There has been so much hype about EARL since it opened I wasn't sure what to expect. It is located at the top end of Melbourne's CBD, tucked into the corner of a courtyard surrounded by big buildings and frequented at lunchtime by (as dubbed by those of us who don't wear them) 'suits'.
In a controversial move I opted not for the pork belly sandwich that everyone has been raving about but instead ordered the Truffled Mushroom Wrap. It comes in a tortilla with wilted spinach, 'autumnal mushrooms', truffle paste and a soft cooked egg.
The wrap was a little floury for me and even though the egg was cooked well it was a little cold. I'm not sure how you would go trying to eat this as a takeaway? The filling is pretty squishy and the odds on the bottom of the tortilla holding in all the juicy goodness are perhaps not the best. Lucky for me I had a knife and fork and opened it up and tucked right in. It was like eating a forest, which is exactly what I want when I order something autumnal and truffle-y. The flavours were earthy and layered and demanded that I took my time and savoured every mouthful.
After watching Adriano Zumbo on you-know-what last night I was in the mood for a much raved about macaron to go with my latte but alas there were none! Sold out! Gutted!
These are not your average sandwiches and you don't pay average prices either; city-workers next time the boss says lunch is on them I'd be pitching this place.
The hype piqued my interest originally - the pork belly, the macarons, the handmade crumpets - all of which I am yet to try. So I will return, I need to in order to really make up mind.