Monday, October 4, 2010

Earl Canteen @ Bourke Street, Melbourne

After searching high and low, left to right, in and out, i received a call on Friday evening presenting me a job offer. A first, since i arrived in Melbourne two months ago, 4 months from my last job and an opportunity to start cracking again.

The catch? It is not paying as much as i would like, i mean who complains of getting paid too much and i have to pack my bags again and fly off to.....Brisbane! A much warmer state, more beaches and an even more laid back town, i am told. It doesn't end there, it is a 6 month contract and if i screw up, i can kiss goodbye and say welcome back to unemployment.

By the time this is released out, i would have probably called to accept the job and be in frantic mode; trying to cancel everything that i signed up for in Melbourne and will be looking forward to house hunting again.

However the bottom line is, i am relieved and i can't wait to be back in action. 

Gosh i will miss Melbourne. 

So with the good news finally starting to sink in, the eating action should be going on full gear and recently we managed to cross out a place from the to-eat list; Earl Canteen.

Despite not being opened for too long, their roast pork sandwich has already been labeled as a "sex sandwich" and i suppose it is indeed a tough battle having to compare sex and the sandwich. 

The concept of the place is basically a high end made to order sandwich bar using premium ingredients, meaning in short; gourmet sandwiches.

The three of us ordered the following:

Duck Confit sandwich - confit duck, caramelised wild figs, walnuts, onion jam, radicchio, watercress, ciabatta. The saltiness of the duck is balanced with the sweet figs and onion jam and rounded off with a good tasted ciabatta. While i loved the flavours and the combination, for AUD 16, i am not sure if i would order it again.

 REAL Steak sandwich - grilled skirt steak, caramelised onion, provolone, beetroot, tomato, cos, mustard, focaccia. The sandwich was all hearty but the thickness of the steak made it hard to eat by hand as you can spend quite a bit of time chewing the steak. For those who don't like beetroot, you can stay away from this too. Otherwise, if you are looking for a sandwich made for a man, this is it. AUD 13.50.

 Pork Belly sandwich - crisp skin Otway pork belly, apple, cabbage & fennel coleslaw, wilted silverbeet, baguette. The sandwich that probably sparked it all off, i am surprised how no one had thought of the combination earlier. The crispy crackling, moist pork and contrasting coleslaw, it does live up to the reputation it has gained. AUD 13.50.

  As in most countries, macarons seem to be the "in thing". From pistachio, salted caramel, rose and passionfruit, the flavours all worked well especially the salted caramel. Then again everyone has been using salted caramel in their macarons. While the Wife and Cousin loved the texture, i found it all too gooey for me and was missing the crunchy layer. AUD 2.50 a piece, god forbid that they demand for more, if ever.

At the end of the day, Earl Canteen is exactly what is was set out to be, a gourmet sandwich bar for those who want to splurge a bit more on lunch. AUD 13.50 for a sandwich, you know who are the target audience since its located right below the National Australian Bank office at Bourke Street. People like me? Once in a blue moon unless i can replicate my own roast pork sandwich!

Address and contact details:

500 Bourke Street (enter via Lt Bourke)
Melbourne, 3000

Tel: 03-96001995 

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. Although not exactly value for money, it never did claim itself to be a value for money spot, instead you pay for premium ingredients and thankfully they didn't mess it up and presented us with beautiful sandwiches. 

EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon


Baby Sumo said...

Congrats on your new job!

J said...

Congrats on your new job! :)
(Well, at least you had some time in Melb... now you can start enjoying Brisbane!)

Michelle Chin said...

WAH NEW JOB! Congrats! :D

You should order the sticky lamb sandwich! my sis loved it so much she had it twice in two days. Like consecutive days.

Sean said...

all three sandwiches look pretty awesome. i'm usually not a fan of sandwiches, but i like it when there's more filling/stuffing compared to bread :D
best wishes for the new job! have been enjoying your melbourne postings, and am looking forward to the brisbane ones eventually :D

minchow said...

Mamma Mia! These babies redefine the plain old sarnie for sure! I am eyeing that pork belly one murderously, pretty sure we can emulate that back here. Congrats on the job again, hope we see plenty of Brisbane eats on your blog soon!

thule a.k.a leo said...

I have always loved sandwich - be it from O'Brien's or Subway :)
but then the reason why I seldom had sandwiches was due to Jenn who claimed that having sandwich is not a proper way to have e meal.. sigh!!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: oh this is a different league from the two, trust me. jenn would love this!

minchow: yes yes, brisbane eats!

sean: well im going to eat out as much as i can before i leave.

michelle: hmm i wonder if i can still fit in another round of sticky lamb before i leave.

j: but its been a VERY exp stay in melbourne.

babysumo: thanks!

eiling lim said...

well i don't mind having a mind blowing sandwich instead of sex! haha.. congrats on the new job and wishing you the best of luck!

CUMI & CIKI said...

Brisbane.. yippee! congrats nipples.. u DID IT!!!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Congrats on the job Joe!!

Looking at the roast pork sandwich...I think I still hate you la. *a teeny weeny bit!* =P

qwazymonkey said...

Congrats Joe! And all the best in your new posting and home. :)

With food like those at Earl, how not to miss melbourne right? But I'm sure sunny Brisbane would be just as lovely.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

qm: i know!! im starting to miss melbourne n i m still here.

bbabe: well its inspiration, u never know, u might get rif to make you one!

ciki: time for a sun tan!

eiling: well looks like the sandwich does have its sex appeal.

Paranoid Android said...

Congrats on landing with a job in sunny Brisbane! Hope to hear more good news. I think Brisbane needs you more than Melbourne, at least for the food blogging activity. :D

Good luck at the new place! Looking forward to more posts from BBE.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

pa: haha thanks, yeah need to find my way thru brisbane food scene!

Celeste @ Berrytravels said...

I adore Earl Canteen. I've been trying to go back there as much as possible to eat through the menu but they keep bringing new things in!

The Duck Confit was Very Good. But similarly at AUD16, it's a little dear for a lunch time sandwich. Alas.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

celeste: yea its a very dear lunch indeed.

thenomadGourmand said...

Ohh... I'm a bread whore & I can imagine hw i'm gonna luv this here!
Congrats again on yr success in landing a job!
Hope to visit u in brisbane soon ;p

J2Kfm said...

Congrats on the new job. And go get yourself a tan (like Ciki ...) there?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

j2kfm: thanks thanks, but not sure with the tan though.

tng: haha come come but no siu yoke sandwich though.

babe_kl said...

great to hear you finally got a job!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

babekl: thanks im glad i got a job too!

almostalwaysravenous said...

O yum. I still haven't been back yet... last time I went passed I was already soooo full, and only tried the macarons. Sob.
They probably should change it to an "open" sandwich steak... and give you knife and fork also. Like this awesome one I had in Bendigo @ Wine Bank.