The Workers’ Food Room
A commendable café in the rejected end of the city
The Workers’ Food Room opened on the 29th of February down the business end of Little Lonsdale Street. Although leap years are lucky, this homely eatery hardly needs divine intervention to succeed. Owner Kirsty Chiaplias has 18 years hospitality experience to her name, including her most recent stint as Sous Chef at Easy Tiger. Trevor Schneider (ex GigiBaba) is in charge of the kitchen, and the spunky staff are chatty and efficient.
It’s as if the café has been lifted from Fitzroy and plonked in the CBD. The space feels like a warm living room: exposed brick walls, an active fireplace, antiques scattered around the room. There’s also an ‘indoor laneway’ down the side of the café, where you can sit beneath suspended pot plants without being exposed to the elements. Paul Hyland of Glasshaus nursery and design is a friend of Chiaplias and has provided a touch of green. We especially love the mini garden in a jar on the display cabinet.
The coffee is Veneziano, the milk Jonesy’s and the eggs Green eggs. Brasserie brings the bread for now, but there are plans to bake onsite. The Workers’ Food Room encourages their business clientele to step away from the boring old sandwich. While there are gourmet versions available (Turkish sausage, onion, relish and Kasser cheese, anyone?), the daily specials from the wood oven are divine. Alternatively, small plates such as grilled Cypriot Haloumi, pickled octopus and pomegranate cured trout are perfect for sharing. Early risers can also visit for breakfast. We recommend the North African baked eggs and peppers.
The Worker’s Food Room is anticipating a liquor license, so soon you’ll be able to pop in for a glass of red after work and relax to the jazzy soundtrack. And if you’re based at the other end of Little Lonsdale, it’s well worth the trek.
Location: 472 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
When: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm
Phone: (03) 9602 3220