Auction Rooms, North Melbourne

I recently discovered a newish food blog that concentrates on breakfast joints around Melbourne, they call themselves ‘Judging Your Breakfast‘. I loved this idea (and their name) of just blogging about breakfasts because it has a clear focus, and because my blog is slowly turning into one of them too! I’m finding myself blogging more and more about breakfast/brunch places than anywhere else and I’ve just figured out why today.

It’s the rustic warehouse settings and hipster coffees/waiters and that whole mood that somehow makes my photos look nicer. The food (and also because it’s always during daylight) are also miraculously photogenic. Did I mention I loved eggs and coffee? Fantastic combination. All of this put together makes me want to eat and photo breakfasts/coffees more. I’m terribly sorry if this strange behaviour is making my posts boring but, I guess that’s just how it is. Melbourne has such an abundance of these cafes to fuel my addiction too which doesn’t help one bit. Ahh but I love it…

One of my more recent expeditions was at Auction Rooms in North Melbourne which actually took 2 tries to finally have my meal. Let me explain. A group of 8 of us headed to Auctions Rooms on a sunny Saturday lunch time (by ways of walking which took half an hour – terrible idea) without a booking, an even more terrible idea. We were told the wait would be roughly half an hour. After discussions with my fellow brunch eaters, we decided to give it a miss since one of them had to head to the airport that afternoon. Lunch that day was at Urban Burger just down the road.

I wasn’t at all satisfied with the failed attempt so decided to give it another try the next day. This time we were smarter. We took a car up with only 4 people, however still no booking. As Sundays are generally less busy, we were seated within 15 minutes. While we waited, I had the chance to admire the beautiful blue bricks and vintage doors and signs which belonged to the old WB Ellis Auction House, although I couldn’t find much information about its predecessor on the internet. Its name explains a lot though.

Auctions Rooms is a coffee roaster and cafe so naturally they pride themselves on their coffees. All 4 of us decided to get coffees which is a rare occurrence. 2 of us ordered cappuccinos which to my surprised looked different. I assume they were made by different baristas but obviously both looked stunning.

I was however, slightly disappointed with my coffee. It wasn’t as strong as I had hoped and was a bit on the watery side. Not bad by any means, it just wasn’t the best coffee I’ve had.

2 people ordered lattes and not surprisingly also had the same small flaws as the cappuccinos.

While I was waiting for our table, I had eagerly made up my mind about what I was going to order (quite a few people ordered this on other tables too) and it was ‘The Shady Deal’ for $17.50, a Moroccan style tomato and chorizo stew with eggplant, olives, poached eggs, dukkah and feta served with flatbread. It’s one of the more popular dishes on the menu and as sampled by my fellow food bloggers. Rightly so too because it was absolutely delicious. Yuye found it to be a bit too sour from the tomatoes but I thought it was just plain tasty. I love tomatoes and the whole combination of flavours was so wholesome and soothing that I chowed down my food as if I hadn’t eaten in days.

We did both agree that there was maybe a bit too many olives which made it a bit salty (you can just not eat all of them).

The poached eggs were perfect as expected and looked fantastic too. Look at that runny yolk!

It wasn’t hard to guess that Yuye and his 2 mates all ordered the pork belly on corn crepe with coffee BBQ sauce, black cabbage slaw and fried poached eggs ($18). Despite good reviews about this dish from fellow bloggers, we didn’t find this dish to be all that spectacular. First of all, it was a bit too heavy. Ok so that was our own choice to choose such a heavy dish. Second, as the corn crepe was quite thin, it didn’t feel as substantial and didn’t go as well with the fatty pork belly. Perhaps a piece of my flatbread would have gone down better.

I didn’t particularly like the black cabbage slaw as I thought they lacked a bit of flavour.

Fried poached eggs I hear you ask? Yes, I’ve never seen them before either. They were surprisingly not too bad, although the fried nature of these eggs made the dish that little more heavy. The egg yolk wasn’t all that runny like my poached eggs, but I don’t mind the slightly gooey texture of these eggs either.

Although my Moroccan stew blew me away, the pork belly didn’t fare as well, neither did the coffees. This definitely wasn’t one of the worser experiences I’ve had though and just based on that stew, I’d go back to Auction Rooms again. Just not sure if the others would agree with me. Someone else care to go with me instead?

Just a note on my experiences, if you are planning to pay Auction Rooms a visit, it’s wise to make a booking beforehand to avoid the long queues, especially if you’re going with a large group.

Auction Rooms
Phone: (03) 9326 7749
107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC
http://www.auctionroomscafe.com.au

Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

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21 comments… add one

  • poorna May 20, 2012, 1:38 am

    Such perfect photos, and the way you describe the food just makes me want to fly away to Melbourne right now. :) Fair Warning: Will be stalking your blog online from now.

    Reply
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 20, 2012, 10:17 am

    Fried poached eggs? I was intrigued by that too! :o

    Reply
  • Food Floozy May 20, 2012, 10:52 am

    MmmmmmMMMMmmmmm, I’m going to try this “fried poached egg” phenomenon… how gloriously delicious!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 20, 2012, 10:18 pm

      It’ll be especially good for people who don’t like the yolk too runny, it also made it less watery…quite interesting..

      Reply
  • msihua May 20, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Oh no! We quite liked the pork belly when we went, but we did manage an off-peak hour.. yeah the wait can get a bit bad if you’re hungry!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 20, 2012, 10:19 pm

      I think it’s just personal taste really…I didn’t think it was that bad but the others didn’t like it as much…:(

      Reply
  • Hannah May 20, 2012, 3:01 pm

    I’ll eat your extra olives!! Gorgeous dishes :)

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 20, 2012, 10:20 pm

      Be my guest..:D We actually did just eat the olives separately, I’m not terribly keen about olives though. :P

      Reply
  • Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef May 20, 2012, 6:23 pm

    I love breakfast so I should check out that blog. I think every restaurant should be judged on their scrambled eggs. :)

    The fried poached eggs don’t do much for me either. lol

    Reply
  • JasmyneTea May 21, 2012, 12:03 am

    OMG, I’LL GO WITH YOU! Lol, it looks great! I wish we had more hip breakfast places like this out in suburban Sydney.

    Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook May 22, 2012, 4:03 pm

    Oh yea, perfectly cooked poached eggs! Well, I don’t mind going to check it out if I lived there! I just told my husband that we should go to Australia someday soon. I’ve seen all the food blogger’s restaurant reviews and I feel like food is much better than here… seriously!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 23, 2012, 1:34 am

      You should come!!! I can take you around Melbourne. :) Not sure how good the restaurants are compared to where you live but it’s not bad, especially the coffee and breakfasts. :D

      Reply
  • tastyfoodsnaps May 22, 2012, 8:15 pm

    ive never seen or heard of fried poached eggs either! they look good, but id still prefer poached eggs for the runny yolk! :)

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 23, 2012, 1:35 am

      I totally agree, I did like my poached eggs more than the fried ones…I was just surprised at the fact that it wasn’t all that bad since I’m an avid runny yolk lover. :P

      Reply
  • choux choux May 23, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Oh my friends have been there and they loved the Moroccan dish too. Shame about the rest of it, it looks so amazing in the photos.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 24, 2012, 1:17 am

      It was a shame, but it wasn’t all that bad now that I think about it…sometimes expectations can cause some minor biases…

      Reply
  • Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg May 24, 2012, 7:04 am

    The poached eggs look soooo yummy! Yum yum yum!!:)

    Reply

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