Monday, October 17, 2011

Auction Rooms

It's always nice when you get an opportunity to change your schedule in the week, and thereby, sometimes get to eat in places you don't normally go to.

Such was when my mother picked me up from the airport on a Tuesday morning, after a short trip to Sydney for a hairdressing competition. Although I had had breakfast at 7am that morning, by 11am, I was starving and looking forward to some grub.

Which was to be had at Auction Rooms.

The first thing that really came to mind upon coming in big the place was. I somehow expected the place to be quite a bit smaller, but it was indeed, very open and quite an interesting space. Despite there being no obvious dividers, there were definitely 'spaces' throughout the cafe.

Auction Rooms has the worn down, distressed, workman's shop but actually a cafe look down pat. Old bricks, a bit rough around the edges, but it just emotes a very relaxed and cosy vibe. And you know what? In those renovation shows, where they go to the auction rooms to get chairs and tables to fill a room or to just poke around and see what goodies they can pick up, Auction Rooms reminds me of those places quite a bit.

Mum and I were first seated in a covered outdoor area, on a counter, which was quite lovely and bright. The addition of a tree was also very soothing, but the very friendly and helpful staff found us an actual table, right next to the window.

How cute are the old school Heinz soup cans used as sugar holders! It's so retro and quirky! American Pickers would love this kinda stuff...

Mum got her usual latte, and as she is usually quite picky about her coffee, not being totally impressed by some of Melbourne's coffee mavens, she did really like her coffee from Auction Rooms.

I got my usual soy chai latte....and of course made a mess pouring it always. I loved the shiny teapot, so cute and...round. Eeeee!

The chai was lovely and smooth, and a little more on the sweeter than spicy side. I really liked it, lovely and warming. Mmm!

Even though I had already had breakfast can't really have too many eggs. So I opted for "The Shady Deal", moroccan tomato & chorizo stew, with eggplant, olives, poached eggs, dukkah & feta and served with grilled flat bread. I was hungry, it was cold, this deal was the perfect remedy. I somehow expected to be a little more like baked eggs, but it wasn't at all, it was saucy, it was totally tomato-y which was actually quite strong, but I loved the inclusion of the feta. It provided a bit of contrast in the flavours.

It was a big dish, I did struggle to finish it, despite how hungry I was!

Mum ordered Auction Rooms version of a fish taco. I didn't jot down exactly what was in it, but you had beans, guacamole, lightly fried, spiced, cajun-esque fish. All on top of a tortilla. Oh and sour cream. It was like a Mexican version of an open face sandwich.

I loved how bright and fresh it looked, even with the black beans and again, a very generous serve. The fish was light and tasty, well seasoned, and it was just a combination that was quite fun and worked together well.

I visited again the week after, except this time with Brad, this time on a weekend, before I walked in the Salvation Army fashion show for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Gotta make sure I've got some energy!

On a Saturday, late morning, Auction Rooms was busy. And unfortunately, there's not a whole lot more in the area for breakfast, so since we were told it would be a 20 minute wait we decided to just stick it out.

Fortunately we were seated within 15 minutes, and were promptly served our usual drinks.

Brad went for 'The Shady Deal' this time, and quite promptly wiped it clean.

I on the other hand, although tempted by the Elvis Presley french toast, which they could not do in gluten free bread (probably just as well), went for Auction Rooms 'wagyu Steak sanga'.

Again, I don't quite recall exactly what was in this, but my god. Isn't it pretty?!

Essentially wagyu beef (duh), on a thick gorgeous slice of gluten free bread, exactly the way I like it, with a smear of beetroot, mushrooms, tomatoes and urr, can't quite remember what else.

But lordy, it was divine. The wagyu was delicious, perfectly pink, and everything complimented each other really really well. Mushrooms, beetroot...urgh, all my favourite things. Yum.

I would come back here anytime for this piece of deliciousness.

I can see why people are smitten with Auction Rooms, the food is creative and executed beautifully, the coffee (from the feedback I've received) is great and it's just got a really chilled out atmosphere. It's a very comfortable space.

And that wagyu beef sandwich...just might have quietly been drooling while editing pictures....

Auction Rooms
107 Errol St
Melbourne, 3051

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