As my last blog revolved around hot chocolate the next two revolve around the food that we started or finished our chocolate indulgences with; bringing the foodie outings full circle with a savoury and sweet side to our brunches/lunches. A bit of Ying and Yang balancing if you will.
The Auction Room
It was grey and wet outside and I was, as always when I go to brunch it seems, in danger of being late. I can read maps and navigate but if you asked me how long it would it would take for me to get there well that is a different story. Wonderfully Errol St is not really that far away from the CBD and it took me but 15 minutes to do a quick tram ride up Elizabeth and run down Queensberry Street to find the Auction Room. Charging through the door, saying my apologies, I found the lads sitting at a corner table next to the giant front windows telling me that I had arrived exactly on time.
I was handed the menu and began the discussion on what was on offer. Also, taking the time to take in my surroundings. I found myself in an old converted warehouse that despite the grey outside was welcomingly bright on the inside. It has brick walls and dark wooden beams that break up the space with an open ceiling which reveals the inner workings of the building. It also has massive tall glass windows on either side that go all the way to the roof giving you the sense you are sitting out in the open.
Our first port of call was coffee to centre my flustered state. They do a filter of the day which rotates through their coffee range. Today’s was the Carlos Guamanga from Columbia. Renato took that and let us all have a sip as Marcus had never tried filter coffee before and I just wanted to try it as Renato said their coffee was really good and both of us were used to filter coffee from home. I took one look at the menu and saw that they had almond milk and possibly over enthusiastically ordered their Almond Milk Chai Latte. One sip and I was back to normal and ready for a relaxed brunch.
It was so hard to decide what to get. I was staring at the menu and everything sounded good. Dishes that took simple whole foods were turned into creative elegant sounding plates which made you want to try each one. Renato decided on sautéed mushrooms with kale and a poached egg, Marcus took the Chilaquiles – corn tortillas with shredded pork shoulder, salsa roja and cheese curd with a fried egg and added avocado, as any good Melbournian will do. Humming and hawing I landed on the ocean trout. It arrived seared to perfection – crispy skin and a flaky interior on a potato and kale rosti with salsa verde, and a bit of horseradish cream on the side. Mixing all that with a bite of grapefruit and watercress salad made my tastebuds explode with flavour. Savoury, tangy and refreshing all in one go.
We finished brunch content stomachs all around and discussing having to come back and try something different again the next time. It was time for something sweet to bring us full circle and Renato had Mörk in mind. So off we went to our next hot chocolate experience.