I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about the 3-week young cafe with the somewhat misleading name of ‘Manchester Press’ that had just opened up in a small alleyway off Little Bourke St. I popped my head in early Friday morning to check out the place, and was surprised to find a rather airy, if sleepy, little joint just around the corner from the contrastingly cramped Brother Baba Budan. Though I already had a coffee in my hand, I was assured by the waiter that the coffee that they served were nothing short of perfect. He explained that the owners operated a coffee roasting facility in Queensland, with the intention of opening another here in Melbourne.
With my curiosity suitably piqued, I dragged my co-workers down during our lunch break. The sight that greeted us was decidedly busier than it had been in the morning, so we ended up in a little alcove with four seats and a glass table that was probably too low to be entirely comfortable. The staff however, were on the whole very friendly (I mean, who can resist that grin!).
After a bit of indecision (“just two lattes, actually, add a chai latte, no, make that another latte, and maybe a decaf cappuccino”) we ordered our coffees. They promptly arrived, and to our amusement, were decorated with coffee art that had that little extra bit of personality.
My happy coffee!
Did I mention that the waiter honestly wasn’t lying when he said the coffee was perfect? This could well turn my small caffeine addiction into something major. I might even end up ordering a large take-away coffee even when eating in just so I don’t feel guilty about buying two coffees.
But I’m getting a little off topic. The menu, while not extensive, didn’t fail to impress. The options were bagels, bagels and more bagels, but for someone who often gets a bagel craving, this isn’t a bad thing. Finally, three bagels were ordered:
Chorizo, cheese, capsicum, tomato and tomato chutney
Salmon, dill, cream cheese and capers
Goat's cheese, pesto, cherry tomato, roquette and capsicum
Don’t they just look amazing? There was plenty of talk of ‘next time I think I’ll try that one’ around the table so no-one can argue that they didn’t taste damn amazing. We discovered though that eating bagels with a knife and fork doesn’t work well with a low table, and that once they’re picked up, the pesky hole in the middle is a sneaky path of escape for the toppings. Ah, the things you learn about life over lunch, and may there be plenty more lunches (and maybe breakfasts too) here.
[Update – 5th May 2011: I’ve been back a few times recently and have been a little disappointed that their menu hasn’t changed at all. Somehow, I thought that this place would naturally have a seasonal menu seeing as their range is so limited, but it looks like this hasn’t happened yet, if indeed it ever will. The food and coffee are still amazing, and there’s definitely something to be said for a cafe that has you smiling every time you walk through the entrance.]
8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm