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Auction Rooms

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Auction Rooms

103-107 Errol Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
(03) 9326 7749

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Auction Rooms is a cafe that I’m quite familiar with as I’ve been going there regularly since its opening in 2008. Since then, it’s come a long way, both food menu and coffee roast-wise. Back in the old days, Auction Rooms (given that it occupies an old Auction House) used to have a very auction inspired menu with names of dishes such as ‘opening bid’, ‘counter bid’, ‘shady bid’, etc. These have given way to new dishes, some of which are much improved on the old ones. One of these newbies is the Smoked trout with a poached egg, and bubble and squeak. A delicious dish that has a rustic English flavour to the name but that is surprisingly elegant, despite perhaps a little too much olive oil. The richness of the trout doesn’t overpower the ‘bubble and squeak’, and the single poached egg seems to complement the dish perfectly.

Coffee-wise, Auction Rooms roast its own under the name Small Batch. They have two mini-roasters on site and one 12kg roaster off-site (but nearby) allowing them to play around with different blends and single origins quite a bit. I had a strong latte in their regular blend which was good, solid, with coffee cutting through the milk well and fairly balanced. I also had an espresso in their Costa Rican Finca La Pira which had a strong body of chocolate and malt, a very pleasant coffee. I’d like to add that the latte had a pretty decent rosetta in it, impressive latte art for a random pour served to a random punter.

All in all, I feel the Small Batch roast has come a long way since its inception and I was fairly impressed. If you haven’t been here yet, now is a great time to head over, these guys may well be doing big things and very soon.

PS. Check out our fellow food blogger reviews here and here.

Alex’s Review

Food Taste: 8/10.

Coffee Taste: 9/10.

Service: 8/10.

Ambience: 8/10. I’ve always been a fan of the whole exposed brick, warehousey, airy, wood-panel-based, roofbeam thing that Melbourne does so well.

Overall: 9/10. One of Melbourne’s best.