Thismorning, a few friends and I tried out Operator25 for brunch... and oh mygoodness, it was so good! Set in a beautiful old heritage-listed building onWills Street in the CBD, this cafe is situated halfway between Flagstaff Gardens and the Queen Victoria Markets - a perfect pre-cursor to aweekend shop through the delicatessen, or in warmer months, a run throughthe park.
Youknow you’re in for a great breakfast when the first coffee arrives withlatte-art like this:
Thecoffee was fantastic, and consistently so across our 6 orders. Full-bodied,smooth taste and a creamy, silky texture. This was the large cappuccino, thesize of two cupped hands – the perfect answer toa rainy sleepy Saturday morning. For a more refreshing and cold option, thefreshly squeezed apple juice was naturally sweet and fresh.
House Benedict with potatorosti, grandmother ham, poached eggs and chives hollandaise.
Generousserving, perfectly cooked eggs, delicious flavour. Non-traditionally this eggsbene was served on potato rosti (kind of like a hash brown) which was a lovelychange to toast or muffins. Gent #1 at our table was happy.
Smashedavocado onmultigrain toast, two soft poached eggs with fresh tomato and dill salsa (withan extra side of bacon).
Ladies#1 and #2 at our table both enjoyed this and totally cleaned their platessave for the toast which was ‘a bit hard to cut’. Eggs were perfectly runny and yellowand the fresh tomato and dill salsa added to the flavours of the dish. Baconwas well-cooked and the right combination of crispy and meaty. And seriously,how good is the plate? I want them!
Honeybaked oats,dried cranberries, sultanas, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, poachedfruit and natural yoghurt.
Thepresentation of this dish was divine! The inside core of the apple was filledwith a sweet apple sauce which tipped over the crunchy oats. The oatsthemselves were delicious... filled with fruits, seeds and nuts. Believe it ornot, this meal was a mere $9, an absolute steal for the quality of the produceand taste. Don’t be fooled either, the serving size was generous, the plate washuge. Gent # 2 (and husband) loved it.
Again...how good is their free pour art? Some of the best I’ve seen in Melbourne!
Last,but not least…
VanillaCustard Sago,rhubarb compote, raspberry foam, rose meringue and vanilla ice cream.
Ihave not previously eaten a lot of Sago. Similar in appearance totapioca pearls, sago is a starch extracted in the spongy centre, orpith, of various tropical palm stems, and often produced commercially inthe form of “pearls” where it is boiled with water or milk andsugar to make a sweet pudding. However I recently had an amazing coconutsago dessert (at Rice, Paper, Scissors) which is what drewmy attention to this when I spotted it on Instagram. So I knew beforearriving today that this was what I wanted to try and in no way did I regretthat decision! Oh my goodness. So so so good.
Thepresentation is amazing and the taste is even better! The raspberry foam has afantastic light and bubbly texture and in between that and the sago are piecesof crispy rose meringue which are so yum. The rhubarb compote on the bottomperfectly offsets the sweetness of the vanilla and custard sago and meringue.This is a must try on the menu!
Finally,the service and atmosphere. I loved the long bench tables either side of thecounter, making it feel more roomier and spaced out. The high ceilings aid tocut down the chatter and we found that it was easy to talk and have adiscussion without feeling like we were yelling or having our conversationslistened in to by those next to us. The copper pendant-lights and exposed brickwalls were a talking point around our table, as was the quirky wall-art (photobelow).
Staffwere super friendly and I particularly loved watching the baristas. They took agreat deal of care pouring each coffee, obviously very proud and passionateabout their free-pour art. We were not made to feel rushed or hurried to vacateour table when our meal was over, and sat around chatting for quite a whilewhich is a rarity in other cafes. I would come back here in a heartbeat, and infact think it might become a new one to the add to the regular list.
Inlovewithbrunchverdict: itbrew my mind (aka visit pronto!)
Operator25, 25 wills st, melbourne cbd, +61 3 9670 3278
P.S.I am also dying to know where they’ve purchased their crockery from – seriousenvy!
(note:inlovewithbrunch was invited by the cafe to dine here, however all remarksand reviews are honest and genuine)