Auction rooms

I think beards might be compulsory for the staff at Auction Rooms in North Melbourne.  I met up with my friend Clare there for brunch and we were amused to count at least five wait staff with beards. A sure sign that the place is a hipster magnet.

Kerb side dining at Auction Rooms – set in an old auction warehouse in North Melbourne

You can see why hipsters like Auction Rooms.  The place certainly has the look, housed in old auction rooms with soaring ceilings and big street front windows letting in loads of light.    Exposed bricks and vintage furnishings give an industrial feel while lead lighting on the windows and circular arrangements of long hanging lights add some design polish.

Ocean trout with beetroot egg at Auction Rooms

The food is not your typical cafe fare.  Sure you can get eggs on toast but its likely to be topped with folds of ocean trout and a puree of avocado ($16.50) while your egg is a boiled “beetroot egg” leaving it with a hot pink exterior.  It’s a spectacular looking dish, with the beetroot adding a slightly sweet flavour to the egg which worked well with smoky salmon and creamy avocado.  It was a creative take on brunch and great vibrant food.

Inside Auction Rooms – the place has an industrial feel 

Breakfast runs until 3pm and there’s a lunch menu as well which includes a beef cheek sandwich ($13) at the moment (past incarnations include a pork knuckle sandwich).  The beef cheek is slow cooked and shredded into rich, tender meat and served up with red cabbage, pickled onion and cornichons.  The salty accompaniments were a great foil to the soft, sticky meat.

Beef cheek at the Auction Rooms

But the thing that really packs the hipsters in at Auction Rooms is the coffee.  They are serious about their coffees here and there is all manner of filters and drips in operation.  Of course I was boring and just had a latte which was mellow and well balanced.   I followed it up with a masla chai which was really the best chai I’ve had since I was in India (although a tad more expensive at Auction Rooms than at a street cart in Delhi).

It’s a coffee wonderland at Auction Rooms

The food and coffee is great at Auction Rooms and it clearly is a “destination” cafe, but I can see why Clare often prefers to skip the queues and the hype and eat brunch at Wooly Bully across the road.

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Details: Auction Rooms, 103-107 Errol street, North Melbourne 3051 (Ph 03 9326 7749) Mon – Wed 7am – 5pm, Thur – Fri 7am -10pm, Sat 7.30 – 10, Sun 7.30 -5pm.
Damage: Reasonable.  $44 for two.

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  1. Still haven’t been to Auction Rooms. That beef cheek dish looks like my kinda dish! and the beetroot egg looks awesome!

  2. I love the beetroot boiled egg!!

  3. Shellie – You must go then – before they change the menu again!

    Jeanne – I hadn’t had one before but I think I might just have a new food love

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