Manchester Press | Melbourne

Continuing the trend of putting up posts from ancient times is Manchester Press. I feel I should put these up as soon as possible so I will no longer be shamed displaying my poor photography skills from days bygone to the public.

Or, I could be just making excuses to finally get all of my Melbourne posts out. Either way, can’t complain right? Melbourne’s awesome and anyone who doesn’t believe it hasn’t been there.

Gosh, I sound like a Melbournite, with my highbrow statements (of fact *ahem*).

But hey, I have yet to find a location in Sydney that can make a living off mere bagels. That’s where Manchester Press makes its oblique entrance. Read on to whet your appetite on the food item that gets confused with doughnuts a bit more often than I’m willing to admit.

Date Last Visited: 6/7/13
Address: 8 Rankins Lane Melbourne, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): pulled pork bagels easily make a favourite of mine


My initial impression of Manchester Press’ location is that it’s somewhat clandestine. At eye level, you wouldn’t really notice any signage that would lead you into the café.

Looking up tells you the story. Ahhh, I’ve heard of Melbourne’s kooky ways, but integrating the cafe’s name into the alleyway graffiti is a quirky move that I totally approve of.

Manchester Press

Quirky café, part 1

As one approaches, a larger than life-size figure greets you. Oh, and you get the name of the café reiterated. Good to see. You’re in for a nutty experience, alright.

Manchester Press

Quirky café, part 2

ROBOT. Cafes usually end up branding themselves into your memory via the usage of idiosyncratic decorations. You could say with a whole honey pot of understatement, that Manchester Press does that job pretty well.

Manchester Press

Quirky cafe, part 3

But I have to comment, I don’t like it too much – not because of the drawings or the furnishings, bur rather that yellow lighting scheme. Hardware Societe already did it, and it “sort of” worked. Manchester on the other hand…kind of sickly. Personal preference, go figure.

manchester press latte coffee

Your classic latte ($3.5)

PSA: Manchester Press’ menu has a lot of typos. I’ve taken the liberty to provide corrected captions.

Being the first meal of the day, it’s a ritual that coffee is a must. Besides, we’re in Melbourne – you could hardly do better than a cuppa in the morning.

As usual, I have a massive “Melbourne” placebo shoved right down my throat, and thus I have not a whit of complaint about the coffee. Why waste words on my classic latte?

manchester press chai latte

Calmer sutra chai latte w/self-serve honey ($4)

I’ll give this one more verbiage though – the name is fabtastical. Yes I made that up just then. It’s a pretty decent chai, and the provision of honey means you’re in control of the sweet level. Boom, “choices in the hands of the consumer”. It’s all about that, right?

manchester press chai latte

Adjustable sweet levels are a bonus

Taste-wise, it’s your classic chai. I don’t remember enough to comment any more specifically than that.

manchester press bunny latte

The cutest latte art!

If you ask for it, you can get animal latte art on your coffee. This isn something I haven’t seen any other cafe do. Sure, it doesn’t mean anything because you’re going to suck it all up, but it’s +1 cool/cute factor.

manchester press latte

Lion? Sheep? Cat?

Besides, anything that makes the food/drink more instagram-worthy is sure to expand the cafe’s reach. Ohhhh I see what you did there!

I should note that the cafe wasn’t particularly crowded when we arrived – we were lucky though, given we came before 9am. Arrive early or queue up!

manchester press pulled pork bagel

12 hour roasted pulled pork w/lettuce, bbq sauce & apple slaw bagel ($14)

But that’s it for the coffee. You’re here for the bagels – let’s make that clear. Bagels. What’s a bagel? Well, I’ll tell you what’s not a bagel. It’s a baked dough ring that has not been boiled in water. For a bagel to taste like a bagel, it definitely has to go through that boiling process. If it doesn’t, it’s a pretender. What does that do anyway? This link is a good place to read on that. Essentially, it’s how you get the chewy crust and hearty interior. Seems counter-intuitive, but try it yourself with and without boiling. I have and the difference is stark.

Manchester Press better have good bagels.

Who am I kidding, of course they do. That chewy exterior with the fluffy but still dense breadiness on the insides. It’s great stuff considering what it is – a bread ring. What’s equally outstanding is the pulled pork used in my particular bagel. It turns a snack into a full blown meal, and I am just done. The pork itself isn’t mind blowing, but it’s definitely not shabby. Passes my standards, whatever they may be.

Really though, the big takeaway for me is that I never expected to be so satisfied with a dish that revolvs around a bagel. That’s where Manchester really gets you, especially if you’ve never been. In addition, the price of $14 is killer cheap, and that’s the priciest option on the menu!

manchester press blat bagel

B.L.A.T. bagel topped w/cranberry & chilli plum relish ($13)

A twist on the B.L.T., the B.L.A.T. bagel features a more tried and true ingredient list. Tried and true doesn’t mean bad though – it means something so good that it has stood the test of time. So yeah, you’re good to go here.

Flavour-wise, I still prefer my bagel (it’s my favourite out of the four I’ve tried, actually), but pulled pork has an advantage in that it’s pulled pork. HAH.

manchester press pastrami bagel

Thick sliced pastrami w/sliced tomato, sauerkraut & thousand island dressing ($13)

With my near fetishistic obsession with pulled pork out of the way, the pastrami & sauerkraut bagel is a close contender for “awesome bagel #2”. Clearly of Reuben inspiration. This Nebraskan-inspired bagel tickes plenty of meaty boxes including – being meaty, and including just enough, and not too much sauerkraut. It’s also not too sour, allowing the more tempered pastrami to deliver its protein hits with flavour. A textural sensation thanks to that pastrami, really. That’s why I eat pastrami, actually.

Seriously, how terrible is it when there’s just too much sauerkraut. That would be disgusting. Nobody would call this bagel disgusting. They would be looking through an antonym dictionary.

manchester press avocado bagel

Avocado, feta, chilli & mint smash w/cherry tomato roquette & pine nuts ($13)

Swinging all the way back to the healthy spectrum of foodstuffs, we have the avocado, feta, chilli & mint smash bagel which is all sorts of fun. Avo smash always adds some deliciously buttery texture to anything, at a fraction of the calories and with way more nutrients than butter. The chilli brings in the flavour kick required to elevate this to a great tasting bagel.

It’s also vegetarian, in case that point was missed – quite important, given how every other option has meat. Everyone can enjoy a bagel here!

manchester press sweets

Sweets on offer!

If you fancy something sweet, you could always try something from the counter. That’s what a friend did.

manchester press honey fig cupcake

I think this was $4?

Completely, utterly forgot how it tasted. But I believe I got the usual “good” as a response. Brevity is the soul of wit, right?

Another place I would go back to the next time I visit Melbourne. So unfortunate – means less stomach for trying new things! Such a foodie problem to have…

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

Awesome:

  • Holy moly I’ve been led to the oasis of bagels
  • That Melbourne coffee!

Not so Awesome:

  • Bagels are still only bagels
  • Repeat visits may lose their initial wow factor

8/10 Caesars

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

8 comments on “Manchester Press | Melbourne”

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Most places in Melbourne does, I love that about it!

      Still not sold on the yellowish colour scheme though!

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Man, lucky you didn’t experience the near-hour wait we had at Hardware Societe!

      Melbourne cafe’s are too successul for its own good sometimes 😛

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