Barely even 4 months old, EARL Canteen has been one of the most talked about eateries on Urbanspoon and amongst food bloggers alike. Hopping from one food blog to another, I've seen many different reviews of EARL, but they all ultimately write about the hero of this place- The Pork Belly Sandwich. Not just any pork belly sandwich...but THE Pork Belly Sandwich. If you like your pork and your crackling, you would have (no doubt) already tried the Roast Pork Sandwich at David Jones' foodcourt. You have to be early though, on many occasions I've rocked up at 1pm only to be told that they have sold out. I believe this might be the same story at EARL Canteen, so I hedged my bets. I woke up bright and early, dwaddled at home for a lil bit, and off we went for an early lunch.
Having spent last Monday up in the mountains, I'd forgotten how the CBD felt like on Monday mornings. Suits everywhere- rushing to and fro from one meeting to another. I'm not a suit anymore.....I finally have time to do a couple of things I've been putting off, but till I become a corporate workhorse again, I'll bide my time and take it easy :) EARL Canteen is one of those places where I'll go to get takeway lunch everyday, they use fresh ingredients and seem to know how to marry different ingredients and flavours together beautifully. Salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets- they have a variety of food and unique flavours to cater to every tastebud.
It was a little difficult to find at first, we had to traipse through the NAB building to get to it.
The different types of sandwiches up on the menu board- made fresh when you place your order.
A display case full of salads, ready-made sandwiches and delicious macarons. A lunch box set ($13.50) lets you pick your own ready-made sandwich, a side of salad and a sweet pastry of your choice. Pretty decent isn't it?
The kitchen and coffee machine- where all the magic happens.
Yummy goodness in a baguette- the famous Crispy Skin Otway Pork Belly sandwich ($13.50). The pork belly was perfectly cooked and tender, the crackling was amazingly crispy and well seasoned...these combined beautifully with the sweetness and crispness of the apple, cabbage and fennel coleslaw. All these flavours were neutralised with the wilted silverbeet. I seriously could eat another one right now. Delicious!
Of course, no meal is complete without having dessert. I opted for 2 macarons- Chestnut & Cognac and Salted Caramel. They cost $2.50 each and were very, very tiny. I would have liked them to be a little bit bigger, because when you're having something good.....your only wish is to keep on eating it! I used to like the macarons at Lindt, but since having macarons from Adriano Zumbo and EARL Canteen...Lindt has a lot of catching up to do. The ones I had above packed a punch with their flavour and were so fresh they crumbled when you bit into them. Mmmmm.....perfectly textured on the outside AND inside- what creamy, delicious fillings.