Lemon, Middle and Orange is a coming together of caffeine, food and architecture. Opening in an old paint factory in Rokeby Street, the new Collingwood haunt is expats' Margaret Lawless and Liam Ganley's first joint venture. Lawless, an Irish hospo through and through, most recently worked at Brassiere Bread in South Melbourne, while Ganley brings in the architecture side of things with a construction background.
The small space — tucked into the side streets of Collingwood between Johnston and Victoria Parade — has been converted by John Wardle Architects and branding studio Projects of Imagination. The result is an array of light woods, cute recycled looking counter stools, an open plan kitchen, and street art-style linings on the table seating. It's clean and it works.
The brunch menu has the normal structure, but the items are a little different. For a light option go for the lemon infused local yoghurt with toasted and puffed grains, earl grey poached seasonal fruit and pistachio ($12) or maybe the poached duck egg, grilled asparagus, green peas, pancetta and sourdough crumbs ($16). For something bigger there is sweet — waffles with caramelised banana puree, Jock's vanilla ice cream, crispy bacon and banana chips ($15.50) and savoury — the 'Full Breakfast' of eggs, bacon, Cumberland sausage, confit mushrooms, bubble 'n' squeak, tomato fondue with sourdough or brown soda bread ($18.90).
Lunch consists of sandwiches like the confit chicken with apple slaw, pickled celery, walnut and raisin pesto on toasted ciabatta ($14) or a handful on non-sandwich options like the slow roasted lamb shoulder, skordalia, braised silverbeet, pickle and pine nuts ($16).
Coffee is from Espresso Syndicate and, with a single origin from Clark St Roasters, is made up on a La Marzocco machine, while the tea selection is from locals Storm in a Teacup.
The street doesn't give this space away, but, once you've found it, you'll be glad you did.