• Sandwiches, but not as you know them?

After over a year of hype, I finally visited Earl Canteen this week. I had been enticed by the macarons and enthusiastic reviews, but dissuaded by the quick trek I would have to make to the other end of the city during lunch time. Plus - the walk didn’t take that long. Minus - the food was not worth the hype.

I struggled to find the cafe having entered through 500 Bourke as the address suggests. The cafe is actually located at the back of the big office building with a courtyard which fronts onto Little Bourke. This could be a nice spot to enjoy the Melbourne sunshine (if it ever appears).

My friends had nabbed us a table, which was lucky because there was soon a queue from the counter extending out the entrance. It was only quarter past twelve.

The menu has two vegetarian options: a mushroom and goats curd ciabatta, and a ratatouille baguette with herbs and fiore di burrata. I ordered the former but was tossing up between the two.

The ciabatta was warm but only slightly toasted. I later watched their toasting technique and saw that they toasted the bread first, then added the ingredients. The roll contained several lightly placed roasted mushrooms, fresh rocket, and spreads of a fresh herb pesto and goats curd. Roasted chestnuts were spotted throughout and gave an interesting sweetness against the other salty ingredients.

The sandwich was good. The flavours were interesting, it was well toasted and enjoyable. The downside was that I ate it quickly and was still hungry. $11.50 is expensive for a sandwich, worth it for a good one, but disappointing when you are still hungry afterwards.

Wanting something more, I checked out the sweets on offer but declined seeing most of them were miniscule.

The meaty sandwiches looked more substantial and I was reminded of that age-old-assumption that vegetarians eat less.

Earl Canteen
500 Bourke Street (enter via Lt Bourke)
Melbourne 3000
03 9600 1995

EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon