February 13, 2012 1 Comment
Mon – Wed: 7am – 5pm
Thurs – Fri: 7am – 10pm
Sat: 7.30am – 10pm
Sun: 7:30am – 5pm
Coffee: Small Batch House Blend, Single Origin, Specialised Coffee Blends, Siphon Coffee, Pourover, French Press
See our previous review of Auction Rooms here.
“It is said there is an art to conducting an auction. There must be an energy which sparks enthusiasm to the punter in order to spontaneously bid and commit to an auction they previously had no intention in participating in. The best auctioneers create theatre. There is passion, sweat and shouting as they berate to get the punter to increase the bid by $5k, $10k or $15k. Auctioneers are also one of the most hated professionals given their high commission rates. Love them or loath them but wherever you stand there is no denying that Auction Rooms ticks all the boxes for brunch. Even we can’t escape its appeal.
Since the last time we visited, we mentioned there was some small construction work being undertaken. We can now report that Auction Rooms is now back open for dinner from Thursday to Saturday. There is now a Siphon preparation bench which also houses a free cupping session every Saturday. This time around we sat in the outside area (which I hadn’t experienced before) and I had noticed that they had removed the slightly tacky milk crates and replaced it with a proper glass ceiling – a signature Six Degrees touch with the multiple window shapes. It’s all systems go at Auction Rooms and it has never been better.
Out with the old and in with the new but there are some old habits I just can’t shake. With this thought, I ordered my long black with honor. Unfortunately, they had run out of their Single Origin so I had no choice but to order their Candy Man blend [$3.50]. It was no surprise that the blend was top notch and translated into an impressive morning beverage. Adjusting my long black with the additional boiled water had opened up the fruity flavours with a distinctive and lovely crisp taste.
With a change in appearance, Auction Rooms has also tweaked their brunch menu creating the “Weekend Menu”. Whilst it may come as a surprise to many (including myself) given the already high quality dishes, a change is always good. The menu comprises of new additions and favourites which should be inducted into the “Auction Rooms hall of fame”, if there ever was such an honor. Even with all these changes, I went for the classic but improved – “The shady deal” – Moroccan-style tomato and chorizo stew with eggplant, olives, poached eggs, dukkah & fetta, served with grilled flatbread [$16.50].
The stewed tomato was fantastic, though at the start there was a distinctive spice that unfortunately faded away. The poached eggs were prepared to perfection and added a nice texture to the stew. The flat bread was a better addition than the typical sourdough bread, as it could be used to mop up the stew with the olives and eggplant to give more of an authentic taste. It’s a classic dish and on some levels is a conservative tasting dish, but what it lacks in innovation it brings big taste to surely curb your brunch needs.
With a lot of resistance to change within work, home or play, you only have to look at Auction Rooms to see that change is good. As for me? My thoughts of Auction Rooms has not change. It is fantastic.”
“Evolution is the key to survival for every industry to stay fresh. Technology, fashion, television – all around us the world is growing and adapting in response to the surrounding environment. It had been such a long time since we visited our old favourite brunching establishment – Auction Rooms, who has also been evolving since our last visit. Auction Rooms have now introduced a weekend menu, which is more rigid than their previous menu. Alas, my favourite Knuckle Sandwich didn’t make the cut but other originals can still be found. The grungy crate roof in the outside patio has long but since been removed and has been replaced with a glass ceiling, bringing light and a sense of calm into the establishment.
On this occasion, we sat out the back and ordered our coffees. Since our visit to Balderdash, I had become hooked on Cold Drip coffees and went for the Candy Man blend [$5]. It was presented completely different to Balderdash - the coffee came in a tall glass, and was less dense than previous experience with cold drips. There was a prominent nectarine flavour which became very obvious upon first sip – perfect for the warm summers day I was experiencing.
To go with my cold drip, I ordered the Smoked mackerel fish cake – with confit egg yolk, sauce gribiche, watercress & salmon caviar [$17], something which I had not previously seen on their menu.
When my meal came out I was surprised – the confit egg looked like a melon ball beside a sea of watercress that the smoked mackerel was perched beside. I started with the confit egg, as I was intrigued how it would taste. It was cool and creamy, completely cooked on the inside. I felt that it really showed the skills of the chefs in an unassuming way. The fish cake was cooked perfectly – crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Since my meal was a little light, we decided to share some brunch dessert – Flourless orange cake [~$5]. I was intrigued with what was in the centre of the dish and couldn’t wait to dig in. Slipping my fork into this delightful little orange cake I was hit with a pleasant rush of sugar, balanced with the flavours of the orange. The white in the middle of the cake was set icing sugar – visually making this dish look very appealing. Personally, I think it would have been better matched with softer, slightly runny icing sugar.
Auction Rooms has been consistently excellent in terms of their service both on the floor and in the kitchen. In the past year, this already popular establishment has managed to evolve and change with the times, but maintain their best qualities (and popular dishes) at the same time. Auction Rooms will have a long and successful few years ahead of them and we look forward to seeing how they surprise us next.”
Final thought: “The new weekend menu offers the best of the old world and a taste of the new”