Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm
Sat: 9am – 5pm
“If you ask Melbournians what the definitive feature of their fair city is, there may be one recurring response. Laneways! There is something special walking through laneways to dart across the city in your own little world while discovering some amazing and cheap food. Laneways provide a certain buzz with street art and trendy cafes that everyone is talking about. One such Melbourne cafe prides itself on being hidden from the streets of Melbourne. It resides down a rather long lane that appears to be a dead-end. Located very close to Brother Budda Budda, Bon A Manger and Little Mule, Manchester Press is located in Rankins Lane (off Little Bourke) and has gradually built a reputation since its opening in March this year.
The first thing you will notice once entering into Manchester Press is the space. With a high ceiling and an odd assortment of industrial furniture, the cafe channels a cool underground feel. The decor does get a little confusing at times with a large tenpin in the corner, paper paintings of people and various photo art littered on the wall. With that said, the staff are very attentive and we were seated very quickly within what seemed to be a packed house.
Manchester Press resides within one of Melbourne’s coffee hubs (with popular cafes around the corner to create some healthy competition). To succeed in such an environment means they require a very good coffee blend. Interestingly enough, they have selected an unusually coffee blend called 8oz. Roasted in Queensland they currently source only two cafes (that I know of) in Melbourne – Manchester Press and Loco Coffee. My long black [$3.50] had a prominent taste with a clear hint of chocolate. There was a lovely dark head to the coffee and with its rich taste it was a great blend from the very first sip.
A bagel-themed brunch is not a common theme within the Melbourne scene. Quite a large portion of the Manchester Press menu included New York style bagels where you could “Choose your own adventure”. Brunchers could select their preferred bagels types including poppy-seed, plain, sesame and wholemeal. There were seven different options and as I was looking for something meaty, I went for the Chorizo, cheese, capsicum, tomato, tom chutney [$12] on a poppy-seed bagel.
The bagel look yummy and it sure was! The cheese was slightly melted over the large pieces of chorizo with the right level of tenderness. The bagel came with a side of salad which give a refreshing break from the tomato chutney. Not to say that the chutney was terrible, as it had great chili kick to it complementing the chorizo, but after a while it got a little too much as it was heavily applied and I found myself getting over the dish. Having a sneaky taste of Miss SL’s bagel, I had found it vibrant and fresh, but also heavily layered with avocado. Apart from the heavy application of chutney, the bagel was delicious and it was refreshing to see a cafe willing to have a unique brunch theme and not diverting from it.
Manchester Press has built a reputation in providing fine coffee and an impressive bagel menu. With a packed house when we arrived, there maybe a little wait for the work lunchtime slot. To be honest though, who wouldn’t wait for delicious bagels?”
“It was a chilly but sunny Saturday when Mr LB and I decided to take a trip into town for brunch at Hardware Societe. Our waking up habits, however, didn’t see us getting into the city until about 1pm. The line was even longer than the previous weekend when I had gone with some girlfriends. Our stomachs rumbled that it was not the kind of day to wait for food, so we wandered a laneway over to Manchester Press for some bagel action.
Down the unassuming Rankins Lane lies a converted print building turned cafe. Manchester Press has a beautifully relaxed yet trendy feel to it. Quirky art and photography lightly litter the walls without intruding on your visual senses. We were immediately seated on a large communal table and handed the clear menu with black and white perspex labels highlighting the available food. With coffees ordered, Mr LB and I pondered over the menu for choices. I quickly made my mind up for the Ava, feta, mint, pine nuts, roquette, cherry toms [$12.00] add a soft-boiled egg [$1.50].
My coffee came out and it was a work of art! I’m not sure if it was supposed to be me, or just a girl, but it was pretty cool and worth the additional wait.
When my bagel came out, I couldn’t believe how much avocado was in it! My mind was counting the calories, but my stomach was trying to convince it that it was all good fats. I started devouring my dish with slabs of avocado, feta and a hard-to-cut- sesame seed bagel. To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the mint, but the avocado was deliciously fresh.
The cherry tomatoes popped with juice. The only thing missing was a freshly poached egg on top. In my desperation to experience an egg on top, I cracked into my soft-boiled egg. The shell shattered into many pieces and it became a mission to peel off the shells. As my fingers burned with the heat of the boiled egg, I kept thinking about the end result. Slightly overcooked, my gooey egg oozed over my bagel which took it to the next level. Lovely!
I had a taste of Mr LBs dish and while I thought it was good, it wasn’t something I could consume an entire meal of. The chutney overpowered pretty much anything else on top of the bagel and after a while, I could see it becoming sickening.
Manchester Press is a nice place to go if you’re looking for somewhere trendy to hang out in and drink a coffee while reading your paper. The food is nice and the cooks show that bagels aren’t boring.”
Final Thought: “Bagel-icious”