Saturday, November 12, 2011

Auction Rooms - (Melbourne, Australia)

   Cafes in Melbourne are no doubt in a league of their own.  I’ll be pretty surprised to find cafes anywhere else in the world which will top here,  as a lot of the cafes have had a lot of heart put into the food as well as coffee.   I think Auction Rooms is rather impressive in its food offerings,  but as an Artisanal Coffee Roaster also under the name of Small Batch,  I did find their coffees to be a little weak.    The food on the other hand was unexpectedly good,  but then again many of the cafes in town are just as awesome.   If there is a valid reason for me to stay put and remain in Melbourne -  the local café scene is probably going to be one of my largest excuses!!!    I will miss here hmmm…



Costa Rican Panela cane sugar -
A form of Dulce and reconstituted Sugar Cane sugar,  found in many many cafes in town or in London.   I don’t think this is the make or break for a café however,  as really good coffee will not require sugar.  But this is definitely appreciated Smile



Unassuming look -



Huge Room with 2 Coffee stations -
This is definitely hardcore for a café…



Cappuccino  ‘Candyman Blend’ -
Despite the chocolate powder,  was a little too weak in coffee taste,  albeit the milk was frothed nice and smooth.   Made with 3 types of beans which rotates on a regular or even daily basis, it can also be found in Duchness of Spotswood but the taste profile was fairly different.  ~  6.5/10




Candyman Blend Espresso -   ‘A GOD SHOT’  encounter!
What is rather weird is that this was probably my 1st or 2nd God Shot status espressos in Melbourne,
this was so complex and well layered in a thin bodied way with a zingy nose and very balanced but complex floral/berries note.  But unfortunately soon after this, almost all of the other coffees drank here over many days were average or too weak.  ~  10/10



Carrot Soup with Sour Cream -
Thick and tasty and served with Dench Bakery sourdough toast.  This was ordered by a lot of guy customers to my surprise, though soups are more for women!   Simple yet perfect, with a drizzle of olive oil as well ~   9/10

Orecchiette in Walnut and Basil Pesto, with Broccoli and Fresh Ricotta – AUD $16
This worked so brilliantly together.  The recipe might not be out of this world but it was perfectly cooked and well balanced.   It was rather unassuming but just worked so perfectly together,  even to this day I’m baffled with it and hooked to its taste,  one of the best vegetarian pastas I remember eating   ~   10/10



‘The Shady Deal’ -  Moroccan Tomato & Chorizo Stew, with Eggplant, Olives,
Dukkah & Fetta, Poached Egg, and grilled Flat Bread -  AUD 16.5
This almost resembled a baked eggs dish but overall the combination of flavours were dynamite.  The flat bread is dipped into the rather savoury spiced dish with chorizo and egg.  Highly addictive and not easily found anywhere else ~   10/10


Siphon and Filter Station -



Espresso Station -
With a lot of good machineries,  
but did they put it to good use?


Tea Smoked Ocean Trout & Avocado Salad, with Baby Cos Lettuce, Green Beans, Red Onion, Kipfler Potatoes, Radish and Honey Rosemary Dressing -  AUD $16.50
Another good salad dish and nicely smoky and balanced.   Another winner and despite the lack of presentation,   the amount of thoughtfulness in the dish complimented each another ~   8/10



Beer Braised & Seared Pork Belly, served with Smoky Baked Beans & House Made Corn Bread.  With extra Black Pudding – AUD $20
The pork belly was good but a little too fatty.  That corn bread was really addictive together with the smoky beans.  The black pudding was one of the better ones around.   This was slightly let down by the thin pork bellies,  but was still decent  ~   7/10



Black Pudding -
Nice and even meaty





Strong Caffe Latte -
Milk Coffees here are a little weak by default.
Even ordering them as strong turned out to be barely detectable in coffee taste.  ~  7/10


Siphoned Ethiopian Kemgin  -
This was surprisingly weak and not much characteristics could be detected.
Wasn’t very impressed,  despite the Artisanal Roaster status by Auction Rooms/Small Batch  ~  6/10




Braised Pork Knuckle Sandwich, Piccalilli Pickles, Rocket & Aged Cheddar in Warm Ciabatta Roll,  served with Mixed Pickles -  $16.50
Have eaten this 4 times already with different friends,  and everything from the cheesy and slightly hard toasted roll down to the pork knuckle and mustardy pickles cannot be faulted.  One of the best sandwiches ever eaten and of a very large portion ~   10/10

‘La Fin de Elvis Presley’ -  French Toast with caramelised Banana, Rum Puree, and Creamed Peanut Butter, served with Honeyed Crispy Pancetta and Vanilla spiced Cream -  $14.50
The brioche like toast was perfectly crispy on the outside but nicely syruped and soft within.  The pancetta reminded one of maple syruped bacon,  this also came with some peanut crumbles on top of the vanilla cream.  Done so well over both occasions,  utterly impressive in the taste.  ~  9/10



Candyman Espresso,  again -
The blend changes constantly,  and today’s cup was too diluted and weak.  A little disappointed indeed.   The same espresso above produced a God Shot,  so I don’t understand what had gone wrong here.  Someone ought to do a proper taste test for QC.  This was nearly as weak as a filtered coffee,  weird  ~   6/10



Waiting for my Siphon Coffee on yet another day -

Kenyan Tingaga Siphoned -
The flavour was subdued and there wasn’t much to be noted.
Although I do understand that the master roastery ‘Small Batch/Auction Rooms’ might need to take risk in importing various beans to trial,  surely the resultant cup wouldn’t be so consistently weak across the board.  With the singular exception of a God Shot above on the 1st visit.  Weird experience indeed as most coffee powerhouses in town might have a weak coffee once in a while but not so regularly.   ~   6/10




Always Really Crowded -
For an Artisanal Coffee and Independent coffee roaster,  it barely managed to satisfy the coffee hound out of multiple visits and despite ordering a few styles of coffees already…  Yet the food was brilliant and perfectly rendered on numerous occasions.   Wished the coffee could keep up to standards with the food in the long run.  Smile





Price: AUD $40 - $45  per person
Food:  ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Coffee: ♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours -
Mon – Closed
Tues – Fri -  7am to 4pm
Sat to Sun -  8am to 4pm

Address:  103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051.
Ph: (03) 9326 7749


  1. I'm going to this place with my friend next wednesday and bringing my sister here too. weak coffee is good for my sister. anything stronger will kill her. lol!

  2. The coffees here are honestly really weak! I have read about your Seven Seeds review - and to me even that is weak already by default (or Brother Baba Budan it's sister cafe). But here it was just over-powered with milk, or even in black coffees barely detectable!

    Having said that I love their Pork Knuckle Sandwich and the French Toast to death! :D Or the Moroccan eggs thingy :D

    1. i dont hav a sentence to say about its beauty...

      sale rooms in makkah



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