For a long while, I have wanted to visit Auction Rooms, the popular cafe/restaurant in North Melbourne. Last weekend, I got my chance when Miss B, Miss R and I caught up for lunch.

Knowing the place is popular (I’ve heard stories of people waiting 45 minute for a table), we decided to wait until after the brunch rush and visit for lunch at 12.30pm Saturday afternoon. Our patience was rewarded, as we walked in and scored a lucrative table in the backyard courtyard straight away.

Enjoying the warm spring weather in the undercover courtyard, we ordered coffees and read the menu. I’ve heard good things about the coffee, and was not disappointed. It was everything a coffee should be – smooth, creamy, and without bitterness.

Miss R opted for a hot chocolate which arrived in a cute jug. I loved the creat

To eat, Miss R went for the pulled ham sandwich, which came with home made piccalilli and waldolf salad.

Miss B went for the sliders – slow cooked beef on brioche buns with celeriac remoulade, served with onion rings and a small salad.

I went for the slow-cooked lamb neck on polenta with gremolata. The lamb was deliciously tender and moist, and went well with the creamy polenta. The crumbs from the gremolata added some much needed texture, though I would have liked a few more herbs in the mix. While I loved the dish, I was a little perturbed by a large amount of fat left on the meat. Though I’m not usually squeamish about fat on my meat, I was a little put off in this case.

Auction Rooms is a beautiful, big space with an interesting menu and good coffee. Get there early or late to avoid waiting for a table. Open Sunday – Wednesday for breakfast and lunch, and open Thursday – Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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