On the North-Western corner of the grand Victorian building that houses the State Library of Victoria sits Mr Tulk. This licensed espresso cafe feels all light and airy apart from the rapturous sounds of chatter emanating from the informal dining room.
To the left of the entrance is a large counter that does takeaway coffees and food, affectionately referred to as 'Tulk Junior'. And to the right is the sit down dining area known as 'Mr Tulk'. With a large central wooden communal table in the middle, there is strategically placed seating around the edge of the room. Not forgetting the outside seating as well, this place is often overspilling with patrons.
Inside Mr Tulk is a large board listing wines and beers. They also have a specials chalkboard for wines.
There is also a 'specials' menu for food which changes all the time I am told. My friend and I decided to share the 'Asparagas with labna, poached egg and bastourma'. Bastourma being an air-dried cured meat, hailing from Turkey and the Middle East. We also chose the smoked salmon bruschetta with capers and dill.
The waiter went off with our order and proceeded to take away the menu's as well. We couldn't help but notice how all the Mr Tulk staff were men and the women were behind the counter in the Junior Tulk part. Not sure if this is done on purpose or it was just a coincidence...
Still, we received our two dishes. The poached egg with the bastourma and asparagus was done to perfection. The labna (yoghurt cheese) was sitting right under the poached egg. The dish was executed and presented so well. I wish that there had been more of it...
The smoked salmon bruschetta was also perfectly executed. The ingredients were fresh and tasty. The ciabatta was toasted just right. Again, I wish there had been two pieces instead of just the one!
We both finished off with coffees. The coffees of which I have to say were excellent - strong and hot, just how I like it.
I give this place gold stars all round for the food. I will however say that our first waiter was rather unfriendly. Perhaps he was having a bad day...although not an excuse to be unfriendly, especially when working as a service waiter. The others however, (of which we had a different one each time bringing us out the food and drinks) were pleasant enough.
Still, I would come back here again and I might even try it on a Friday evening with some friends after work or for brunch on a Saturday.
328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000Tel: +6 1(03) 8660 5700