Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30am – 4pm
Note: Auction Rooms usually do dinner but are currently undergoing continued renovation and menu revisions. Please check out their website for the most up to date opening hours.
Coffee: Small Batch House Blend, Single Origin, Specialised Coffee Blends, Siphon Coffee, Pourover, French Press
“North Melbourne was once known for being a working class area with an abundance of factories and littered with dodgy pubs. It would have been like living in the Bronx. Turn the clock forward and we find that this once hard-working suburb is now bursting with culture, food, bars and shops. There are many gems which I could account for, but there is one which I hold higher than the rest – Auctions Rooms.
The location itself is by far a spectacle and full of history, once being the auction rooms of ‘WB Ellis’. With the help and inspiration from 6 Degree Architects, they have turned this warehouse space into an inviting open-planned cafe. There are various seating options in and outside – including a courtyard. With the recent renovation additions, you can sit at the coffee bar and admire the art of coffee siphoning. The ambiance and decor provides something special to brunch goers which is not only alluring but indicates that this is no ordinary cafe.
Auction Rooms take their coffee very seriously. As you would expect, they roast their own beans in-house under the label Small Batch. I am a big fan of the Candyman [$3.50] blend in a long black – not just in taste but also presentation. The blend itself is comprised from three beans from Guatemala, El Salvador and Ethiopia. However, what makes this long black so appealing is the ability to vary the flavours and strength of the coffee. The coffee is brewed 2/3 into the coffee cup and the additional 1/3 is boiled water in a miniature jar. This enables the drinker to tailor their coffee to their liking. The coffee embodies a slight fruity and leaves a sweet, rich flavour on the palate. This coffee is seriously addictive.
Auction Rooms are known for its reasonable price and high quality brunch menu. There is a lot of creative thought which goes into their dishes. Upon arriving in the early afternoon and being a surprising hot day, I took the punt and went for the Tea smoked ocean trout, mango and avocado salad with baby cos, green beans, red onion, kipfler potatoes & a honey rosemary dressing [$14.50]. I don’t usually order the salad as I generally see them as boring and an uneventful filler to compensate the minority. When plated the dish looked very appealing, but I will admit I did have a huge food envy of Ms SLs Knuckle Sandwich.
The salad was fresh and it was surprising to taste the amount of flavours captured in the dish. The trout had a well-defined smokey taste with generous portions, it was soft and absorbed the sweet dressing. The potatoes had a fantastic rich taste and worked well with the salad leaves and red onions. The green beans had that fresh crunch without being raw and the two different types of cherry tomatoes allowed for different flavours to shine through. The salad was a winner for me and was an innovative unch experience if one is not keen for a hearty brunch.
I have previously been to Auction Rooms on a number of occasions and my prejudice is quite noticeable. There is no doubt where my appreciation lies and I only insist you all do try this wonderful place and come to your own conclusion. I will say this, there this no room for disappointment with such a marvellous location, fantastic decor, exceptional coffee and innovative brunch dishes.”
“Another gorgeous Sunday morning and after having the Forgotten Fruits High Tea the afternoon before at Southpaw Bar (apologies, the photos came out so terrible we could not blog about it), I was craving a sandwich. And not just any sandwich – I was looking forward to having Auction Rooms’ Knuckle Sandwich, which I spotted on Melbourne Gastronome‘s site a few months back.
We arrived rather late, missing the 11am brunch crowd which was great, because on arrival we were whisked straight to a table. It was hot, so I thought I would try an Iced Coffee [$4], just to mix things up a little bit. It looked delicious when it arrived. I had to mix a little panela in with it, but it was tasty and hit the spot regardless. The best thing about iced coffee is that there’s no rush to drink it quickly before it gets cold.
We quickly ordered our food, and despite being mildly side-tracked with the Grilled Wagyu Rump Sandwich, with pickled mushrooms, salsa rossa, rocket & chimichurri served with beetroot chips [$19], I stuck to my guns and ordered the “De Knuckle Sandwich” – braised pork knuckle, piccalilli, rocket & aged cheddar in a warm cabiatta roll, served with mixed pickle [$14.50]. Goodness, here we come!
While we waited for our meals, we perused The Age and enjoyed the trendy, chic vibe of Auction Rooms. We’d been here many times before, but not since their renovations.
Our food came out and I was overcome by smugness. What a feast! I knew Mr LB would be overcome with food envy, which he quickly revealed as soon as our waitress left.
The first thing I tried was the piccalilli - it was delicious! The way the zucchini was spiced was incredible - it was still crunchy and had a definite bite to it. It was perfectly salted and I knew that it would be well-matched to the braised pork knuckle. And I was right. It was cooked to perfection, melting in my mouth. The aged cheddar was melted to the top slice of the cabiatta roll to ensure that it wasn’t lost in the mix of ingredients mashed into this monster meal. This was the perfect sandwich for my unch of a brunch experience, and it kept me well satisfied throughout the day.
We decided on a bit of a brunch-dessert and opted for the Rhubarb Tart [$6] to share. It was served with fresh cream and had a savory shortbread crust, topped with a sweet shortbread crumble and icing sugar. The tart was extremely sweet – too much so for my tastebuds, but Mr LB really enjoyed it.
Auction Rooms has long been one of my top favourite brunch locations and my Knuckle Sandwich was so good, it should become their signature dish.
Final thought: “A long time-favourite and a must try!”