Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manchester Press, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

It's kind of weird that none of us had visited Manchester Press before. Less than five minutes walk from work, we'd noticed it almost as soon as it had opened and it was obviously very popular. It looked pretty funky, bright and open like a modern Melbourne inner-suburban café, and it was even in an alleyway decorated by Snooze's and my favourite Melbourne Street artist Deb. While Snooze and Bureaucrat weren't available for a quick Friday lunch visit, with Ms Counting her Calories about to jet off for 4 months to the USA it seemed like an opportune moment to finally pay a call.

If you didn't know Manchester Press was there you could easily miss it. It's the latest addition in a small area with three good cafes (Captains of Industry and The Little Mule) hidden down two obscure alleyways. Even the entrance is low key and hard to spot from Little Bourke. Inside though is nice, clean white walls, a few interesting pictures and, obscurely, a giant bowling pin in the corner. At around 1pm we were very lucky to get the last available table, with the place full and staff busy but without the café feeling overcrowded (decent spacing between tables).

If eating here at lunchtime it would pay to be a fan of bagels. Otherwise you'll likely find the menu very limited with ten or so different style of bagels offered and a restricted range of non-bready options. Fortunately though the bagels are pretty good. My choice, the smoked salmon, dill-cream cheese and capers. The serving was generous, particularly the smoked salmon. If anything I thought the salmon and cream cheese was a little too generous, overwhelming the bagel, but it's much better that way than a stingy serving of salmon.

Ms Counting Her Calories choice of the bagel with chorizo, cheese, capsicum, tomato and tomato relish was totally delicious. Probably the best bagel I've had in Melbourne the star was the chorizo. Meaty, spicy, bursting with flavour, this would definitely be my bagel of choice for a return visit.

Nice layout, good service and two of the better bagels around, the only real negative was the price. While servings are generous and bagels good they don't come cheap at around $13 each. So while I did enjoy my visit here I'm not sure I'll be a regular. For me it fell in a slightly uncomfortable price range, too much for everyday but not somewhere for those special occasions either.

Food - 8
Service - 8
Ambience - 8
Price - 6

8 Rankins Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9600 4054

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

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