There’s a new Fonda in town, sister restaurant to the very popular one in Richmond. I was invited to lunch there recently to try out some of the new dishes.
Lunch was hosted by co-owner Tim McDonald, and we ended up having an interesting conversation about the niche that Fonda fits into – casual, inexpensive, quick, but still good quality food. We chatted about how you could go across the road to a fast food “Mexican” chain OR go to Fonda and spend just a few dollars more and eat in a nicer space for better quality food.
Auction Rooms 103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne Phone: 9326 7749
Claire highly recommended Auction Rooms, so a couple of weekends ago we went there for brunch. It’s a large, impressive space, all wooden beams, eclecticness and hipsters, and was very busy and bustling when we arrived.
After a look at the brief menu, I decided on the chorizo open sanga – a panfried chorizo with roasted red capsicum, mushroom paste and apple sauce on toasted sourdough with rocket salad ($13). I would’ve liked to have had a spicier chorizo, but I was happy with my brunch. The apple chunks were interesting – at first I couldn’t figure out what they were. I thought they may have been pineapple due to the sweetness and appearance, but they also tasted very gingery.
Bro had the beans with bacon – Italian slow cooked baked beans, sage, basil, and rosemary infused olive oil served with sourdough toast ($11 without bacon, $13.50 with bacon).
And Alastair had the opening bid – poached eggs, roasted cherry tomatoes, bacon and spinach on sourdough toast ($15).
Coffees were very, very good. I don’t have sugar in mine, but nevertheless I adored the little soup cans on the table that the sugar sat in. Bro was a bit grossed out at them (the cans did look a little rusty around the top…) but they were very, very cute and totally fit the aesthetic of the place.
A few weekends ago, Alastair and I made an unusual trip south of the river to have brunch with a friend in Windsor. We do tend to stick to our part of town – not because we’re north of the river snobs – the truth is that we’re just lazy!
My short mac came with a little jug of extra milk. How cute!
Whenever I see items on a brunch menu that’s a bit different to eggs on toast, I tend to gravitate towards them. Which is how I ended up with a grilled kipper with horseradish butter, with a poached egg on sour dough toast ($15). It was a touch salty, and I thought it was a bit expensive, but apart from that I was pleased with it. The watercress was lemony and great with the kipper.
Alastair had the omelette with corn, coriander, chilli, and guacamole ($13.50). I’m sure he didn’t care, but I was pleased to see that it was a proper omelette (I don’t like open faced omelettes and don’t consider them worthy of stomach space).
And of course, it wouldn’t be a good brunch post without a couple of brunches at our favourite café!
During a visit several weeks ago, there was a new item on the specials board – black sticky rice with caramelised banana, surrounded by a pool of coconut milk. Alastair ordered this for brunch, and a damn good choice it was! Sweet and fragrant with chewy glutinous texture, it’s not the kind of thing that I would ever think to have for brunch, but it was delicious.
I had a roti wrap filled with scrambled eggs, potatoes and bacon. Yuuuummm… the roti was crispy and jam packed with filling.
And Bro had a HUGE serve of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and a bit of chilli oil/sauce on top.
On a different occasion, we arrived at Cafe Plum a bit later than usual, so we all ordered lunch. Bro had herby chicken meat balls with linguine ($16.50).
And Alastair and I had shepherd’s pie with a rocket salad ($15.90). Underneath the creamy mashed potato were chunks of tender meat and vege in a tasty sauce. The rocket was good too – just the right amount of peppery bitterness.