Friday, November 5, 2010

Captains of Industry, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Captains of Industry is definitely one out of the box. A Gentlemen's Outfitters & Café, according to their website, the 'practitioners' are Practical Men of Wide Experience. In addition to sandwiches and other comestibles they also provide bespoke footwear, made to measure menswear, traditional haircuts and grooming products for men. All this in a tucked away first floor location opposite the old GPO building.

The setup is quite basic and industrial but in a different way to other Melbourne cafes, more artisans workshop than modern industrial factory. The cafe has a selection of unusual but fascinating items from the early 1900s through to the 1960s.

It's an odd mix of the comfortably casual and the fashionably formal and while the mix is quite bitsy and eclectic for some reason it makes me think of the 1940s.

I suspect it’s the way the staff dress and carry themselves, the bespoke clothing and the old fashioned barbers chairs, although that could be as much my lack of understanding of the various periods as anything else.

The food itself is simple but good. A small selection of breakfasts, a few sandwiches, friands and chocolate crackle type sweets. Our selections were the salad roll with baby beets and goat's cheese and the turkey, bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich.

Snooze's salad roll once again demonstrated that quality ingredients assembled with care will almost always give a good result. The beets were sweet, the salad fresh, the roll crusty.

I thought the turkey and bacon sandwich was even better. The delicate flavour of turkey and the sweetness of bacon or ham is a winning combination. The biggest danger with turkey is that it is so often overcooked and dry but this was quite moist. The bacon itself was also nicely cooked, slightly crispy and not too fatty, again on quality bread. At $11 it was fairly pricey for a lunchtime sandwich though.

To finish our lunch we tried the Mars crackles and the rocky road crackle. These bring back memories of children's birthdays, back before they became a full contact competitive event. Tasty, home-style food which went well with the deliciously chocolatey hot chocolate.

Captains of Industry orbits its own little world, one where individualism and personal style is still in fashion. It's somewhere I can imagine just sitting around for hours talking, soaking in the atmosphere. Original and with lots of personality, it's somewhere I wish every success.

Food - 7.5
Atmosphere - 8
Service - 7
Price - 6.5

Level 1, 2 Somerset Place
Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel (03) 9642 5013

Captains of Industry on Urbanspoon

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