22 August 2010

The Auction Rooms Cafe - North Melbourne

When Jentopia suggested we do Saturday morning breakfast at The Auction Rooms Cafe in Errol Street North Melbourne, I squealed with delight. Twitter told me the first scene in episode one of the latest season of Rush was filmed there. It's one of my favourite ever moments of Rush. (The scene is at the 1:34 mark of the video.)

The Auction Rooms Cafe is wonderfully rustic. Jen and I loved its ambiance. Sugar in positively antique tiny Heinz pea soup tins, flowers and drinking water in old long neck beer bottles (the only time I've ever drunk from a long neck beer bottle), pipes turned into lights hanging from the high ceilings, and amazing lead lighting features.

I'd loved to have captured the lead lighting clearer, but I was worried I was taking too many photos.

This is an artwork of colourful milk crates strung together, hanging with the slope of the roof in the courtyard.
Saturday morning was brilliantly sunny - it was nice to have the sun streaming in through the windows, providing us with delicious warmth.

The front counter is atop a baked goods cabinet – grainy breads, tarts and beautiful cupcakes. I fell in love with the flourless chocolate one with blue sparkly icing.

Though it's a bustling and uber trendy cafe, frequented by uber trendy customers (I need to rethink my striped hoodie and jeans arrangement for next time) the service is friendly and attentive. The male waiters are cute and unshaven, like they've just rolled in from playing a gig the night before. They wear a range of hats, jingly chains and bracelets, and I saw a kerchief tied to one waiter's wrist.

The menu combines breakfast and lunch and is available until 3.00 pm. It's a menu full of simple dishes – mostly eggs, stews, salads and sandwiches – made very interesting. Prices range from $6.50 to $19.50

Jen had the Opening Bid – toast with deep orange yolked free range eggs, field mushrooms, spinach, bacon and tomato. She said it was healthy and delicious.

I had the French toast. It was certainly the most unique French toast I've ever eaten. And quite possibly the best. It was made of beautiful fluffy bread stuffed with toasted coconut, drizzled with tamarind and maybe chilli sauce and served with vanilla crème fraiche, lime and coriander. It was sweet and zesty and rich all at once. Fantastic!

Jen said her coffee was so good it didn't need sugar.
My hot chocolate was great too – very chocolatey and no milk taste, though could have been hotter.
Jen and I had a great chat - about work and food and plans for new blog projects. I'm so glad I met her because of blogging.

We ate breakfast around 10.00 am, and despite me only having an election day sausage after bellydancing to see me through to 6.00 pm when filming finished and I was served dinner, it sustained me well.

Jen gave me a mix-tape CD, which unfortunately I'd left behind when paying yesterday. I called them to check if the CD was there, the staff said they had it at the counter, so this morning I went to collect it.

I couldn't resist another breakfast – so I got the Counter Bid – a vegetarian breaky with a side of smoked bacon. The Counter Bid contained the delicious poached eggs, buttery garlic mushrooms, roquette, pesto all served on a rosemary-parmesan baked polenta cake. This polenta was full of flavour, unlike so many bland and gluggy polenta dishes I've tried/cooked. Another awesome dish.

I think I've found my new favourite breakfast cafe. Can't wait to head back there soon.


  1. Those eggs look absolutely amazing! I think I might have to head over to this place for a late breakfast some time soon.

  2. So glad you got to experience that! And my gosh, the food looks mouthwatering! :)

  3. Hi Carly
    I can never get enough coffee:)

    Great post, and u are such a fan:)


  4. Great review and the food looks and sound wonderful. Pity I am in a different city !


  5. Wow, between the coffee and the desserts, I'm not sure what looks better! YUM!

  6. i love auction rooms! i live right around the corner from there, best coffee in town!

  7. Wow. That French toast looks and sounds amazing!!!


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