Melbourne is full of those little alley way type, ‘we used to be a shoe factory/a phone box/my uncles old tweed jacket and now we are this awesome cafe‘ places. Some feel slightly pretentious or their design and hype mean that food isn’t all that much up to scratch.
Manchester Press located on Rankins Lane, just off Little Bourke St, is not one of these places. Named after the printing press that once inhabited the space, they seem to straddle the design and food world with ease, much like a lusty Jamie Oliver, if Jamie Oliver were a hipster, made awesome bagels and was totally up for it. The large space is decked out in wooden tables both small and large, a meeting nook and some pretty rad drawings by local artist Montgomery.
As a new Melbournite whenever I encounter these places I react in a very subtle way, I lose my shit start pointing at things and crying, ‘look how good that is’ while eyeing up the wait staff. I pronounce that I will be coming back to this place ALL THE TIME, never to return. In contrast we go to Manchester Press a. l.o.t. This particular visit was made with my soon to be wed friend, Tash and myself. The time was about 1pm but as I had arisen at 12pm fresh as a daisy (who had drunk a lot of wine the previous night) breakfast it was.
- Salmon, dill, cream cheese and capers bagel
- Pastrami, cream cheese, pickle, roquette and tomato bagel
Manchester Press’ main portion of the menu is taken up with a make your own bagel smorgasbord. There is a variety of fillings you can choose from which you match with your chose of bagel (poppy seed, plain, sesame, wholemeal). For those who aren’t in the bagel mood there are other scrumplicious things to choose from including baked eggs and muesli. Tash had the salmon, dill, cream cheese and capers bagel while I decided on the pastrami, cream cheese, pickle, roquette and tomato. Now let me tell you, the bagels at this particular eatery are like a bagel party and all the fillings are invited. The salmon bagel was piled high with salmon on not one but both sides. That’s right I said both. Likewise with the pastrami bagel that does not shy away from slapping on the fillings. The toppings have, you get the impression been decided on after many brainstormings of the perfect filings, as they are delicious (I have tried all of them).
The coffee is 8oz and pretty darn tasty, quite a smooth taste and always comes out with some pretty wicked coffee art splayed across the top, giving you the impression that these baristas have been toiling away on their coffee making for quite some time. A la monks to their monkery, Beirut to his banjo. One particular well-endowed friend always seems to receive a lady with either a very fancy kerchief or gigantic norks attached to her chin. Either the barista likes the business between her neck and stomach or law of averages has created this very bizarre coffee art phenomenon.
Once again Manchester Press delivered, leaving my wedding friend a little less stressed, both of us feeling a tad cooler for being there and our bellies satiated.
Address: 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 (map)
Phone: (03) 9600 4054