toast’, in my opinion.
Being a bar, we, of course, tried some of the booze. I’ve never seen a bar where all the beer taps are mounted on a wall before. And neither had Jack. Not even in London! This was cool as fuck, but I reckon probably a ballache for the bar staff. Although, rather like how I always assumed there was a little dude dispensing notes behind a cash machine, maybe there was a barrel changer lurking behind the scenes to swiftly swap kegs as the unsuspecting public drink on?
Being a rum gal, I was pleased to see a few different rums on the bar, and Jack was chuffed to fuck to find a selection of fine whisky, including his favourite smoky silk monger Ardbeg Uigeadail . The barman recommended Old Forester, which he’d found to be popular. Whilst it was a smooth choice, and cheaper, I saw Jack enjoy several smoky whiskies during his visit. We continued on the rum and whisky tip when we left Mono, and Jack tried a corn whisky, amongst a couple more Ardbegs. Not normally one to drink whisky, I had a taste of the corn one. Buttery and smooth, it epiphanised whisky for me. Huzzah! I will whisky again!
We also had a bottle of red with dinner. A Chilean pinot noir which was smooth and easy to drink showed that the wines have been chosen carefully.
My hipster obsession aside, the food was really good, and there was a relaxed vibe in the bar. Mono oozes cool out of its doors in the form of curly moustaches, big beards and bold glasses, and Falmouth fucking loves it! Since our visit, my ninja rodent compadre, my brotherfromanothermother Joe said he went in late one night and raised hell cracking out the ninja rodent dance on the tables and generally larking about with aplomb, all of which was acceptable and totally encourages me to go back for more! AND the fucking Blockheads are playing! I know them, I know them!
Angus and Mitch will be taking their festival van Rasher around various places. Check out their instagram or twitter for more details.