Lemon Middle & Orange – Hidden in Industrial town

panda 4 rating

Lemon Middle and Orange is a newly opened café in the Collingwood area from Magaret Lawless and Liam Ganley. Lemon Middle and Orange is located on Rokeby street amongst the industrial buildings and was once a paint factory, which now houses John Wardle Architects upstairs. John Wardle Architects was used in helping to convert the space into the café it is now. The name itself is an ode to its former life as Lemon, middle and orange were the chrome pigments they used.

As you walk in off the street, there is an outside sheltered sitting area with the bright yellow neon logo placed on the wall: a chirpy yellow bird with an olive branch in its beak. There are upturned paint cans used as stools paired with wooden tables. Large glass wooden frame sliding doors – which I couldn’t initially work out how to open (=p) – lead through to the main part of the café. The café is long with tables and chairs on the right hand side and the counter, coffee machine and kitchen area along the left side. The feel is modern, casual and inviting. The combination of wooden tables & chairs, with the concrete floors and exposed ceilings all add to this.

The menu is created by Sam Morris (former Rockwell and Sons, Auction Rooms) and pays homage to Ganley and Lawless’ heritage. Brown Soda Bread is baked onsite which is a traditional Irish bread, and is served with block pudding as a breakfast dish. The brunch menu runs all day, with a lunch menu starting from noon carrying through till early afternoon.

I order a latte before deciding what food I will order. Coffee is by Syndicate, and there is also a single origin by Clark St Roasters, which will rotate seasonally. The latte came out with pretty café art in the shape of a heart that reminded me of a kite. The coffee was creamy, smooth and nutty and I really enjoyed it. The milk was frothed to perfection as well.

The brunch menu is quite different to most cafes and has quite a bit of variety ranging from yoghurt, rice pudding to croquettes, breakfast rolls and house plum cured salmon as well as a poached dug egg dish. Lunch menu consists of a selection of four sandwiches – such as roast beef or confit chicken, as well as homemade dishes from the kitchen. These include Corned beef hash with piccalilli puree and kohlrabi sauerkraut, pulled pork neck or roast chicken breast with harissa vegetables and pearl barley.  There are also Cakes available which come from local caterer Little Bertha in nearby Abbotsford which are handmade using local organic ingredients.

Both G and I decided to order the House Hot Smoked Plum Cured Tasmanian Salmon, Potato Latkes, Poached Eggs, Fennel, and Horseradish Crème Fraiche. The poached eggs sat in the middle of the dish with the thick, juicy and inviting salmon fillets surrounding them together with the crispy skinned potato latkes. The fennel which was dressed with the horseradish crème fraiche was placed elegantly on top. The eggs were poached as expected with the gooey yolk, the salmon cured to smoky heaven and together with the horseradish crème fraiche – it was foodie paradise. We both enjoyed our dish immensely and it was quite a filling dish – I had no room to try out the cakes on display.

Lemon Middle and Orange not only has a catchy name, but a memorable logo and vibe to it. I love the variety of dishes available, as well as the fit-out of the place.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to http://www.lemonmiddleandorange.com/documents/LMO_A5%20menus_Nov_6.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Modern and Chilled Out – love the front street covered courtyard area and the upturned paint cans for stools!
Standout Dish:
Service: Friendly and Welcoming.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.lemonmiddleandorange.com/
25-31 Rokeby Street, Collingwood
Tel No: 9415 1593

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.30am–3.30pm
Saturday: 8am–3pm
Sunday: 9am–3pm

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30Kerr65 – Dimattina Espresso Bar

panda 4 rating

30Kerr65 is a newly opened Coffee Expresso Bar brought to you by the Dimmatina family – John and Robert Dimmatina (Robert founded 30Kerr65 and John manages it). Dimmatina coffee has been around Melbourne for a very long time and supplies many different coffee houses and cafes all around Melbourne, including regional Victoria. It all started in the 1950s with their father roasting coffee – they now have a plant located in Reservoir, as well as a training school and café in South Melbourne and now the newly opened 30Kerr65 which also has coffee courses and is a wholesaler.

The name 30Kerr65 is a play on two different things as John explained to me – 1) the address is 30 Kerr St and the postcode in the Fitzroy area ends with 65, 2) the ideal coffee is made with 30ml shot of coffee and the ideal milk temperate is 65 degrees. From speaking to both John and Robert you can tell– they are proud and have a true love for coffee and the coffee industry. They speak fondly of the history, to their different outlets and how they came to finding this perfect venue and location in the side streets of Fitzroy.

The venue is warm, open and inviting and from the time you step inside you get the wonderful coffee aroma in the air. The centrepiece of the venue – a hut style enclosure which houses the coffee bar and coffee machines, together with the friendly and always smiling baristas. There are communal long timber tables to sit and enjoy your coffee as the wide windows in the front let the sunshine in. On the wall to the right is a large picture which shows you the coffee process. There are chalkboards present, which displays their gold medal award at The Golden Bean for 2011/12 as well as showing the days coffee blends and speciality single origins on offer. Underneath this, is a selection of coffee machines, grinders and accessories that are for sale, together with interesting magazine and books to flick through.

30Kerr65 has several different blends on offer which include the house blend Prima Tazza (which is a combination of five origins) , a Hyper Hyper blend – a strong Italian blend, as well as an Utopia blend – which is both strong and smooth and a Decaf blend – all produced from a new Kees van der Westen Mirage Duette espresso machine – Mirage coffee machine in short. The main focus here John tells me is on coffee and small little sweets for the moment and creating just the perfect cup of coffee, but he is not ruling out having food in the near future. He tells me about their South Melbourne branch which does food as well as the delicious coffee – another café to add to the list to try out!

I ordered a House Blend latte which was smooth and creamy yet strong and delicious. It really does go down a treat and you can drink it really easily which leaves you with wanting more. It comes out to you by the friendly baristas. Whilst I was at 30Kerr65 there were many locals and people working around the area that came in that had already established a relationship with the place and were on first name basis and had the baristas knowing their order without them having to say anything. This was ideally the premise of having an inner suburban unique Espresso bar.

You can also purchase coffee at 30Kerr65 by the kilogram and can select from the different varieties. Additionally, each bag comes with a personalized touch – your name handwritten on the front of the bag.  As well the coffee beans you can buy top quality coffee machines, grinders and coffee making equipment in a variety of brands. You can even purchase the famous Giotto machine for your home from here.

Both Robert and John are passionate about coffee and know that having a great coffee is having great coffee beans – and this can be seen when you try out the Dimattina coffee. They also explained to me how they sourced the perfect milk to complement the coffee – by trailing a whole range till they found just the right one.

At 30Kerr65 you can learn about coffee as well – there are two different coffee courses which run on Thursdays or Saturday mornings and are by appointment only. The Barista Basics course ($120, 2 hours) covers use of commercial coffee machines and grinders, as well as texturing milk and coffee menu selection. The second courses offered is the Introduzione Al Caffe ($150, 2 hours) which teaches you about the history and origins of coffee, as well getting to practice making different styles of coffee and milk texturing.  Contact 30Kerr65 if you want to make a booking or you can email them at 30kerr65@dimattinacoffee.com.au.

30Kerr65 is a great addition to the bustling Fitzroy area, but somewhat hidden away in its location it has managed to find clientele who keep coming back. And just from speaking to both the Dimattina brother’s and staff working there – it is not only the delicious tasting coffee that makes people return but the friendly and impeccable service. Definitely check it out and experience some great coffee and service for yourself.

30Kerr65 is currently only open Monday to Friday but who knows what the future could hold.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual Relaxed place with great sunshine coming in through the front windows. Great way to start the morning!
Service: Super Friendly, Welcoming and Fantastic
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.30kerr65.com.au/
30 Kerr St, Fitzroy
Tel No: 9416 2077

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 8am – 4pm

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