Operator25 Takeaway Coffee (1 of 1)

operator 25 v3.0, melbourne cbd

keeping up with the fast-moving melbourne café scene is no easy feat. so when one of the long-standing top 10 cafes (as rated on urbanspoon/zomato) does a complete rebrand and renovation after only 2 years in the game, you know they are serious! the iconic operator/switchboard building was recently transformed by the same design studio that brought us kettle black, adding pops of bright and zesty colours. along with the revamped look is a revamped taste, and i was honoured to have been recently invited along to try the new autumn menu.

Operator25 Table setting 2 (1 of 1)Operator 25 Menu (1 of 1)

first is the coffee, which has always been exceptional at operator25… today is no different! head barista mikael jasin, recently a runner up in the australian coffee in good spirits, adds his flourishing and experimental touch, none more so than his #noyouhangup – a honey + fruit infused coffee with grand marnier, amaro montenegro, orange bitters, tonic water, mint + orange peel.

Operator 25 Coffee Filter Columbia (1 of 1)

filter coffee: columbia finca las nubes gesha (code black coffee)
with syrupy notes of orange blossom, crisp, sugar cane + wild honey this was a perfect way to kickstart our meal. i love the story behind this coffee, showcasing extreme examples of innovation at the farm level in columbia.

Operator25 Coffee Spritz 2 (1 of 1)

spritzer: cold brew coffee, maple syrup, lemon, lychee, micro lemon balm + tonic water
a light + refreshing cold brew, the fizziness makes this a great savoury or lunch accompaniment.

and now, onto the food…

Operator25 Bali Pork Sliders (1 of 1)

balinese pulled pork slider with chilli mayo, coriander, cabbage + carrot slaw
keep these coming! bite-sized serves of omg yum! this is a magical combination – pulled pork, crispy slaw, creamy mayo + soft sweet brioche. even more exciting, the full menu comes in a bigger bun + served with a fried egg + sweet potato fries… i’m coming back to try this asap!

Operator25 Lamb Vegies (1 of 1)

slow cooked lamb with a vegetable medley, parsnip purée, pepitas + canberry gel
beautifully plated, this dish could belong on any restaurant dinner menu. the lamb “steak” was perfectly pink, the puree was silky smooth + the vegetable medley was delicate, crispy, crunchy. autumn on a plate.

Operator25 Fritters Bacon (1 of 1)

spiced chickpea fritters, herb tahini, tomato + cucumber salsa, cottage cheese, chipotle sauce, crisp flatbread + thick cut streaky bacon
fritters definitely seem to have made a resurgence on melbourne menus of late + i appear to be on a mission to try them all! these were a bit more crumbly than your traditional zucchini fritters, but the chickpeas combined well with the cottage cheese + salsa. the star of this dish is the bacon: triple smoked, glossy + crispy! and again, the plating was so elegant.

Operator25 Ginger Bread Mascarpone (1 of 1)

ginger + date bread with caramelised banana mascarpone, pomegranate sauce + salted milk crumb
moorish chunks of actual ginger + date, this could be my new favourite d4b (dessert for breakfast!). the mascarpone was absolutely divine, a pepe saya dairy product + i could’ve eaten my way through a whole bowl of the salted milk crumb. the absence of butterscotch sauce (as would be in a traditional date pudding) meant this dish was not overly sweet. if i’m coming back to try the pork sliders, i’m moving in for the ginger + date bread!

Operator 25 Sago 2 (1 of 1)

elderflower sago with chia seeds, rhubarb and strawberry compote, white chocolate foam and freeze-dried mango.
and now onto probably one of my favourite dishes of all time! regardless of the season (last autumn + summer) or flavour combination, operator25’s sago dish is delightful. this autumn’s elderflower, rhuburb + strawberry offering is a sophisticated reminder of the coming winter, invigorated by the freeze-dried mango + softened by the white chocolate foam. i knew why i’d waited until last to try this one, and wasn’t disappointed!

as with all of the previous times i’ve visited the atmosphere is alive and invigorating + the service is genuine, efficient + friendly. no wonder the lines keep queuing out of the door!

verdict: hit the redial… i’ll be back again!
find: http://www.operator25.com.au/

(note: inlovewithbrunch was invited by the cafe to dine here, however all remarks and reviews are honest and genuine)

Operator25 on Urbanspoon


Operator25 Exterior 4 (1 of 1)

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