103 – 107 Errol Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
03 9326 7749
Opens: Mon – Fri 7am; Sat – Sun 7:30am
Closes: Sun – Wed 5pm; Thu – Sat 10pm
This could be the hottest café of the moment – having recently been voted the Coffee Army Winner by a the multitude of volunteer draftees who committed to finding Melbourne’s best coffee. I landed here by accident one Saturday morning – whilst looking for an opportunity to have breakfast somewhere,.. anywhere really… and getting an early morning tweet from great friend Rowena from She Rides Cycling letting me know she was heading to Auction Rooms to have breakfast! Happy Days!! I crashed her breakfast with her friend – but I don’t think they minded!
As you’re all no doubt aware, Auction Rooms began life predominantly as a coffee roaster and a fairly small scale, low key café – but now the roasting operation is apparently a couple of blocks away in a semi-refitted warehouse, and the café has gone from strength to strength. Given the high accolades, you expect the coffee to be good. We thought it was good – but was it really Melbourne’s best??? That’s a big call! I guess we’ve all got our favourites – but this must have got the most consistent votes (unless a large portion of the army came from the inner North and this was their local hangout??).
I love mushrooms – and will have them at every opportunity. These mushrooms were pretty spectacular – not only were they beautifully cooked, but they were liberally scattered with preserved lemon, and complemented with a sublime crème fraiche. I enjoyed every last bite of this delicious dish!
The gorgeous Rowena decided to go basic – with eggs and bacon on gluten free toast. She thought it was OK - but didn’t necessarily rave about it. She should have had the mushrooms!!!
Rowena’s interstate friend decided to check out the Welsh Rarebit – basically he didn’t know what to order, and so was very open to suggestion! Welsh rarebit is basically cheese on toast, where the cheese has been flavoured with Worcesteshire sauce. It looked very brown though… I’m not used to seeing it that brown. So, I’m sure it was lovely and spicy – and those eggs look good. I wonder what they did with the other half?
Everybody seems to know a lot more about coffee these days! Including the brand names of the shiny, expensive machines! Given its reputation – and the lines of people waiting to populate our recently vacated table, I don’t think the Auction Rooms needs my humble blog to help it along its way. It’s a good café – but in Melbourne, we’ve got lots of good cafés, and some really great ones as well. This isn’t necessarily a spot that I would seek out and need to return to week after week, or month after month (and I do have some cafés that I have to do that). But, on the whole – it serves good food, good coffee and has a great ambience. If you find yourself going there – you’ll have a great time!