Captains of Industry, Melbourne CBD

I am self-described lover of lists, organisation and the associated stationary which comes with this affliction (post-it notes, highlighters, bulldog clips – you name it and I’ve got it). So, unsurprisingly, I like to get my Christmas presents ticked off the list and gift-wrapped (preferably in well matched gift wrap and ribbon – this year’s theme is red and white hearts) well before Christmas Eve. Last week I was starting to get a bit nervous that the Christmas shopping was still only in list form and had not been action-ed. So, to put my OCD mind at ease, I forced The Brooding Architect to accompany me to town and do all of our Christmas shopping in one big ‘power shop’ .

To take a break from the chaos that is the pre-Christmas rush David Jones, we had lunch at Captains of Industry, a gorgeous cafe located on Level 1 of 2 Somerset Place – a little laneway just off Little Bourke Street.

Entrance from Somerset Place

Despite only being a few blocks from my office – and eating at +39 Pizza which is just across the road frequently – I never even knew Captains of Industry was there. I have to give The Brooding Architect credit for spotting this place.  As soon as we walked in and I spotted the empty Hendricks Gin bottles lining the walls, I knew that he had picked a winner.

Captains of Industry fittingly describe themselves as a ‘Gentlemans Outfitter and Cafe’. In addition to serving great coffee and top shelf cafe fare, you or the man (men?) in your life can also source:

  • Bespoke Footwear and Leather Accessories (sadly you can no longer get shoes made this year, but you can go on the waiting list for 2011);
  • Traditional (barber shop) Haircuts;
  • Made to Measure Menswear; and
  • Mens Grooming Products
  • The fit-out reflects the multipurpose nature and use of the space. There are old Singer Sewing Machines and leather over lockers incorporated onto some of the tables. You can also peak into the working barber shop and leather work rooms.

    To make it through the second half of the ‘power shop’ we ordered 2 coffees ($3.50) each – a flat white pre-lunch and an espresso post-lunch. Try and sit on the window street overlooking Elizabeth Street – the perfect spot to peacefully enjoy your coffee while you watch the world (or frenzied Christmas shoppers streaming out of the GPO Building on Elizabeth Street) pass by.

    Enjoying a flat white at the window seat

    We ordered the B.L.AT ($9) and the Knuckle Sandwich ($10) to share.

    The B.L.AT is a bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich on fresh, crusty bread roll, served with lots of HP sauce and a zesty herb mayonnaise. The B.L.AT is the perfect gentlemens sandwich – it is substantial, has crispy bacon, plus some obligatory greens (in the form of the peppery rocket).

    B.L.A.T - Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado & Tomato Sandwich

    The Knuckle Sandwich combines all of my absolute favourite things – smoked ham hock, sweet pickles, cauliflower, tangy, sharp cheddar cheese and mustard - and puts them between two thick slices of sourdough bread.

    Knuckle Sandwich - Smoked ham hock, sweet pickles, cauliflower, tangy, sharp cheddar cheese and mustard.

    Without even tasting the Knuckle Sandwich I knew that it would be incredible. It was. There is just something magical about the combination of sweet smoky pork, pickles and cheese. Here it is again – up close for your viewing pleasure.

    Knuckle Sandwich Up Close

    For my “lunch dessert” (not to be confused with “breakfast dessert” which I have spoken about previously), I ordered a Mars Bar Crackle - a mouthful of chewy, choclatey, rice bubbly goodness. At a mere $1, too cheap not to buy at least one – also definitely far too good and too small to share. The perfect sweet treat with a strong espresso.

    Mars Bar Crackle

    After a much needed caffeine and food break, we managed to get through the rest of the Christmas shopping and thankfully only have one present left to buy. The Brooding Architect still has to pick something up for his office Secret Santa though. I suggested this T-Shirt or the usual Architect friendly Pantone Mug (in Process Black C of course), however suspect they may not be taken up. Gift suggestions under $20 most welcome.

    Captains of Industry on Urbanspoon

    6 Comments on “Captains of Industry, Melbourne CBD”

    1. claire said at 10:26 pm on December 15, 2010:

      Hmmmm, the Knuckle Sandwich sounds suspiciously like the one at Auction Rooms: I call shenanigans!
      http://www.melbournegastronome.com/2010/11/you-want-knuckle-sandwich-get-one-at.html

      Still, I must get down to CoI to check it out soon. I like the look of that crackle.

    2. The Hungry Lawyer said at 8:08 am on December 16, 2010:

      Claire: Your suspicions are right on the money – these competing Knuckle Sandwiches both look remarkably similar and delicious. It is hard to go wrong with the classic ploughman’s lunch combo though. I suppose now I will just have to Auction Rooms for a comparative taste test :-)

    3. Alanjohn R Jones said at 8:30 am on December 17, 2010:

      Could I tempt The Hungry Lawyer with lunch here in the NY?…

    4. Hal Curwen-Walker said at 8:54 am on December 17, 2010:

      sigh – after thirty years of dedication to Nicks it looks like I might have to begin spreading my wings. Thanks for yor great site.

    5. The Hungry Lawyer said at 8:19 am on December 19, 2010:

      Hal: Nothing all wrong with Nicks though – particularly given that it so hard to find a decent coffee up that end of town! Thanks for your kind words about the blog too. Always surprises me that people apart from my mum are reading it!

    6. The Hungry Lawyer said at 8:20 am on December 19, 2010:

      AJRJ aka The Drafty in Drag – lunch in the new year sounds good. Let’s go somewhere new though, so you can finally make your debut on the blog!


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