Manchester Press

February 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm (Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Melbourne CBD, Victoria) (, , , , )

Look out for this sign just off Little Bourke St

Designed by barista Joshua Swain

Manchester Press is probably one of the funkiest cafés in the CBD at the moment. I first paid a visit to 8 Rankins Lane in about June for an early breakfast. It was a bit intimidating to be honest, wandering into this decidedly dodgy-looking laneway off Lt Bourke St in the wee hours of the morning but there was light at the end of the tunnel and we were glad to escape the cold once the graffiti-decorated roller doors were opened.

The high-ceilinged warehouse, which once housed a printing press, has been re-vamped in the Melbournian, industrial-chic fashion, complete with polished concrete floors, old wooden doors made into tabletops, furniture fashioned from recycled machinery and plants in recycled amber bottles. There are a few quirks that set the space apart from the rest, including a giant tenpin bowling pin in one corner of the room and artwork by Bill Montgomery adorning the walls.

The artwork on the walls is carried through to the latte art. When it’s not too busy, you can expect to see some impressive pictures of faces or chibi-people in place of your run-of-the-mill tulip or leaf patterns. The coffee, a custom blend by 8oz Coffee Company in Queensland, is reliably good.

Coffee on the shiny La Marzocco

Art by Bill Montgomery

Perspex menu with dymo labels

Cute coffee art

Food-wise, bagels are the way to go. There’s a regular set of open bagels on offer, with smoked salmon, olives, roast capsicum, goat’s cheese and other delicious toppings. Try the daily specials for something a bit different, like the ‘Bocconlami’ (a closed toasted bagel with salami, bocconcini, roquette, tomato and pesto, that’s best eaten like a burger :P) or ‘BLAT’ (no description needed, served with salad). There’s often a sweet option for dessert-lovers, like ‘You blue me away’, a fruit and nut bagel with blueberry marscapone, fresh strawberries and pistachio dust. If you are looking to visit Manchester for lunch, I would recommend aiming to arrive bang-on 12pm to avoid a lengthy wait, as the kitchen is quite small.

Bocconlami ; toasted closed bagel with salami, bocconcini, roquette, tomato and pesto

Toasted wholemeal bagel with chorizo, cheese, capsicum, tomato and tomato chutney

Bagels are available for breakfast but there’s also a limited breakfast menu for something lighter to start the day, including toast, muesli and even coco pops with milk if you are so inclined. During winter, the cinnamon infused porridge with cranberries and poached pear really hit the spot.

The Press Porridge ; cinnamon-infused porridge with poached pear and cranberries

It’s places like this that make Melbourne such a great city to live and work in.  Diners located where you’d least expect them, serving good coffee, simple, tasty food and sticking to what they do best, so that you always know where to go to satisfy your cravings. And Manchester Press is where I’ll be going for my next bagel-fix.

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

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