Friday, 7 March 2014

Melbourne Series - Manchester Press

It was our final morning in Melbourne and we only had time for one last meal before heading to the airport and our flight home.  I'd really been struggling to find a breakfast spot in the Melbourne CBD that would be a little different from the dime-a-dozen cafes in the more popular lane-ways.  I was really looking for somewhere quintessentially Melbourne to have our last breakfast and most of my efforts in sourcing places to eat had been on lunch and dinner spots.  

To make matters worse, it was a cold and drizzly morning and we had to get our umbrellas out to wander around and look for a breakfast spot.  We'd been wandering around the city's more popular streets and lane-ways, so we wanted something a little off the beaten track.  Looking on our trusty mobile devices (yep, iPhones) we found a little spot that looked like it could be pretty good, so we trundled off to Rankins Lane in search of Manchester Press.

We found Rankins Lane easily enough and noticed that it was a little different from many of the other popular lane-ways, it looked a little grungier and a little edgier.  We'd slept in a little bit on our final day but even so, by the time we arrived at Manchester Press, the little cafe was not quite open, so we stood around in the rain, with our brollies up thinking that we were definitely having a Melbourne moment.  

We assumed we were in the right spot, even though we were staring at a roller door that didn't give much away.  The big clue was the large painted sign on the brown brick facade that made up the building, the sign read Manchester Press Printers, which I assumed was a throwback to an earlier time.  We also knew that we were in the right spot because we were not the only other people milling around, there was quite a rag tag collection of Melbournians milling around waiting for the doors to open (or roll up in this particular case).

Once the roller door started to rumble and climb its way up the wall, Manchester Press started to slowly reveal itself to us, and I liked what I saw.  The cafe had an old warehouse feel to it and very much reminded me of a huge garage that had been cleared out and a cafe moved in.  There was a little building inside the space that was the kitchen area and next to it was the counter with a huge coffee machine in pride of place.  The rest of the space was taken up by a hodgepodge of tables and chairs, waiting for action.

I didn't have much of an idea about the food offerings at Manchester Press, but it rapidly became apparent that the cafe didn't have a huge range of food on offer, with the only real options being muesli or bagels. What Manchester Press did really really well was coffee and it seemed as if breakfast was a bit of a side offering and with not so many options to choose from, we ordered a couple of bagels.  While we waited for the bagels to arrive, we also ordered a couple of coffees (I know, I don't drink coffee, but there were no other options - seriously), mine being a decaf.  While there was not a lot to choose from for breakfast, Manchester Press really knew to pump out a good coffee, with SC proclaiming it was the best she'd had in Melbourne (possibly of all time - big call.)

Our bagels came out at the same time as our coffees and I really were pretty simple and basic with SC's toasted bagel with jam being just that....  The bagel was sliced in half and lightly toasted and came with a little pot of strawberry jam and a bigger pot of cream.  As far as bagels go, you don't get much simpler than that and after a huge week of eating in Melbourne, it was all SC wanted and she seemed pretty happy.  

I'd gone a little fancier with my bagel and chosen the grilled chorizo with tasty cheese, sliced tomato but opted out of the roasted capsicum and tomato relish that came with the standard order.  Again, this was about as simple a breakfast as you are likely to see, with a couple of slices of tomato with some cheese melted over the top.  The saving grace was the very tasty chorizo, which seems to make everything better (along with bacon and duck fat!).  There was a little salad off to the side that I poked with my fork, then completely avoided and really added nothing to the plate.  It was not the most imaginative breakfast I've had, but it filled the void.

Even though the food was a little lacking at Manchester Press, it's not really the reason why people love the place, it's really about the coffee, and it was pretty decent.  It was also a pretty cool spot to hang out on a rainy Sunday morning with not much else to do.  While we were the first to arrive, we watched the place slowly fill up with Melbourne hipsters who looked as if they were all locals as well.

The staff were also all pretty much poster children for the hipster set, with everyone fitting into the setting perfectly and while they were all 'too-cool-for-school', they were also really friendly and 'gave good service'.

We left Manchester Press and walked back to our hotel to start packing in preparation for our flight home.  I can't say that we finished off our food safari on a high, it was a pretty basic breakfast, but I can say that we most certainly experienced a quintessential Melbourne cafe, and at the time, it was a perfect way to finish our trip.

Manchester Press is much better known for its coffee than its food
It was fairly empty when we first arrived, but the hipsters soon came
The redeeming feature of my breakfast was chorizo - but it didn't look amazing
Just simple fare
Perhaps I needed to try one of the cakes!
Its a very cool spot in one of Melbourne's lesser known laneways
Manchester Press on UrbanspoonManchester Press

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks very much for your comment, I really love and appreciate feedback and your thoughts


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...