Back in the early 1900s, this heritage-listed building was used as Melbourne’s first telephone exchange – but now behind these cobblestone walls is Operator25 – a café with a modern rustic ambience.
To start our mid Sunday morning brunch, my dear cousin Ting Tangy started off with a Koko deluxe hot chocolate, whilst I settled for a house blend flat white.
Ting Tangy enjoyed her hot chocolate – it wasn’t overly sweet nor was it overly rich. A perfect balance for my cousin.
At Operator25, they use Code Black Coffee beans. The first flat white I had for brunch was a seasonal blend: 50% Kenya Wakulima & 50% Guatemala El Pilar. It was very smooth and velvety.
Valerie who hosted us, recommended a few dishes for us to try. The first dish that Ting Tangy and I shared was the Cold Smoked Tasmanian Salmon, Rye Toast, Lemon Crème Fraiche, Piccalilli & Crispy Lilliput Capers.
The dish itself screams out SPRING! A visually appealing dish, with different flavours and texture. Valerie, who is one chefs at Operator25, told us that the Tasmanian Salmon is cold smoked rather than hot smoked as it stops the salmon from being mushy. She was right – the smoked Tasmanian salmon tasted fresh.
The rye toast were thinly sliced and toasted until very crisp. What I loved most about the dish was in fact the piccalilli which is an English interpretation of Indian pickles. It’s tumeric which gives it the bright yellow colour. The vegetables used in the pickle were cauliflower, celery, pears and cabbage. It really works the tastes buds! The other interesting element of the dish were the crispy lilliput capers. I like how the capers were fried until crispy – it still maintains the flavour of the capers, but less overpowering then if you were to eat the fresh capers.