Mon – Fri: 7am – 3pm
Coffee: Promised Land Coffee
“Round, dense and shaped like a ring, the bagel is a breakfast staple for many Americans and other sovereign states. In Melbourne, it’s still a novelty bread-based product that’s nowhere near as mainstream and is rarely found on a brunch menu. Yet, the bagel is quite popular here with a strong underbelly following for finding ‘the ring’-like bread product… yet it seems supply is limited.
In true New York City fashion, the latest bagel spot to land in Melbourne’s CBD can be experienced at the ‘New York side of Collins Street’ – 5 & Dime Bagels. Baked daily at its Katherine Place location, each bagel is injected with love and care that makes this store a hidden treasure. It is hand rolled, boiled and baked using machinery imported from Canada. This joint attracts even the savviest expats who want to get their bagel fix.
Arriving before 8 am, I was expecting a busy and bustling bagel shop. However, to my surprise, there was space to sit and eat in. The purposefully plain, wooden panel decor and seating allows diners to watch the baking process unfold beyond the glass wall behind the counter. The staff are friendly and helpful in accommodating to various customer orders. With the amount of pride and love in their product, supply is very limited. In the space of ten minutes, I saw two to three dozen of bagels being snapped up!
Going all American, I ordered a long black [$3.50] and a dill bagel [$2 each] with roasted tomato & garlic cream [$5.50]. The coffee unfortunately let me down in presentation with no clean head in sight and was completely bipolar to Miss SL’s double espresso. The flavour profile was a bit of hit-and-miss – it was slightly too watery for my liking – but was pleasant with hints of blueberry.
While I haven’t explored Melbourne’s bagel offerings; 5 & Dime Bagels – in my opinion – produces a fantastic bagel. Whether it’s the weight of the bagel or the drool-worthy glaze that’s immediately eye catching – I truly enjoyed my dill bagel. The density of the bagel was immediate from the first bite with the creamy flavour of the roasted tomato & garlic blissfully complementing the dill. The dill flavour was quite noticeable, but not overbearing and the bagel itself had the right balance of soft and tough textures. Being known for having a healthy appetite, one bagel was enough to sustain me well into the morning.
To finish off my experience, I shared a mini chocolate croissant [$5] with Miss SL. The pastry was a delightfully fluffy and crispyand, injected with smooth milk chocolate; the ideal sweet pastry for the morning.
My predication is that 5 & Dime Bagels will be a bagel institution for Melbourne – if it isn’t already. Implementing a quality over quantity philosophy, there is no doubt some of the best bagels coming out of Katherine Place. It’s just unfortunate that with limited supply, this great product will be snapped up in a rather ‘greedy fashion’. Just goes to prove, there is a strong demand for a good bagel and coffee during the morning commute.”
“Mr LB and I have very busy schedules and sometimes finding time for brunch can be quite difficult. For example, he is currently searching for a new place while I am busy running after my new puppy. Our inability to catch up is further complicated by the fact that he lives North side and I live South side… and sometimes the only way to meet is in the middle, or at least near work. Last minute, we decided to do a review on the newly opened 5 & Dime Bagels.
The venue is located in Katherine Place, a relatively quiet and unassuming laneway just after the Melbourne Aquarium Centre. I was 15 mins late (arriving just before 8am) and Mr LB informed me that we had better order quickly – they were nearly out and it was a while before fresh bagels were out of the oven!
There is limited seating inside the venue, mainly targeted at pairs and individuals. We ordered at the counter and as we waited for our bagels to be prepared, we couldn’t help but notice that Americans were coming in and ordering a dozen bagels at a time. One lady came in and ordered two dozen!
With limited bagels left to choose from, I opted for a Salt bagel with Bacon maple and Chipolte cream cheese [$6], a double espresso and a mini chocolate croissant to share. Our coffees arrived quite quickly and I was both surprised and delighted at how nice my double espresso was. I have never had a brew from Promised Land Coffee before and I must say that it was very good. It was mellow and mild with fruity notes.
Everything here is served as take-away, which is kind of annoying and not very eco-friendly… However, the food was served quickly and we had our bagel within a couple of minutes. My salt bagel was well made; it was light and crispy on the top, and chewy in the middle without being too tough. My cream cheese filling was interesting – it was savory and salty with little chunks of bacon spattered throughout.
So what do I think of 5 & Dime Bagels? Overall I think it is quite nice and a great option for a quick breakfast, however, I caution that this place might have just a little bit too much hype. Don’t get me wrong, they do a mean bagel and interesting cream cheese fillings but the purchase of a dozen at a time seems rather excessive, particularly as these bagels don’t come cheap. It’s a nice place for a time-constrained catch up with a friend or simply a quick way to fill up before starting your day.”
Final thought: “Great bagels that rivals New York’s standard, just have to be quick in getting your order in”