Operator25, CBD

12/23/2015 , 0 Comments

Operator25 is a cafe off La Trobe St between Queen and William St, close to Flagstaff Station and easily accessible by trams 24/30/35. It's located in a heritage listed building and was actually the where the first switchboard site in Melbourne was. Operator25 prides itself on using seasonal produce, with classic flavours that have a twist to them. They also specialise in a range of coffees, such as espresso based, pour over and cold drip coffees.

Two of the walls at Operator25 are decorated with wall art relating to coffee, and you can see the pipes on the ceilings, which have been painted white. The whole place feels quite spacious and is brightly lit, and is made up of long communal tables as well as some seating outside. Despite having music playing in the background and chatter from all the customers, we didn't have to raise our voices at all to hear one another, which was good. 

The service here however, was a little disappointing. We waited about 15 minutes for a table and another 15-20 for our food which was fine, but there was quite a bit of a wait for our menus initially and for our drinks, especially my apple & guava juice which I could see was just sitting in the fridge behind the counter. It took even longer to come than my friend's special cold drip coffee drink that had to be made, and I had to actually ask one of the staff for it when she bought over the food. She told us she'd see where it was, and it took another 5-10 minutes for them to then bring it to the communal table we were sitting at. Even then, they thought the drink was for the other group sitting at the table, and not ours. I did notice as well, the other group of people ordered their dishes after us, yet their staff member brought over their cutlery as soon as the order was place, whereas we only got ours when the food was served.

The cold drip drink my friend ordered was the Operator25 Spritzer ($7), which consisted of cold drip coffee with lemon, mint, poached pears, maple syrup and tonic water. It was refreshing drink that's great for the warm weather, and you could really taste the fruity and minty flavours in the drink, which wasn't too strong or bitter either.

Breakfast and lunch is served all day on weekends, and lunch starts from 11:30am on weekdays. The dishes we ordered were the House Benedict ($16) and the Duck Confit Salad ($18). The house benedict consisted of potato rosti, grandmother ham and poached eggs with a mustard and tarragon hollandaise sauce. The eggs were perfectly cooked, and the ham was really fresh and thinly sliced. The potato rosti had a crispy outer layer and was slightly soft on the inside, and the hollandaise was the perfect fit for the dish to ensure it wasn't too dry, but didn't overpower the rest of the elements. The portion is good if you don't have a very big appetite, and wasn't too heavy a dish overall.

The duck confit salad also came with grilled watermlon, a fried duck egg, morcilla (blood sausage), sorel leaves, watercress and a balsamic glaze. I really enjoyed this dish as the duck had really great flavours, with a crispy skin and a pulled pork like texture. The morcilla was really tasty with a good texture and not dry, and the fried duck egg was cooked perfectly, with the yolk slightly oozing out when cut into. The sorel leaves and watercress, along with the grilled watermelon (which didn't taste any different to normal watermelon apart from the fact it was warm), balanced out the heavier flavours from the other elements, especially the juicy, sweet watermelon which was really refreshing. The combination of different flavours and textures made for a very delicious dish, and again, is a good portion if you're not very hungry.

There's some really great and interesting menu items at Operator25, so despite the sub par service, I'd be willing to come again to try out some of their other things. 

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