It’s a Sunday after a long, busy, sleepless weekend of work. My nails are chipped, my eyes are red, and my messy hair is stuffed under an old beanie, nevertheless it’s time for me to take my scruffy self off to a late Sunday brunch with an old friend.
Just a 20 minute walk through crunchy leaves, against a chilling winter breeze I arrive at Manchester Press. Hidden out of sight, down a narrow lane in Melbourne’s CBD you might imagine that this spacious brunch den would be one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets… You would be wrong!
A trendy hotspot for Melbourne’s young creatives, yummy mummys and hipster population, Manchester Press is always bursting at the seams and today was no exception!
After a 25 minute wait to be seated my friend and I were shown to our table, situated right next to the giant resident bowling pin. The majority of the tables are communal so you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be feasting with a few strangers. I quite like this set up but it does make for never ending food envy as you are sure to get a good look at everyone else’s tasty eats!
The menu is best described as ‘bagel heaven!’ I have to admit that I’ve never understood the hype about bagels but having been to Manchester Press on a couple of occasions I can safely say that I have shamelessly jumped right on that bandwagon.
I opted for the fruit and nut bagel with berry mascarpone, fresh strawberries and crushed pistachio while my friend gave in to the feta and avocado smash with chilli, coriander, lime and baby corn. I don’t really know where to begin… I could probably eat that bagel every morning for the rest of my life. The bagel itself was subtly spiced with cinnamon and sprinkled with juicy sultanas while the creamy topping was to die for. Some might say it was a little too rich but I thought the fresh strawberries and raspberries made for a perfect balance.
Of course, the coffee was flawless. Silky, strong, full of flavor, with a little latte art to boot. Despite the high volume of customers to see to, it was delivered by one of the energetic, effortlessly cool staff and was still piping hot. If you don’t feel like you can commit to a bagel, there are also plenty of cakes and biscuits to choose from.
As with every busy and exciting café in Melbourne the interior plays a big part in pulling in the crowds. The high ceiling, low hanging lights, paint splattered tables, quirky artwork and wire shelves make for a modern, industrial feel, without feeling cold or sparse.
And what trendy café would be complete without a selection of Aesop hand wash?
8 Rankins Lane