Australia, Melbourne, Melbourne - CBD

Operator25

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This café is fairly close to the centre of Melbourne city, set inside a heritage listed building with a modern and rustic ambience. We were there mid morning on a normal working weekday and the place was so popular that we had to wait 10 minutes to get a table. But it was well worth it.

The waiters were all very friendly and helpful in explaining the menu. The coffee served was smooth with a great flavour.

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Balinese Pulled Pork Burger $20

The pulled pork had a slight curry flavour and this spiciness contrasted well with the sweetness from the sweet potatoes and the brioche bun. The pork was soft and it melted in our mouths, and this was a good contrast to the crunchiness of the sweet potatoes. A very delicious dish and a must try for everyone visiting this café.

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Pan Seared Scallops with French Lentils, Japanese Pumpkin Puree and Watercress $19

This dish was full of natural clean flavours. The scallops were fresh, and not overly seared, and therefore, they retained their natural fresh flavours. The pumpkin puree was lightly seasoned, and so we were able to also taste the natural sweet flavours of the pumpkin. The lentils and watercress provided some texture to this dish. This dish was full of contrasting textures, and along with the combination of the natural flavours from the wild, it was a simple but very enjoyable dish.

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House Benedict – Potato and Thyme Rosti, Grandmother Lamb Ham, Poached Eggs with Tarragon and Mustard Seed Hollandaise $16

This dish had the right balance of flavours. The smokiness of the leg ham balanced well with the sweetness from the potato rosti which had a hint of honey in them. This classic brunch dish did not disappoint and was very tasty.

Overall, this is one of the best cafes for brunch in Melbourne city, and everyone should come here at least once and try them out. All the dishes we tried were superb.

Operator25 on Urbanspoon

Operator 25

Website: www.operator25.com.au

Address: 25 Willis Street, Melbourne

Phone: (03) 9670 3278

Opening hours: 7am to 4pm Mon to Fri, 9am to 4pm Sat and Sun

Accepts MasterCard and Visa, but not American Express cards

Australia, Melbourne, Melbourne - CBD

Loch & Key – Behind the bookcase

We landed in Melbourne and it was 11:00pm at night. The only thought that flashed up in my head was to get to the hotel as soon as possible and hop into bed. But No, my buddy “Greg” wanted to go out and scout for late night snacks. Greg has found so many hidden gems but I chose to go to the one that was just around the corner from where we stayed. – “Loch and key – Behind the bookcase”. We literally saw the book-shelf right outside at the entrance.

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Loch & Key is upstairs from Captain Melville’s Bar and Restaurant and yes we were flustered when we saw the door has closed. But don’t let that fool you because Loch & Key is always open and ready to give you an intimate cocktail.

It didn’t take long for me to notice an actual lock has been put up on the door leading to the stairway. We also noticed a bookcase was standing next to the stairway which was also an indication that we were at the right place.

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Loch & Key has gained its popularity for being one of those hipster-ish pub among the locals, filled with mood lighting and vintaged couches and chairs spread all over the floor as well as in balcony area, where plants and flowers are laminated on the side wall and hanging from the balcony.

The cocktails, beers and snacks selections were limited but I was really impressed with their bartender’s knowledge in terms of knowing their wines and beers. They were more than happy to make a delightful mixed drink to reflect our personal preferences.

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For my drink, I ordered a cocktail called “War of the roses”. The name is as sexy as it tasted. The first sip was sweet on the tip of my tongue and then the bitterness carried through to the rest of my palate. Excuse for me being frank, the drink was disgusting but ADDICTIVE.

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Greg got himself a cocktail called “Chrysanthemum” which I did not adore so much as I’m a person with a sweet tooth.

Greg’s comment: “The drink has a strong liquorish flavour which was very oriental in style, but overtime the citrus flavours come out making it very enjoyable.”

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To satisfy our hunger, we ordered a Truffled mushroom, smoke scarmoza toasties. We actually waited for quite a while until the toasties arrived and have to ask the bartenders to chase up the order for us. But the wait was well worth it, as one bite blew me away. The bread was light and crispy, and the filling was very flavoursome with the freshness of the truffled mushrooms and the smoky and salty taste of the cheese was not overpowering.

Loch & Key is a great place to go for a night out where you want to get away from the crowds in the city and be intimate with your homies, sharing unique boutique cocktails and simple delightful snacks. This place is worth checking out.

Loch & Key on Urbanspoon

Loch & Key – Behind the bookcase

Website: www.lochandkey.com.au

Address: UPSTAIRS 34 Franklin St

Phone: (03) 9663 6855

Opening hours: 6pm till Late, Wednesday to Saturday

Accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards

By Jono