Ground Level, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000 (NAB Building)
Phone: (03) 9600 1995
Have you ever wanted to try restaurant-standard sandwiches? Wanting a filling sandwich and not a 6-inch Subway sandwich where you are neither full nor really hungry after gorging yourself out? Earl Canteen will be THE place to go where you will be able to enjoy the great service even during busy lunch hour! I was there during my lunch break on Thursday and I was rushing my way there as it is known that the signature Otway pork belly sandwich gets sold out really early! When I got there, there was a long queue. People in front and behind me seemed to know each other and they are all lawyers (as explained by the close proximity to the Supreme Court!)
As we wanted to dine in, we were shown to the seats at the side by the courteous wait staff who remembered all our orders correctly (‘m impressed!). We were also served with water in a cute jar while we waited eagerly for our food!
After a good 10 to 15 minutes wait, the sumptuous and alluring sandwiches were presented before us. First up, I will introduce you to the STAR of EC, Otway Pork Belly Sandwich @ $13. The crackling was a tad too salty but in order to season it nicely, I guess you have to do it that way. However, the pork belly was tender and succulent (apparently, they were cooked for 12 hours!) This is also the reason why everyone in the CBD flocks to EC to have a bite of this!
Wagyu meatball sandwich @ $12.50 was an indulgence! I believe that no one else has used Wagyu beef for their meatballs at the moment! But EC which is positioning themselves as the gourmet sandwich maker and the fact that the owners worked in several reputable restaurants in the past, their take on this sandwich was superb! Kinda sinful at the same time for indulging in something so great! >.< The pickles used overcome the huge drizzle of parmesan to perfection. Sadly, the baguette was too hard and toasted for a normal jaw to chew on!
I also heard that EC’s macarons are a must try! There were four flavours available that day and I bought one each, taking into account that I am a crazy macaron fan or rather I am testing out all the macarons available on the market in Melbourne! I absolutely love the Pistachio (green); the orange one was kinda weird with a thick layer of jam in the middle; the caramel was too sweet and the orange chocolate one was kinda refreshing!
Conclusion, the long queue and the rather long wait (for lunch time standard) were justified by the fantastic taste for a simple dish! However, I think they should have more seating areas as I was having difficulties trying to keep the table that I was sharing with some other people still. It kept slipping away when the gentleman beside me moved his leg! gah! @.@ EC should consider opening during weekends to cater to office workers who do not have the luxury of a long lunch break or having their workplaces situated within the CBD! 😀 Seriously, good food should be shared and NOT missed.