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.
Phone: (03) 9326 7749
107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC