Operator25 Revisited

25 Will St, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 20th September 2014

MerlinFan and I visited Operator25 some time about a year ago, not too long after it opened.  It was still pretty quiet then, a huge change from what it was when we revisited yesterday.  We arrived at lunchtime on Saturday, and the cafe was almost full.  We were still able to get a couple of seats on a communal table straight away, though.

We got the impression that the staff were under the pump.  We had our coffee orders taken as soon as we were seated, however, we came to realise halfway through our meal that our coffees were not coming - the waitress had forgotten.  Oh well, at least MerlinFan got a chance to change her order from an iced coffee to one of the filter coffees.

Filter coffee, Cappuccino
I had a Cappuccino, which was smooth and very easy to drink.  MerlinFan's single origin Finca Las Nubes was much more interesting, with tasting notes of honey dew, jammy currants, floral, pecan and dried tropical fruits.  We found it light and fruity.

Finca Las Nubes

I was tossing up between a sweet breakfast or a savoury lunch.  Now I rarely order salads when I'm brunching out, but today, I couldn't resist the Duck confit salad with grilled stone fruit, fried duck egg, morcilla, sorel leaves, watercress and balsamic glaze.

Duck confit salad $18
Half a grilled nectarine lay buried beneath the nest of greens.  The sorel leaves and watercress were punctuated by generous chunks of rich, salty morcilla (blood sausage) and shredded duck that had the consistency almost of pulled pork.  The balsamic glaze added that punch that just elevated all the flavours to the next level.  Last but not least was this dish's crowning glory, the lone fried duck egg, its yolk still nicely oozy.  This was one of the most delicious salads I've had.  

MerlinFan, as usual, couldn't be normal and decided to order a sweet breakfast and sweet potato wedges on the side. WTF, I know.

Sweet potato wedges $7
The Sweet potato wedges were as awesome as we remembered - they were melty and sweet on the inside and crispy, crunchy and perfectly salted on the outside.  Loved the tangy dipping sauce too - it complemented the wedges so well.  If only they gave us a bit more to go with the generous serving size of sweet potatoes.

MerlinFan of course had to order the Cold mango rice pudding, macerated berries, pistachio and cherry foam.

Cold mango rice pudding $9
As pretty as a picture, this was - look at all the colours.  It was tangy and refreshing, topped off with a vibrant orange flower.  And the cherry foam did not taste like maraschino cherries (which I despise) and that was a plus.

Overall, I'm very pleased to have a nice cafe like Operator25 so close by without the horrible queues and overhyped craze.  It was however, a shame that they did forget our coffee orders.  Missing orders are quite a rare occurrence for us in our years of brunching in Melbourne, so this did stand out, although they were understandably busy.  I would still return for their good food and lovely coffees, perhaps for early lunch when it's less hectic.

Operator25 on Urbanspoon
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