it was the last public holiday for a while here in melbourne over the weekend (happy birthday queen!), and apart from some considerate and understanding university lecturer who scheduled my exam for this week, i was determined to enjoy it! i managed to escape from my studies for a few hours and was excited to realise that auction rooms were open. a 20-minute wait and we had a lovely spot on the courtyard bench beneath a gorgeous indoor tree and vine … i felt for some of the larger tables though that had a 40+ minute wait.
this very hipster cafe is located on errol street, north melbourne. just one block up and over from the queen vic markets (for those who like a landmark and don’t mind a short walk), it was once home to the old wb ellis auction house and i appreciated how they have carried over the theme into the menu language.
speaking of menu (and no hurling abuse please), i was a little bit let down by the limited number of options. it’s not that there isn’t variety – there is (from mexican to nordic), but the menu is a little on the quirky/obscure side, lacked some breakfast staples (muesli, granola or bircher), and didn’t strike me as an everyday-kind-of-brunch place.
nordic breakfast board of tea-smoked rockling, pork sausage, whipped kale ricotta, cornichons and a soft-boiled egg with rye soldiers.
this was certainly out of my brunch comfort zone (fish and gerkins for breakfast?!), but it was a lovely grazing board and that whipped kale ricotta was tasty. the rockling (served cold) had a very smooth and light consistency, with a slight flavour infusion of the tea-smoking. i also had a great time dunking my soldiers into that perfectly runny boiled egg.
poached eggs with maple + coffee glazed bacon steak
eggs were delicious – with yellow, runny yolks. the thick bacon “steak” reminded me of a christmas ham. it had a lovely flavour, but was a small and fatty portion for $5.50.
the coffee was delicious. auction rooms use small batch roasting company and i found the flavour very smooth, with soft fruity undertones. i’m also a massive fan of the cups and saucers (anyone know the brand? i’ve since discovered they’re not acme and co as i first thought).
staff were generally pretty friendly, no doubt run off their feet from a busy long-weekend, but still managing a smile.
overall, auction rooms is a very trendy place in a very trendy space and whilst i enjoyed the vibe, the coffee, and food… i’m not sure this one is making it to the ‘favourites’ list.
verdict: great vibe and worth a try