Operator 25 lives in what once was the Phone Exchange in Melbourne. The focus is now on caffeine, and well crafted food fare. While a stark contrast from the previous residents, the caffeine does in a sense aid human communication; or at least it assists with communicating in a more friendly manner.
This popular CBD cafe has had an interior facelift since my last visit. It still preserves the shell of its heritage listed building, with its exposed red brick walls, but has been embellished with modern light boxes and placards that depict a range of pop art images, and puns.
The team are still as friendly as ever, and passionate about serving delicious eats and coffee. It’s so comforting to know a cafe respects the beans, and carefully approaches every shot and brew. My prime position allowed for this observation. Such a focus on quality never goes unnoticed when I’m around.
Coffee is by Code Black and Mikael worked diligently to extract my espresso on the sleek La Marzocco GB5. I was fortunate enough to try Mikaels competition coffee, which he will be using this weekend at the Fusan Cup International Barista Competition, in Hainan China. It was everything I expected it to be- and more. I was served a naturally processed Burundi microlot, which had an intense sweetness; a quality I adore in naturally processed coffee. With its rich body, and cherry tones, this was one impressive cup.
The menu offers a diverse range of brunch and lunch dishes tailor made by internationally influenced chefs. Theres the BBQ Pork Benedict with crispy wonton skin, the Matcha Friand with grilled pears and chantilly cream, and Tapioca and Potato Fritter. Lunch ranges from Balinese Pork Burgers, through to Five Spice Duck Leg with Vietnamese slaw, and Laksa Grilled Chicken with Asian greens.
25 Wills St
Melbourne VIC 3000