Saturday, April 10, 2010

Auction Rooms, North Melbourne

Finally! Josh, Wolf and I made the effort to actually eat somewhere new. We were getting very bored always having our market day lunch at Coffea, nice as it is. The wonderful Errol Street strip is not terribly far from Queen Victoria Market, and on recommendation from Little Eats, Hey Bambini and my always in-the-know bosses, we visited the Auction Rooms

Really lovely, airy space making the most of the existing architectural features. Clever layout divides the large room into smaller areas that still feel cosy and lessen the noise. We sat at a communal table with two other families with babies. Crowds of business people came in afterwards and I reckon they were hoping for that large table. Probably get it all the time though, the Auction Rooms having a pretty great reputation amongst parents. Ample stroller parking! You won't get any staff glaring you off here. 
In fact the staff were pretty amazing. When the food arrived I was holding Wolf on my lap, feeding him grapes. But the very handsome, swarthy waitperson offered us a high chair, which I didn't even know they had. It was just the cheap IKEA one, but that's the one we have anyway. 

Here's Wolf enjoying titbits from out plate without being stifled in our arms or stuffed under the table in his stroller. Very happy! Though very busy, staff were generally helpful and attentive, refilling water bottles before we even noticed they were empty, and even apologising for how hectic it was, though we didn't mind in the slightest.
According to Josh, family coffee expert, the brew was mild but flavoursome and not too hot (hot coffee is for geriatrics). The breakfast menu is more interesting than average, with offerings like Nasi Goreng, bubble-and-squeak and a delicious sort of stew made from pork belly, cannellini beans and carrot with toast and poached eggs. I ordered the 'opening bid', a basic sort of big breakfast spread with perfectly poached eggs, sauteed spinach, mushrooms, tomato, bacon and toast. Wolf actually chewed on a bit of bacon and accepted many pieces of carrot and pork from his dad's breakfast. 

I love watching other open kitchens where you can see the chef on the pass staring out into the front-of-house, trying to will waitstaff towards him with Jedi mind powers. Of course it never works. Muttering rude insults about various servers doesn't work either, which has always been my preferred method. I see why customers like staring into the kitchen at that moment though (it's usually something that pisses me off a lot because I could not be more stressed), as it gives you a good chance to observe the other dishes on the menu while they slowly congeal on the pass.
There is a very decent sized disabled toilet/baby change room, quite surprisingly. We didn't need to use it but we certainly appreciated its existence. How many cool new cafes do you know that have change rooms AND high chairs? Impressive. I wish my own workplace had such facilities. I'd even volunteer to wipe down the high chairs and replenish supplies in the change room. But I know that's not going to happen. 
Go to the Auction Rooms parents. It will make you feel human again and like you might have your mojo back. 

Auction Rooms
103-107 Errol Street
North Melbourne 3051
Phone: 9326 7749

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