Date visited: 27th April 2013
I was impressed. Yet another week where MerlinFan found a new brunch spot she wanted to try and did research on it. I knew parking wasn't the easiest in Fitzroy so it was a question of driving or public transport. In the end, being cheap I decided that driving the three of us - MerlinFan, AJ and myself - would be ultimately more cost-effective than using overpriced Mykis.
Parking was such a b@$#h as expected (I never said I was a good parker). I made two rounds before I finally found a 2 hour park and we walked a few blocks down to the corner of Rose and Fitzroy Street.
Industry Beans was already alive and pumping with energy just before eleven. It was lofty with high ceilings and had that converted warehouse feel that seems all the rage now in Melbourne.
We were seated immediately, at the end of a long table and given our menus. Breakfast on one side and lunch menu on the other. There was also a booklet of their Coffee Guide. They offered up this bean in all ways imaginable - sourced from all over the world, in single origins, blends, offered up as aeropress, filter/pourover, espresso etc.
|Coffee menu |
(with MerlinFan's nails)
They had a Coffee Chemistry list which sounded like something out of a lab - a true mixture of science and art. We wanted to try a couple of things from their page of offerings after our meal but then decided against it as we didn't want to go over time on our parking limit.
|Brioche French Toast $16|
Presentation was pretty. I had to admit I was quite disappointed by the coffee pearls which we were initially excited about due to its novelty value. I expected it to have more resistance and pop it your mouth like boba aka tapioca pearls (haha) but the pearls just dissolved as soon as it hit your tongue. So to me, it didn't have much texture at all. The coffee flavour was all there, though. MerlinFan thought the brioche was pretty nice on its own, however they could have put more on the plate besides half a single strawberry to make it texturally more exciting.
AJ ordered the Venison.
Another beautifully presented dish. The venison was thinly sliced and seared, still nicely pink in the middle. I felt the vinaigrette was a little too light flavour-wise and didn't detect much of the honey and rosemary. The cripsy enoki mushrooms did just the trick to elevate the dish, though. The dish also came with a bowl of toasted ciabatta - I loved the crispy, chewy crust.
I had the Slow Cooked Pork Belly.
|Pork Belly $18|
I loved the pork belly. They promised super crisp crackling and boy, did they deliver. The pork belly was juicy, fatty and perfectly salted - it was balanced out by the sweet bourbon and peach puree. I was never a big fan of watercress or cherry tomatoes, so they mattered little to me. But the pork... drooling just thinking back on it.
Industry Beans has lots of potential and it's obvious already by the popularity of the place that it is destined to do well. The coffee is good, food looks amazing with enough choice and usual suspects to please everyone. Staff were efficient enough and my only 'complaint' would be that the waiters were a bit hardcore in clearing all the dishes - one of them removed AJ's plate when she was still slowly working on the last few pieces of venison. Other than that, a pretty solid brunch contender in Melbourne.
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