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Earl Canteen, Melbourne

I had the pleasure of going to Melbourne last week for a long weekend. Virgin and Qantas had cheap flights and my brother and I couldn’t help but get tickets. Cheap flights, great food – what’s there not to like.

There were a couple of restaurants that I had to go – Cutler and Co was on top of my list! So were Movida, Cummulus, HuTong Dumpling Bar, Earl Canteen and a couple more. However, unfortunately, we didn’t get to eat at all those places. Most places either don’t take reservation or they were fully booked – FIVE WEEKS IN ADVANCE! Who plans that far ahead? Clearly not me!

I was in Melbourne with the family and my brother and sis-in-law, I noticed that the bigger the group, the hardere it was to just rock up and get a table.

We started with Earl Canteen, which can be found in Melbourne CBD. It’s hidden behind the NAB building at 500 Bourke Street, and we were lucky enough to get a table straight away, right next to the kitchen. The place was busy, diners queuing, ordering their food and diners waiting to eat.

F ordered the pork belly – crisp skin otway pork belly, apple, cabbage and fennel coleslaw, wilted silverbeet, baguette ($13.50). My goodness – crispy pork belly with crackle!!! It was defliciously tender and succulent. The bread was slightly toasted and was crunchy. I heard the pork is cooked for 16 hours, overnight and then in the oven the next morning. F loved it, I probably should have ordered this, but instead opted for something else.

My parents and sis-in-law, O, ordered the Earl lunch box which consisted of a sandwich, salad and seasonal fruit friand ($13.50). Compared to the pork belly baguette, this looked totally unappealing, but it tasted better than it looked! Both opted for the free range chicken paper roll with avocado, corn and saffron mayonnaise. The salad, zucchini, green beans, currant and almonds were delicious, but the pork belly ROCKED!

I ordered the hot smoked huon salmon, quinoa, lentils, beans and piquillo peppers ($11). Generous chunks of salmon, which was tender and succulent. The quinoa, lentils, beans and peppers were a great complement. It was seriously tasty!

I can see why Earl Canteen is SO popular. Service was quick and efficient. If I worked in  Melbourne CBD, this would definitely be my local!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

F’s ratings: 8 / 10

Earl Canteen

500 Bourke Street (enter via Little Bourke)

Melbourne 3000

Ph: +61 3 9600 1995

EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon

  1. February 16, 2011 at 3:26 am

    At least you got to eat at one place on your list right? 🙂 Love Melbourne.

  2. February 16, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Five weeks advance bookings – yikes! I suppose I should figure out where I want to go when I’m there for easter and make a booking. What would your suggestion be (I have no idea about Melbourne and the restaurant there).

    • February 16, 2011 at 4:40 am

      hey mel – i know! crazy right? i couldnt get a reservation at Movida – really want to try that. Did get a reservation at Cutler and that was amazing – post to come! and had breakfast at bistro vue which wasn’t too bad, and Cumullus also. HuTong is supposed to be nice also. Haven’t been to Melb for such a long time – used to go with work and ate at some amazing places!

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