A month or so ago Lonsdale Street Roaster 7 renovated its small little coffee store to introduce a whole bunch of extra dining and sitting space and also used this space to move their kitchen upstairs. Downstairs there are still a couple of seats and tables here and there but 90% of it has been moved up. This is honestly a change I’m completely all for, once you walk upstairs you enter an open area with plenty of natural light, tables, benches and it just seems less cramped, it’s a way more causal dining and chilling out space. The whole hipster crowding around a gutter sitting on milk crates thing was fantastic while it was around, and it pretty much defined the now famous Lostumbo brunches, but yeah this is a good move.
With this new space, it seems like LSR 7 has also expanded its food menu. Its not as big as Lonsdale Street Roasters 23 down the street but its got some good stuff. They had about six sandwiches, some classical breakfast dishes and other goodies. In line with their new menu, Lonsdale Street Roasters have a bunch of meats and fish that they smoke or cure in house, which we of course tried but more about that further below.
First up we grabbed the Smoked salmon bagel ($17.50) with house smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, purple onions and dill. This was amazing! I’ve never had a smoked salmon that I enjoyed this much and I’m eat a lot of salmon. The salmon had a lovely smokey scent to it, texture wise some bits of the salmon were more of a baked texture whilst the thicker parts were closer to cured. It was nothing like the store bought smoked salmon here at LSR, this salmon was thick, flavoursome and super juicy.
In addition to this the bagel that LSR used was freaking amazing too, it was lightly toasted and tasted so authentic with just sesame seeds giving it some flavour, pure New York. There was also a very generous amount of cream cheese all over it which I loved. I ended up spreading about 5mm on each bit of bagel which seems like a lot but 1. the cream cheese complimented the smokey salmon perfectly and brought a lot of creaminess to the bagel and 2. no, there is never too much cream cheese, are you crazy?!
There was a good amount of capers which added some tanginess to the bagel and plenty of purple onions and dill, which is pretty par the course for a good salmon bagel. I only ended up using about half an onion but I really like how pretty it makes the dish, same goes for the dill.
Next up, the Beef brisket sandwich ($14) with pickled carrots, mixed vegetables and purple onion. This just grabbed my attention straight away as soon as I saw it on the menu and had to have it. Now this was a bit of an odd one for me. I absolutely loved the brisket, fantastically smoky, with really strong flavours that really popped out at you with every bite. The pickled carrots and mixed vegetables joined each other to become a kind of slaw, which was pretty cool. This might be a preference thing, but it was a really flavourful slaw, and slaw, as you may know, is pretty sour. For me, the slaw was really quite overpowering and after a few bites, I noticed I wasn’t really able to taste the beef brisket, so ended up pulling a fair bit of the slaw out before I kept going. After I did that though, it was really nice, and of course, anyone out there who loves slaw, this thing is right up your alley.
Here is a close up of the Beef brisket sandwich, look at the amount of meat you get! When it came out, I was a little disappointed because it’s not a huge sandwich, but what it lacks in width it definitely makes up for in height, they pack this thing in! As you can see, there’s almost an equal amount of slaw to meat, which led to my problems above, still, can’t be upset about a place being too generous now can I? This was a wonderful sandwich, I’d say I preferred the salmon over it but it’s still a pretty nice sandwich, that my palate wasn’t ready for on the day. Maybe next time.
Finally to finish off, a Chai latte ($4.5 large). This was lovely, not the best chai I’ve ever had but Lonsdale Street Roaster is famous for their coffee not their chai. Actually in hindsight, I probably should have gotten a cappuccino or something. Oh well, next time. As for the drink I actually got, it was pretty tasty. It didn’t have a super strong chai taste to it like some other places have (which I don’t necessarily prefer), it was actually quite mild and came through more as an after taste instead of right up front. I normally wouldn’t really like something like this, especially if they made the chai really sweet, but here at Lonsdale Street Roaster, they balanced the sweetness to match the mildness of the chai flavours. I’ve definitely had situations where I order a chai and they decide to give me some brown sugar water instead. Not great.
To be honest, outside of the chai tea with strained soy milks that I really enjoy, like the one at Mocan & Green Grout and Local Press Cafe this is right up there. I think I actually prefer less sweet chai like these to the sickly sweet ones.
I love this new upstairs seating area at Lonsdale Street Roasters 7, its extremely spacious, there’s plenty of light thanks to the massive window panning that reaches from the floor to the ceiling all the way from the left to the right of the store and the expanded food menu looks really good too. Definitely going to come here more often for breakfast and brunch or even just for a casual catch up with some friends over a coffee or two.