Lemon Middle & Orange
25-31 Rokeby Street
Collingwood, VIC 3066
In the back streets of Collingwood lies a hidden gem named Lemon Middle and Orange. Previously an old paint factory, the cafe is named after an old sign owners Margaret Lawless and Liam Ganley found during the renovation, which refers to the chrome pigments used in paint.
The fitout is industrial and minimal, with upside down paint tins used as stools, a nod to the buildings heritage. “It’s basically just timber, stainless steel and glazing,” says Ganley. “Everything in the cafe’s really pared back. All the internal walls are bare block; they’re not rendered, they’re not treated. The floors are concrete and we didn’t do anything with the ceiling. All the money went into the joinery.”
Lawless and Ganley draw on their Irish heritage to inspire their menu, brought to life by chef Sam Morris (Auction Rooms, Rockwell & Sons). This is most evident in their breakfast dish of poached eggs with black pudding and potatoes, served with soda bread and butter. “We bake our own brown soda bread, which is traditional Irish bread,” says Ganley. “Every household has its own recipe for it at home. We bake that on site every morning.”
The menu is succinct but studded with dishes sure to please: daily croquettes served with poached eggs; house hot smoked salmon, potato latkes, poached eggs, fennel & horshradish creme fraiche; or banana and chia bread.
But it’s not just breakfast on the menu, they have you covered for lunch too: there’s daily salads like pumpkin, cauliflower, black rice and mint; bagels filled with rare roast beef, cheddar, rocket & beet relish; or ciabatta filled with chicken and apple slaw.
It might be small on space, but Lemon Middle & Orange delivers big. A great menu, friendly atmosphere, good coffee, it’s exactly why Melbourne is so good for brunch spots.